Monday, February 9, 2009

Why Gender Equality?

The most obvious reason for fighting inequality is it is unjust and wrong. It isn't right to discriminate against half the population of the world.
It's worse that a good percent of this half of the world's population accepts this oppression as their fate. It's the only way they have known.
The conditioning using religion, mythology, social and cultural history and a way of life work together to convince women that it's most un-womanly to demand, or expect or even accept equality.

Women are afraid to say, or even to consider themselves Feminists.

Ask us, do we believe in equal pay for equal work? Yes, who wouldn't?
Is it a good idea for women to have a choice in who we marry?
What careers we choose?
How we dress?
How many children we have or if do not have any kids at all?
Do we think women should have property rights?
Did we mind when we saw our brothers being given preferential treatment? Yes.


But women aren't the only ones who are discriminated against. Discrimination against women also becomes a discrimination against our daughters. And indirectly against our sons also.

And we promote inequality when we tell our daughters to 'Behave like girls!'. Worst possible way women can harm themselves is of course by not letting our daughters be born!

I have seen women feeling proud of having given birth to a boy and ashamed of having a daughter. Can we humiliate ourselves more?

We could begin right there. We can make sure we take pride in our baby girls. Think seriously minus all the conditioning - aren't they such a delight?

When we bless someone and wish them many sons, don't promote such biases. Change it to many children ...
When we fast for your sons' long lives, We must sure instead to fast for all your children.
When we are concerned about our daughter's safety if she wishes to go out late in the evening, don't let us make her feel it's her fault, let's tell her the world is bad, caution her, of course, but don't EVER let her think she is weak. The weakness is first and foremost in the mind. Girls raised to be bold grow up into bold citizens.

If we bully her into submission she will be abused. That's how the world is. We are strong and we are respected. We grovel and we are kicked. Let her get used to her freedom and raise her to have an opinion, let her know she counts. We'll see her maintaining these basic standards all her life.

A secure and confident girl will be neither aggressive nor submissive. Help her grow into a balanced adult. We will also be doing your sons a favour. He will grow up respecting us , not just his sister. Because boys are not fools, when we favour them they can see the injustice of it, and even if they enjoy the perks they lose respect ...

They will understand that being a feminist does not mean you hate men, it just means you hate injustice. And since they have seen equality at home, they will know empowering women does not mean dis-empowering men.

15 comments:

Solilo said...

A well written post IHM!

Just because of gender difference we shouldn't have to fight for freedom and equality. Unfair!

Let us all vow to make a change and put an end to this gender inequality.

Indyeah said...

''Let her get used to her freedom and raise her to have an opinion, let her know she counts. ''
This is what it is all about...IHM..To not just raise daughters but to make them confident individuals who can hold their own...:)
I am reminded of something I heard long back..
''No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.''
And that is what we will aim for...for our daughters...:)

Kislay said...

Great post . I think I told you this before . The way my mother rebuked the nurse , when she made a face while telling her that she had a daughter . Can men be feminists ?

Indian Home Maker said...

@Kislay Men make the best feminist :)

Usha Pisharody said...

A secure and confident girl will be neither aggressive nor submissive. Help her grow into a balanced adult. We will also be doing your sons a favour. He will grow up respecting us , not just his sister. Because boys are not fools, when we favour them they can see the injustice of it, and even if they enjoy the perks they lose respect ...

Beautifully spoken, for all the children we could raise to be equal in thought, deed, and treatment! And yes, Feminism, as you say does not mean anything else but being fair and just to both sexes, and treating them the same, by way of respect, freedom and choices they make!

@Your comment to Kislay : Darned right!!! :)

Great start to the show, IHM. Loved this post on why we need to empower the girl, the women, so that in that sense Men too are empowered!

Deeps said...

What an awakening post,IHM!I'm so very grateful to God that He blessed me with a daughter.There is not a single day when I dont consider her my miracle.
Thank you so much for this post:)

Ajit said...

Best of luck guys on your new venture.... :)
Hope that this site becomes a Phenomenon and peoples lives "CHANGE" after reading this....

best of luck and all of you, keep writing....
but IHM, how can men be feminists???? LOL...

Winnie the poohi said...

kudos!!

Solilo said...

Ajit, Why not?

What's a feminist? Someone who believes that women have equal political, social, sexual, intellectual and economic rights as men do.

So anyone can be a feminist. :)

Winnie the poohi said...

Feminist is anyone who celebrates feminism.. who feels that women are no less to men and are of equal status to them.. anyone who thinks this is a feminist!

Biju Mathews said...

IHM: I like what has been written here, "They will understand that being a feminist does not mean you hate men, it just means you hate injustice."

Taking the gender equality logo.

Keep Blogging!

Bones said...

Good post, IHM!!!
So, basically. gender inequality can be categorized thus:
1)Survival inequaltiy: eg. female infanticide
2)Mortality inequality: when women are not given proper health care and nutrition
3)Opportunity inequality: when girls are not given the opportunity to go to school or work outside the home
4)Professional inequality: when women are not given their dues eg. equal pay, promotions in the workplace
5)Ownership inequality:when there is a bias in the ownership of property eg. in India, traditional property rights favour men
6)Household inequality:when the onus of household chores and childcare lies mainly on the woman even if she works outside the house

Have I left out anything?

Iya said...

beautiful post,

we are 2 sisters and in the small town where I was brought up, the most common question I was asked when I met people for the first time was "2 sisters, and u don’t have any brother??", no thank u, I don’t and my parents are not complaining, they are rather very happy with their children...so please buzz off... if its about conditioning, this was mine.. and in process they taught the entire family how children are a blessing, boy or girl is inconsequential..

ps; how do i put this logo on my page? IHM, can u mail me please...

Poonam J said...

Excellent Post, if sustainable progress is to be achieved, women’s status must be improved, their rights must be respected,But Above all their contributions must be recognized. Gender Equality shouldnot be a womans issue alone, it should be raised by the men too, only then can we build a better future.Am not a feminist, i just believe in the fact that God created man and woman as equals...

Shilpa said...

Nice post!!!
shilpa