when your dash is dead…
the tumblrweed rolls past right? Is that what everyone else calls it?
Cos if not, I am very disappointed in ALL of you.
Dishonour on you, dishonour on your cow, dishonour on your families…
I don’t care if it’s in your head or aloud.
Instead of blindly following, ask for reasons.
Rather than simply accepting something, be more curious.
Inquire about how something works instead of just using it.
Question what society claims to be “wrong” rather than agreeing and moving on.
Question this post, if that will get you to stop accepting and start wondering.
I’m bringing this up now because these “I need feminism because” things keep coming up on my dash and some of them are like “I need feminism because not enough women are in science” and “I need feminism because I don’t have a female lecturer.”
These posts act like feminism should somehow fix these issues.
All additional dogma and radfem nonsense aside, the basic original idea behind feminism is simply that women should be equal to men. This is obviously a good thing as I’m sure we all agree. But there are two methods of achieving equality.
First of all there is equality of opportunity. An example of this would be a company having a job available and treating male and female applicants exactly the same. Gender would not even come into the decision for who gets the job, it would be based purely on skill. In this example, an equally skilled man and woman have the same chance of getting this hypothetical job.
The alternative method is called equality of outcome. An example of this would be a company having a job opening which only accepts women applicants in an attempt to increase the total number of women in the workforce. In this example, a male applicant wouldn’t even be considered for the job.
Right now, in our society, we already have equality of opportunity. So, by law, you cannot be rejected from a job because of your gender. This is pretty much the case throughout the first world.
Some companies, however, have listened to modern day third wave feminists and have taken it upon themselves to enforce equality of outcome policies. What this means is they really do have jobs which only women can apply for. This trend has especially become popular within “STEM” fields (basically science and technology) to appease these feminists.
However, as you may already be thinking right now, policies aimed at equality of outcome must be sexist by their very nature. Think of it like this. If a company said outright it would only hire men for certain positions, there would be a complete outrage. And rightly so. Because that would be very sexist. Yet the opposite is seen as justifiable. Of course, the defence for this is equality of outcome itself. In other words, it’s a sexist policy which is paradoxically aiming to kill sexism.
But why is this considered an issue of sexism in the first place?
Consider my points so far. We currently do have equality of opportunity. So if a woman worked to become qualified as a scientist, or a programmer, or an engineer, or something else along those lines, she could do so and have just as much chance of gaining employment for those jobs as any equally qualified male.
So if the gender proportions are still skewed even though this has been the case for quite a while now, doesn’t that simply suggest that fewer women are interested in those fields? This is something some feminists will argue with too, because they will suggest that men and women are the same and the only difference is in socialisation. This is simply untrue. There are proven differences in the way male and female brains function. Does this mean either gender is “superior” to the other? No, not at all. I strictly believe in equality. But what it does mean is that male brains and female brains are optimised for different tasks and they will therefore likely gravitate towards different interests. This is not of course to say that no women are interested in science, because that is also false, but statistically speaking, fewer women gravitate towards that interest than men. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this whatsoever. You can have equal rights yet also have different areas of expertise. And if a woman does have an expertise in science and technology, equality of opportunity means they can pursue it.
Given this fact, it makes no sense to force women into entering industries they would not have otherwise picked for themselves. Isn’t the whole point of feminism to empower women to choose what they want to do, and not be made to feel pressured to do what society tells them? If that’s the case, why is it seen as okay that they’re being told they have to go to into certain fields to be feminist? And finally, men and women having the tendency to pick different types of jobs does not negatively impact equality at all. Difference does not equal inequality.
And likewise, it makes no sense to make it more difficult for men to go into industries they do choose in the name of feminism, because it’s meant to be about gender equality. If you limit the opportunities of one gender, how is that equality?
It’s my opinion, then, that equality of opportunity more accurately reflects not only a more workable model for society to base its ideals on, but a more accurate embodiment of what feminism was meant to be fighting for in the first place.
This is not to say modern day feminism does not have legitimate points. There are still parts of our society that are problematic - the issue of “slut shaming” is pretty shitty for instance - but in this particular case, I think feminism already achieved its goal when it ensured equality of opportunity, and complaints of low numbers of women in X industry actually work against gender equality.
So yeah. That’s that.
I don’t even know whether I would define myself as a feminist, but I am not good with ideologies anyway.
I am quite sure that there is more to the difference of the genders besides socialisation, on physiological, neurological etc level.
However, little boys and girls do not grow up in a vacuum, and so many things that only manifest themselves when children go to school and choose a profession and pursue a career are already kind of hampered by how they are “treated” when they are growing up. (Not a native English speaker here, but cannot find a better word at the moment than “treat”.)
There are so subtle ways of encouraging certain behaviours and discouraging others, and we all do that when we e.g. talk with children. More often than not boys are encouraged to be active and take initiative, and they are commended on what they do and accomplish. And girls get compliments on how they look, how well they behave, how they are, not what they do. (Definitely a generalisation, I admit freely.)
I read about a test once where teenagers’ mathematical skills where evaluated. It was a multiple choice questionnaire, and for each correct answer you got +1, for each incorrect one you got penalty of -0.2. There was also an option to answer “I don’t know” which gave you neither plus nor minus points.
The result gave the boys an edge in mathematical skills, they got better results than girls.
However, when they excluded the choice of “I don’t know” so that everybody had to answer something, the difference of skills disappeared - girls and boys had same level of ability.
A possible explanation for this is that girls are not willing to guess when they are not absolutely certain but when they are forced to do it, they perform as good as boys - in the actual subject.
Think of years and years of being convinced - very subtly, mind you - that your gender makes you somehow more suitable for this than that, and the idea is re-inforced by tests that can be skewed like described above.