Gender and gender equality is an area that I have been interested in for a while now. Usually, I am studying and writing about it in the context of sport, but I feel so strongly about these views so I wanted to share them.
Gender equality is an interesting concept. First and foremost, I believe that everyone deserves equal opportunities, regardless of their sex or gender. This is just common sense and decency in my opinion. Doing this however accompanies a range of things and it makes me wonder, are people picking and choosing what they want gender equality to be? Is it not that simple to be equal in all aspects of life? Not just what is convenient…
There are areas people feel strongly passionate about such as equal pay and fair job opportunities. This makes me think that we are onto something, and are capable of great change towards fairer opportunities. But then I see the selfish and one-sided mind of others… The main thing I am talking about is those women who do not pay for meals or dates because “a real man should pay”. This is lazy and selfish if you ask me. This is no good reason to bail out on paying and is very hypocritical if you are preaching equality. Nothing is stopping you from contributing except these old fashioned stereotypes that you have held onto.
Gender stereotypes like this are not just evident in potentially toxic dates or new relationships but also in ‘healthy’ long-lasting marriages. You know the ‘traditional’ stay at home wife who cooks and cleans whilst the husband goes to work. It is so dangerously normalized from history, that it is baffling and scary. When will we truly move on from this historical perspective? I welcome people who challenge these stereotypes. I have the utmost respect for say a man who can become a ‘stay at home husband’ to raise his child. Also maybe he has to do this because his job earns less than his wife. It is time to destroy that toxic masculinity where men believe they need these traditional values or to earn more money.
Working together 50/50 as a couple can be much more rewarding. This can apply for any pairing of man or woman though, for instance in friendships. In any two people, the roles can be shared just as easily, for instance, the man serving his wife a lovely dinner, or a female friend coming over to perform physical labour.
Why should gender have anything to do with what we want to achieve? Anyone is possible of anything. Sometimes what we want to do it is for ourselves and to become a stronger person and that is great. Other times we must cooperate together as men and women to balance the workload fairly. That is also great. What is not great is living with outdated and questionable historical views. Time is moving on, do not live in the past.