I know this post is gonna get me a lot of whiplash (especially from my very vocal female colleagues & friends) but I feel that this is something that needs to be said about women’s liberation and how extreme it’s gotten in the past 20 years or so. First of all to get things straight; I am not against women’s rights and I believe 100% that both men & women are created equal.
Before we begin let’s define what women’s rights are. Women’s rights as defined in Wikipedia are as follows:
“The term women’s rights refers to freedoms and entitlements of women and girls of all ages. These rights may or may not be institutionalised, ignored or suppressed by law, local custom, and behavior in a particular society. These liberties are grouped together and differentiated from broader notions of human rights because they often differ from the freedoms inherently possessed by or recognised for men and boys, and because activists for this issue claim an inherent historical and traditional bias against the exercise of rights by women and girls.
Issues commonly associated with notions of women’s rights include, though are not limited to, the right: to bodily integrity and autonomy; to vote (suffrage); to hold public office; to work; to fair wages or equal pay; to own property; to education; to serve in the military or be conscripted; to enter into legal contracts; and to have marital, parental and religious rights. Women and their supporters have campaigned and in some places continue to campaign for the same rights as men.”
I agree with all the above but I think in the course of history and in our own fallen nature as human beings; the entire idea of women’s rights has turned into an ugly creature that is used very self-centredly by many people. It really bugs me whenever I hear the media and the people around me go “I am woman, hear me roar”. What is that? Why the need to be so antagonistic? I really don’t understand why there’s a need for us to purposely rub shoulders the wrong way about our differences as men & women.
In my opinion I believe women’s rights have come to a point where women sometimes use this grand and noble idea as an excuse for their character flaws & pride (which I will say now men also have but we have no ‘men’s rights’ to hide behind). To break things down a little; here’s where I feel the whole idea of women’s rights have broken down today in our post modernistic and very broken society.
It’s my right
The spirit behind this statement is that it’s about MY rights, it’s MY body and it’s all about ME. What’s wrong with the picture here? It’s all about self. The individual. The idea of personal rights both in a woman and in men are so self-centred and this very idea of MY rights is what makes me cringe every time I’m faced with vocal supporters of women’s rights. In the pursuit for personal rights I think we’ve forgotten that we need to look outside of ourselves and not demand what is ours. Rights do not belong to us but are given. Personal rights are a gift given by others to us not the other way around. It is not to be demanded and I think in more developed nations this whole idea of rights has become so twisted that it becomes an excuse for a woman to be selfish because they see it as their right. It’s a sad, sad thing that the original idea of women’s rights is so misunderstood & misquoted in this day and age.
Equal rights non-equal treatment
This is another thing that really bugs me. Some women want all the privileges of being equal to men but none of the responsibility. They claim their feminine weaknesses whenever they can’t make the cut and yet still demand the very same things that men have. I say this not in spite but I say this in view of the fact that men and women are created very different. Physically and emotionally we are very different. That in itself doesn’t mean that we are not equal but it just means we are different and created with different roles.
The failure of modern society here is that men have not stepped up as real men to be leaders and protectors of their families. We have not been the men that God intended us to be and that’s where everything has broken down. Women are forced into the workplace and in the course of time things have so changed now that women are forced also to take on more male traits to be successful in the marketplace. I really believe that role-wise both men and women are created different and the very nature of the workplace in itself already destroys some things about the feminity that is a very beautiful thing in women. Don’t misinterpret me here ya? I’m not saying women shouldn’t be working but I am just saying that for some reason the workplace has a very nasty habit of changing us as people because of the dog-eat-dog attitude that is so prevalent today.
On another note I must say that it really irritates me how women can sometimes demand for things and yet claim their feminity when it suits them; which I believe is not right. If we want equal rights, I think there is also a need for equal treatment and one shouldn’t be treated special just because they are of a particular gender. This whole thing about having equal rights but yet still wanting to be specially treated as women is a clear example of how our roles as men & women are different and it is a clear indication that women’s rights can be abused so easily for selfish gain. It’s very much the same as having special treatment based on race or creed; it’s just that we find it socially acceptable. The point I’m trying to make here is that we are different. Men. Women. Different.
For this I must apologise to my female readers because I think we as men have failed you in many ways because of our abdication of our role as protectors and providers in the family.
We’ve lost sight of the vision
Lastly I really think all of us have lost sight of the true spirit of women’s rights and women’s liberation. The real idea here is for fair treatment for women and to not put them down just because of their gender. Chauvinism is not something to be applauded but it’s something that should be stamped out. The problem we have right now is that we’ve lost sight of the original idea of women’s rights and it’s gotten mixed up with selfish attitudes of wanting what’s due to “me” rather than what’s good for everyone. I really believe women are just as capable as men and the wonderful thing is that both men & women have different strengths that complement each other.
I really hate “battle of the sex”-like topics because it is not helpful. It does not compute because men & women are just different. We both do things well in some areas and we suck at some areas too. Strengths and flaws are not the domain of gender; it’s something inherent in all of us as human beings. All of us have strengths. All of us have weaknesses. And it’s a fact that men can do some things better than women whilst women can do other things better than men. Why do we need to fight on this matter? Isn’t it counter-productive to continue to highlight the differences when we should be celebrating our differences and learning how to live with one another?
I am dreading to click publish on this post but I think this is a thought that has been sitting in me for a very long time that needs to get out there in prose. I’ve spoken about this many times with some very good friends and I think my ideas and reflections on this subject matter needs to be put to the test. I think I’m gonna come under a lot of fire for putting this up but I think I welcome it because I really believe that women’s rights has been misquoted and misused in all facets of life. Feel free to comment and I hope that everyone who reads this will take the time to digest the spirit of this piece rather than reacting to assumptions of why I wrote this.
Have a thought-provoking day.