Why We Need To Be Careful About The Way We Talk About Gender Equality
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Why We Need To Be Careful About The Way We Talk About Gender Equality

42
Why We Need To Be Careful About The Way We Talk About Gender Equality
pixabay

OK, so I do not even dare use the word feminism because I know that it will turn some people off, and then they won't take anything I say seriously.

This whole "PledgeforParity" thing -- although undoubtedly coming from good intentions -- seems a little off.

It's weird that they feel the need to say (and this is from the website) that "Worldwide, women continue to contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement." Like -- of course? Isn't that completely, 100 percent obvious? Women are (more or less) half of the world's population. That's a hell of lot of people. We're talking several billion people. It is disturbing that anyone would assume that it is possible that several billion people had no contribution to social, economic, cultural and political achievement. Women are society, the economy, culture, and politics. Just like men are also all these things. Have you ever heard someone say, "Men contribute to social, economic, cultural and political achievement"? No. I have never heard anyone say that, and I have been alive for two whole decades. Doesn't that seem a little weird -- that we need to clarify that about one half of the world's population but not the other half?

Also, there is something I have heard a lot before and it has always bothered me: "We need to help women and girls achieve their ambitions and advance in the workplace." There are -- yes -- structural and non-structural biases (which are, in my opinion, even more dangerous because they cannot be eliminated by some kind of equal opportunity workplace law) in this world that make it very, very hard for women to advance in society (economically, and otherwise). But, honestly, putting forth this notion that women need "help" to advance is a subtle way of undermining. It's like when people say, "Women need to help other women advance at work" ... It is implying that women can't get to where they want to go on their own... Which is very, very dangerous, especially couched in such a seemingly well-meaning statement. It's patronizing. Are you implying that men should not help women advance at work? That women should not help men? It's a team. Everyone's on the team. The people who should "advance" are the people who put in the most and best work and who are most qualified. That's called fairness. Justice. Something we, supposedly, stand for in this country. And yeah, the world isn't fair -- I get that. But we need to play the game with the rules that are in place right now. And making certain statements is only making the situation worse.

Sexism, the wage gap, etc. are all very much real and present in today's society. Anyone who says they aren't is choosing not to acknowledge statistics. But, there is a danger of making the situation worse by making seemingly well-meaning statements. Words are very powerful. It's not just about what's said. It's about what's beneath those words. It's about what isn't said, and the implications that come along with that.


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

What Memorial Day Is

The importance of Memorial Day

670
Haddon Heights Library

Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2018 occurs on Monday, May 28. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.

Keep Reading... Show less
What College Girls Remember from their Summers as a Kid

Yes, summer is almost here.. so what should we remember

Keep Reading... Show less
The 100 Things Millennials have ruined: A Comprehensive List
http://www.factandmyth.com/the-middle-class/are-mi...

Millennials: the generation everyone loves to hate. The babies of 1980 to 1995 take a lot of heat. I mean, we inherited a crashed economy, earn stagnant wages, live with crippling student loan debt, and try to enact change in a rigged system but our affinity for avocado toast and use of technology has wrecked society as we know it! As a tail end millennial, I wanted to know what I was ruining and, like any other annoying millennial would, I did some research. I scoured the internet, read online newspapers and scrolled through every listicle I could find. So, in case you needed another reason to resent the millennial in your life, here are the 100 industries we've killed, things we've ruined or concepts we've destroyed.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

This month, Odyssey brings about awareness & normality to conversations around mental health from our community.

10331
Anxiety Doesn't Discriminate

It's no secret that even in 2018 our country still struggles with discrimination of all kinds. Society labels individuals by the color of their skin, heritage, religion, sexuality, gender, size, and political beliefs. You are either privileged or you're not. However, here's the thing, anxiety doesn't care about your privilege. Anxiety doesn't discriminate.

Keep Reading... Show less
College Boy Charm is Real and it's Very Sexy
Disney

After surviving a year of college and watching "Clueless" countless times, I've come to the conclusion that college boy charm is very much a real thing and it's very very attractive. It's easiest explained through Paul Rudd's character, Josh, in "Clueless". The boy who has a grip on his life and is totally charming. In this article, I will list the qualities of a specimen with College Boy Charm, to help you identify him at your next party or other social events.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments