Gender equality and feminism- not yet!

Userpage icon for supporting gender equality.

Userpage icon for supporting gender equality. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A lot has been written about gender equality, pretty much since  1890. After years of demonstrations, bra burning and changing of laws can we say we have gender equality?

I believe things changed in a weird way because some of us understood feminism and gender equality in a wrong way.

So, how did some of us understand in wrong way feminism?

1.  Feminism= stripping

That’s right. I have noticed some women think feminism and female power means stripping. Sure,  when we gained freedom and power, it meant that we could start to wear whatever we wanted ( starting with the wearing of trousers in 1920’s-30’s), but I think since the wearing of trousers women started to lose more and more fabric and some of us started to leave nothing to the imagination. So is it considered freedom when you reveal your breasts or butt in order to attract men? Is it equality when you resort to your flesh to achieve something?

2. Doubling responsibilities

When women gained their freedom, they gained the right to enter any job they wanted to, without judgement or discrimination. Seems fair.

But by the time women got their careers, they doubled their responsibilities. Now they had jobs but also a home and children to look after.

I believe with women gaining freedom, they also lost some of it at the same time while,  some men gained more freedom and others were not much affected by this process. Men still went to work and enjoyed their lives and their free time, while women on top of taking care of the children, got also a job. Moreover, if a couple divorces, the woman gets the children in most cases, thus the man will gain much more freedom through divorce, while the woman will get more responsibilities being a single parent.

3. Salary

While we assume that in the western world we are all equal, statistics show that there is a big gap in salaries between men and women. Men still earn more than women.  According to calayst.org,  in Uk ( in 2009) there was a 20% earning gap between genders, in Austria 19%, France 13%, and Finland 20%.

4. Media

You keep hearing about role models. But what kind of role models does the media promote? I have heard someone calling Beyonce a role model. But I believe dancing around semi-naked and doing sexual dances is not a good role model for women and little girls. It certainly does not encourage you to use your brain, it just encourages you to use your sexuality to be successful.

More than that, women magazines are orientated towards sexual advices and pleasing men in bed, losing fat, taking care of the house, children, fashion and are obsessed with celebrities. You can hardly find any good female role models in these magazines nor you can find any career tips or life advice that could go beyond this fluff.

So, what is there to do?

The best example, I believe, is to follow a country that has been listed as the fairest country when it comes to gender equality and that is Sweden. Sweden offers paternity leaves for fathers that chose to stay with their babies if mums chose to work and they offer support to women when returning after maternity leave.  Women and men are treated equally at work and protected by discrimination laws.

While we cannot all move to Sweden or change our governments and societies to think the same, I believe we can do small things, such as speaking out against discrimination, promoting real images of women and real role models ( Rosa Parks, Mother Theresa would be just two examples) and bringing attention to our society and media about real issues ( discrimination, violence, etc .) and not superficial ones ( such as what outfit Kim Khardashian wore yesterday).

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