Gender Equality: are we getting there yet?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Do you believe that man and women can ever be equal?

I am a Christian. I believe in creation. I believe God created the universe and formed man by His own image and breathed life into him. We call that man Adam.

Adam had everything... the skies, the seas, the plants and animals... everything submitted under his authority. He ruled the world; he had the power over every other creature... and yet, he was lonely. He needed somebody to share his life with; someone who can share his joys, sorrows and successes, someone his equal...

So God made him sleep and while he was lying unconscious, God took a part of his rib and formed a woman. The woman was beautiful and he fell in love with her. She fell inlove with him too! So God officiated the first wedding ceremony ever between Adam and Eve.

God and man had a special relationship;but man disobeyed God and so sin entered the world. As a result, Adam had to till the land and work hard to support his family, and Eve had to endure the pains of childbirth. In between the man and the woman, since thereon, had enmity and power struggle.

I've read somewhere that the woman was not taken from Adam's head... so he will not rule over him, not on his heels... so he won't put her under him... but God took a part of Adam, from his side... so that they will go together hand-in-hand.

There was a period during the patriarchal society when men treat their wives as slaves not as partners. Now, women are gaining more grounds in their role in the society. Women are now empowered, in fact, some men admit that women are powerful if they want to be.

Women can have jobs that were dominated by males in the earlier centuries or decades. In fact, Margaret Thatcher ruled United Kingdom for many years and the Philipine's current president is a woman.

Men are also actively participating in child rearing and parenthood in our modern society. Some even stay at home to care for the kids while the mother works. My father was my babysitter. He lost his job and ability to find another one when he had a vehicular accident that claimed his sense of hearing. He took care of me and played the supposed role of my mother. But, I think this is very difficult especially because it's against male pride.

In buses, women have their fair share of standing. Because men regard women as "equals" now, they don't offer their seats for ladies anymore. Although this is fine with me I would be greatly thankful if a gentleman would offer his seat for me. After all, women wear high heels and are physically weaker. But not in all sense. Women are emotionally strong and we thrive in different areas of life.

How about you, do you think men and women can ever be equal? Is it possible? Are we there yet?

Edit:

After getting Berry's reaction I've added this:

I think men and women are really different. Physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially. We have different strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes, it's hard to guess why the other sex is behaving differently against how we want them to be. Because we were designed and wired differently. If we have the same strengths and weaknesses, wouldn't it be boring? We wouldn't need each other for support... because we would be fine even without the other. Although yes, we can be independent and single... I still think that men and women were suppose to compliment each other in many ways.

So, let my rephrase my question... Do men and women have equal job opportunities these days or are there still discrimination issues? Do men and women have the same social, economic, spiritual and political rights especially in the area where you live?

Let me hear your thoughts.... and let's hope for equal recognition of our abilities.

Related Topics:
Men and their emotions, why are we so intrigued?
Love and other emotions that move us

25 comment(s):

Berryblitz said...

I think man and woman would never be equal in some ways. Man have strong points that a woman usually is not good at, and vice-versa.

"Generally" speaking, a man can be better at driving. Everybody knows that. Everyone speaks about it. The problem is, only thing we hear is "Man are better in ___".

We don't usually here "Woman are better in ___". I think woman are better at multi-tasking. Men are better on focusing in just one object or problem at a time. It's how the brain works.

Berryblitz said...

Men are stronger than women. So gentlemen, raise and offer your sit to the woman standing on the bus.

Women can multi-task. So ladies, try to give your man his time when he is watching his favorite TV show. He can't watch the TV show, listen carefully to what you are saying, and answering your questions all at the same time.

Just my point.

pchi said...
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pchi said...
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pchi said...

@Berry

that's well said!

I agree with you entirely. Men and women can never be equal in some sense. Physically for example, we acknowledge the fact that mean where designed to be stronger. But are women really the weaker sex?

I think we couldn't say that women are the weaker sex. Women go through pregnancy and labor... and it's not easy. Motherhood is also an entirely different thing.

That's right! Women are not strong physically but they are strong emotionally... Agree?

I think the ability to multi-task can be learned by men... it depends on personality

and women can be good at driving too!

Maybe I should paraphrase my question...

Can men and women be equal in job opportunities, social and political status?

pchi said...

@berry

Your point is right... I think we should recognize each others' good points and weak points...

I think we're designed and wired this way so we could appreciate each other... After all, if we have the ability to do the same things, we wouldn't realize how much better life is with another person!

That person will compliment us in many ways! And that's maybe the reason why men-women partnerships are good as well

Berryblitz said...

In job opportunities, I have been discriminated because I am female. I am a programmer, but with some luck, it always turns out that I am always better (80%) compare to all other co-programmers. The guys are even older than me.

But my managers and supervisors' first impression is, I'm the cutie baby type that does not know programming. And they thought that the guys are good. Actually, I think the guys (some of my officemates) are a flop on programming. Anyway, it's their first impression. But later on, they discovered who is the better one :p

Yabang ko noh. Well, it is true. And I hate situations like that. Pero I'm happy when I receive comments like "Talo mo si ___. Kalalaking tao tapos palpak magprogram"

ellumbra said...

It's difficult to know where to draw the baseline in approaching this subject. But I sense that to draw that line anywhere above the purely biological differences is to enter very contentious, unstable territory.
There are all sorts of "equal rights" issues which distort the image because of various psychological compensations, shifts in attitude resulting from those issues.
These issues certainly need to be addressed - then perhaps we can accept the natural, undenieable differences as simply that - differences.
Wonderful, enigmatic fascinations - the two polarities necessary for love to flow, for procreation to happen.
It is really far beyond a question of equality. They are both essential and should be viewed as mutually interdependent.

Why we allow differences of any kind to become a basis for value judgement needs to be addressed in many other areas also - such as race, creed, colour, status.
We must learn to accept variety, diversity as a gift of abundance - and not let our perceptions drift into becoming at all judgemental.

pchi said...

@Berry

OK lang magyabang noh, basta totoo!

In our case naman, kasi wala pa naman akong job experience with IT industry... haha and parang ayaw ko

my male friends were really good but not all of them

there were times nalalamangan ko din sila sa exams or mas mabilis ako natapos somehow

I think there are ready better than me, 'cause di naman ako masyado magaling talaga magcode, pero happy na ako na proud sila sa akin because natapos ko kahit gaano kahirap ang challenge

the other day, my buddy said...
"ako lang daw ang girl sa batch namin na nakatiis sa hirap" kaya nga daw kinonkonsider nila akong one of the boys kasi lumalaban ako kahit na alam kong mas lamang sila sa field na toh

pchi said...

I think you are a superwoman berry! hehe... go girl!

girl power

ewan ko ba... madami akong typo and unconscious errors

haha... never mind

pchi said...

@ellumbra

Thanks for that long comment

I actually got confused with your point. You explained it in a philosophical way that I couldn't grasp what you were trying to point out

anyway, you are right... we just have to respect and reconcile the differences and diversity of people regardless of gender

And I talked about discrimination issues on my post:

Confronting Life Issues Squarely

Gem said...

Agree with Berry. There will always be some things that are inherent to men - most of which relates to physical features.

Like Berry (and probably you) I faced discrimination. Working with a bunch of men is different. Men love competition.

I was fortunate that I live in a country where women are now recognized are seen by men as better. I got to lead a bunch of men - as such strong decisions is really needed to make them see that I am their boss.

When I relate with women, it is different. We often work at our emotions more than beating our peers.

I strongly believe that the diversity of attitude between men and women makes this world an interesting place to live - else this world becomes a bore.

Pastilan said...

Do men and women have equal job opportunities these days or are there still discrimination issues? The answer to this one depends on the kind of job being contested. If the job involves physical strength then women will never have equal opportunity. But if in fields where the brain is the basis of being hired, men and women have equal opportunity. But yes, discrimination still exists today. We could not avoid it because most Asian countries are patriarchal (but i heard that matriarchal societies still exist in some areas in China).

The reason why women are discriminated in most societies can be traced back to how our ancestors in primitive societies see the world. Primitive peoples did not understand the connection between sexual intercourse and pregnancy. Sexual intercourse happened quiet early in the lives of primitive women but they only get pregnant later, when they are mature enough to bear children. So to primitive peoples sex is not in any way connected with pregnancy. Pregnancy was a mystery and it gave women power. So during those times societies were matriarchal. But when people discovered that sexual intercourse was the cause of pregnancy and that only men could provide the "seeds" that could make women pregnant, the power shifted to the men and societies became patriarchal. As late as two thousand years ago societies viewed women this way.
Even the bible actually discriminates on women. There are too many passages that would show this.

Do men and women have the same social, economic, spiritual and political rights especially in the area where you live? My answer to this is Yes. Filipino, American, and European women are very fortunate to be living in societies where women are seen as equal to men. I have seen a video of a public stoning of a woman. It happened this year in an arab country. The woman was not a woman but a girl of 15 or 16. The case against her was related to sex. People ganged up on her with rocks and stones and with their bare hands. When she was down on the ground the men were happily kicking the life out of her young body. One man got a big block of concrete and smashed it down her head. It killed her, her blood splattered on the ground. What makes it worse is that all the time while she was being killed, people had their video phones out and enjoyed taking video clips of the "execution". The video I saw was taken by one of the people there, taken at close range (about three feet or four feet from the girl. If you see this video your heart will be crushed. One of my students showed it to me during one of my classes (Educ 5 - Society and Culture). So that is how they treat their women in that country. They know how to use video phones but they are primitive.

Sorry I've written too long.

pchi said...

@Gem

Agree with you! Men love competition, it's the drive and adrenaline rush that keep them going

But I don't think the discrimination comes when men don't think about women as competitors.. they compete with other men thinking that women don't have the capacity to do those tasks

But yeah, thank God, times have changed and women are recognized to be good also in male dominated areas

pchi said...

@Pastilan

If the job involves physical strength then women will never have equal opportunity

Agree to some extent... but if we're talking about agility or psychomotor skills women can compete although men generally do better

I've heard that in some areas, women do masonry, carpentry, etc

thank you for that education on matriarchial and patriarchal background

I am also glad that in the Philippines women are regarded as almost equal in a general sense but I am saddened with the Muslim culture of treating women especially in Middle East Arab countries

Women are not even aloud to talk with men! And men can have as many wives! Whoa, that's really something...

although I respect that, it's their culture

yes, the bible contains biases against women... I think the writers were somehow influenced with the culture they were in... the context in question

Gem said...

@pastilan
That's sad. The girl...

You know a lot about history in the primitive times. I didn't know that we had matriarchal society. I think I was absent when this was discussed in my high school class.

@pchi
Thanks for the input. Many middle-east countries are still having these gender rules.

I guess everyone had heard about the OFWs in Jordan, who were harshly treated and raped by their male employers when their wives are not around, then goes back to the Philippines bruised and broken?

pchi said...

@Pastilan

the long comment is welcomed and greatly appreciated. that just means you cared to read it

I've read that in some ethnic communities in Mindanao, it's the women who work... and husband only stays at home lazily. The problem is they have plenty of children, and every time a mother gives birth, hours after she works again

otherwise, they all end up dead?

pretty sad, and heart-breaking... don't you think so?

Berryblitz said...

@pastilan

just reading what you have shared, about the stoned girl in public, shakes my heart. so sad... a girl doesn't deserve to be stoned and killed slowly that way. if it's their culture, if they need to kill the girl, can they do the "quickie kill"?

but i guess the people there doesn't like it quick. maybe they like the girl to suffer.

Pastilan said...

@Gem it is just a theory, the matriarchal society thing. But things in history are all theories because we were not there to witness those things happen, we just theorize that probably this and that was how it happened.

About the OFWs in Jordan, if I am president of the Philippines (he he he ) I will not allow Filipinos to work in arab countries. I don't care if the dollar remittances will fall. I will just give mommies good short courses on blogging so that they won't need to go to those awful places to be raped by sex-starved primitive bearded men.

@Pchi these "ethnic communities in mindanao" sometimes makes me ashamed of being a Filipino. I am past the heart-break stage for these groups, I am numb, comfortably numb as far as issues regarding them are concerned.

@Berry just Google this : "public stoning of a girl" or something like that and many will come up. The video I was talking about happened in Iraq last year. the people who stoned the girl to death were mostly her relatives. They call it "honor killing". The girl's crime? She was seen talking with a man and she ostensibly failed to be home one night. She was suspected of doing a crime against chastity. After she died her body was tied to a car and dragged around. She was buried along with the carcass of a dog to show that she was worthless. It is in Wikipedia.

In Iran, if a girl is raped she will be stoned to death. Yes, it is the girl who gets stoned and not the rapist. I have a video of an actual stoning in Iran. It is gruesome. The girl is wrapped in a white cloth up to her head (she looks like an Egyptian mummy). She will be buried on the ground up to her waist so she could not run. You hear her sobbing while she is standing in the waist-deep pit and men are shoveling the dirt to cover her up to the waist. Hundreds of people look on and there is some festive ambiance in the air, it looks like there is a feast and the hungry people are waiting to get their mouths on the food. Stones to be used are specially selected and measured so that no stone is so big that it kills the girl instantly or no stone is too small that it won't hurt the victim. Then of course when all is set stone will rain down on the poor rape victim and she will have a slow and very terrible death that will give the people so much satisfaction.

We are very fortunate that we are Filipinos.

pchi said...

@Pastilan

I've heard about that too! It's the girl who is punished if she is seen talking to a man in public

have you heard about "Matagsalob?" tribe in Mindanao? I am not sure of the tribe's name but I've heard they have a similar custom

only that, they don't stone girls and kill them mercilessly...

they marry the girl with the person she is talking to!

and I've heard that if the Datu likes you (even visitors) he marries them and so datus have more than 20 wives and these wives work for him and do everyting for his pleasure...

what do you think of that?

HAHA. Run for presidency we will support you :-)

Pastilan said...

So if I am a member of this tribe I will talk only to the girl I like so that I will have her in marriage. I'll talk to all the pretty girls in my village so that I will haev them all :P

As to the datu, it is too much. what if you happen to visit their place and he likes you, would he demand that you marry him? That is, pardon me, somewhat stupid.

pchi said...

So if I am a member of this tribe I will talk only to the girl I like so that I will have her in marriage. I'll talk to all the pretty girls in my village so that I will haev them all :P

only the datu is allowed to have many wives

all the rest are only allowed to marry maybe one or two (i'm not sure)

yes, if the datu likes you... pwede ka niya ipwersa na pakasalan siya.. they are really powerful

pero mahiya naman siya noh, anong ipapalain niya sa akin for example (haha)

a woman should not be seen talking to a man alone (silang dalawa lang) in public... pwede sa bahay

Pastilan said...

mas masama kung sa bahay sila magusap tapos dalawa lang sila kasi baka kung saan humantong ang usapan he he he kung sa public siguradong walang mangyayari kasi dami tao eh

pchi said...

@Pastilan

haha. naughty you ha...

speaking of that ibang usapan... I've heard from my SocSci prof than in a certain community in Africa minumutilate nila ang clit ng mga babae para you know na

Pastilan said...

Yes it is true. It is also happening in arab countries, they remove the clit of girls when they reach the age of 14 or 15. They believe that women should not enjoy sex, their duty in life is just as "palahian". You are very fortunate you are a Filipino woman, your right to enjoy one of life's greatest pleasures is respected by your society.

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