Why are some people scared of gender equality? Why are some people scared of the term feminism? There is nothing spooky about it; it is just a bunch of men and women and their wish to break through barriers that have separated families and society for so long. This topic has always lead to misunderstanding, mostly related to the thought that feminism means giving more power to women than men in worldwide issues. That deceitful and unreal thought has caused much controversy around the world, especially in the millennial generation. That is the reason why we should educate the rising generation about gender equality and feminism. It is important these young boys and girls to understand the real meaning of equality and how beneficial it can be for every one of us.
For many decades, women have fought against a chauvinistic society where living, professional and beauty standards are established by men. Women couldn’t work, or buy a house for themselves, or get higher levels of education, or even vote for the people who would represent them in the government. They went a long way of protesting, petitioning, public speaking and resisting until they gained some kind of freedom, or equality. Their success is evident by the drastic development of equal rights but still, there is a lot more to fix; not only in the United States but in the whole world.
Ludicrous gender roles in our society that were established centuries ago are still prominent in our everyday life. “You can’t play with cars.” “You have to learn how to cook; otherwise no man will marry you.” “Why do you want to be a pilot? That’s no job for a lady.” Every day young girls across the globe hear these complaints about their behavior from family, friends and even teachers because of their expectations on how a lady should behave. The same thing goes for boys. Why are we permitting stereotypes like these to control our lives and development as a nation? Why can’t we accept that we are all born different but we have the right to be just who we are? Even the person we can or cannot love is decided by a close-minded society blinded by tradition.
Another example of gender equality is sexual orientation. Homosexual love is still love. You cannot control who you fall in love with and neither can we control who our neighbor wants to spend the rest of his life with because that is something that lives inside us. As a society have to understand that we are not supposed to think the same way. Homosexual and transgender people have to live in a box most of their lives, hidden from the critics of people who want to control the way they love and the way others love. It must be very sad for someone who loves another and wishes to spend the rest of their lives together but some unfair government decides they cannot marry because it is “immoral”. How can it be possible? As a heterosexual person, I would be devastated if someone told me I cannot marry the person I love simply because they state it is wrong. Why is it wrong? Nobody knows; you just can’t.
Feminism is equally important when discussing gender equality. It is also important to clear some doubts about the term “feminism”. Feminism is not only about the rights of the female sex; it’s about the rights of each human being. Men should defend feminism because it affects their rights too. The feminist movement struggles to break those unfair gender roles that have been imposed upon our society. Men do not have to always pay on the first date. Women can open doors by themselves. Men can be single fathers as well as women can be single mothers. Feminism fights against the traditional “men are the strong sex” and the common “girls are like delicate flowers”. Boys, you can cry if you feel the need to. Girls, you can be much more than a pretty flower.
To conclude, I must state that gender equality is all about having the same opportunity to live in your own way; it is about going through the path of life without unnecessary obstructions on being yourself or achieving your goals based on your gender. I want my children to grow old without any stereotypes changing who they are or closing doors to them. If my daughter aspires to be a professional basketball player I don’t want that to become impossible for her, neither being criticized by her choice. I would make sure that if my baby boy enjoys playing with dolls, he gets one for his own. Someday he will be a father; he will know how to care for his children. My boy would never view women as a sexual object nor would my daughter offend another girl based on what she is wearing. I want my daughter to decide if either she wants to marry and have children or not. I want my son to respect and be respected…I don’t want them to judge anybody based on their gender. We can’t let the future generations forget how hard was the journey to achieve equality because only in that way they will understand the value of morality and justice. Let our children believe in feminism and the development of humanity. Boy, girl, heterosexual, homosexual or transgender, your rights should be the same as mine, because just like you, I am human.