If Society Really Wanted Gender Equality….

Let’s face it… all the gender equality policies and so-called affirmative actions are just not working. In many firms, men still get paid more than women, and in many professions, women are still under-represented even though there is a considerable number of qualified female candidates in the market. It doesn’t help that the question “how do you balance your family and your career?” is only directed at women, like we are the only ones responsible for keeping the family together. People ascribe this question to society’s well-defined, albeit unfair and unbalanced gender roles in the family. People say feminism is just a movement initiated by women who can’t get laid, and have a certain penis envy. Well, I don’t about a latent penis envy or sexual frustration, but I do know that feminism is a much needed movement.

These days companies pride themselves in the fact that they employ more women; but the truth is many of these women eventually feel the need to abandon, or should I rather say suspend their careers once they start to have children. The emotional blackmail line used by their spouses, whose mothers had careers by the way, is “why would you let a stranger raise your children?” Of course, as a woman, you want to be selfless because that’s the ideal society preaches. Women must give all, lose themselves and give up their lives for others. Hilarious right? Well it is to me because it is so wrong. Being a super mom is by no means a gender role. It should not be exerted by blackmail from society or spouses, and it should not be expected from any spouse. You should aim to be your super self, and your super self can be found in your happy self. I digress; back to the point

Let’s think about affirmative action for females for a minute; many women who have careers are not expected to be able to run the dreams of having a family and a career simultaneously. You have to choose one! Be a top executive and  lose out on all your chances of having a family, or have a family and let your career take the back seat. The former is the case of many female executives I’ve met, and the latter is the story of every potentially bright housewife who sits at home to cater to her husband and children, all the while looking out the window, hoping for a break into the world of adults. Where’s the middle ground?

If society and all these companies who claim to have affirmative action really wanted gender equality, then they would go beyond making policies that favour women, while setting impossible standards these women can’t meet. In many homes, women are the primary care givers, and even when they have help, they still need to put in extra hours on the home front especially when they have young children. So what if companies chose to erect their own day care centres for new mums? It is a possibility right? Richard Branson just set the stage for equality by granting fathers paternity leave. So what if women could go to work, and be asssured that their children are in good hands, and just a few metres away? What if new mothers could return from maternity leave, and have the chance to take their babies to work with them everyday, leave them at the company’s day care centre, visit them only during lunch hours and go home with them at the end of the day? Wouldn’t that be a great way to indeed embrace female empowerment? Wouldn’t that be a middle ground between career and family by giving women a chance to be close enough to their children everyday? Of course they’d have to pay for the service, but they’d be more at peace knowing that their children are being cared for by the best reputable personnel the company can find.

This is just a random musing I’ve had in mind for a while, and wondered why no one has ever thought to put such a measure in place. It’s a wild thought and can be modified.

Many career-driven mothers are made to feel guilty for being away from their children during the day. They are made to feel guilty for even leaving their children with nannies who by the way could be mentally perturbed, cruel, kidnappers or whatever other horror story quality you can think of. Young women who are starting out are even made to feel guilty by young men. Questions like “who should our child go to when he’s hungry if you’re at work?” is a resounding question. It is an irritating one too, but not as irritating as the question “will our children be able to refer to you as ‘sweet mother’ if you’re always at work, and they’re asleep by the time you arrive home?” Don’t get me started on why this is nonsense, so I’ll just get back to the core matter.

If society truly wants women to enjoy the so-called gender equality actions, then society needs to operate with a gender-balanced manual. Many of the world’s platforms are still operated on male terms, and women are expected to mould themselves to these terms. It’s like trying to test the strength of a fish against that of a monkey by checking which one of them can successful climb a tree. Almost impossible for the fish to meet up, and if hypothetically the fish does meet up, it will be labelled as weird, “too strong”, “too monkey-ish” and all the other ironically derogatory terms designed to belittle the fish’s success.

If society truly wanted gender equality, society will let women be women in the workplace and give them the opportunity to enjoy their feminism. Just my random thoughts… share your wild implementable ideas and let’s have fun with this! XOXO