If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. – John F. Kennedy
I read a short bio on Frederick Douglas today. He definitely did not choose the easy path of just taking his lumps. It reminds me that my struggle is hard, but nothing like what his must have been to fight for freedom and rights for both minorities and women during that time when to do so must have been terrifying and infuriating.
I feel beat down most days by my decision to fight for the rights of the impoverished in housing, but I come from a place of privilege, unlike Douglas. Isn’t it then my responsibility to do something with that??
I’m going to make a comment on the recent upsurge in the feminism movement that is probably not going to sit well with many.
I understand the feminism movement. I was raised to be a strong, intelligent and financially independent woman. I don’t think there is anything wrong with women doctors, CEO’s, engineers, or techies. I think all these things are wonderful. But why do we have to specifically mention that they are women?
It seems to me that all the new publicity around “women” CEO’s and tech start-ups is media soaked propaganda. It is juicy and “politically correct” and draws readers in droves.
Here is a novel idea: Education should start at home. ALL children should be reading and participating in their education. When they express interest in something they should be told to do some research. Look. It. Up. I feel that we take ownership for things in life when we are required to do the work.
They ask about Condoleezza Rice, Marie Curie, and Margaret Thatcher and WE as a society remind them those are women. This has the implicit underpinnings of “yes, they did good work for a woman”. Figures in politics or science should be regarded as role models or pioneers or whatever, regardless of gender. No one talks about “the first man” in politics or science as “the first man”. They are heralded strictly for their accomplishments not their accomplishments-in-light-of-gender.
By making a big deal out of gender, aren’t we in essence launching a platform of discouragement? It’s like saying, yes you can be a scientist, but it will be more difficult for you because you have a vagina. Will it be more difficult? Perhaps. But shouldn’t that be up to the young lady to decide on her own, rather than discouraging her from jump?
If a young lady says she wants to be an engineer, why do we have to specify that she can be a woman in engineering? The specificity in this statement is ridiculous. It creates and further defines the notion that it is an anomaly. It’s like a condescending pat on the head. It also short changes the young lady and her accomplishments. If women are truly to break through the barriers of male dominated industries we have to stop quantifying the issue and start looking at it for what it is. We, as women can do anything we want. It is society that has manufactured, and continued to perpetuate, the ideology that we cannot.