This is one of those "Slow cook" blog posts - as in - I had to wait for the smoke to stop exiting my ears and my temper to get near its usual friendly levels before typing. I make no apologies if you think I am being oversensitive about the subject. I just feel we need to stop trying to divide "Equality" into sections and subsections. As someone tweeted this week "Positive Discrimination is still Discrimination".
I knew I was not really in a fit state to write about this subject when I had the chorus to "Wouldn't It Be Good", by Nik Kershaw, playing in my head over and over on reading an article written by a woman on the subject of "why we should attempt to delete men from the world as we know it" (or at least that is what the article announced itself as to me).
Apparently there is such a thing as "passive sexism". This is where someone's choice of reading material, people they follow on Twitter, etc, is biased towards the male gender.
The female who wrote the article was upset because she noticed that the man sitting next to her followed almost all the same people as her but minus the female contingent. Now, all I can say to that is - why was she snooping on his Twitter Account to start with???
I admit she does have a serious point - just not the point she thought she had.
In some countries of the world and cultures women are most definitely still seen as second class citizens and completely worthless when compared to men. They have to fight for everything they get.
I am puzzled as to how come the writer of the article seems to equate herself with those women when I get the idea she lives in the Western World.
I don't remember Margaret Thatcher complaining about sexism (passive or aggressive) when she was Prime Minister. Marie Curie seemed to be able to make her scientific discoveries without screaming about sexism too. Oh, and the women who took the men's roles during the Second World War just got on with it. As for the Suffragettes??? I think we all know what they did in order to give women the vote!!!
I have an awful confession to make - I am a female who has absolutely no sympathy with women who complain about sexism (passive or aggressive). Don't get me wrong - I am all for equal rights for women. I would just prefer if the women in question weren't so two-faced in their approach to getting the equality they want so much.
Allow me to explain;
A 21st century woman living in England is more in charge of her own destiny than she ever has been before. She can dress as she pleases (even though I find some of the outfits women choose to wear in public absolutely horrific - low cut tops teamed with skirts that are too short to accurately be described as such - as well as enough makeup to decorate a small room - oh, and don't get me started on the Plastic Surgery). She has as much choice as men when it comes to her career options. There are very few public groups or venues which do not let women be an equal participant in what goes on.
But still we have some women who are not happy. They say we need more women on TV, women need to be taken more seriously by the very men they spend most of their lives worshipping and trying to attract into a relationship by every method at their disposal. I fear these women have yet to emerge from the "Laddette" culture from a few years ago (where girls tried to be just like men, with Binge drinking, etc).
Why have I not got any sympathy for them???
As Nik Kershaw sings "I got it bad. You don't know how bad I got it. You got it easy. You don't know when you got it good". Click here for the full lyrics to the song www.youtube.com/watch.
The women who have decided to complain about being discriminated against just because they are women should put themselves in the shoes of someone with a disability or a Mental Health issue. They may learn something about fighting for equality then.
Every single time I want to do something or go somewhere I have a choice to make - do I want to succeed in my endeavour because of my disability or despite it???
If I wanted to succeed because I am Registered Partially Sighted all I would have to do is play the "Poor Me" role and act like I need help at all times. This would give me no satisfaction because I would be shortchanging both myself and those around me.
Because I was brought up to attempt to succeed despite my sight problem I am more comfortable fighting for every small victory I get. Most of the time I will not let you see my difficulties unless one of the following scenarios could occur if I don't;
1) I risk causing injury to myself and/or another person as a result of what I am trying to do.
2) I have tried everything I can think of and my goal has been declared impossible.
3) I am tired and you want me to see something or do something which I would not otherwise have any problems with.
When women start complaining about having to fight for the same recognition and respect as men I feel like shaking them warmly by the throat. Their "fight" seems almost synthetic to me. After all, they seem to spend most of their time shouting to demand respect and equality but very little time truly working for it.
Fighting for equality means just that. Fighting yourself, fighting society, fighting the fact you have to work at least 10 times harder than everybody else just to do the same thing that everybody else can do easily, fighting the mental fatigue which hits you when you are busy pretending to be like everyone else for just that fraction of a second too long but you don't want to give in, fighting the will to crawl into a corner and just give up when someone unwittingly makes you feel like you are a waste of space and oxygen just by something they say about you.
The hardest thing I have ever fought for was to be treated like everybody else by one single person (who shall remain nameless). I don't think that the person in question knows how much they have helped me as a result of my battle or how big a debt of thanks I owe them - even if they were the one who stated the obvious when they said I wasn't like any of their other friends.
So - maybe the next time any woman decides to complain about the inequality she faces when compared to men she should consider herself lucky, count her Blessings, and think about those of us who fight every day to be like everybody else even when we spend most of our lives being the exact opposite.
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