Sunday, November 26, 2017

Gender Equality

Sexual harassment is a real problem but I worry that some of the current discussions on it will prove to be counterproductive. Mainly because it always focuses on what men are doing wrong. This is the same issue I have always had with discussions on gender equality. If you ignore what women are doing wrong and the damage done to men because of inequality then the battle will be lost. Here are some things to think about.

  • There are certainly some men out there who think housework is women's work. But there are just as many women who believe yard work such as cutting the grass and snow shoveling is men's work. Focusing on the later will change the former faster. 
  • There has been a lot of media about not making girls hug male relatives at holiday gatherings. But I have seen nothing, zero, about boys hugging female relatives. Let's face it a lot of families are huggers. Male and female. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact, in our often emotionally cold world a hug can be a great thing. 
  • I heard on the radio this morning about how bad it is when men at work put a hand on a female's shoulder. Where I work women are far more likely to initiate touching a man than vice versa. Several women I know always stand up and give me a big bear hug every time we meet. Are they in the wrong? If you really want to have a no hug policy start with women hugging men. Personally I am fine with hugging either sex as long as it is not uncomfortable for either. 
  • Which brings up a point. If it is uncomfortabe, make it clear. The person who is uncomfortable does have an obligation here. Harvey Weinstein was clearly a slime ball but women who said they were raped by him and then went on to later date and have consensual sex with him are pretty damn slimy as well. Yet such women are viewed  solely as victims. Implicit in this view is that women are inferior to men and cannot protect themselves. 
  • If you want pay equity for women, then focus on requiring women to register for the draft, become 50% of combat troops, and eliminate alimony. If you do not then you just give people a logical rational for pay inequality. 
  • Studies consistently show that in relationships women are perpetrators of abuse just a much as men. Yet almost no one talks about this.
  • Even sexual harassment is somewhat surprisingly committed by many women
  • Standards have to be the same. If it is okay for a woman to tell a man his new jeans make his butt look good then the reverse must also be okay.  Or both must not be okay. 
  • It is common for people to believe women are the weaker sex. Although in pure physical terms this may on average be true but it irrelevant in today world. A physically fit person has an advantage over a physically unfit one no matter what the gender. A trained person has an advantage over an untrained one no matter what the gender. A person with a weapon has an advantage over one without one no matter what the gender. 
  • I now pretty much hold doors open for men as much as women. But on a bus I will offer my seat to a women far more than a man. I am being sexist. Let's face it chilvery is just a nice word for sexism. I have a ways to go in this area. I have noticed some European countries men are much less likely to offer up their seat to a women. So this too is changing and in the end it will be a good thing.  
  • People like to stereotype. It bothers me just as much when people say "women" work less hard than men or that "men" do not do housework. I know lot of hard working women and I have always done the majority of housework. 
  • Many people use the terms of equality when they really mean more for me. True equality benefits everyone. It isn't about getting a bigger share of the pie. It is getting an equal share of a larger pie. 
I am an optimist. I believe that we are heading in the right direction when it comes to gender equality. I just wish the pace was quicker and the path more direct. 

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