Thursday, May 8, 2014
Global Oppression of Women
We often have the pretence to believe that we live in a world of gender equality. We pretend that feminism is something of the past that was needed for a short time, and that now it should just fade away since it is oh so accomplished that women and men are equal. Well, as with many things we believe, we couldn't be so wrong. What we do is that we grasp any female woman who has accomplished something so big that we're forced to acknowledge it, and show her around as a symbol of gender equality. The sort of saying that states that if she can do it, so can everybody else. Yes, that's what we do. But what really happens, is that we've never lived in a world so complex, so intimately intermingled with opposites, which give us the opportunity to focus on one side of the pair of opposites we prefer to see. We all do that, for a concept or another.
Now, as to the global oppression of women, I know that many people, and mostly men, feel like it's an aberration, that these feminists really want to ruin the world. When just by looking at the bare facts, you can see how the numbers speak for themselves. 2/3rd of the world's work is done by women, yet only 1/10th of it's pay goes back to women. Women only hold 1% of the world assets. Human trafficking, as in trading women for prostitution has never been so high. 1/3rd of the women in the world are able to read, and that to a certain extent. It is still thought that having a boy is better than having a girl, even though the same ideologies strongly warn women that their sons won't care as much as their daughters. I believe none of these two ideas, but what I see is the oxymoron of these intermingled beliefs, and yet, it appears and many cultures all around the world. Many women still die while delivering their babies, but child birth is still considered woman's own blessing. I'm not denying that it is a wonderful thing to give birth to another human being, I am just outraged that it is still so often presented as ONLY a gift, and not also a burden, since it is a dangerous thing, and also a painful one.
So, I wonder, how is it possible to still be immune to the problematic of women's oppression after seeing those facts? How is it possible for someone to still deny that there is outrageous inequalities between men and women? And I've only put here examples that wouldn't offend conservative minds, I didn't mention things like women's sexuality, or how however a women clothes herself she will always be scrutinized, how women are objectified, how women are considered less than a man, how empowered women are considered a threat, and so much more themes that are in today's society quite controversial, when they shouldn't. Today, we should have come to the point where social change is considered a movement of both men and women working hand in hand to erase all inequalities, yet social change usually means, keeping things the way they are, because a minority of dominants, don't want things to change. And this goes for all matters of today's world, not just for women's cause.
Bill gates once answered, when asked the question of whether Saudi Arabia was in good progress of becoming one of the most successful countries in the years to come, that they were not going to come close to the top 10 if they were not "utilizing half the talent in the country". And I think that it is true for the whole wide world. We tend to focus on what other countries don't have that ours has, but we also tend to overlook what these same countries have that we don't. And instead of criticizing each other, be it countries, or race, or gender, or people, we should all learn from what others know, and focus on that, so that we improve ourselves, and empower ourselves from one another, rather than to stay so narrow-minded by our few assets, that we don't care to look outside the box to find out that others have many assets too.
I'll let you watch three very inspirational TedTalk videos about the subject, that, I assure you, really are mind blowing. The first one by Sheryl Wu Dunn, "Our century's greatest injustice":
The second one by Carmen Jud, "Ending the global oppression of women":
And a speech by Hilary Clinton at the TedWomen event:
Have a great day, and keep your mind sharp!