Saturday, August 18, 2012

30 Day Challenge - Day 2 - Part 2

This is a Facebook note I wrote on March 28, 2009 on the subject of Women's Rights.


"Here are some comments that have been made to me, by men, about women's rights: 
"You're one of the guys now!" 
"If you want equal rights, open you're own door, carry your own luggage, and put the toilet seat up for me!" 
"You want equal rights? ok, so how do you feel about women being drafted into the military?" 

Here is my interpretation of women's rights. 

There was a time, before my time, when women did not have 
the right to vote, 
the right to choose who they would marry, 
the right to choose how many children they would have, 
the right to choose what they could wear, 
the right to choose what they could say, if they were allowed to speak 
the right to choose if they could work, 
the right to choose where they could work, 
the right to choose how much they could get paid for working. 

There was a time where a woman did not go to school while she was pregnant. 
There was a time when women were banished to caves during their period. 
There was a time when the testimony of woman who witnessed a crime was worthless. 
There was a time when it was thought to be impossible for a woman to even dream of one day being as intelligent as a man. 

Then there was a time when women stood together and demanded the right to vote. 
They began going to work. They stepped out of the kitchen and from behind the scenes to shine. They picketed outside government buildings demanding to be treated fairly. They burned their bras in protest. 

There is a time, now, when women work the same jobs as men but get paid less. And to be a woman and a minority means you are paid even less. 

I am a feminist. I believe in women's rights. 

I do NOT want to be a man, or be treated like I am a man. 

To say that feminism means that women want to be treated like men still puts men above women, as if to be treated like a man is the highest achievement a woman can reach for. It is a sexist statement. 

Men are not to be put above women. 
Women are not to be put above men. 

Men and women are not the same. 
Men and women are different, but in this difference is no inherit source of superiority of one over the other. 

To say that I want equal rights as men is to say that I do not want a man to be given preference for a job simply because he is a man and I am a woman. 

To say that I want equal rights as men is to say that when I work the same job as a man, the same hours, put in the same effort, and get the same results, I want to be paid the same amount. 

To say that I want equal rights as men is to say that I want the same opportunities as a man, that I do not want to be limited in how far I can reach because of my anatomy. 

There are many more examples. And beyond this, into the realm of personal preferences falls most everything else. 

Why should a man open a door for a woman? 
Why should a man pay for the date? 
Why should a man put the toilet lid down for women? 
Why should a man be expected to do the heavy lifting? 
These are personal choices and preferences, both by men and women. There is a difference between being a man and being a gentleman. 

If a woman wants to be a truck driver, a doctor, a heavy weight boxing champion, a preacher or President, I say go for it. There should be no stereotyping or judgement for these women. 

And if a man wants to be a stay at home dad, a chef, a nurse, a teacher, a gymnast, a cheerleader, or any other predominantly female occupation, then I say go for it. There should be no stereotyping or judgement for these men. 

Being a feminist, believing in the rights of women to not be treated differently because of their sex, is not limited to women only. Men can be feminists too. 

I think the most simple and succinct way of phrasing women's rights is to say that I love my mom and I want the best for her. To me, if you love your mom, you're a feminist."



Just posting this to show how long this has been on my mind.  And another point of view so that the original post didn't get too crazy long. 

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