Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Gender Equality: Is there really such a thing?

There's so much debate going on nowadays about gender equality and a lot of what I read is about which sex is the best, a whole battle of the sexes kinda thing. That's not what it's all about, it's about being fair and treating each other as equals not as opposing forces. So I've decided to share my 2 cents on the issue as it's something that I'm quite passionate about.

If we look about over history we see that in the beginning God created man in his own image, male and female he created them. God created us in his own image so he first created us equal. It is humankind that has created us as unequal. Humans desire for power, control and dominance has driven a wedge between males and females and cause tension, friction and turned us against each other.

Males and females are different from each other, what one lacks, the other makes up for. We both have our faults and we both have our benefits. You need us both to keep the population alive. One cannot live or survive without the other. We need both sides, both sets of skills, both thoughts, opinions and input to make the world work. We need to support each other instead we have turned on one another and treat each other terribly by attacking, name calling, back stabbing and tearing each other apart.

We need to address the issues as it's a disgrace that one can look upon another human and see only a possession, a belonging, a sex toy, a baby machine, a nothing, unworthy, not deserving of education, medical treatment, a voice, someone to use, abuse, forget and neglect. It's horrific that we can do that to one another and we have to stand up for these women around the world that are treated like that. But we also need to look into our own backyards and address the issues of affairs here too.

If I do the same hours, same work, have the same education, same certificate as a man then I should be paid the same amount of money and shown the same respect. If I have an opinion I should be able to speak up and share it without being told I'm a bitch, I'm hormonal, I'm too emotional, I'm too whatever. I should not be used as insult "you throw/run/fight/catch/jump/play etc like a girl" - have you seen our Australian women athletes, they can seriously kick ass. I am not here for you amusement, I am not here to pick up and clean up after you, you have two hands - use them. Yes I am not as physically strong as you but that does not give you the right to use your strength against me.  

I've had men use their strength against me often, thankfully I've never been abused but it's been used as a weapon. Growing up with 3 older brothers, one in particular quite enjoyed using it to his advance. His strength was used to put me in my place, he wanted a chair that I was sitting in, I was thrown out of it and told "you're just a girl get over it". Had my ponytail pulled out, my bra strap snapped, my TV show changed, constant teasing and just told "you're a weak little girl, what are you going to do about it?". If I spoke up I was stood over and told "must be that time of the month, you're too emotional, this is why I don't like women as they can't take a joke". No you hurt me and I have a right to defend myself and stand up for myself and be treated fairly. I grew up with a belief that women were lower than men because men could get away with so much more. I was told to be "the good girl, smile, don't make a scene, don't make a fuss", never encouraged in a career mostly got told about getting married and having children.

We have so many double standards in this country (and around the world). I've been asked to leave interviews because they didn't want someone who might have kids in the next few years. Most interviews I've been to, the moment they see my wedding ring ask if I've got kids. It's none of your business if I've got kids, I'm here to work thank you.

But what I have found it's ourselves (women) that seem to have the most double standards. I'm guilty of this too, I am getting better but patterns laid out in the past are hard to break. Where I worked (before maternity leave) we had 2 supervisors, one male and one female. The male supervisor would say something and people might go "rude jerk" and just get on with the job. The female supervisor would say something and people might go "rude bitch, how dare she, she's got it in for me, cannot believe she said that" then the whispers would start circling and it would still be remembered weeks later where the males comments were long forgotten. Another example a good looking/attractive man would walk into the office and most of the women would stare, smile, laugh, make comments, including sexual comments out loud. A good looking/attractive woman walks in and a few men's head turn and the females call out in disgust "get a good look?". Ellen plays in the lunch room where there is half naked men on screen dancing sexually on stage or on the audience, all the females crowd round to watch, a guy says he feels uncomfortable and gets told to "get over it and leave". One of the ladies is wearing a lovely dress for Melbourne Cup and sporting a new hair do and a male colleague makes a comment that she looks really pretty and the hair cut suits her, which everyone then turns and looks at him, so he then feels strange and apologises if that wasn't appropriate.

If we want respect and fair treatment, we need to show respect and fair treatment too. Do not complain and say "typical male" but a man say "typical female" and all hell breaks loose. We cannot have it both ways. We cannot treat men like crap and expect them to treat us like gold. Reality shows like "The Real Housewives, Dance Squad, Dance Mums, Little People, Next Top Model etc" are really only about the bitch fights and the dragging down women do to each other, showing no respect for one another or taking each other seriously.

Yes females are pushed around more then males but lets start treating not only ourselves but other females and males with the respect and the dignity we want to be shown. We cannot make change happen if we are not willing to make change within ourselves. Everyone has a right to be treated fairly and each one of us (males and females) need to put aside our differences and our double standards and start showing each other respect and treating one another fairly. Only then will we start to be equal again.

(side note I found this link about the history of gender equality in the workplace and education, it's a good timeline to see how far we have come. This isn't sponsored or anything, just a good link) 

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