What better way to begin my new blog than with a post about one of the most important things to me? Anyone who knows me has received at least one text with a link to an article about the importance of gender equality, so I want to start by sharing my own view.
One thing that I’ve always noticed in my own life, before I even heard the word feminism, is the double standard between men and women. I can do the same job as my brother in the house or a male counterpart at work or school and he’ll receive praise for weeks while I might not even be muttered a “good job” once. I don’t search for praise, but it’s unfair that someone who completed the same task as me receives it and I don’t, with the only difference between us being that I’m female and they’re not. In our current society, the accomplishments of females seem to be more likely to be ignored than a male’s accomplishments.
Another example of this double standard is that if I happen to get loud because I have something to say and want to be heard, I get looks that could kill. But never have I seen that happen to a male. If anything, people applaud him for being such an outspoken individual. Am I not doing the same thing, but being called loud-mouthed instead of outspoken? History, not just in the U.S. but throughout the world, has ingrained in men and women alike the idea that women are supposed to be meek creatures without an opinion on anything – or at least an opinion that they say aloud. Rather than feeding into this idea, we should be prompted to learn from that historical mistake. We should work to be better than the days that a woman’s words meant less.
And for God’s sake, if I hear another male ask a female if she’s on her period or call her a name because she decides to use her voice, I will lose my mind. Yes, women have a menstrual cycle and, yes, that causes them to act differently at certain times because of hormones, but, more often than not, when a woman decides to stand up for herself, a bodily function isn’t the sole driving force behind it. It probably just means she’s had enough of your crap. The male and female body are different, but last I checked females are born with a backbone, too.
People always bring up the equal pay issue, but the problems that feminism addresses are much deeper than that. Of course I want equal pay, but I also want equal standards and equal respect. I want men to be held accountable for any actions against women rather than women being shamed and blamed for how someone treats them.
If you’re a woman, do your part by supporting other females and lifting them up – enough of the middle school-esque competition that we create. There’s enough room for multiple women to succeed, and catty behavior stems from society wanting us to believe that there is only enough space for one woman to be successful. It’s time we created a space that fosters the development and growth of successful women.
If you’re a man, your job is to be aware of how you treat the women in your life, those you like and those you might not like. Hold yourself and your friends accountable for your actions. Be a part of the movement for gender equality because you should want to live in the kind of world where females can succeed – imagine what an innovative, collaborative, successful, and overall amazing world that would be.
Women play a crucial role in the success of a well-functioning society, offering new ideas and insight. Women are more than child-bearers; they are doctors, scientists, writers, filmmakers, politicians, and, yes, some are amazing mothers. A stay-at-home mom is just as amazing and important as a female CEO. Feminism is the movement to give us women the ability to be whatever we’d like and, more than anything, to be respected.