Feminism And The Problem With Equality

Oh, where to begin… So many thoughts and so many layers to discuss something so big and influential as feminism…

Let’s just put it out there: I am not a huge fan of feminism as it is used nowadays. I will try to keep this post short and controlled, as this subject usually triggers a bit of a reaction in me.

feminism

Just to clarify: I agree on equal rights for women. I am glad that I live in a country where women are treated equally to men. And of course I am glad I also grew up in a developed country, where women had the same rights as men. Well… given that one of the Cantons only allowed women to vote in 1991… but was by far the last one to do so… And the funny thing is, that in the Canton of Appenzell women were actually allowed to vote on National issues but not on Cantonal and regional ones… Silly, right?!

Anyway. I understand that it was necessary to stand up in order to gain those rights. And we achieved it, right! I mean, in all western countries women actually enjoy the same rights men do. Do we really live in that way? Maybe not, but that is more a decision taken by us as well, right?

First of all an observation (and that might come across as a feminist thought…):

I find it amazing how many of my working mom friends actually joggle everything… They get up early, make sure breakfast is ready for everyone, including husband, some of them even put cloths out for kids and hubby, then they drop kids off at school and head to work. After work they quickly pick up his suits from the dry cleaner, pick up kids from school, go grocery shopping and prepare dinner again for everyone. besides that they do the laundry, wash the dishes and clean the home… He goes to work.

Now, see, that is one of the things everything inside of me screams “where is the bloody equality?”! But: This is not political, it is private. And so many women still feel that it is their job to take care of everything but on top of that you have to chase after a career as well, because that is what a woman nowadays has to do! It is what feminism taught us! To the point, where you feel weird only sitting at home and being a SAHM (stay at home mom)…

And then there is the next little thing:

Finally, after you had a break form your job, you get back in the workforce. If you are lucky, you actually get to work in the same position as before. And maybe you are lucky as well and you get offered the same kind of salary (wow, that again sounds rather pro feminism…). But are you really worth that salary? You will leave earlier in case to pick up kids (maybe), you might take more days off, as your kids might be sick. You might get a couple of phone calls from school because your kids are in trouble, hurt themselves or got sick… Maybe you have to run off to go see the principal… Equality?

See, i strongly believe that a woman should be treated equally and that she should earn the same salary as a man, if she is able to provide her employer with the same result as the man. In office jobs this should not be an issue. In a lot of jobs it would not be one. But what about hard labor? Hard, physical labor? I agree, that a woman should not be “punished” for the fact, that her physic might not allow her to do the same kind of heavy duty as a man. But then, she might not be able to do it, so why pay her for something she is not able to do? Same in case a guy is not able to do it… You know: Equality…

And that is a point, where I very often shake my head in disbelief listening to certain women, who are happy to say, that no matter of the fact that the physic of a woman does not allow her to do a certain job properly, she should still be paid the same amount. Why??? This has nothing to do with being fair (which is, what feminism was all about as well, right? Treating everyone equally and fair)! It is not fair towards the guy, who physically works his butt off and in doing so probably breaks his back to lift the additional weight, his female co-worker is not able to handle…

Don’t make equality into leaning towards women! And I feel this is the trend today. The feminist idea of equality has nothing to do with being equal really anymore. In fact it is quite the opposite. It swings to the other extreme and men (and women who don’t really think like a hard core feminist) get pushed back.

Equality: The state of being equal in status, rights or opportunities…

No how about equality in case of a divorce? In case of who will be in charge of the kids? So often the mom gets the kids just because she is the mom and the guy… well, the guy might be allowed to see them but the only real right he has there is to pay for all of them… Is this still conform to our life nowadays? I understand, that years ago, when the man was working and the mom was staying home with the kids it was the way to go. As the relationship between the mom and the kids might have been different and would have been the one with the income… But today?

Gosh, I could go on and on…

I feel pressure. Pressure as a woman to have to follow this trend. A trend I don’t like and I don’t agree with. I once thought, that the olden days feminists wanted women to finally be able to think freely, act freely, do what they want to and when they want to do it. And of course have the same rights.

But what did it turn into? In quite the opposite.

“You are a SAHM? You cook and clean, no cleaner? Controlling husband… or maybe just a submissive person…” I often feel other women (who don’t know me well) think like that. Not that it does anything to me, but it makes me think.

What about the fact, that I like to do what I do (or what I am not doing)? What if I like to be the housewife and the mother, the cleaner and cook in our home? What if this suits me just fine. What if I happily turn down a great job offer, because I rather spend the time with my kids? It is my decision, my choice. Something that makes me happy.

I hear so often that it is hard to find a gentlemen nowadays. Surprising? I am not sure… Why? Well just think about this:

A guy holding the door open for you. In the name of today’s feminism he would probably be told off for suspecting, that the woman can not do that on her own…

A guy pulling the chair back for a woman at a restaurant. Well he would probably be told off for trying to make her look stupid in front of all the other diners.

A guy taking his coat off because she is cold. What on earth would make him think that she can not handle cold?

And we complain that the true gentlemen are disappearing. I think, ladies, we just make it bloody hard on them! Men must really feel confused. At least I would.

Although we gained a lot thanks to all of the three waves of feminism (something I am thankful for, please get me right), I feel it is time to assess the situation and really think about what we want.

It feels like everyone has to jump into the same boat and scream: We want more!

In doing so we kind of rob ourselves of a lot of privileges too. I don’t want to explain to men that I actually appreciate being treated nicely and “like a lady”. I appreciate it, if a guy (my husband or my son) opens a door for me (and my daughter), I appreciate it when they open and close the car door for me, when they pull back my chair in a restaurant. It makes you feel special. And why should you not feel special, why should you not enjoy being special?

I want my daughter to experience this too and I want her to know what a gentlemen is. And not just because her dad and her brother are gentlemen. I want my brother to grow up and treat women the way a gentlemen would treat them. And I don’t want him to get in trouble with a woman for acting like a gentlemen, just because she took feminism too far.

In our part of the world we do have it all. And how great is it, that we do have the freedom to choose what we want to do with it. So please, dear feminists, don’t take this away from us! It is okay to be liberated, but like with everything, it is important to know how far to take it.

Maybe someday we have to liberate us from the overly extreme idea of feminism… Who knows… I just feel it kind of gets pushed a bit too far by certain groups. And I do feel it is time to speak up, if you don’t agree with some of the extreme opinions.

 

Inspired by this post.

30 thoughts on “Feminism And The Problem With Equality

  1. I agree! It has to be a balance! How nuts do women as a whole look when part of us scream equal treatment, but then shame men about chilvery being dead! C’mon! I for one don’t want to be seen as extreme equals, because I do not feel it is so. I can’t go lift and sling big heavy equipment around… so yeah… pay him appropriately! But desk jobs? Paper pushing? Yeah… men do not deserve more than women! But it’s a job by job basis, not a blanket we can spread over it all. And in other aspects I do not want to be treated like a man! I enjoy Butthead opening my doors and pulling out my chair! It shows he takes care of me. And as a woman… I like that! He doesnt *have* to, but he chooses to. To me, that’s special! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I could write an entire blog post in response to this (and maybe I will!) but for now I would like to make two points:

    1. If a woman is hired for a physically intensive job I would imagine she would have to prove she was strong enough to do it in the first place. If that is the case then she would be doing exactly the same amount of work as her male counterparts and therefore absolutely deserves equal pay. I can’t think of a single feminist who would argue that anyone should get equal pay for less work (that’s more like communism than feminism!). They would simply argue for the right for a fair appraisal for any female applicants who were as physically capable of doing the job as the other male applicants.

    2. All the feminists I know would have no problem with men opening doors or offering seats or jackets to them – because we do it too. Chivalry is not dead. It has just transcended gender and become “being a decent, considerate human being.” If you get to a door before another person does, of course you hold it open for them. If you’re sitting on a bus and someone who looks exhausted or could otherwise really use a seat more than you, of course you jump up and offer it to them. If you’re out with a friend and they could use a jacket more than you, of course you offer it to them (this one doesn’t apply so much with strangers, IMO. If a stranger offered me their jacket it would creep me out a bit).

    I agree with a lot of your sentiment here (I’m a SAHM by choice as well, after all) but I am an unequivocal feminist so I can’t agree with you wholeheartedly.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your comment. I guess it has a lot to do who we meet on our journey and how strong their sentiments are. I love what you say in the second point. It all comes down to manners as well. I also agree with your first point. Unfortunatly I’ve come across a couple if other examples in my life. Maybe it is not right to call it feminism, but (again unfortunatly for the movement) those examples called themselfs liberated feminists…
      So most certainly a couple if bad examples in my case, which is a shame.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

      Like

  3. Love the acronym SAHM! Is that new, or do I not get out of my “Home” enough? There are a lot of homeschoolers where I live. Most are SAHMs, although there are a few SAHDs as well. So, within that group, it is normal to stay home, but in society at large — not so much. Last Friday, President Obama said, “Moms and dads deserve a great place to drop their kids off every day that doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg.” So many problems with that statement, but the relevant one is, What’s wrong with choosing to stay home with your own children, if you can afford to — I realize that single parents don’t have that option, and finances or your career path may prevent you from staying home, but staying home with your kids is a difficult, demanding job, if unpaid.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have SO much to say about this post. I think you bring up SO many wonderful talking points.

    Feminism is about choice. I absolutely believe SAHMs don’t get enough credit — I did it for five years and it’s an insanely hard job. I’ve recently returned to work part-time and I work from home, so I still get little credit and many of my more career-oriented friends are dismissive of what I do and think I should strive for more. I WANT to be home when my kids get home everyday and I’m fortunate that I can be.

    All that said, I understand why SAHMs don’t get as much credit when it comes to feminism — we never had to fight for the right to stay home with our kids. We were told that’s where we were supposed to be. It’s only become a choice recently and it’s not a choice for MANY MANY women. I know lots of working moms who would love more time with their kids but they can’t afford it.

    We’ve made a lot of progress, and it’s very easy for me to look around my privileged world (white, educated, upper-middle class) and think — what’s the big deal – we’ve achieved equality — but we haven’t. Women still make approximately 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes. Every two minutes a person in the US is sexually assaulted, many (and I’ll venture to say the majority) of whom are women. https://www.rainn.org/statistics

    I agree that many of the loud and often uninformed feminists make the term feminism seem negative, but we can’t let that ruin a good and necessary movement. Feminism is still necessary and it shouldn’t be about putting men down. As the mother of two boys, I believe we need feminism as much for boys as we do for girls. Boys are shamed into silence every day and are not allowed to show a broad range of emotion. Boys are called sissy and way worse if they don’t behave in a traditionally masculine way, and these expectations begin early, at least where I live. A few years ago I was in the grocery store and my 3yo got his foot caught under the wheel of the grocery cart and naturally began screaming. I held him and did what I could to comfort him. The jerk behind us told him he needed to “man up.” HE WAS THREE YEARS OLD. I can’t tell you how many times my rough and tumble boys are dismissed or criticized if they cry, and they typically don’t cry unless they’re in pain. Bravery comes in many forms, but males are taught early the importance of not appearing weak. There’s something wrong with a world that won’t tolerate tears from boys as young as seven and five. The feminism that I know wants boys to be able to open up emotionally and not be criticized for traits deemed and dismissed as feminine.

    I’m thrilled when a man (or woman for that matter) opens a door for me. I like mutual respect. Unfortunately, I’ve also been on dates where a man paid, opened doors and then called me a bitch for not sleeping with him — there was the implication that BECAUSE he did these things, I owed him something. Perhaps some of these angry feminists have been in this same position. I want young girls to know that they deserve to be treated with respect. Just because a man opens a door for you, doesn’t mean he’s a good person. He might be, but he might not be. And while I’m on this, we could all stand to be a bit more respectful. I’m all for manners and civility.

    I love that you wrote this and I think we need to talk openly about these things more, but I very much consider myself a proud feminist.

    I think you and I see some of this differently but a lot the same. I like the way you summed up the end:

    “Maybe someday we have to liberate us from the overly extreme idea of feminism… Who knows… I just feel it kind of gets pushed a bit too far by certain groups. And I do feel it is time to speak up, if you don’t agree with some of the extreme opinions.”

    I think the delivery by some feminists could be better, but I believe we very much still need feminism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh how I love your comment! You actually summ up a lot of my thoughts as well. Love what you say about the boys! I hate it when my son gets told thlo toughen up by a stranger! Or any other boy! I love what you say about the guy being a gentlemen but then an asshole in the process.

      It’s thise extremes I don’t like and maybe I should have stretched that point even more. I di consider myself feminist as well, as I eant to be able to choose and I want certain rights.

      I just don’t agree with thise extremes, which get thrown around by certain people and in the process do actually hurt the cause.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I really enjoyed your post. I have a 5 month old daughter (it’s my first child and I am in my mid to late 30’s) and I am currently working from home FT. But honestly, I don’t want to *have it all*. I want to stay home with my baby, maybe have another one or two and be in charge of the home front. I didn’t always feel this way, heck , I never even thought I would get married or even have children. I have always liked cleaning and cooking (Gasp!) so it makes sense I would like to someday be a SAHM – maybe if #2 comes along.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I like your post. It focus’ on feminism and the problem. I worked in an almost exclusive man’s field, but I had to do the exact same job as them. If I didn’t, I would have been booted. But being a gentlemen, did not disappear in this men. They looked after me like a girl when out of work. To the point that they would screen the men that got close to me. But at work or even in war, I was just like them and worked my tail off. I had to pull my weight all the time. Granted, if we knew I couldn’t do the physical, then we worked together but they did not carry me. It was great and loved my job.
    I groan at the feminism movement now. It bugs the heck out of me. Even in the civilian world, like the factory I work in, I still had to pull my weight but always get help when I need it. And they don’t hold that against me. But some women are always complaining about a broken nail or some such stuff. Sadly, the men were gentlemen still. I have to had it to them. They would still help this women after all their complaining. I didn’t. LOL
    This one time we had to clean our machine which is massive, but the point is, some outside electrician where there that day. (I was told later by a coworker.) The men saw me get all dressed up and they expected me to walk in and walk out still looking the same. But I came out an hour later, covered in all kinds of crap and they were impressed that I was working like the men.
    So, not’s all lost. Like I told another women, we should take those ultra-feministic women behind the shed and explain some things to them. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I completely agree. I feel as the word “feminism” is taken to an extreme and contradicting it’s actual meaning. I love how feminists are empowering each other now more than ever, bringing out many strong women into this male driven world. However, I think many people can really use the original definition of the word which is fighting for women’s rights and equality.
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. ” … feminists wanted women to finally be able to think freely, act freely, do what they want to and when they want to do it… ” the feminist movement over the past decades has brought across the impression that modern women have to think and act like men in order to be worth something. I don’t have children, I am actually in the middle of working life and trying to get my second documentary film financed and finished, BUT: I don’t do it the “male way”. I do not spend 14 hours a day now pushing for that. I actually love looking at the sun, the falling leaves… at things around me and being grateful for how wonderful the world is.
    I believe nurturing our surroundings and realizing what’s going on around us is a true “female quality”. To focus on things is a rather “male quality”. Now the beautiful thing is that everyone has both parts in themselves, as we know. You can call it, balancing your yin and yang…. there are so many names and expressions for it. What I am trying to say is: even though I am not a mom (yet 😉 ) I LOVE giving room to my being a WOMAN. That doesn’t mean dressing up sexy and wearing stilettos to feel pretty (even though it’s fun to do sometimes). Female qualities include so many things today that just aren’t appreciated enough in our society yet, but then again, how can we expect it to be that way if we women constantly try to function in the competitive business world, being scared shitless that “emotional weakness” for example will not get us anywhere out there. Heck, I cry, if something touches me, it releases all that tension inside and makes it possible for my energy to run free again. It actually makes me feel strong. Oh, it has not always been that way, but I couldn’t help it! And realizing how powerful this as well as so many other typical female things are, I hope that I am developing more and more courage to just be the woman I know I am.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Real Neat | A Momma's View

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s