Can women ever be equals?
Or are we just kidding ourselves?
There are the obvious anatomical differences which set us apart from the onset.
So, technically speaking, the answer is: no.
However, what we label as so-called “gender differences” are nothing but a result from mere prejudice which has become so deep-rooted and so widely carried forward, from one generation to the next, that we have come to believe these faux differences are true.
The mind can play all sorts of tricks on us- like making us believe lies and doubt truths.
A couple of years ago, I had blogged about a new concept (that’s gaining acceptance in the developed countries) called ‘Men-ism’- where men are beginning to feel undermined by the evolving take-over, if you will, by women.
This is something I cannot imagine happening in the developing world, not at least in the next 30-50 years, at least! Unless you count certain tribal areas, who live in their own world, remote from our mundane urbane lives and can only grant us a peek into their unusual and intriguing, often astoundingly matriarchal lives. Sigh…
I have lived in two metropolitan cities which could not be more different from each other- London, UK and Calcutta, India.
I have postulated on why this whole men/women equality divide will continue to exist and impede global progress at large:
It’s generally assumed that the woman will hold the fort as far as domestic household chores and duties are concerned, wherever she is on the map.
Yes, in more recent times, she can get a formal education and have a professional career, but this usually entails holding down a job and coping with prejudicial jibes and feuds-often in silence-at the workplace.
Why is there still a difference in pay scales for some jobs, just because of gender bias? How can this discrimination be equated with paying wages on a full-time or part-time basis? Why have the champions of democracy been unable to resolve such an unfair issue? Clearly, it seems business, power and politics – unsurprisingly - than women and the rights they truly deserve, all this while.
Yet, it is these very women take the pain and sacrifice of giving birth so that the world can carry on going about its daily business.
On a more sardonic note though, some of these very women have gone through the trials and tribulations of pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood only to raise their children to believe and relegate men in superior and women in inferior positions in society and industry.
This means we have a huge problem on our hands. While there are some women who brave it and stand up for themselves and their sex, there are many more women who are cultured to believe that they will always come second place or even lower, depending on where they come from. With such a demeaning and destructive belief-system, how on earth can a sense of equality ever be achieved?
Granted, education is purported to be liberating, but it can only work to effect in suitable environs.
For instance, when I have a moan about my husband not being helpful around the house, I get two different responses from my connections in the two cities that I call home. The London-based response is along the lines of “Oh, tut, tut. That’s not fair on you and he could do better!” While the Calcutta-based response is: “You’re lucky he helps you at all! As a woman, it’s your duty to cook, clean and look after the house.”
Poor guy. He’s frowned upon if he doesn’t help and he’s frowned upon if he does!
With a starter like this, who knows what’s for dessert, eh?