The Future Is Equal
By: Bazal Morani via www.womenempowhermentblogs.com
A few weeks ago I was sitting with a couple of friends and discussing our culture's expectation of women needing to be married by 23, and we ended up going into a discussion of how guys our age are just not worth considering for marriage. Now I could go on a rampage on everything that is wrong with men (which I probably will sneak in throughout this blog to to all the male readers—get out your notebook and pen, and pay attention please), but the more important factor here is the lack of equality and the gender bias that appears here.
If it wasn't already clear by the fact that I have a feminist blog, I am a feminist, and I believe in women having the right to feel empowHERed and inspired. So when someone tries to convince me that I should live a certain way, or done things simply because I'm a women and that's my "job" I do put them in their place. So let's bring this concept to the table to take this conversation further.
The concept that women need to be married and have children to be happy or successful is ridiculous! I can be a successful entrepreneur, a successful athlete, etc. I don't, in any shape or form, have to depend on a GUY being happy with me to be considered successful. And who created these stupid deadlines? As for the women who push these beliefs... come on!!! Are you seriously telling me that you honestly believe that the most amazing thing you have ever accomplished is getting married and having children?! Look, if you believe that is your passion, that is your dream, then more power to you, but don't try to force your opinion on me. Just because you got married at 23 doesn't mean I have to. Plus have you MET the guys these days? I mean come on if my choices are a perv, a gold digger/visa digger, or a sexist pig, I rather stay single thanks. Let me know when you find someone my age that isn't a complete waste of space, and is still single than we can discuss things. But honestly can you imagine having to spend the rest of your life with a guy constantly up in your personal space getting in your business?
Meanwhile, men don't have any such demands. They can take their sweet time to get married, and if they don't want to get married, that's fine too. They don't get pressured to have kids either, that finger goes towards women too. But just in case no one told you, babies aren't made with wishing and wanting a baby really bad. Unfortunately, male sperms are actually required for that task. So instead of just targeting the women, ask the man the same question.
We should also discuss child marriages as this is a sad truth, even in the American culture today. Women are seen as burdens that must be given away, and men that are old enough to be their grandparents are allowed to marry these young children—as young as ten—and impregnate them, endangering both the girl and the unborn baby. And yet the men involved (the man marrying the poor child, and the father giving away his little girl) are STILL not as targeted, shamed, or punished as the women who let them take her daughter. Children should NOT be used as means for money. Consequences should be much higher for selling a child.
Unfortunately, not every story is a happily ever after. Sometimes, the best option is divorce for both parties. But for some reason, regardless of what caused this decision, the woman gets blamed and shamed for this. For the guy, "don't worry you'll find someone else" or "must be great to be a ladies man again". Meanwhile, women get comments like "you should've tried harder," "you didn't meet his needs" etc.
Sometimes the divorce takes place after there are children in the family. In most cases, not all, the woman is expected to take care of the children. They are held responsible for the children, which both were responsible for bringing into the world. The man gets a fresh start and gets to meet new people and no one will even blame him for never mentioning his previous marriage and child nor will they hold him accountable for abandoning his family. The mother is left with the responsibilities of the children, and the struggle to find a man that would be a loving and caring father to them, and will love her all the same.
Now I want to quickly discuss cheating in this category, because a lot of times that is the cause of the fall out in the first place. I've noticed that when a man cheats, the woman gets the blame. "You must've not been good enough," "you weren't giving him what he needed" etc. While, if women cheat, it never goes on the man. "She wasn't good enough," "her character was low," etc. Regardless of who is at fault, the blame always goes on the female. Even the woman the man is cheating with gets blamed for his actions, regardless of if she knows the truth. "She's trying to steal your man," "she is a gold digger," etc. But nobody ever says, "he should've been more loyal," "he shouldn't have given into temptation." Now I'm not saying women are free of any liability, but men should be held equally responsible. The saddest part is that women are the ones to target other women in these situations.
Regardless of the situation, being divorced or becoming a widow, every now and then, a person comes to an instance where they decide it is time to find themselves a new life partner to support them through their journey. But even in this situation, there is bias against women.
Men are not judged regardless of getting remarried right away or remarrying at an old age. While women are considered to be unfaithful or reckless when remarrying at any time. Regardless of the situation, women are shamed for wanting a new life partner, and wanting to move on with their lives. While this has gotten better over the years, and people have progressed in this mentality, it is still prominent in most cultures, and still has a long way to go before it is equal.
Now, in my household, this wasn't really a thing, because my dad played a huge role in raising me. But in most cultures and societies, it is believed that women are the sole caregivers for the child—that men bring in the earnings and women should care for the children.
Men are not expected to give up their social lives, interests, hobbies, etc. when it comes time to raise a child. Yet a mother is given a hard time when she simply wants a few minutes to care for herself. A woman gives birth to a child, and goes through the pain of pregnancy and labor, but once she delivers the child, she is all but forgotten.
We have these double standards that women have to teach their children manners and behavior, and skills, and help with homework, while men simply have to be fun, or the disciplinary one of the parents. This leaves a lot of pressure on the mother to fill so many roles, and that creates a level of strain and stress that is hard to manage, that can lead to damage in both physical and mental health. And yet we are expected to be perfect, and to handle all this—and more—without any complaints.
While I've been afraid of my dad all of once in my life (high school because of a boy—I know shocker right?), my dad did play an equal parenting role in my life. While I can't honestly say he cooked or cleaned much (probably because he didn't know how—parents teach your sons how to cook and clean too!), I can say that he was there for me during parent teacher meetings, and came to have lunch with me at school. I can see he was there for me just as much as my mom, if not more. I learned a lot from my dad, and he taught me a lot of what I know today, and both my parents play an EQUAL role in who I've become, and I couldn't be happier.
So the reason why clothing is on here at all is because DRESS CODES, and the whole "she asked for it" concept that has been going on. First of all, a women should be able to wear what she wants without fear of being harassed or raped. It is not ASKING FOR IT, it is simply being self confident. You should teach men to be respectful of women regardless, not that they can do whatever they want to whoever they want. Now dress codes are ridiculous, because the mainly target women. They are only enforced on the female population, and rarely ever target the male population's clothing. Skirts, dresses, shorts, tank tops, etc. are targeted, and it's always the females that get written up for violations. Meanwhile, the men can wear the same things, and not have anyone say anything.
Women should feel equally comfortable wearing whatever they want just as much as men. We shouldn't be expected to cover up more than they do (while I'm not saying indecency is ok), we shouldn't have to dress up more than they do, we shouldn't have so many expectations and rules on what we wear when men don't have the same standards.
For example, in our culture, for religious holidays women have to dress up, do their make up, wear a load of jewelry, etc while men can go in their usual suit, or even go in their jeans and t-shirt or shorts if they feel like, and no one would blink an eye. Sure if you WANT to dress up then you should be able to, but you shouldn't be expected to or be told you HAVE to.
As some kid on a Disney Channel show said so well, "For both or for none," and yes she was fighting dress code inequalities.
I find it amazing how men are not expected to do half the things women are. We are expected to keep our home together, we are expected to keep the family together and happy, we are expected to keep the social lives of everyone in the house active and healthy, we are expected to take care of our siblings, and our parents, and in some cases even our grandparents. We are expected to raise the children, and cook and clean and everything in between. While a guy isn't expected to do anything.
I noticed that when a females fails at something or struggles she is shunned and questioned. Why didn't she get the best grade? Why isn't she the prettiest, the smartest, the most talented, why isn't she perfect? While a guy gets no judgement whatsoever when he fails his family when he leaves to do his own things. He can talk his way out of anything, and isn't expected to hold up anything. Even the marriage is considered to be a woman's responsibility to keep together.
It is important to remember that creating a child is a two person job, and there for raising that child should be both too. Each individual should be equally responsible for maintaining each aspect of the lives involved, and each of them should have roles to play. Women should not be baring all the burdens of responsibility on their own, nor should they be expected to give up their lives to care for everything while the man gets to go out and enjoy themselves.
I also noticed that women are expected to take the roles of their mothers in a situation where the mother has an untimely passing. That is to say, that regardless of the age of the young girl, she is suddenly expected to support her father, and take care of all the roles her mother played, and is expected to do so immediately. We are not expected to spend time grieving or dealing with the situation. I find this sad and unnecessary especially when older women make it a point to constantly corner the young girls or young women, and remind them that their mother is gone, and it is now their responsibility to raise their siblings and care for the home. Yet the same is not done to men when fathers pass away, and this is not expected of them. In fact, in most instances, women are expected to fill those roles themselves as well. Unfortunately, such expectations take away from their childhood and leave them growing up far too soon.
7. Sexual Activity
So I recently saw a post from one of female friends on Facebook that made me add this section. Now granted I don't actually know this person, and was only following them because of their work. But I was highly irritated by this unprofessional post since she is supposed to be posting her work on that page, and what she posted was sexist and demeaning. Now the post was actually her sharing a post from some guy that was basically demoralizing women that choose to be sexually active. To sum it up he basically said that women who enjoy being sexually active should've never been born or should kill themselves. This disgusts me and pisses me off.
First of all, when men want to be sexually active or are persistent, nobody judges them or wishes them dead. And to target and bully women for being human is disgusting. As a female you should be shutting these things down, not encouraging it. Social norms should apply to both genders. Curfews, expectations, rules, etc. should be the same. Guys shouldn't get away with things just because they're men/boys.
There is also this culture of men being able to openly discuss sexual activity without any judgement, but women are labeled as low class or cheap if they do the same. The saddest part is that mothers look at their sons girlfriends, wives, or friends, with a negative look. Men look at women with disgust or judgement when she is expressing natural emotions, because they haven't been taught to see women as anything other than weak. They laugh when a women says she is strong and able to hold her own, because they expect to be the heroes without any of the effort. Mothers need to teach their sons about periods and pregnancies just as much as they do their daughters, so that they can understand what women are really dealing with, and how to help the situation, and make things better rather than be rude and disrespectful.
There are a lot of double standards when it comes to men and women. From the simple things of make up and clothing to work ethics and pay. Remember, each individual played a role in what happened yesterday, what is happening today, and each individual will play a role in what happens tomorrow. I would like to give a special thank you to the women of the past who got us to where we are today.
- Wangari Maathai for empowHERing the Kenyan women with women's rights and the betterment of your community—you are a hero.
- Queen Nzinga Mbande for being a leader of kindness and strength, showing that women are not only the backbone of society, but the ideals of it as well—you are a hero.
- Huda Shaarawi—for leading the women's movement in Egypt. You proved that their is no race or religion when it comes to equal rights— you are a hero.
- Rosa Parks—How can we forget the women that fought for equality, and the end of segregation in our very own home. You proved you don't have to be a man to make a difference. Some of the most powerful changes come from women speaking up—you are a hero.
- Malala Yousafzai—You fought for the right to educate women. We can't fight for the rights we don't know we have. We need to be able to articulate our concerns and fight for our freedom, and we can't do that if we are forced to be dependent on a man. You changed the future of women in your country and started a new revolution—you are a hero.
- Emmeline Pankhurst—You made our voices heard in the UK by leading us to the voting booths. You proved our voices matter, and that we MUST be heard—you are a hero.
- Eliza Lucas Pinckney—You managed to create a multi-billion dollar industry with the first successful indigo cultivation. You proved that women weren't just maids for men, but we are capable of brilliant business take overs, fantastic creative solutions, and so much more—you are a hero.
- Mary Katherine Goddard—You published the Declaration of Independence. You let the world know that we are free and can't be harassed and bullied by a government. You gave us our freedom—you are a hero.
- Annie Easley—you created codes for rockets. You proved women can be both brains and beauty, and that we will be the ones that take our country and our world to greater heights—you are a hero.
- Kamala Harris—You are proving that women are fit for the oval office just as much as men, if not more. You are proving that we can make a bigger difference for the sake of the people, because we are more compassionate, and capable of much better problem solving. You are still fighting for us, your fight is not over. I hope I get to edit this and say that you are the first female president of the United States and you have PROVED our stand in society—you are a hero.
There are so many more women out there that have done wonders for our country, for our world, and to all of them as well—THANK YOU. I hope this list continues to grow, and the gender discrimination continues to diminish. One day we will be equal and I hope that that one day comes soon.
To all the women out there making a difference... Keep EMPOWHERING!!!