We the equals

We the equals

Achieving gender equality requires the engagement of women and men, girls and boys. Its everyone’s responsibility – Ban Ki-moon

To all the misogynist men in the world I would like to put it straight. Feminism is not about hating men. It speaks of striving for gender equality that women have been deprived of for centuries together. March is Women’s History month; so I take the privilege of penning a few thoughts about Gender equality. The global scenario depicts that male dominance has been deep rooted in the society for centuries together. The emergence of the feminist era has broadened the social horizons thus paving way for the rising of women to their appropriate prominence. As a result the beautiful day will arrive when the whole world will recognize the harmony between man and woman.

Gender inequality refers to the difference in the status, prestige, power, opportunities, decision making rights and identities that the women are subjected to in comparison to men in a society. This is a global issue. For instance: In some countries of the world women are restricted from driving cars while in others women do not have the basic right of education too. Many a time’s women are paid less for the same work as men while in few countries house work is only vested with the women and not the men. Female infanticide and female foeticide are alarmingly rising in many countries. This is mainly because boys are considered to be the ones who shall carry forward the lineage of a clan. Women are deprived from inheriting the property too in various cultures and religions. These are only a few instances to name. The list is extremely long. Can a reasonable person recognize these instances as equality? We are women but we are humans too. We are not slaves or maids to receive such ill-treatment. Why is this simple aspect forgotten?

I agree men are physically stronger and more aggressive by nature whereas women are construed to be the embodiment of inner dignity and subtleness. In many cases this soft attitude is considered to be the weakness. In reality, subtle inner dignity is much stronger than the aggressive outbursts. The true liberalization of both the sexes would be when both the sexes forget their respective egos and work in harmony for the betterment of mankind as a whole. Both the sexes should strive hard to bridge the gap of inequality. Men should use their aggressive and dominant nature to good use whereas women should use the subtle nature not to portray weakness but power, motivation, understanding and intelligence.

Most of you may still pose the question, why this movement is still termed as Feminism and not Equalism or Humanism? Well, a simple answer to this is that we are still waiting for the beautiful day to arrive when women are considered equal in each and every field and in all walks of life. That is when this long struggle of striving for equality shall end and then probably we can rephrase the term from Feminism to Equalism or Humanism.

Pasos Pequeños a Progreso Gigante

Pasos Pequeños a Progreso Gigante

Desafortunadamente, tengo la habilidad atlética de un panda de bebé. Pero, cuando llega la hora del partido, encuentro el esfuerzo de un equipo de fútbol entero, luchando para ganar el último partido contra sus enemigos.

Me gusta pasar tiempo afuera jugando deportes, y me cría con dos hermanos, quien muchas veces me dijeron, “tires como chica.”

Cuando corrí a mi casa, sintiendo triste y faltando confianza en mi mismo, mi madre me dirigía a otra actividad más femenina, como jugar con muñecas.

Esta secuencia de eventos ocurre frecuentemente: una chica quiere hacer una actividad históricamente masculina, se pierde su confianza a causa de las palabras y actitudes de otros chicos u otras chicas, y se revierte a una actividad más clásicamente femenina.

Para obtener igualdad de sexo en la sociedad y encontrar un equilibrio entre los géneros, tenemos que quitarnos de nuestras vidas frases negativas como, “se tire como chica,” “ella probamente está menstruando,” o “se hace como chica.”

Yo sé que soy culpable de decir estas frases. Me había pedir disculpas para estar llena de emocionas, dando la culpa a mi sexo. Cuando un amigo o miembro de mi familia se está quejando le digo “eres tan como chica.”

Estas frases llegan de nuestras bocas tan frecuentemente que no pensamos en como se hacen daño. ¿Eres una chica? Este frase implique que la palabra “chica” y la palabra “irritante” o “débil” son los mismos. La frase, “ella probamente está menstruando” atribuye la expresión de emociones o pensamientos irracionales al género femenino.

Quizás no puedo tirar una pelota, pero este no significa que tiro como chica. Tengo tantas amigas quien pueden tirar perfectamente, y, al otro lado, tengo tantos amigos quien no pueden tirar.

El desequilibrio de género en nuestra sociedad es como una balanza con dos lados. Estas frases y actitudes, aún pequeños, son como piedras, pesando muchísimo juntos en un lado de la balanza. Tenemos que parar el uso común de ellas, porque aún parecen pequeñas, son poderosas juntas. Cuando las eliminamos de nuestras vidas, la balanza pueda encontrar equilibrio.

Little Steps Toward Big Progress

Little Steps Toward Big Progress

I was unfortunately blessed with the athleticism of a baby panda bear. But, when it’s game time, I muster up the heart of an entire underdog high school football team and try my best.

I like to spend time outside playing sports and grew up with all brothers, often finding myself benched because I “threw like a girl.” Even some of the neighborhood girls who were more athletic than me would chime in on the ridicule.

When I ran back into the house, feeling discouraged and left out, my mom would comfort me and reroute me to a more gender-suitable activity like playing with Barbie dolls.

The aforementioned sequence of events is a common occurrence: a girl attempts to partake in a traditionally male activity, is discouraged by her male or female peers and then falls back on a more traditionally female activity.

In order to stand up for equal rights and garner a more gender-balanced society, we have to start small, ridding our lives of negative nuances like “she throws like a girl,” “she’s probably PMSing,” or “quit being such a girl.”

I’ll admit that I’m guilty of saying phrases like this. I’ve apologized for being emotional, blaming my gender for it. When a friend or family member complains about something, I’ve told him or her to “quit being such a girl.”

These phrases shoot out of our mouths so frequently that we don’t think about how they tear women down. Quit being such a girl? This phrase directly correlates annoying or weak behavior with the female gender so that “girl” becomes synonymous with “weak.” The phrase, “I’m probably just PMSing,” assumes that irrational thought processes or emotions are something unique to those with a uterus—which, believe me, are not.

I may throw poorly, but that does not mean I throw like a girl. I have plenty of female friends with incredible arms and on the other hand, I know plenty of men who throw poorly as well.

Picture the social gender imbalance like an old fashioned scale with two sides. These little comments and phrases are like rocks, weighing down one side of the scale. We have to stop saying them and stop passively agreeing with them.

While they may seem trivial or passing, they are small pieces that add weight to the male side of the scale, creating an imbalance for women. By eliminating these phrases from our lives, we slowly start to level this out. As my dad always said, “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch. Yard by yard, it’s hard.” Little efforts like avoiding these phrases will have big long-term effects on the social gender imbalance.