What is equality? The Oxford Dictionary states that equality is the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, or opportunities.
There is also a definition for gender equality: “The state in which access to rights or opportunities is unaffected by gender.” Both these definitions talk about equal access to opportunities and granting of the same rights, regardless of the gender. The feminist movement has been fighting for this exact equality for hundreds of years. Everywhere, women have been demanding equal pay, equal political opportunities and exposure and equal treatment, and they have been doing rightly so. Every human being deserves the same amount of respect and freedom simply because we are all creations of God. None of us have the right to dictate to the other, be it a man or a woman.
History shows us the struggles of many brave women, who fought against a patriarchal society to gain equal status. Even though there has been a steady shift from a male-dominated society to a society where women are also recognised, there’s still a long way to go. And I feel that somewhere along the way to this point, women have forgotten that the demand for equality is why feminism became a thing. The simple idea of ‘no difference’ was, and still should be the whole point of feminism.
I, as a female, am a strong believer in the concept of gender equality and vouch for all women asking for the same rights and opportunities. And so my opinion might be a highly unpopular one among my female counterparts. I think that women have forgotten that demand for equality is why feminism became a thing.
Recently, I’ve noticed this trend, where any criticism directed towards a woman is deemed offensive. If a woman comments on a man, would that be considered sexist, too?
Women pass sexual remarks on men, too. However, that isn’t counted as cheap. But when a man does so, it is. I’m not saying it’s okay to objectify a woman. But if equality is what we demand, we should be giving the privilege to both genders. In some places, women are given lesser jail term than men for committing the same crimes. Why? That isn’t equality. This version of feminism will give us superiority and that would be hypocritical. Haven’t we fought against the superiority of one gender for so long? Now, how can we argue those same ideals? Women are brave, intellectual and highly capable beings who are equal to men. Not above men.
And men are not above women. The idea of gender disparity shouldn’t be used to protect ourselves. It is a serious misuse of the power of feminism.
- The reader is a student based in Dubai