Happy (belated) International Women’s Day to you all!
I couldn’t let such an important day pass by, even if it meant publishing this post late. This will be another discussion post in which I encourage you to participate – whether it’s by commenting or publishing your own post. This will be quite a long and rambling post (excuse me!), but I highly encourage you to read all the post if you can, and comment your thoughts on it.
As a female millennial, I feel that this is the generation where we can make drastic change in our global perspective of gender parity issues. Basically, this whole feminist movement started as a march of protest against all the years and history of suffering that women have had to endure. The purpose of feminism was and is to speak out against the inequality subjected to women, not to make men pay, or any of the sort. It’s an issue that is so widespread that you can’t ignore it.
With third-wave feminism gaining more and more momentum now, this movement can often easily go off-track, and create more segregation instead of union between the two genders instead. Though the end goal of feminism is equality, the fact that it’s called feminism and equality creates so much misunderstanding and more anger, particularly for men (obviously). In theory, it’s a call to pay more attention to the human rights and treatment of women, after centuries of being oppressed under a male-dominated society. As a female, I do feel the changes that society has made to enable us, women, to feel more welcome in this society. However, sexism continues and will continue. Bigots who simply to refuse the reality of the advances of our society are always going to exist – and that’s inevitable.
But to what extent does that justify the radical behavior that women have gone to protest for their rights? Sometimes I wonder whether men are right at times – is our feminist movement for women and men, or has it become so that men now feel uninvited to this movement?
I have been reading about Affirmative Action, defined as “an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination.” I focused on racial discrimination in the US, such as the African Americans. I learned that the AA was originally established to compensate for the mistreatment and enslavement of black people throughout history. However, because it would be ‘racist’ if it only included them, the AA implement all other racial minorities into the action so they could benefit as well.
The AA was established in 1961, but I believe that it is now outdated. I’m not saying that there is no discrimination against black people and other minorities, but the AA has created an environment in schools and the workforce in which they are being favored (or, at times, pitied) for their race, instead of being assessed fairly for their abilities.
For instance, if a black individual gets a spot in a university, both his academic achievement and skin color are factors in the admissions process. But a white American or Asian American would need a more impressive CV to get the spot (because they would be competing against individuals in their own race, who are better off, in comparison to blacks). If the AA were taken away, though, very few black people would have had few opportunities, due to both discrimination and lack of resources to achieve so, not because they’re not capable. You see how complicated this issue is?
Now, going back to the feminist movement, doesn’t it arise from the same concept? To compensate for the mistreatment and denial of the rights of women? And if so, to what extent should this movement go until it has been ‘compensated’, and who gets to decide ‘when’ that is? As a female, I don’t want this movement to become a ‘pity’ movement, in which men become intimidated by the force of women and ‘let us’ win, without us necessarily having the merit and ability to do so.
Currently, I don’t feel as if I’m being pitied, and no women should ever have to feel like that either. But I also feel that if the feminist movement continues the way it is, it would become a misandrist movement instead. And we really don’t want that.
This is a comedy video that summarizes some of the things I’ve said perfectly: