Women; A portion of humanity that is there to be stared at, to be objectified, to be owned.
To be a woman is not a rite of passage. It is a label that over half of the world gets stuck with. A label that allows everyone to treat women differently, to treat them as if they were worth less.
Women should accept being paid less than men. Women should be okay with always being viewed as trophies. Women should accept that it is their only job to clean, to cook, to take care of the children.
This is the attitude many people have. This perspective, although being widespread and implemented in many household (especially in the western world), is not acceptable. It teaches girls that they will never amount to anything as great as boys. It teaches men that they can harass women because they are entitled to do so. It teaches everyone that equality is not an option, but a vague dream that will never be reached. This misogynist world is not something children should grow up believing.
When a childs gender is discovered, they will either receive a blue nursery or a pink nursery. They will either be discussed as one day being a top CEO or a successful builder, or they will be seen as a stay at home mother. They will either be pushed towards girls in hopes of a relationship, or they will be hidden away by their family and told to always beware boys. Boys will be told to become tougher, and girls will be told to become more poised. These clichés that are applied to different genders stream from generations and generations of tradition. When a child is born, their parent will begin to express their world views upon the child. They will bring that child up the same way their parents brought them up. When that child is older, and has a family of their own, they will bring their children up the same way they were. This poses a problem of very minimal variation in the expectations and societal norms placed on the children. Within 5 generations, an expectation for a specific gender that was commonplace in that time period could still be applied to the child of 5 generations after. This is why we are still living in the past instead of changing for the future.
The expectations that are forced upon young boys that they must be emotionally guarded at all times and unable to express complex emotions can severely affect their childhood, to the point where delinquency and violence is much more common. Girls that are taught that when a boy is physically hurting them it’s just them expressing their love can lead to lifelong abuse in toxic relationships. These expectations do not allow for positive changes to occur, but instead make it extremely difficult for any positive step in the direction of equality to be successfully implemented in our society.
Children do not automatically have this mindset – it is ingrained in them by the people surrounding them, and if the people surrounding our future can’t change, how will anything ever get better.
Young boys and girls alike should have the ability to grow up believing they have an equal chance of becoming a CEO, of becoming the president, of being a fashion designer. The days where your gender determined who you would be are almost at a close, but it is the duty of everyone to help give that promise one final push in the right direction.
Women should not only ever feel safe walking on the streets if they are in a large group. Women should not be told from a young age to carry pepper spray or a knife whenever they leave the house. Girls should not be taught that a boy abusing them is their way of showing that they ‘like them’. Women should not feel compelled to speed up their pace whenever they walk past a man. Parents should not have to pay for years of self-defence classes because they fear for their childs safety around men, but they do.
Women and girls need to feel like no dream should ever be unachievable because of their gender. Equality must be achieved so that all generations to come will never have to deal with the oppression of an entire gender ever again. This problem will not be resolved by switching the roles of men and women so that women are superior to men – it is about gaining equal rights for everyone, no matter what gender they identify with.