The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
International Women’s Day
Women Have The Power To Change The World
It is not impossible to believe that in this day and age, women are still treated as if they cannot do things, as if they are extremely fragile creatures, that must not overhear certain words, or see certain things, or do certain types of work deemed “too hard” for them to do. It is also not hard to imagine and face the reality that women are still getting paid less than men. I was raised in a feminist world, but with two working parents who shared equal responsibility, and it was my mother who defined that equal responsibility. Hell if she was going to stay home all day and not do anything, but be a loving wife. She probably picked up the habit from her own mother, who wanted to be out of the house and doing something.
I am far from being a feminist, and in fact, in some cases, particularly directed at extreme feminism, I am an anti-feminist. Do I believe that both men and women should have equal rights? Absolutely. Do I believe that if a man and a woman do the same job, they should have equal pay? Absolutely. Do I believe that both men and women are able to achieve equal levels of intelligence? Of course. Do I believe that there are intelligent women who are much smarter than the average intelligent man? Damn right. Do I believe that a man and a woman in a relationship should have equal or agreed upon responsibilities? Definitely.
Do I believe a woman’s place is in the kitchen?It is not her only place, as I myself, as a man, love to be in the kitchen cooking or baking something amazing for my fiancée or my family, but there are some women who would prefer to stay at home, raise their children, and do household chores, rather than go out and find jobs or establish careers, and this is perfectly okay for them to think that way. There are plenty of other women who prefer to delay having children or start families in favor of establishing their careers or working their job. I wholeheartedly agree with both sides; the most important decision being: A woman has a right to choose what she wants to do with her life, just as a man can happily determine what he wants to do with his life. I could keep going on and on, and because of those beliefs, some might think that considers me a feminist, but how about a humanist, or an equalist?
Feminism is a word that women who are extremely pro-women like to own and all the more power to them, but it does not mean that anyone who supports the rights of women has to be a feminist. I watched my mother work as hard as my father and probably make just as much money as he did, and it never once crossed my mind that my mom was a feminist, but rather, that my mom and dad both believed that sharing power, sharing wealth, and sharing responsibilities made a stronger more bonded household.
Were my mother and father different from each other? Absolutely. My father and mother both had different education levels, different interests, different jobs, and even different goals with some similar values that had united them at one point (they are both now happily divorced for over 15 years). My mom did not raise me as a feminist though she probably possessed many feminist qualities, as she was not the traditional house wife and mother who stayed home all day and did household duties. This is not to say that she ever neglected her household duties, though she certainly never hesitated to assign me and my siblings weekly chores to do.
Women have the power to change the world for the better and to be seen in a way where men, the media, and even other women stop seeing women as helpless human beings, and start seeing them as thinking individuals who are capable of so much more. I came across an anti-sexist article, with some photos and videos, of celebrity women who have begun to fight back, and their point is made very clear.
The media is on 24/7 throughout the day, with many different people able to record it all. When the media is played back, you can see how vastly similar every single media outlet and network is, from the questions they ask, to the things they say, to the things they do and report on – it is all the same. The media itself seems to just “report” rather than have a mind of its own, and rightfully so, as it is controlled by just a handful of people who tell the networks what to report on and what they want the public to see, and for all intensive purposes, to obtain the views, the advertisers, and the money.
These celebrity women, along with multitudes of women from around the world have begun to step up, fight back, and be seen and heard, not just as women, but as a respectable human beings with opinions, thoughts, ideas, and a mind of their own. The very fact that these women have to fight to be recognized as women represents a huge problem in society. Why do they have to fight?
I am not referring to women politicians who use their gender for self-entitlement as a means to get what they want or sex as a tool to get what they desire, not that I do not want to see a woman become President, but she should be favored for her views and ideas, not because she is a woman. These women are just as bad as all of the men they married and stand by, and the women who vote for a woman because she is a woman is no different. Rather, I am referring to the women who are our mothers, our wives, our girlfriends, who stand up for themselves because they know how things ought to be in the world, not how they think it should be.
It is the very same thought process that Martin Luther King Jr. had to sacrifice his life for, when he realized that things were not right in the world. Blacks and whites, segregated as if they were a different species, the very same way that, as much as we pretend men and women are “us”, it comes out in everyday society as: “men” and “women” or “us” and “them”, instead of human beings trying to make progress in the world in order to make it a better place. It was the thought process of women like Elizabeth Jennings, who believed it was a human right to ride public transportation without discrimination, or the countless women who fought for the right to vote, suffered and endured humiliation so that all future generations of women of all color and creed could be treated as equal human beings.
Underlying, there seems to be a paranoid fear in society as a whole, particularly in men who run things, that if women could change the world, things would be completely different, and for the worse. These men fear that women would run things as they run them, and the loss of power is a fate worse than death for many of those men. This is not your everyday man, it is not me, and maybe it is not your husband, nor your boyfriend. This is the men (and possibly women) in the upper class who have money, power, and control how things are done in society.
If women wait for men to make the change, it will never come. Change never comes until women protest and let all leaders know they have a voice. Women, themselves, must take a stand against men in power, against men who are able to change things, and fight, non-violently, for what they believe in. Whether you are a feminist, an anti-feminist, or just a humanist and equalist, every human being should have the right to choose how they want to live their lives and not face any type of discrimination or be seen as the “weaker” sex or race.
The “weaker” sex is certainly not women, as the pain they face from menstruation and childbirth is far beyond any pain that any man will ever know or understand. Both women and men deserve to have equal rights in this world and be treated fairly as equals. Whether her future consists of having maternity leave or not, a woman should never have to face discrimination or a choice between a family or her career. Whether it is a man or a woman to change the world and advocate for a better place to live and work, let not this world be for just men or for just women, but for all human beings to live equally and comfortably among each other. After all, it took a man and a woman to bring all of us into this world, and it takes both men and women to make this world a better place.