About gender equality, feminism, and International Women`s Day

WARNING: opinions inside. Enter at own risk.

Lately, I`ve been seeing the topic of gender equality come up all over the place. There`s the latest Becoming Youtube, which I already did a vlog and a blogpost about. There`s International Women`s Day, which was last Friday. There`s Tumblr, which is an eternal source of “social justice” (though it remains debatable how justified it all really is). And I`ve seen discussions about it at other places as well. The discussions seems to be alive everywhere, and like everyone else, I have some opinions about it I would like to share.

I`m going to start by saying that, all good intentions aside, I think “International Women`s Day” is quite possibly the stupidest thing I`ve heard in quite a while. And that`s saying something.

Because really, people, come on. Women`s Day? Where`s Men`s Day? If we`re going for equality, we shouldn`t be putting only the women up on a pedestal. If one gender is getting special days and special events, so should the other gender.

In the recent battles for gender equality, a lot of people seem to be forgetting to actually fight for that: equality. Equality does not mean putting the women ahead, it does not mean special treatment because you`re a woman, it does not mean getting a job because you`re a woman and the company wants a 50/50 rate of men/women but all the other applicants were men. That`s not how equality works, and it`s really bugging me.

I`ve been seeing a lot of news articles on how governments and companies alike are aiming for more women in high positions, and are throwing in numbers and estimates and goals they want to reach. But is it just me, or is putting a goal like that something you really shouldn`t do?

What also bugs me though, is the image of the feminist movement. You know the feminists I`m talking about: the ones who burn bra`s, who walk into a church topless, who have a complete disregard for men. Those women annoy me just as the people who organise things like International Women`s Day, possibly even more. Do you want to burn your own bra? Whatever, you paid for it, I don`t care what you do with it. But walking in the Notre Dame bare-chested to celebrate the Pope resigning, because you`re a feminist and, god, what reason do you even use to rectify something like that. Actions like that are rude and insulting and I do not agree with them.

Let me get this straight: I do want more women in high positions. I want more women in the government, I want more female CEO`s of companies, I want more female managers. But women should be getting those positions because of their qualities and skills, because of their experience and their expertise. They should be getting those jobs because they want the jobs and worked for it and are capable (or deemed capable) of managing the job. They shouldn`t be getting it because they`re a woman and we need more women anyway. That`s just going to backfire at some point, and I suspect it might result in more “that`s why women should stick to cooking and raising children” type of discussions, which is the last thing we want now.

I also think that, in this race of getting more women in high positions and getting more women to build a career and all that, we`re forgetting to look at what women actually want. Because, really, a lot of women WANT to stay at home with a family, a lot of women WANT a “lower” job that leaves them with less responsibility, for reasons I`m sure they can explain better than me. I myself am one of the ambitious ones, of the type that wants to build a career and reach something big, but I know a lot of women who are fine where they are now. And we need to remember that that`s okay, too. But it doesn’t make them any less than the people who do want to reach higher.

Besides, I`m just kind of wondering, in all the campaigning for more women in governments and companies and whatever, are we also campaigning for more men in the health care sector? Are we campaigning for more male nurses? Or male daycare teachers? Because I know I personally rarely see those kind of adverts and news reports.

Basically, what I`m trying to say is: if we`re going to fight for gender equality, we need to fight for EQUALITY, and not for a lack of differences. We need to remember that the two genders are separate, there are two genders for a lot of good reasons. Men and women have different skills, different needs, different ways of thinking and handling things. And that`s fine, we shouldn`t be wanting it any other way. What we want is equality. Equal pay checks, equal opportunities, equal judging, equal chances. We need to judge people on their skills and experience, and not on their gender.

I could probably rant more about this. I know for a fact I could write an entire series of essays on the topic, complete with a look on the history of how the current situation came to be, where the difficult points are, and what we could do to help fix this, but for now? I`m just going to leave it here at this.

Instead, let me know what you think about all the discussions everywhere lately! What are your thoughts on feminism, equality, and the new goals of women/men ratio in governments? Let me know in the comments!

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