A lot of the time, while sitting at my desk waiting for the weekend to begin, I have streams of consciousness that manifest themselves into entire conversations with me and myself.
No, I am not crazy. I prefer to say that I am intellectually charged. That sounds... less crazy. These conversations usually consist of me wondering where did we, as a society, go wrong? I try to decipher the who, what, where, when, why, and how of situations that I, alone, cannot control the outcomes of. Let me give you the babbling brook of consciousness that flowed through my mind this morning.
Imagine how hard it is to get the job you really want. I'm talking really REALLY want. Imagine how difficult it is to earn the respect of your peers. You know, that respect that you, somehow, deserve because you showed up to work five minutes early, or stayed five minutes late. Can you picture being judged for what you wear, what your hair looks like, or how many sexual partners you have or have NOT had. You're either a slut or a prude. Seriously, you can't win. Right? It's obnoxious.
I'm so glad you agree. Remember that you agreed. Now, lets add a new layer here. Let's add another ingredient to this gumbo. Because you imagined all of those difficulties, I think you can handle this. Imagine you are a woman. You are experiencing all of the same things mentioned above. Congratulations. It just got exceedingly more difficult for you.
Want respect in the workplace? Work ten years in the same job with no promotion and smaller pay, and they'll think about it. Want that promotion? Accomplish that ten year grind, then beat out all of the fresh-out-of-college brosephs who want the same job you are clearly more qualified for (see Presidential Election of 2016). Want to look good for a night on the town? Be prepared to be harassed. You'll be called a multitude of names by the same people trying to sleep with you. If you refuse, you're a bitch. If you accept, you're a piece of meat and a floozy. I could make this even more difficult for you by suggesting you were a woman of color, or a woman of the Muslim faith, but I don't want to overwhelm you. This stream of consciousness lead me to answers that might surprise you... As if.
The who? Men. We must all take responsibility. We must accept that, for years, we have claimed to be the stronger of the two (there are more than two) genders. We teach our boys the same. Let's remedy that.
The what? The superiority complex that we, as men, have created and adapted to. I'm a firm believer that everyone is inherently good. This behavior is nurtured. Let's edit that nurturing.
The where? Everywhere. All around the globe. At home, the workplace, school, in pop-culture, in social media, in entertainment, in politics. Think of anything. It's there. Let's remedy that.
The when? Since the beginning of time when gender roles were established. They're unnecessary. They are incited every time a woman is put at a disadvantage. Let's remedy that.
The why? Because men want to stay on top. They want to be dominant. They don't want to show insecurity, emotion, weakness, femininity, sadness, pain, or love. We want to be made of stone. We want to by feared. Let's remedy that.
The how? Domestic abuse, rape, lower wages for equal work, higher expectations and standards, social degradation, political suffocation, do I need to go further? We marginalize women in every outlet for any reason at any given time.
Remedy these. We can change the course of history for a group of people, PEOPLE, who have walked through a minefield their entire existence. Their feeling of security is being stripped away by the second, and we have no more time to waste. Do better, and teach our boys to do the same. Prove that you are as strong as your manhood says you are, and fight for the gender that is, increasingly, stronger than us.
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