What do you think of a more gender neutral world?
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Julie - posted on 06/18/2012
Your title question does not match your written question. I would like to address the latter, "being paid, and treated equally" as a female.
Yes. It would be great, it can happen and does happen in many situations. I personally make more than most men in my career, but it is a female dominate field. You are right, the scale if definitely still slanted. However, we as Women can play a huge part in making the change. As a mother of two boys, I realize the education starts in the home. I am the first example of a female role model in there life. It is my job to teach them how to treat me with respect, to know I have a life outside of the home. to understand I am independent in mind and body. All in a caring and loving motherly way. They know I am educated, and contribute financially to the household as well.
My husband is the other example to my boys on how to treat a woman. He gives me respect, he allows me my independence and freedom of choice (I would not have married him otherwise). We work together as a team to show our boys that equal partnership makes a happy couple. It also shows them that if anything happened (god forbid) I am able to take care of myself, and them as well.
What women can currently do is be proactive about their wages. Find out what the men make in comparison, request more money and list reasons why you deserve an increase in salary. Find places that are paying better, and quote job opportunities elsewhere if not satisfied and see what happens. Many bosses, will step up before losing a good employee. We also need to find our voice and express how we want to be treated. If we sit and "accept" what is obviously sexist, then we continue the cycle. Education is the key to change, ignorance is bliss...
Stifler's - posted on 05/29/2012
I agree with Denikka. I'm for equality but we should still embrace being a woman/man. my kids have many "gender neutral" toys. I don't see how toys have gender either really. My son loves his pram and pushing his monkey and teddies and doll around , big deal. Renae plays with trucks too. I'm not going to make Logan wear pink or only buy him what are considered "girl toys" or only wooden blocks just in case he is too masculine.
Denikka - posted on 05/28/2012
I still don't see why having things that are traditionally for one gender or another is a bad thing. I'm not saying that it HAS to be for one gender or another, but as a general thing. Guys can wear pink, girls can wear blue. But when choosing a color to represent a gender, pink is for girls and blue is for boys. Just like on the bathrooms, a stick figure represents boys and a stick figure in a skirt represents girls.
In a gender neutral world, and I've been seeing it a lot lately, it's frowned upon to be too feminine or too masculine. I do agree that you are a person first, which is why I'm FOR equality. But neutrality just seems to strip people of certain things that make them themselves. It seems like a very slippery slope of conformity. If it really takes off, if people really get onto the bandwagon of gender neutrality, I can see terrible things happening. Even down to basic biology. We are not physically equal. Men get to pee standing up, women get to give birth. There are devices now that can allow a woman to comfortably pee standing up. How far is it going to go? There are already men out there who are actively trying to breastfeed/lactate for their children. Are they going to be jealous of pregnancy too? Is science going to have to find a way to allow men to carry the fetus? Or is physical pregnancy going to become *out dated* and obsolete all together??
Men and women will never be the same. And the shouldn't be. I agree that a lot of the notions about gender roles or things that are more traditionally for one gender or the other IS due to society. Different countries have different social structures. It's always been that way.
I will admit that using *sensitivity* as a female example was not the best choice. I was drawing a blank at the time and that's all I could think of. Perhaps a better example would be that women (in general) are better at multitasking. Or something of that nature. The point remains.
As for looking at other countries that are more gender neutral; you specifically mention that the experience for WOMEN rates much higher than America. But what about the men and the children? If neutrality is what we're going for, then EVERYONE has exactly the same importance.
To me, it frequently seems as though many of those (not all, but many I have read about) are women who are using the neutrality thing as a power grab for women. It is always the unfair/unequal treatment of women that I read about that has spurred it on. While I can appreciate the facts that in many cases women ARE treated differently, and frequently as lesser persons, by your own stance, you (general you) should be fighting just as hard to make men equal to women as making women equal to men. It seems to me that fighting only for women to be equal to men, you're (general you) saying that men ARE higher on the totem pole and that women's traditional roles are less important.
Women in men's roles are much more accepted than the opposite. A girl can wear pants and that's absolutely fine. But a man wearing a skirt is just weird. A mother out working is fine, but a dad staying at home to watch the kids and have tea parties is strange.
I still say EQUALITY is more important than neutrality. Neutrality strips the importance from things that only a certain type of person does. Ethnic neutrality would strip everyone of celebrating their culture. Would create a world where everyone was the same skin color, same eye color, same hair color. Religious neutrality would have every religion stripped from the face of the planet. Equality CELEBRATES the differences. It doesn't say that a person from Chicago has to be exactly the same as a person from Africa. It doesn't say that everyone needs to believe the same things. It says that both are important in different ways. But that one is not more important than the other.
Neutrality strips diversity from the world. It creates cookie cutter molds. That's why I'm against neutrality. It takes the flavor out of life. Diversity is what makes the world what it is. We are created EQUAL. Not the SAME. There in lies the difference.
Lisa - posted on 05/28/2012
Except that is cultural denikka. You go to shops in paris or rome and it is common to see men working in lingerie stores. We fail to remember that Americans by world standards are quite prudish. That has nothing to do with a certain gender being more tailored for the job as it has to do with hangups of the people getting the lingerie. As for your second part yes i think so since you essentially give them the idea from birth that pink is for girls blue is for boys. You should always give the option, but you would be amazed on how your choices for your children will affect them growing up. My friend has 3 children raised gender neutral and her son wears pink tutus, plays with cars, and likes playing house. His one sister enjoys playing in the mud,wearing no dresses, and helping her uncle fix things. The other sister is a blend of the 2. I was raised this way as well, and i love pink, hate dresses, hate chick flicks, and like playing rough and tumble. There should be no set what society defines to make you a women but it should be self definition.
Your last point hit what the gender neutral movement is about which is smashing gender stereotypes. A man playing with pink makes him no less a man, yet it is common to say so. The same can be said for a women who enjoys getting. Gender should not be defined by what you yourself like you are correct. Meaning just that you can't define one's gender by a societal notions on what makes one male or female. You are correct we are different but that also means we tackle the same tasks at different angles. I disagree with the nothing women being more sensitive makes them better for certain jobs because i have not ever seen that in action. The physical aspect you can't always overcome, but again how many jobs around even require that? And then even still are the physical aspects needed or like with firefighting and archaic testing procedures something that has little to do with the actual job?
My last point is to look at the countries with the most gender neutral lifestyles in regards to lifestyle, and you will see the experience of women in those countries rates much higher than america. So for me that is telling that as usual we do things ass backwards in this country.
Denikka - posted on 05/28/2012
Lisa, I mentioned the lingerie store not because of fashion sense, but because of what the job entails. Can you imagine going in to a store that has exclusively male employees (because they were better qualified) and going in for a measurement or something like that. Many women would not be comfortable having a male being in that close, physical proximity. It would be more comfortably for them to be measured by another woman.
It can also be embarrassing for a woman to go and talk to a man about sensitive matters. I know I hate even taking hubby with me when I go bra shopping or whatever. I can't imagine how awkward it would be to go in to a store, see a bunch of cute guys and have to make eye contact while buying a lacy thong or whatever XD It's just that, when sensitive matters are involved, women are more comfortable with women and men CAN be more comfortable with men.
And I for one am okay with that.
I absolutely think that you can have equality without neutrality. I have been seeing it more often that being girly or being masculine is frowned upon. I was never given the option to be *girly* and wear pink and wear dresses, even though I wanted to. My daughter is now just over a year old. I enjoy dressing her in pink. And some of the looks and comment that I have gotten because of it. That I'm *forcing her to conform* and *training her to be a good little stay at home house wifey*. She doesn't have an opinion on her clothes yet. I dress her in what *I* like. Why is that bad? Same with my son. Only he's old enough to have an opinion. He likes sports and cars and blue. He is very *boyish*. I've have negative comments on that also. But she likes to play with cars and he likes to play with dolls.
You can enjoy your gender, you can express it in a positive way, without getting caught up in the *one is better than the other* kind of crap. There are always going to be jobs that are dominated by one gender or the other. It should be okay. Many women lack the physical ability to do certain things. Many men lack the sensitivity to do certain jobs. There are differences! Men and women are built differently (more than just a difference in genitals), we THINK differently. There is a different make up in our brains. And that should be understood and that should be okay.
It's not across the board. No one can say that every man is this way or that every woman is that way. Hell, not every man is born with a penis and not every woman is born with a uterus. Nothing is across the board.
Neutrality doesn't mean equality. It means that everyone must conform to exactly the same standards. That everyone must be exactly the same. And that's not possible, and not fair.
We used to encourage differences. What happened to that?
Gender shouldn't define what you can and cannot like. A masculine man shouldn't feel embarrassed to like pink or to enjoy playing princesses with his daughter (or son). A woman should be able to like pink and enjoy working on engines. Likes and dislikes should have NO connection to gender at all. Everyone has their own role in life, and even though it's DIFFERENT, it's just as important.
A stay at home mom is just as important, is equal to a working mother. Both are just as important as a man who works. All three are equal to a stay at home dad. Equal, but different.
Lisa - posted on 05/28/2012
Katherine i think there should be equal pay for equal work, but there still is a good old boy system in many jobs that reward men more than women. Of course you get the standard arguments it's because women have children and are more likely to take off. But that's just industry bs considering many jobs have little to no maternity time, and that would no effect long term pay raises. Esp considering having 1- 2chrildren is the norm amount native born Americans, and college educated immigrants.
Lisa - posted on 05/28/2012
Denika the only jobs that are like that are jobs in which physically it might be difficult for a woman to achieve. And lets face it those jobs are few and far between in today's day and age. A lingerie store is like that because most we have have preconceptions that women should work in women's shops, and men in men's, not because one is better at it than the other. Believe me most people are not all that fashionably inclined women or men. Plenty of women are pretty horrible at picking out lingerie, and plenty of guys can pick out the cutest things like nobodies business.
Lisa - posted on 05/28/2012
Yes because there are no reason for gender roles whatsoever. People should be able to determine what they like in life and not be shunned for it. You can't have equality without neutrality i'm sorry. Teaching little girls and boys they are defined by their gender just enforces that certain roles are okay for one and not the other. That doesn't mean your child might not grow up to be more feminine or masculine, just that you should not define it yourself. I think often people are confused as to what gender neutral means in society. Gender neutral does not mean one can not be girlish or more boyish. Just that there should be no definition for them and requirement only one sex be like that.
For example if your son is straight as an arrow but is a tad feminine likes pink, and enjoys fashion he should not be chastised for not fitting into a box. Neither should your daughter be so by being told she is not girly enough because she enjoys fixing cars. You should just be labled as a person simply, and not be told one thing is for one sex and one this is for another.
Thankfully things are getting better for women impart because we are becoming more gender neutral. No longer is it abnormal for women to be the bread winners, or men to be SAHD. The idea of men and women coming home and the man not helping out in the house is not being embraced anymore. As we transition from that you will see the experience for women get better and better.
Jayce - posted on 05/27/2012
Definately same pay for same work but like Denikka said not all people are qualified to do a job. I'm all for female firefighters, as long as they can lift the required weight. I'm all for male nurses, as long as they don't lear at my female bits. Hiring certain genders, races etc. just to keep a certain ratio isn't equality. Hiring the best person for the job is.
Denikka - posted on 05/27/2012
Agreed with Nutmeg. As I mentioned in my post, gender should never keep you from doing what you want to do. And equality should be across the board. Not that you should have to have a 50/50 ratio of men and women in a workplace for example, but that if you are capable of doing a job and are best qualified, you should be hired, regardless of gender.
On the flip side of that, you should NOT be hired just to keep a certain equality in the workplace. It should be based on skill and ability alone and have nothing to do with gender.
That being said, there are some jobs that ARE pretty gender specific and for a good reason. Like working in a lingerie store is pretty much exclusive to women. That's reasonable in my eyes.
Denikka - posted on 05/26/2012
Gender neutral, I am totally not for. I believe that boys should be able to be boys and girls should be able to be girls. I'm just not comfortable with an androgynous world.
That being said, I am ALL FOR gender equality. Gender should never stop you from doing what you want.
Equality, is a huge resounding YES!!!!
Neutrality, not so much.