My Thoughts On Feminism And Gender Wars

 

I am not a feminist. I don’t like the idea of ‘gender wars’. Men vs. Women. I don’t see men as the enemy. A woman can also hurt another woman as badly as any man can. Everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses regardless of gender. I find the terms ‘ that woman is strong like man or that man cry like a woman’ amusing. Both male and female as we all know have masculine and feminine qualities in them. I might find a person incredibly gifted/ intelligent or I could find a person unbearably stupid. A person. Not a he or a she.

I remember a funny but pointless debate I and my female friends used to have when were teenagers against a group of boys. Numerous times we argued with them that women can do all what men can do unlike men one time giving the most obvious example that only women can give birth. ” That is true but Jofs, can five women pee simultaneously in one pot?” Responded the leader of the boy’s gang. We all burst out laughing. It was funny and also true. Blushing the girls would feel defeated and outwitted. Ganging against each other had been embedded in us since we were young. Discarding the gender bias requires a lot of effort as we grow older because of the nature of romantic relationships. Our hearts get broken at one point in time. But it’s neither the men nor women who do this to each other. A person hurts another person. If only we can look at it like that and not crucify nor blame the whole gender for it.

I dream of a genderless androgynous society. I said dream because it is impossible. Men are men as women are women. Period.That is I think self explanatory.

As a woman working in a male dominated office I had to struggled twice as hard to get a fair treatment at work until my male colleagues finally respected me as an efficient employee and stopped patronizing me as woman who can also do a good job. But to be fair to the male population this trial by fire only lasts for a while. I found out that if you consistently perform well the men will eventually stop seeing you as woman but instead as a valuable contribution to the team. But the thing is I had to work extra hard while a less efficient male employee was welcomed with a brotherly pat at the back after a couple of beer drinking sessions. But I am way past that. I have no grudges. I was able to challenge myself to excel at what I do because of this experience. I can even over look the fact that some men tend to frown when a woman join them in a serious conversation especially about politics because I also met men who don’t and who listened to my opinions without judging them coming from the mouth of a woman.

I have been posting quotes about a woman’s honest point of view of living as a free woman in a society which favors men but I just want to make it clear that I don’t feel victimize as a woman. The world is replete with real victims. Victims of racism, depravity, war, corruption,violence, poverty, abuse, just to name a few. I am a woman and I want to own the right of being a woman. But most of all as a person, as a human. I want to strive to be the best human I can be regardless of my gender.

************

On a parting note I want to share a response I made to someone who made very long but a well thought out comment to my post ‘ Response to the post Women Are Second Class Citizens.’

I apologize for subjecting you to a very long tiresome reading but this issue has stirred some very strong emotions in me. 🙂

My Response:

You raise a lot of valid points and to a certain extent I agree with you. A child needs structure to grow into a normal responsible adult. But your argument sounds one dimensional disregarding some other factors.

The scenarios you describes are all very well on paper. Idealistic, practical but not realistic. You describe woman and man as if they are machines performing their duties routinely day in and day out , sans emotion, dreams, passion, individuality. All husbands are responsible, they are not drunkards, addicts, gamblers, and wives are born for the domestic life, they don’t want to explore, create, think. They only want to give birth and raise children. And life goes on smoothly, no accidents, no tragedies, no wars . All husbands will always outlive the wives so there is no need for them to learn any set of skill to earn a living. Or perhaps the women are so extraordinarily gifted they can suddenly acquire outstanding work experience when the need arises therefore saving her children from starvation? Why stop at the thought against a woman working in the office? Why give them any education at all? Does that sound too medieval for you?

You suffer from an affliction of looking at past through rose colored lenses as if the world was any better before. Less crime? Because the women were at home? Crime increased because of less resources and inflated population and a loss of sense of community not because the women left home and started working.

I guess you must be a man sir for If you are a woman I cannot imagine how you can favor the suffocating life of a woman before she was given a choice to do whatever she wanted. be it leading to a life of fulfillment or misery at least it is her choice and not imposed upon her.

The Comment:

From Abandon TV

Before the liberation of women:

A man’s income was typically enough to support the whole family.

Women were able to raise their own babies/ children (no need to pay for daycare). This also encouraged a strong mother/ baby (or child) bond which is essential for a healthy child development.

Women were able to work full time on childcare and maintaining the household (cooking, cleaning, gardening, mending, shopping etc). Although this was not paid work, it was not taxed work either. All work and all productivity directly benefited the family (rather than a significant proportion of that productivity being syphoned off to benefit government programs, the banks, the military industrial complex etc).

Plus a ‘women’s work’ during the day generated more free time in the evening and at weekends for the whole family, it provided cost savings (home made food is cheaper than ready meals), it allowed time for things to be mended or home made (another cost saving).

Women staying at home meant people were always around in the street and in the local community. This acted as a deterrent to crime and enabled children to play out in the street etc. Plus childcare could be shared and any elderly relatives and in laws could be looked after if they lived nearby or in a ‘granny flat’ at home. This meant they did not have to go into a home (another huge saving).

In times of need (or want) a woman could still get part time/ full time work – albeit in a more limited range of occupations than today (teaching, nursing etc). Even if this pay was not great it was still money earned in addition to the man’s salary which was typically enough to support a family anyway. Thus it was ‘extra’ income for the family – a valuable safety net!

After the liberation of women:

After women flooded into the workplace the government was able to raise taxes so that now even with both parents working full time a family struggles to support itself. A man is not usually able to support a family on his own (not even one without any children).

With women working full time all household chores (cooking, cleaning, shopping, mending, gardening etc) must be outsourced (at a cost) or done in the evening and at weekends, or not at all.

With both parents required to work, young children must be put into daycare and in the evening they’re typically dumped in front of the TV because the parents too busy (or tired) to interact with them.

Babies are often abandoned after just a few weeks so that the mother can go back to work full time. Even when the mother can afford to take more time off work (or leave her job completely for few years) she is often pressured by society to view her career as more important and ‘fulfilling’ than the role of ‘full time motherhood’. Part time motherhood used to be called neglect. Not any more. As a result of this neglect many children / teenagers (and later adults) are experiencing mental health problems.

If the family need extra money for a holiday, a house extension or some emergency (illness, accident etc) the woman is no longer able to take on extra work (they’re already both working flat out). So instead they will get into debt. Personal debt was almost unheard of in the 70′s. Today it is the norm.

With babies and children spending more and more time in the hands of childcare, government schools and mass media (Hollywood, MTV, Disney etc) they are being more heavily influenced by the moral values and social / political mindset of those institutions. Equally, less time spent with their parents means their parents’ morality and attitudes has less influence on them. Government schooling today is based on the Prussian System. Many Hollywood blockbusters are scripted by the Pentagon and the music industry is also infused with propaganda. This is all completely as we would expect. The only reason most parents today don’t see it is that they were also brought up in this way too in the 80′s – albeit in a slightly less extreme way.

Some thoughts / questions….

Have women (and families as a whole) actually gained more freedom (choices), or lost freedom (choices)?

Is ‘equality for women’ even a good thing if it means women gaining equal status as men – so that they are now just as equally enslaved to the state/ the banks/ the oppressive and violent social hierarchy as men already were?

What about children’s rights….. such as the right to be raised by at least one full time parent? In this respect children have lost ground over the last few decades.

With most women’s magazines encouraging women to think of their own ‘right to a fulfilling career’ (rather than their children’s needs, or the possibility of motherhood itself being a fulfilling role), who is standing up for children’s right have to at least one a full time parent?

Was the whole feminist movement hijacked from the very beginning?

If a young ‘liberated’ woman replaces having a man-as-provider with having the state-as-provider is that a step forward or a step backwards?

Should women be fighting for ‘equality’ relative to men….. or individual freedom for all (men, women and children)?

©JMKhapra

15 thoughts on “My Thoughts On Feminism And Gender Wars

  1. I’m lying in bed reading this on iPhone otherwise I would write a more extensive reaponse. I love what you wrote, this has always been a favorite subject of mine that highly intrigues me and brings forth passion in me. I actually do think that women in the pursuit of freedom lost so much freedom. I’ll have to respond more later as my eyes are about to burst from this little screen :] but what a great topic to write about…now you hve me thinking.

    1. Thank you for reading this article, you are very patient ! It takes effort on my part to reread what I wrote. I’m glad you like it. I was deeply moved by the book I read recently. It was written in the 1950s and what Doris Lessing wrote still resonates so much because I am currently living in a place still caught up in that fight. Women from Europe and US are way way ahead in asserting their freedom as a woman in a man’s world but here the awakening is just beginning, there is still so much resistance that the idea of too much freedom for women is too remote a concept to grasp.

    1. I have just finished reading ‘ The Golden Notebook’ by Doris Lessing. Intense but an amazing book to read I cannot shut up about it as you can see in my posts. I am choosing between ‘Portable Dorothy Parker’ and ‘Ten Novels And Their Authors’ for my next read. Your upcoming book is on my to read list. 🙂

  2. I second your thoughts, I believe, there can be no comparison made betwenn an apple and an orange.Surprisingly, I see this around me everday. There was a time when I used to argue or justify,now I don’t seek for anyones opinion to strengthen my thought. Each individual is good at something, each one is unique irrespective of the gender. Good going. I loved this post.

  3. Your post raises questions regarding the concept of equality. Men and women are different. (As you pointed out, women are the only ones who can give birth and five men can pee in the same pot.) Equality is possible if everyone shares the same set of traits. But it’s not the case between men and women. This only raises more questions. Under what set of conditions would equality be possible? Can a society ever create that set of conditions?

    I don’t hold out much hope that these questions will ever be adequately answered. I do, however, appreciate the differences between the genders. I couldn’t imagine a world with one gender. Then again, I wouldn’t want to.

    1. I understand, an androgynous society could probably lead to an asexual existence since the attraction comes from being different in gender ( talking purely of heterosexual relationship. My apologies to the homosexuals for not including them in the equation) as I myself looks for masculinity in a man when it comes to romance, in other aspects of being human like in intellect I have not gender bias. Probably equality is not the word because equality in gender ranks below equality of status, race etc. There is already so much struggle just to be equal as humans without even throwing the gender equality into the mix.

  4. Feminist here… no hate, we’re all in this together. Right now there isn’t true balance, and we’ll all be better off, men and women, when there is gender equality in fact.

      1. Symbollically speaking, let’s say OBAMA becoming Pres. of USA stands for equality of the races and GILLARD becoming PM of AUS represents gender equality. That solves those 2 issues!
        Now let’s address the ‘bread & butter’ issues of poverty, homelessness and hopelessness that still plagues the larger part of the human family!
        Any takers?
        Any suggestions?
        Let’s discuss and see if we can make any progress on these ‘life & death’ matters ‘cos people matter. We are all part of the one human race, all children of the same mother – Mother Nature! The disenfranchised ones are also part of our family – our family, our kith & kin!
        So…

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