Women are still not equal – REALLY!

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Ok, I know it’s the end of the semester and all, but did anyone happen to notice these cheery statistics provided by the U.N. on March 9, the day after International Women’s Day:

  • More than 1 million girls are “missing” at birth each year
  • 1 in 3 women worldwide has experienced sexual or physical violence
  • Every day 800 women die from largely preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth
  • 1 in 10 girls worldwide under the age of 18 was forced to have sex
  • 38% of women who are murdered are killed by their partners

Part of the “No Ceilings, Full Participation Report” sponsored by a number of international aid organizations, these statistics demonstrate that women around the world have still not achieved equality.

And this is why strong, powerful, ambitious, passionate, caring, dedicated men and women need to stand up and declare loudly and proudly that they are FEMINISTS. Folks, I hate to break it to you, and so close to commencement no less, but WOMEN ARE SILL NOT EQUAL in this world. If you actually think this, you are deluded: WAKE THE %$#@ UP!

Yes – I hear the naysayers, anti-feminists and “humanists” asking: “Where are the U.N. stats about violence against men?”

Violence is largely about POWER – it is an act perpetrated to demonstrate one’s power over another person. POWER involves inequality: someone stronger, someone weaker; someone better, someone less than. And violence against women seems OK to people because:

  1. We have been taught (still are?) that women are naturally weak, so exerting power over them is part of the way things work. It is not a big deal.
  2. The media continues to reinforce the notion that women are objects, not people; yes, as in lamps, paintings, ottomans, sculptures, wallpaper, OBJECTS meant to make our world “prettier,” not HUMANS who can actually feel pain if beaten, penetrated, kicked, insulted, harassed, catcalled. I am talking here about the pernicious messages sent by film, advertising, music videos, TV shows, and other forms of media that persist in relegating women to the role of objects and in representing women as nothing more than attractive scenery.

    DETAILSmagazine022009

    Details Magazine

The widespread violence against women around the world is proof that women are not thought of as equal, despite one Rioter’s claim that the wage gap is a myth. [Really, you want to tell me that my lower pay than a colleague hired at the same time with the same qualifications, doing the same job, is a figment of my imagination?! Check my bank account!]

Perhaps you are getting the sense that I am angry . . . yes, I am. Like some of my colleagues on RANDOLPH RIOT I am proud to express my anger and I agree with Diana Prince that if you are not angry (especially as a woman) then you are not paying attention – you are probably too caught up in final papers, exam preparation and senior theses. Have you read the U.N. Report?

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Photo: Juan Cevallos, AFP/Getty Images

 

Are you thinking that it can’t happen to you? Relieved you are living in Lynchburg, enrolled at Randolph College? Have you ever thought about the lives of human women around the world? Maybe you are studying here from somewhere outside of the U.S and you know about these events first- or second-hand. I am sorry that you had/have to live with/in fear. As a woman I empathize – fear is an emotion we all know too well. Fear and anger . . .

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Photo: RT Network

Now for a short digression about anger and how it can be productive. Noted philosopher Martha Nussbaum has offered us a way to think more deeply about this powerful emotion, which by the way, the Greeks thought quite highly of in terms of its ability to move people to action.

Nussbaum offers a schema that lays out three types of anger:

  1. Retributive anger which seeks punishment.
  2. Status-driven anger in which you want to elevate yourself and diminish others.
  3. Transformational anger whose goal is to transform society.

For me, as a FEMINIST I would like to own my TRANSFORMATIONAL anger and encourage more people to get angry enough to DO SOMETHING.  Anger here is a motivating force, an agitator, a poke in the behind that gets you up and active.

TRANSFORMATIONAL ANGER moves you to proclaim: “I’m angry at this injustice and let’s work together to change the world.”

So get angry and TAKE ACTION TO MAKE POSITIVE CHANGE – even if it seems like a small change to you – small changes add up to LOTS OF CHANGE and we can CHANGE THE WORLD TOGETHER and in the process remove the need for reports about violence against women. Really . . . think about it! FEMINISTS ROCK!

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8 thoughts on “Women are still not equal – REALLY!

  1. Feminists will never be “equal” – because its very definition states in-equality so it won’t matter if the whole world bends over backwards for them (Oh wait, it already is doing that) it still is not enough. Get angry; demand more, more, more – until everyone disposes their own individuality and liberty and sacrifices for the purpose of throwing one group above all others.

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    • Sir, if asking for someone to be paid equally for the same amount of work, to not be sexually harassed or raped, to not be abused, to not be murdered is considered “demanding,” then probably there would be no social changes happening at all in history and slaves would still be slaves. You are arguing based on the assumption that we’ve got to the state of equality, which we are not. When you said feminism is “throwing one group above all others,” which “others” are you talking about? How has feminism made you dispose your own individuality and liberty? Can you give me an example?

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      • “Paid equally for the same amount of work” – That’s not a sexist dream. That’s an “every person on the planet earth” dream ( a fantasy dream non-the-less ). You are demanding something that has been fantasy since the beginning of time by all humans and making it specifically for women. Its also funny how you’re inferring that sexual harassment, rape and murder charges are specifically exempt from acts on females when the largest population in prison for such offenses are males. I guess the judicial system didn’t get that memo you infer that states , “Illegal, Unless the act was perpetrated on a female.” amendment. Sorry to say; but logically looking at the statistics of that situation it would seem females are **overly** protected while men spend countless hours paying for some “offense” that females practice and get away with – well, all day long. I fail to see how specifically a male is to blame for remarks like “nice ass” while many females will openly and publicly announce the same towards a male. Where lies the offense about it anyways?? Its a bloody compliment.

        Examples? The article lays into the media about showing female buety (again where’s the offense?) and somehow lays a blind-eye to the recent yet staggering amount of episodes showing females belittling, making fun-of and all but destroying any mans respect. So I ask again; how can this be labelled “equal” when one side is complaining hysterically about being complimented while the other by all means is massively being humiliated?

        There is one answer; more, more, more. Thanks for complimenting my fine body now give me more intellectual compliments because if you don’t you’re sexist??? Oh wait no, I guess it just means harassment, rape and murder are legal for men but not for women? Not sure were that came from but its got to be something to do with equality. Yes that is sarcasm.

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    • Thank you for your spirited comments – dialogic exchange among thoughtful individuals is our goal on RR. In my post I suggested that all women should be treated equally, not just feminists. To clarify: the request is not for MORE, but for the chance to live a life free of violence and fear.

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      • Equal to what? Do we have laws in this country that say men can legally commit acts of violence but women cannot? That would infer that we have an imbalanced plethora of women in prison for committing acts of violence and men would be “getting away with it”? Does anyone truly believe women cannot be violent? Does anyone truly believe that men somehow don’t live in a world full of violence and fear while it’s so common to see them being the ridicule of jokes, in general labelled as rapists by the feminist movement, always held responsible for every act (prison-ed?) of which some are very questionable when involving the opposite sex. Being “equal” has nothing to do with claiming entitlement to a world of superior living and we ALL deal with violence and fear in the world.

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  2. hard to argue with facts, not sure how seem people are attempting to! You cannot just use laws to support equality, there is a lot not seen unless you look between the lines.

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