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Gender Equality

by Oliver T. Spedding about a month ago in humanity
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There are two sides to this phenomenon; mistreatment and etiquette. The former is clearly defined and implicit while the latter creates an ambiguity.

There are two sides to this phenomenon; mistreatment and etiquette. The former is clearly defined and implicit while the latter creates an ambiguity.

By

Oliver T. Spedding

The elimination of gender discrimination in the world today is not as simple as many would believe.

There is one aspect of this phenomenon that creates considerable ambiguity and will require the Wisdom of Solomon to unravel.

The problem is that, to overcome this uncertainty, it requires a considerably effort from both women and men.

Discrimination against women has been in existence for so long that it has become ingrained in society and, just like bad habits are difficult to overcome, discrimination cannot be quickly eradicated.

There is no doubt that it has to be removed from society though, and the sooner, the better.

The difficulty lies in the fact that there are two sides to this phenomenon; mistreatment and etiquette.

The former is clearly defined and implicit while the latter creates an ambiguity.

MISTREATMENT

The mistreatment of women includes physical, sexual and psychological abuse, discrimination in such spheres as the home, the workplace, the sports field and in society in general and there is no doubt that this needs to end.

The fact is that man is inherently violent.

Wars, trophy hunting, sports such as boxing, football, rugby and wrestling and criminal assaults and mass killings are all proof of this tendency.

Nature has decreed that the male species is physically stronger than the female species and man has taken advantage of this differentiation.

Like violence, the need to dominate is also inherent in the male species and will not easily be eliminated.

How these two intrinsic male characteristics can be controlled, if not eradicated, appears to be beyond the capabilities of society at present.

Etiquette or good manners, on the other hand, is not something that can be easily incorporated in the overall drive to end discrimination against women.

For example; is it discriminatory to open a door and allow a woman to pass through the doorway first?

Or to stand up when a woman enters the room?

And what about the evacuation of women before men during an emergency?

Men don’t behave in this manner towards other men so it must be discrimination towards women.

Perhaps men should behave this way towards their fellow men as well.

The above examples of etiquette could very possibly stem from man’s greater physical strength that allowed him to execute feats that women would not have been capable of performing centuries ago.

For example, in previous times, doors were much heavier as a result of the lack of light-weight materials, modern construction methods and being required to resist physical attack by hostile forces.

It therefore required a man’s strength to open them to allow the woman to pass through the doorway.

And standing up when a woman entered a room could have been to enable the man to be prepared to protect the woman in case of danger.

However, times have changed and these customs don’t have the relevance that they previously had.

So, should they be now defined as discrimination?

There’s a very common saying that “women want to be treated as equals except when it comes to paying the bill”.

This is unfortunate but still very evident.

There is also the practice of lower fees for women at clubs and certain functions.

But again, it probably stems from the fact that women were, and in many instances still are, inadequately compensated for their efforts compared to their male equivalents.

Hopefully, when gender equality is finally achieved, women will insist on contributing their share in all facets of society.

FAVORITISM

One of the hurdles that achieving gender equality needs to clear is the fear that many men have that their positions will be usurped by their female equivalents.

This is understandable but not justifiable.

Nobody has the right to favoritism.

The only method of selection should be on merit.

Another incidence that has resulted from the drive towards gender equality and that cannot be justified, is the trend of supporting an individual because of his or her gender.

This was clearly demonstrated during the US election of Donald Trump when large numbers of women stated that they were voting for Hillary Clinton because she was a woman.

Allowing gender to influence political issues is irresponsible and here again; meritocracy should be the only criteria.

This is especially important in politics as the result can affect a whole nation.

Gender has no place in politics.

Meritocracy should be the only tenet when it comes to selection of any kind, and will result in the excellence that the position requires.

In what many believe can be construed as a means of defying discrimination against women, the practice of some book and magazine publishers to only accept contributions from women.

This could easily be interpreted as discrimination in reverse, although it’s more likely that this practice evolved as a result of there being far more women readers of books and magazines than men, and that women are more likely to produce writing that appeals to women readers than men are.

The fact that physically, men and woman are different, shouldn’t be a reason for gender discrimination.

We should all accommodate each other’s limitations and accept that they are the result of how we have evolved.

DISCRIMINATION

We cannot escape the fact that discrimination is rife throughout the world and isn’t confined to gender.

We find discrimination in religion, ethics, nationalities, sexual preferences and almost every type of difference that exists.

However, we shouldn’t accept this.

Discrimination of any kind is wrong and should be opposed whenever it arises.

There is only one world and we all have the right to live here without the interference of prejudice.

To achieve this still requires a great deal of patience and understanding, but the alternative offers only the continuance of the unreasonable behavior that the world has experience in the past.

***

Photo by Anna Vander Stel on Unsplash

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About the author

Oliver T. Spedding

I'm a freelance designer, writer and book illustrator. I write to help, entertain and inform readers on their journey through life. There is nothing more satisfying than creating a little joy and happiness in the world.

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