What is Equality?
Throughout the course of yesterday we spent a portion of our day looking through all the social media posts about International Women's Day. It's always uplifting to see all the different measures of support that people post.
But there was also a few moments that gave pause. And it centred around the concept of equality. Some instances spoke of, and took a form of exception to, women being equal to men.
It's an interesting talking point. Should women strive to be equal to men? Or should they strive to be the best version of themselves?
The answer is yes, to both. Our interpretation of being equal to men isn't to say that men are the standard, and women should reach for that (whatever 'that' happens to be to you). It's that women should have equal rights and access to opportunities as men.
You can slice it or spin it any way you want, but the general understanding is that men have a far easier path in life, when comparing an apples to apple journey down the same road, as their female counterparts. This isn't to diminish the endless life struggles everyone can face, including males. But clearly the path to success is bricked smoother for men.
Don't believe it? How about the easiest example in pregnancy and post-partum care? Some societies, such as the nordic countries, have a strong paternal program that encourages men to take time off equal to that of their female counterparts. But that isn't the norm.
The majority of child rearing is female based, especially in the earlier years. That's just one example of many that illustrates a gender disparity in treatment and societal expectation. Same with the belief women can't lead; aren't able to make hard decision; are too soft, and so and so forth. And it has implications for careers and future opportunity.
An NBC news article (link at the bottom) indicates that in 2017 only 12% of upper level executives in S&P 500 companies were female. Clearly a bias exists.
The gap needs to close. And that means women need to be given an equal opportunity to their male co-workers at that promotion or job or opportunity.
We absolutely look up to, and are inspired by, strong women. Women who have blazed a path or done their own thing to get what they want. It's a model that leads by example.
But it is only one path. And not everyone is cut out for that. Many people, most people (women and men), don't want to do it on their own. Or take on that trial of cutting a swath through a male dominated area to get what they want.
And the point we are trying to make is you shouldn't have to. You should be given an equal opportunity. Now, you are required to show you are the best, and that you have the intelligence, attitude, perseverance and a host of other attributes to be selected as the candidate for whatever it is you are being selected for.
But the fact that a candidate has/had a uterus and ovaries, should not preclude them, or hinder them, during the selection process.
So no. Women should not be equal to men because men are the standard, But yes, they should be treated equally to men (and vice versa should that be the case!) so that they have the ability to show their capabilities in a just and equal system. Not a gender biased one.
Just our two cents on why we will continue to support gender equality and the abolishment of gender disparity.
Thank you so much for reading! Comments are welcome as we'd love to hear from you.