Is our focus really on gender equality? Or tipping the balance in the direction we desire?
The real problem is that the way that power is given out in our society pits us against each other. -Anita Hill
Dear Men and Women,
I come to you today as someone who agrees with a lot of what you both are saying in reference of Gender Equality, or the current lack of Equality. And I also come as someone who sees how way too many people in both camps have no real interest in moving forward any actual gender equality, but are rather focused complaining and attacking the other camp. The current discussion is being turned into a mud flinging competition, with a heaping dose of dismissal tactics, which would put to shame even the worst politician.
If we wish to actually achieve any real Gender Equality, stemming from an actual empathy of what each gender has to endure, we need to change the tone of the discussion. We need to recognize of the phrases we constantly use in the gender debate is little more than passive aggressive insults against the opposite gender. We need to create a discourse of inclusion, where we both work together for a common good. This needs to stop being a pissing contest.
Men need to stop using catchphrases like “not all men” or accusing women of using “convenient feminism.” Women need to stop coding blame and shame towards men with terms like “Patriarchy” and assuming that sexism is purely a woman’s issue. Both sides need to stop throwing out statistics about the problems they face without including the statistics for the opposite gender. All of these are tactics, used proudly by each side, serve only to dismiss real issues and real problems created by gender inequality.
I am not going to give a breakdown of the issues affecting each gender. If you are really interested, if you really care, you can take the time to google it up. There are plenty of resources, sites, and groups that handle the gender issues better than any One-liner from Tumblr or any Hashtag in Twitter can. What hurts one gender will always affects the gender in one way or another. Ignorance can’t be an excuse for injustice.
The current conversation between the genders can literally be reduced to each side telling the other what they are doing wrong; blaming them and shaming them into action. We need to step away from articles made to stir up emotions, reactions, and, in many cases, hate based on attacking the opposite gender; because other than filling up hit counters for sales statistics on the host site, serve only to further divide us. We need to stop measuring up each gender by their worst possible exponents. All of this needs to stop.
We need to have a real conversation, one where men and women can talk with each other, and not at each other. We need to start talking about what we could be doing right as for our gender, and how we could help the opposite gender. We cannot take merit away from good ideas simply because it didn’t come from our camp nor can we take merit away from good initiatives because they are not perfect. We need to care enough about the problems each other face to be able to actually empathize.
And that can only start when are stop being so selfish as to only consider what is convenient for my side. We need to start looking at men and women as a whole, and not picking and choosing our battles based on what’s convenient for each gender. We need to look past what divides us, and start looking what ties us together, because when everything is said and done, we are in this together.
Photo: Flickr/Rupert Ganzer