feminism

Unequal Terms

Unequal Terms.

Inequality: A small word with the potential for a big impact.

What does inequality mean to me?

Inequality is about fairness, honesty, and opportunity. It’s about comparing two unique people side by side and deciding that they are not valued the same. It’s about comparing differences and not being able to see the similarities. It can be about sports, life, work, love, gender, race, religion, and age. It can impact the way you are viewed and how you view others.

Sometimes it’s hard to be impartial but it’s harder to admit when you’re wrong about someone. Inequality stems from preconceived notions about a person. This can be anything from “he’s an athlete so it’s probably not that smart” to “a black woman wouldn’t be as capable in this job as a white man”. We need to look past the shells and see the person underneath. Are they smart? Are they capable? Are they nice? Are they a bad influence?

One of the biggest examples of inequality in my own life is about tattoos. Every day, I’m still shocked at how many people view body art with such negativity. Granted with those my own age, I am far less likely to experience this but I often feel the urge to cover up my tattoos when I attend “professional” events or even interviews. It’s a societal “norm” that makes me feel like I will be judged on how I appear rather than on what my resume or the words coming out of my mouth say about me. We’ve been making strides against this idea (the CIA even has a paragraph about how having a tattoo will not disqualify you from working there) but there are still some people who see tattoos as irresponsible, dangerous, or stupid.

Perhaps tattoos isn’t as bad as inequality for something like gender or race but you’d be surprised at how it can impact things. I have personally never felt inequality against me as a woman but maybe I just wasn’t keen enough to see the signs. Or have been fortunate enough to work with people who value equality as I do.

Every day should present us with new ways to make the change, to bring inequality to its knees and form a world that can see the differences and similarities without assigning value to them. They are pieces of data not knowledge about a person. How people look or what they believe in might shape their actions but then again, it might not.

Inequality in laws and in every day has been reduced significantly since the formation our nation but we’re not done. We need leaders who represent the general public in true ways and ones that will stand up and fight for us. We need more diversity in our government so that all the voices can be heard. We need to recognize our neighbors as people and our countrymen as allies. This fight belongs to everyone because equality is for all mankind not just for those who think they’re entitled to it.

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Favorite Position

Stumbled across this amazing article on Twitter today after following Lena Dunham. Lauren Conrad was asked on a live radio show what her favorite position was and she had an amazing response: CEO.

There are so many strong, badass women in the world and they deserve to be heard. Women have come so far in the last 100 years and we need to continue to grow and push to be seen and treated as equal. Whether its women’s health rights, equal pay, or job opportunities, our favorite position should be whatever we want it to be, not what society or anyone else tells us it can be.

So here’s my favorite position. What’s yours?

fav position

Feminism

Before you read the title and turn away, I want you to know that I’m not going to rant about the perks or benefits of being a “feminist” or rather what most people consider to be “feminism”.

No. Instead, I want to draw your attention to a curious phenomenon that I see happening in ever-increasing amounts. I have met in the last oh, 5 years or so, some extremely remarkable men and women. By remarkable, I mean to call attention not only to their financial success but their goodness of heart, morals, and family principles. One interesting thing that I have witnessed in the last 2 years is the number of powerful or influential women who are the sole or main provider for their families.

Why is this interesting? Well besides the obvious role reversal, I think it’s fascinating that some women are still claiming to be “feminist” when the social order is showing an decreased need for this behavior. Some philosophies of Feminism hold that equality and the break out of gender or racial roles should apply to women AND men, which I find to be more reasonable. And isn’t the fact that in many households of my acquaintance that the woman makes more money than her husband or is the only source of income while he is a stay at home dad proof enough that equality has become more widespread than we realized?

I’m not saying we should stop fighting for equal rights on any front. I just think it’s important to recognize progress when it is being made. And that we shouldn’t simply continue to fight and say that little has been gained. The last century has been one of extreme change and I think the more we notice our results, the happier we will be. Gender roles shouldn’t define us.

Although isn’t it ironic that we are fighting to break out of gender roles in the workplace and yet socially, we adhere to “perfecting” our bodies to suit a stereotypical image that is based on women and men who are literally PAID to look good?

 

Note: This post was prompted by an article I read on Buzzfeed (Love you all over there!) http://www.buzzfeed.com/krystieyandoli/confessions-that-prove-being-a-feminist-is-a-complicated