GENDER EQUALITY IS A MYTH
Let me introduce you to the Black Widow spider: a very vicious species of spiders. The female kills and eats the male sometimes before, during or after copulation. Why it does that, I can’t really tell. But we know it kills and eats its ‘spouse’ when issues concerning the bedroom are underway or done and over with. This is savagery; and for the fact that this particular species is still in existence, it gives us a fair idea of the number of male species that have been killed and feasted on.
These are just spiders anyway; hence they do not have to grapple with gender issues like humans. If this were to happen amongst humans, it would be a media sensation. Heads would roll and laws would spring up involuntarily from the depths of legal archives to put the perpetrators away for good. Maybe we would also start our own movement. We might just call it MALELISM: a movement for the brothers. But no, in the real world, it is the other way round. Women are being treated badly. Sometimes it is not even the actions against women that worry me the most, it is the sort of condescending opinions and prejudices people hold. Those really appall me because it means deeply seated within their hearts are these perceptions which will inform every action in their dealings with women. This gave rise to Feminism. A worthy cause; and like all worthy causes, it will not stand or be successful without the active participation of both sexes. I repeat, Feminism will not stand without the active participation of both sexes; because patriarchy wouldn’t have been this successful without the active involvement of both sexes. Over the years the image of the movement has been tainted. Most men would want to have nothing to do with it or to be associated with it. It may be due to several other reasons, but I believe that paramount amongst those reasons is the attitude of feminists. The belligerence and the venom in their speech totally deter men from participating in anything related to Feminism. How do you fight negativity with negativity?
Gender equality is a myth. I wonder why I never thought about it until recently. If this remains at the core of Feminism, I would like to state emphatically that it will end up empowering men rather than women. What is the yardstick that indicates equality with men; same number of men and women in parliament? To be a man is not that pleasant anyway so I wonder why equality with men seems to be deemed so highly. Women must fight for what is theirs. We have no idea what a fair society looks like: a fair society being one that gives what women deserve to them. We may never see it if the goal of our women is to have what we have as men and neglect what is due them. For all you know, what is due women could possibly outweigh that which society seems to have given to men. Society is made up of male and female members. I see society as a giant 2-pieced jig-saw puzzle. What people do not realize is that the call for Gender Equality is like shaping the edges of the two pieces of the puzzle the same way – making them identical pieces. That seems like a fair action, but it is highly unreasonable (that is, if piecing the pieces together is our motive). When you shape the edges the same way, they won’t fit. But this is what Gender Equality is seeking to achieve. How I wish women would understand their place and value. How I wish they would realize how blessed they are and embrace their uniqueness. Men and women are equal and different. The right and left arms belong to one individual but they are different because of their location. This is it. So for the left arm to start a movement to achieve equality with the right is rather absurd, because it is already an arm too. Nevertheless, if the left realizes that it is being treated badly, it has every right to speak out and with the assistance of the right hand justice will be served. I am not the only one who holds this assertion. The bible also makes it clear that women and men are both equal and different. In 1Peter 3:7, it says:
‘Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as THE WEAKER VESSEL, SINCE THEY ARE HEIRS WITH YOU of the grace of life…’
The verse above indicates the difference between men and women by the phrase ‘…the weaker vessel’. Simply put, compared to men, women are weaker (physically) and must be treated as such. The verse states the equality of both sexes by saying ‘… since they are heirs with you…’. Meaning, in the sight of God we are equal. Paul put it better when he said ‘in Christ there is neither MALE nor FEMALE’. From this we can infer that God looks down and sees a sexless humanity. No wait, God looks down and sees a sexless humanity, except that a section is advocating equality that is already glaring in the sight of God. Gender Equity (it might not make semantic sense) would rather be appropriate. Where we understand our sameness and uniqueness hence we give each person his or her due. Especially the basics of this life: choices, good education, health, respect, fair representation at gatherings etc.
We teach little girls to be better than their male counterparts. We hide this message in the cliché ‘what a man can do a woman do better’. It is unfortunate that there are people who hold this assertion. Who said being better than the men around you is equal to success? Right away we are implying that little girls would have to fight to do better than their male counterparts in order to feel fulfilled. What if she is surrounded by poor performing male counterparts? Does she attain success in life by merely being better than them? This is the height of insecurity. We should let little girls know that being good is good enough. They need not feel like they are in a competition with boys. We should let them know the only competition is their previous performance; hence they must move heaven and earth to beat that. We live in a right-handed society. Our aim is to make it ambidextrous. Ambidexterity will not be achieved by demeaning the right hand; it can only be achieved by empowering the left hand to be strong and improve. Right-handed people can get away with things like writing and eating but when it comes to bathing or cleaning themselves they cannot do it properly without the aid of the left hand. Similarly, when it comes to washing or ridding our society of irksome patriarchy, we need both hands to play a major role. How do these two come to work together in harmony when the left is hurling abusive words in the direction of the right?
I believe feminism is a worthy cause that men need to play an active role in. Gender Equality on the other hand stems from insecurity. There is no need to be equal when you are uniquely designed to fit together. Society is a giant 2-pieced jig-saw puzzle; society is supposed to be ambidextrous; one hand down-playing the importance of the other will do it no good.