When I was still in high school, my English teacher often made feminist remarks such as “You don’t know ….” I never really understood what she was on about and honestly didn’t really care much. Maybe it was because I went to an all-boys school and did not get sufficient feminine social interaction once my balls had dropped.
Fast-forward a few years and I had an inkling of what she was on about. College life had introduced me to more girls than all my teenage years before it. I did start to notice how females were seen as incapable of doing “male” tasks – I was studying engineering after all so there was a lot of this.
And often, this was done implicitly. For example, tutors marking a girl more leniently than they would a guy. Whilst this might seem like good fortune, it could also be compared to being nicer to someone because they are handicapped. An example was during one of my first drawing classes – I noticed that the tutor was being stricter to me than he was to another girl. So I took the girl’s drawing (which had been okayed), covered her name, and showed it to the male tutor who promptly told me that it was shit – until I uncovered the name. The tutor shrugged sheepishly and avoided us from that day onwards.
The above example is much more serious than it sounds. The male tutor in question had a preconceived notion that females are not that good at drawing, and was being more lenient to them as he thought that there was not that much point in girls learning drawing anyway. But what if he was a manager? He would be the manager who would give his female employees menial work, far below their capabilities. He would be the manager who would never allow his female employee to reach her potential. And by behaving like this, he would just perpetuate the cycle of female underestimation.
Another issue is how guys sexually objective women. I only kind of realised what this means when I started talking to women instead of wanking to pictures of pretty ones. For a bunch of guys, banter in a sexually suggestive way is what we are used to. The issue is that we do not realise what effect this has on women – it is not just a “joke” to them as rape is a reality that women are actually terrified about and reminded of every day. Contrast this to an average guy who only starts thinking about sexual assault when he gets a prison sentence. There is also the other case with guys who watch too much porn and think that all women are receptacles for their dicks – but as I said, that is another case where there is not much else I can say.
So females definitely have a reason to feel aggrieved by their gender rights. And I am basing this in the 21st century where everyone has rights to vote and all that jazz. But there is also the issue with women wanting their bread buttered on both sides: “Men should treat me equally at work, but then they should also open the door for me.” To me, if you want the door opened for you, fine. But then you are also acknowledging that you are less capable than me (you can’t open the damn door). Don’t expect me to take you seriously in the workplace, and I seriously don’t mind if you go to the kitchen instead. Having a man earning all the money is the easy way out, just as it is to get someone to open the door for you. Success in your career is hard.
The problem with the above view is that it also gives women less room to show their femininity. To many guys, complaining about the smell in a room is often viewed along the same lines as not being able to open a door. I guess this just needs more tolerance on the male’s part, and perhaps it will slowly evolve.
All-in-all, the concept of all this feminist stuff is something that I only started understanding pretty late on in my life. Male-dominance in the workplace makes it harder for women to be mediocre than men. Yes, I mean mediocre because the most brilliant individuals will always make it past these obstacles. And as a typical male, I would really like to sneer at all those “mediocre” individuals and proclaim how I am part of the elite 1% of society. The problem is, I am not. And it is easier for me to be mediocre.