This is harder to write than I thought. My head says this topic is over-flogged. My heart disagrees.
Head: What do you think you are going to say that has not been said already?
Heart: Nothing. Really. But maybe I can help one more person look at things differently. Maybe I can help myself look at things differently.
Head: And that will achieve?
Heart: Nothing. But perhaps it will give someone hope. Perhaps it will help someone up.
Heart: By helping them see–
Head: See what
Heart: That gender equality is not something to be fought for.
Head( gasps and glares) : Tell me something.
Heart: That is what I am trying to do. I don’t see men fighting to be male or children fighting to be child-like. There is no inequality of genders. Why are we imagining one?
Humans are equal.
Genders are equal
Women, men, transgender, asexual, all are humans. All are equal
Head: How dare you say that? After all that the patriarchy has done to women?! Stopping them from voting, working, even driving? Just because they happened to possess a different set of genitals?
Heart: Yes, certain systems have oppressed women over the years but that does not change their worth. I am not less because I have been troubled or hunted or silenced or imprisoned. In fact, I am more.
No one bothers to oppress or repress what they are superior to.
When Caucasians oppressed and sold Africans, did that make us less than they were? I think not.
Oppression is not the basis of worth.
Head: But women can’t do the things men do. They can’t–
Heart: Pee in bottles?
Head: Not that, they can’t run as fast or jump as high or light as many kilograms.
Heart: Interesting. But neither can most men.
Or people with special needs.
Or people with injuries.
Does that make them less male? Or less human? If I took away some of your abilities would you become less human?
Are you a human being or a human doing?
Besides Serena Williams (and many other women) can run faster than many men, jump higher, lift more and earn more. Does that make her a Superman?
Head: Don’t be silly.
Heart: Silly? I am being reasonable, patient, tolerant and kind.
Head: How so?
Heart: I am painstakingly telling you things you have always known yet wilfully ignores just to make sure your wife serves you pounded yam every afternoon.
Head: Don’t you dare bring that up!
Head: Because that is what you F**** do. You disrupt homes, spin society on its head, dishonour authority. Be faraway from me!
Heart: Calm down. It is not that bad. Yes sometimes, we F****** overdo things. And sometimes we do them wrong. But those are mistakes not standards.
The standards are simple: let no human be discriminated against because of gender.
In fact, the standards are so universal we are planning a name change–
Head: A WHAT?!
Heart: A name change. Since F****** has become a taboo word, we formerly known as F****** now wish to be known and addressed as Humanists. (Broad smile)
Head(deep groan): How can you? Haven’t you caused enough trouble already? Must you create an anti- religion now?
Heart: Not really. The word has four meanings. Go with the fourth one.
Head: Which is?
Heart: marked by humanistic values and devotion to human welfare.
Head: That is confusing.
Heart: Yes it is. The entire spectrum of human oppression, sexism,racism, war, famine, and poverty is confusing.
But we can’t stop trying. We have to keep trying. Not to make sense of it, but to stop it. To contain it. To help free people that are suffering because of it.
We can’t look away and pretend it doesn’t exist. We can’t wish it away either. We must do what we can where we are to change the injustices we find around us.
Head: But what about families? What about wives? Would you have them disrespect their husbands? Or would you have women stay single? What is the way for these women empowering ideas to exist within the family structure?
Heart: It is easy. We’ll talk about that tomorrow. Dress up, It is time for work.
I hope you enjoyed the first part of the Gender Conversation. I hope to continue it tomorrow. So please share and come back to read the next part. Many thanks!