I hate it when people assume or imply that a women cannot or are unable to do the same thing as men. I hate that gender pay difference is a real thing. I hate that women are deemed as second best. I hate that this is still a phallocentric world.

Since doing and almost completing my dissertation, I’ve read up on a lot of feminist theories, feminist arguments, feminist articles as my dissertation is on Morals and Women in Fairy Tales. My research has only made me aware of the gender divide that still exists today and I am now really interested in it, more so than I ever would’ve thought! It’s stopped me from being so uninformed to big issues within gender and feminism and made me ask questions. For my dissertation, I studied fairy tales from the 19th century, and some of the anti-feminist arguments in those tales are still applicable in today’s society, which is crazy because you’d think people’s attitude towards women would’ve changed.

In Fairy Tales, women are put into the role of the domestic goddess whether they choose to  be or not. That is their destiny. I personally think that in today’s world, choosing to be a housewife is not really an option anymore. With the economy poor and house prices and general necessities on the rise quicker than salaries, it’s hard to be oblivious to the struggles we face today and just expect someone else to look after you. As a result, the number of girls choosing to go to university is on the increase because they know they need to be educated well and have a career of their own. However, my friend at university was talking to this boy about future plans after graduation and how she didn’t know what she wanted to do. He didn’t either but he said to her, “If you can’t find a job, at least you have a back up plan. You can just become a housewife.” I just don’t understand how people in today’s 21st century still have this backwards mentality towards women. If she has the option of being a housewife, why doesn’t he have the choice of being a househusband? Why is it okay for a women to be unemployed as a housewife, but when roles reverse, it’s a definite no for men.

When it comes to sports, people think that men and women should be divided and never play against each other. I mean, I understand that physically, men are a lot bigger than women and playing a sport like rugby in mixed teams would be difficult and dangerous. But, when I was a school, Sports Day was one of my favourite days in the school year. I was a pretty good 100m sprinter and I did in fact win every year. But I would be so frustrated with Sports Day, because girls in particular would never try. By the time we got to Year 11, Sports Day was literally just the sporty people trying and everyone else lounging in a field for a couple of hours. When myself and the other girls lined up at the start line for the 100m race, the girls would say they were competing for second place because they “knew Jess was going to win.” Of course, I was flattered that they consistently thought I would win year in, year out, but I wanted them to try, I wanted some competition, I wanted to be challenged. I wanted the race to be interesting not only for myself, but my peers and spectators. I know it’s not fun watching a race or a competition where you pretty much know who was going to win, so I wanted people to try and create a race where people were like “Ooooh, that was close!” There’s no point entering a competition if people were only half-assing it. I would reply, “You never know, I might not win this year!” but it didn’t help. When I asked to compete against the boys, I wasn’t allowed. They said it was unfair on me. I might not have come first, but I would’ve outrun a good majority of them.

Also, when I was having stitches put in on my hand, (it never occurred to me whilst I was sitting in hospital because I was in pain lol), but I had to have this massive injection put into my hand to numb it. The Doctor said that it was gonna hurt, which he wasn’t lying about lol. But then he was like, “Oh you’re doing really well, you’re not crying. You’re doing better than a lot of men. Some of them cried.” It’s shocking because:
A) He assumed I would cry because I was a girl.
B) He assumed I would cry because men had cried before me
C) That he would even compare a man and a woman’s emotions.
I know he was probably trying to make me feel better, but I think that’s so sexist. I don’t think pain tolerance is based on gender – I mean, I could be wrong because I don’t really know the science behind all this, but I’d like to think that I can just about handle as much pain as many men. I think equally, by telling me a man cried, although I don’t know the man who did cry (or if there even is a man that cried, this could be all lies), implies that when a man cries, that he is a weak and girly. Why is crying associated to girls and why is crying associated to weak? Is a man not allowed to show emotion because he is sad or in pain? In order to be strong, why do we have to “Man Up” but when we are seen as weak, we are a “bunch of girls”?

My vision for the future is that I hope that this conversation for gender equality, for equal opportunities and equal pay become a thing of the past. A place where the thought of women being comparable to a man is no longer a shocking opinion. Where we no longer need to called ourselves feminist because the views of feminists become the norm. Entering the working world, I want to enter a work place where I am seen as an equal to my male peers. Where the salary I earn reflects on my ability to do my job, not my gender. Where I can get any job I want and am not disregarded simply because I am a woman. In relation to today being International Women’s Day, I wanted to write this post to inspire people that women are capable beings. The argument and the push for gender equality is relevant every single day. Today, appreciate all the women around you and help society to move a step closer in improving the world, not just women, but for everyone.

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If you have an extra five minutes spare, please take a look at my articles for Bright Shiny News ➵ http://www.brightshinynews.com/author/jessicalam


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