The concept of oppression is not one new to Women. Somehow, the pervasive ideas associating the female sex with weakness, emotionality, feeble-mindedness, and other general themes of inferiority have persisted.
These chauvinistic ideas have led to an excessive number of institutional and social oppressions. Don’t forget that abuse against women was legally acceptable right into the 20th century, and while somewhat less acceptable today, it is still a tragically common occurrence. Meanwhile, though we can all unequivocally condemn the domestic battering of women, institutional abuses still persist. Women still struggle with the reality of being paid less than a man in the same line of work, and having fewer higher-level opportunities in business and politics because of their gender. Not to mention the general stigma and stereotypes surrounding simply being a human being with a vagina.
Women are condemned when they are passionate, for trying to be leaders, for having a temper, and for stepping off the straight and narrow. It is still viewed as unacceptable to some that women might not perform traditional tasks in their household, or perhaps strive to receive education, have children unmarried, speak out as victims of sexual assault, or do what they want with their body and reproductive organs.
No, women do not need to be the “stay-at-home mum”, and they should not receive different treatment than a man if they have children prior to marriage, or while rejecting the concept of marriage completely. Women are not asking for assault by wearing something “suggestive”, or by leaving their homes at whatever damn hour they want to, and frequenting whatever bar, pub, restaurant, or area of town they want to.
It is the culture associated with the concept of gender stemming from our past that introduces the idea of inequality between the genders. It is absolutely right to state that men and women do have different tendencies physically and mentally, emotionally and socially, and it is precisely because of women’s unique standpoints that they should be respected against men. Too long has the world trudged along with biased opinions and ideas, allowing central, overarching notions to cloud individual beliefs and ignoring those who suffer due to the imbalance of societal views concerning men and women. Luckily, the number of women who are speaking out against these issues increases as time passes. Over the past year, women have marched for their rights in Washington, and they have rebelled against the authoritarian, religious governments who have enforced laws and stripped liberty. Just look at the women fighting against the compulsory hijab in Tehran right now. There is no reason anyone on this earth should wake and worry that today could be the day their own authority over their own life might be taken from them. There is no reason women should grow up repressed and believing they are worth anything less than a man.
Understand the history behind the prejudice, and take a stand against a lack of gender equality today.