As women we are always fighting for equality. Complaining about the jobs we get in comparison to the male species. Appalled at the way we are treated by the opposite sex. Irate that we are constantly underestimated and undervalued. Defending ourselves against chauvinists who feel that we should be seen (in the kitchen making a sandwich) rather than heard.
Ladies, we will never be equal and I’ll let you in on a secret, it’s our own fault.
1.) We play the victim role too often.
By this I’m referring to the speed at which we are willing to draw for the female card. We feed into the “damsel in distress” imagery which society has portrayed since time began and wonder why we will never be taken seriously. How can I ask to be as equal as any other yet still have excuses? “I can’t lift it, I’m a girl I’m not strong enough”, “I’m sorry I only reacted like that because of my hormones”, “I can’t do it, it’s that time of the month.” I’m guilty myself. It’s not to say that these statements are not a true reflection of how the person is feeling at the time but the message being received is that if we cannot carry out an action it is because we are female.
2.) Physical strength.
It is believed by scientists and the masses that men are the stronger gender in terms of physical strength. They are able to carry or push more weight than most females, they are able to do more physical activity and endure more. We, as females, love this fact as it makes us exempt from a lot of physical activity and the females we see take part become masculine in our eyes. In terms of physical strength I think the theory is bull, yes they may be stronger but we can also become strong. If that is what we wanted we could go to the gym and lift weights all day everyday. Also, the day that a man is able to give birth maybe my view will not be so solidified. I remember reading somewhere that the child birth pain we experience a man would not be able to handle. We are so caught up in trying to avoid being perceived as unfeminine that we adhere to the boundaries set for what women can do.
3.) This is a man’s world.
Men are respected. I will repeat once more. Men are respected. They are accepted as the dominant sex. They are deemed as respectable because of their “superiority”. For this reason men are not frowned upon when they commit adulterous acts or show aggression, it is what is expected. As I wrote that last sentence my imagination dove straight into an imaginary documentary showing men in the wild behaving like baboons. Trying to assert authority. The problem here is not that men are considered “superior” it is that women have accepted this. For a woman to behave in the same manner that a man does she would be deemed as unattractive, it is not something a man would like to embrace, maybe in fear of feeling emasculated. Women are willing to accept a man asserting his authority, they are willing to allow their man to sit at the top of the hierarchy rather than demand to be alongside him. She will take direction rather than give.
In relation to the respect aspect, the media is abused everyday to further enforce female inferiority. Women half naked in music videos, dancing and making fools of themselves for a celebrity male, on at times which gives access to little children and instills the notion in their heads before they have even developed. Women mostly appearing in the adverts about beauty, cooking and cleaning.
4.) Men are from Mars, women are from Venus.
Recently a friend told me she’d bought a book with the above title. (I’ve begged her to let me read after as I’ve wanted to know the contents of this book for a long time now). She told me that she was infuriated by the first chapter alone as she wasn’t happy with what the book was trying to depict. The book stated that a female and a males goals in life are totally different. When men envision their success or future they use the measure of money and material objects such as ; flashy cars, watches, extravagant holidays, income, etc. When women envision their success or future they use the measure of family, marriage, stability in the home, happiness, etc. If this is true, sadly I think there is an element of truth, we will never be equal. If men are more career driven whilst women are more family orientated then we will never sit at the top of the hierarchy. The women who are seen to be in high places in regards to a career, are painted as cold and lonely. Most of them have no partner and no children which has enabled them to focus on their career alone. The problem with chasing a family is that it hinders any progress in the workplace, the threat of maternity leave puts a lot of pressure on managers who in turn do not want to hire someone who is newly pregnant. That woman has to then share her focus with her family, if her child/ren becomes ill then it will take priority over her work. Even now, I envision my family, a big family, our house and so forth but I’ve always said it has to wait until I have my foot in the door of my dream career but I often think how long could I be in my dream career before it is deemed acceptable for me to be going on maternity leave. Do I not want to firmly establish myself within the firm and work my way up before demanding time off? We can’t win. Society has set the pace and we have gladly followed.
We will never be equal but it’s our own fault. Respect yourself and others will be forced to respect you.