When a young woman lambasted a passenger on social media for allegedly refusing to give up his seat for her inside a crowded train, the post immediately went viral and elicited negative reactions from netizens. When I came across that post, there were three things that became apparent to me:
- The lady was no feminist.
- She must have been living in another time.
- Her sense of entitlement and her perceived injustice for that matter were simply out of place in this day and age of advanced technology and equality.
Gender equality is an important social, political and economic issue that had been tackled over and over throughout the ages. Women for many generations had fought to be heard, educated and recognized not just for certain abilities but for their limitless potentials in the workplace. And to this day, women continue to stand up for many more rights.
So, to hear a woman whine about chivalry being dead, considering the hard work that went into attaining the freedom majority of women enjoy today, is just out and out disappointing.
As a mother to an eight-year-old girl and a five-year-old boy; the topic of gender equality certainly holds a special place in my heart. Though admittedly I am no subject matter expert on the issues of equality and feminism, there are still a lot that I want to teach my children about respect and equality between boys and girls.
Here are the following fundamentals of gender equality that I want my children to know this early on in their lives…
One thing Gender Equality definitely is about is that it is everything that IT IS NOT:
- It is not about girls versus boys.
- It is not about women being the better sex, or about men being the stronger ones.
- It is not about having to carry out a set of behaviors as prescribed by society.
Gender equality is basically about fairness and respect. It can’t get any simpler than that.
- Equal rights. Equal opportunities. Equal responsibilities for all.
- It is essentially the freedom to be who you want to be–living up to your full potential by not being boxed into stereotypes. You define who you are. No one else.
- It is about being aware of your true value as a human being–having self-respect and knowing what your rights are as a law-abiding citizen.
- And to women, it is about respecting men, too. Boys are just as susceptible to emotional frailty and physical limitation as girls that they deserve to be respected for their needs, as well.