Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Equality and Empowerment

Currently, there is a movement going on empowering women to use ICT against violence. This is great. I'm all for it. Crimes of the violent nature are on the up and often the victims are women.

I've also read some blog posts and articles about feminism recently. A hot topic as always with many, many arguments.

Feminist activism's been around for ages but there are so many people who don't really know what it's about or even worse, feel threatened by it. And it's not just men who feel threatened by it.

From my observation, many times a woman's worst enemy is not a man. It is in fact other women. I remember when I was in college, some of my more emancipated girl friends and classmates complaint about their more conservative compatriots looking at them funny and telling them that they are not being "proper" or "ladylike".

I read arguments that men are to blame for this state of affairs. I'm not going to get into that today, too many different arguments involved here. All I can say is that I strongly disagree with this statement.

Yes, we do live in a male dominated society and yes there is more than can be done for equality. No, it's not always the fault of men. Rather, it's the fault of conservatism. Also, I believe that any man (and woman for that matter) who feel threatened by any kind of equality or empowerment movement feel that way because they are not able to see women as equal. People who feel like this usually don't have any close contact to people from the opposite sex.

This kind of separation doesn't help with understanding and empathy between men and women. I've said this before, I believe.

This is one reason why I don't quite agree with boys only or girls only hang out sessions for example. I think it's kind of sexist and divisive, if it's just for the sake of differentiating using gender. If one wants to hang out with one's friends because of shared interest and all those friends happen to be all men/women, then no problem there. If it's just because there are men/women, I think a rethink is in order there.

Why does one separate using gender? Is it justified? My personal opinion is no.

A common point to this question is the common,"There are things that guys/girls won't understand". Fair enough. But if we don't share thoughts with people of the opposite sex then how are men and women ever going to understand one another?

I don't agree with this exclusive knowledge for men only/women only thing. It doesn't help.

I think men and women need to share their issues with each other more or else true equality will never happen. In regard to violence against women, the issue is more of a societal one rather than a gender issue. It affects everyone, women and men both.

I must go soon, but there is one last thing I want to say after reading quite a lot of blame-throwing and mudslinging between some feminists and their detractors.

It's easy to appeared "empowered" by being bellicose and confrontational, but being confrontational isn't empowerment. It isn't the same thing.

Have a nice day!

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