Edited by Charan Koltur*
When I tell people I support women’s rights, frequently I would receive a scoff and a “feminists only care for themselves” comment. Though I feel insulted by these reactions, I can’t help but realize that they have a point. By definition, feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of equality between the two sexes. However, many feminists take it too far and claim that females should dominate men. What is more important is focusing on equality, fighting against discrimination based on gender. Feminists are one of many factors that cause discrimination; the real problem is our so called society.
Discrimination: Men and Women Alike
What is equality? Equality is the state of being equal in status, rights, and opportunity. Therefore, both men’s rights and women’s rights should be treated uniformly. Yet, this still is not happening. And what is the cause? It is not his fault or her fault. The problem is simply society. We, as a people, place stereotypes on the other gender, forcing us into labels we don’t necessarily fit into. Even if we aren’t consciously aware of this behaviour, we should eliminate it immediately, and maybe our world can be a little less “women do this and men do that.”
Despite the fact that the female population tends to have more suicidal thoughts than their male counterparts, the actual suicide rate is higher in the male population. In society, guys are expected to be brave and unemotional. Males don’t have “problems” like women do! However, this claim is spurious. Just like girls, or any regular human being, the male population have feelings and real problems. They may be bullied, but are told to “man up”. Or maybe they want to do something different, but society says otherwise. As an effect, men are forced to choke down their feelings, suck it up until it eventually breaks them. This isn’t true for all males, but it is still important that, we, as society, obliterate these stereotypes and let men speak out about their problems. The male population is victimizing themselves, and feel the need to take their emotion on others. Thus, unfair female discrimination is born.
Additionally, equality does not mean that women get the same thing as men do. Men actually receive a higher prison sentence for the same crimes that women commit. Also, they must register with the government in case of an emergency drafting, and women get a free pass out of it. Nobody wants a higher prison sentence or forced military recruitment. Instead, males and females should be placed on a middle ground, where each gender are receiving the same treatment as the other, and that treatment is fair. It isn’t the male population who is responsible, but society itself.
Feminism is the other half of gender equality, and is greatly connected to men’s rights. Because the male population often take out their frustration on the female population, feminists feel the need to speak out about their problems. Though there is a large population of people who think otherwise, it is increasingly being accepted that ladies are more than household wives. Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook explained that female workers have a lot of potential to be leaders. But she also described how women aren’t taking up these opportunities because they are intimidated by the powerful job they are being offered. Why? Once again society has depicted girls as the menial workers. Even though it is changing more today and more female workers are getting the government jobs and high business positions, history has a way of squeezing itself through the cracks. Since 1701, women have been fighting for their liberation in America. However, the country have ignored the “problem” for many years.
One example is Angelina Grimke, a well known abolitionist from before the Civil War. While she was very much passionate about slave’s rights, she couldn’t help but be concerned about women’s rights. Theodore Weld, Grimke’s husband, was also a significant addition the abolitionist movement. However, he discouraged Grimke from pursuing women’s rights, and told her to focus and the task at hand. Yet, people who thought they were fighting for equal rights were slightly discouraging girls from fighting for their rights. Even in modern times, people prioritize other “more important” problems over women’s rights. Though they may have been significant, all social issues have an impact on our world and need attention.
One day in the future, society won’t even think to comment on gender differences. When we eliminate the labels society created, we won’t even notice if a female takes over as a leader of a big-shot company or the country. Despite the gender difference, we are all born with the same inexperienced brain cells. It is just a matter of strengthening those brain cells the right way, and the world’s minds will truly be one. We are all just people. As Barbara Johnson, a black female lawyer said, “ Babies come into the world as blank as slates and, with their beautiful innocence, see others not as different but as enjoyable companions.”
One day in the future, There will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.
The Cause and the Effect
We are society. Therefore, we are the only ones who can change the way people are labelled. In fact, most of us who think they are feminists may be encouraging gender discrimination without even realizing.
I asked my father, a respectable man, if he could think of anytime where he might have unknowingly discriminated against women. Though he couldn’t think of something right off the bat, he soon answered my question easily. When he is in a meeting and he needs to rearrange the furniture for some set-up, he immediately asks the men to help. He realized that girls are perfectly capable of picking up furniture and putting it down. However, his immediate comeback to his statement made me think.
He said that most of the time he felt obligated to leave women out, as they feel that asking them of such a task is disrespectful. For example, in a restaurant, he or his male peers always pay for the food, out of respect for the lady. Therefore, it isn’t men who are discriminating, but women who feel they need to be treated a certain way. Men can’t help but follow the wishes of women. As a result, a big part of the male population is pressured to “be a man.” They feel pressured to act as the more responsible one, paying for food and doing the dirty work. In effect, girls feel obligated to stay back, to let men fight for career opportunities and grow in intelligence. Back and forth, a chain reaction occurs. It is not one gender’s fault for gender discrimination. In reality, it is both genders judging each other, creating the line between female and male that is such a big problem today.
What’s my point? That you- yes you- are the problem in the world. Everyone is responsible for preventing the human race to be a, single, human race. Even I have caught myself judging guys for their behavior. So let us educate the world on the truth. Judging each other causes havoc, and we should aim to avoid that as much as possible.
It is crazy how much the expectation of each other affect how we think of ourselves and how we ought to be.
Share this article with other people, and raise awareness. It is crazy how little the world acknowledges that it is us as a people who are creating this raging civil war within our species. Nobody acknowledges that they, in fact, are the reason for discrimination. So yes. I fight for equality, not for one only one gender. We must get this message across to everyone. Will you be part of the cause to have the perfect world, one that we all would be proud to live in?