Gender Equality, Feminism, Chivalry and Sexism (I am all over the place so try to not judge me and how I wrote this)

This may sort of be a long read, but please please do read it. I really need your opinion, I crave for a discussion on matters like this. So please please please help.

I often have discussions like this with Kyx especially when we’re stuck in bad traffic.

How do we all fight for “Gender Equality” in a world that cries for chivalry, in a world that takes “feminism” in a whole different manner, in a world where if not all, most people are clueless how “gender equality” works.

How can we all be politically correct in all these? How can we live by gender equality when we could all be ignorant at times and how can we stop sexism?

Okay, let’s see how this goes.

  1. When you look “Gender equality” up on Google, the first thing you’d come across is how Wikipedia defined it. “Gender equality, also known as sexual equality, is the state of equal access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender. It is achieved through gender neutrality and gender equity”

In my understanding and in advocacies we’ve heard all over the world, gender equality is when both men and women have the luxury to live with the same rights and opportunities in all aspects. May it be at the workplace or privileges in the society.

  1. Moving to “Feminism”, when you look it up on Google, you’d see synonyms such as “women liberation”, and when you find how it is defined, you’d see something that crosses with “gender equality”. That Feminism is the advocacy of women wherein they fight for equal rights regardless of gender.

 

  1. Now off to “Chivalry”, it is defined as when medieval knights show courtly manners, nobility, courtesy and all that. In the 21st century, it’s more about being a “gentleman” (or correct me if I’m wrong cause that’s how I understand it)

 

Given these 3 things, let’s now discuss what’s up!

Case on point #1:

Many months back, I guess about a year ago, a woman in her 20s I believe, went viral on social media (at least here in the Philippines) because she posted a photo of a guy who she is accusing of not being a gentleman. The train was full and a lot of people are standing up, now the guy in the photo clearly didn’t give his seat up for the girl. The girl then went to rant on social media how she was so tired but then this guy is sitting pretty (actually looking tired and innocent AF). She said that the guy should’ve given his seat up so that she can sit instead of the guy. What’s your take on this?

You see, more often than not, I am all for gender equality. If a guy wouldn’t give his seat up for me then I wouldn’t feel bad. It’s not like I am more privileged than him. Gender equality clearly states that both men and women get the same rights in all aspects so why the hell would I get mad for not having a seat on a train while a man sits and I stand? I mean I won’t get bothered even if I was hella tired.

Well, the woman who posted the photo that went viral on social media gained mixed reactions from the public. Some were sharing sentiments with her stating “chivalry is dead” while most got upset that this woman is crying out loud just because she was not given the seat that the guy deserved too.

 

Case on point #2:

Pregnant Women are the priority

Now it gets tricky from hereon. So someone please tell me, why pregnant women be the priority whether in queue for a public transportation or in the bank? I mean I get that they are carrying the baby and it’s quite a discomfort and it’s heavy and shit but, what’s the actual basis for this? I’m not mad at pregnant women, I am seriously asking because I do not know for sure as to why are they prioritized? Is it plainly because everyone needs to understand that pregnant women are having a hard time in everything while they’re pregnant so we help them in all ways possible or is it just plain sexism? Please shed some light on this because I am not sure hahaha. All I know is that we let them get to ride in public transportation first than the rest, we give way even if we were first in line because they are top priority and as far as the “why are they the top priority?” is concerned, I do not know. **seriously. What do you think and know about this, put it in the comment box**

 

Case on point #3:

Using a lot of sexist terms EVERYFUCKINGWHERE and it just makes me cringe so much I can’t even

Have you ever heard of the phrases “be a man!” or “you’re acting like a girl”? These terms seem innocent but are completely and utterly sexist. In the Philippines, you’d hear a lot of phrases like this:

“kalalaki mong tao natatakot ka sa multo” (You’re a guy and yet you get scared of ghosts)

“kalalaki mong tao iiyak iyak ka diyan” (You’re a guy and yet you are crying?)

“kababae mong tao ang lakas lakas mong tumawa” (You’re a girl and yet you laugh so loud)

“kababae mong tao ganyan ka magsalita” (You’re a girl yet you speak like that?)

And so on and so forth. Just use “kababae/kalalaki mong tao” and then insert a stereotypical phrase and BOOM= welcome to sexism!

 

In my opinion, sexism is everywhere. In the household, in the work place in public, in the movie houses, in the neighbourhood, in school. My gosh. I have no words.

Are guys not allowed to get scared? Are they not allowed to cry when they feel hurt or happy? Are girls not allowed to laugh like a hyena when they feel like it? Are girls not allowed to talk a certain way?

In the Philippines, we are taught that men and women need to live a certain way, dictated by the society. But FFS, this is the 21st century and why are we still not educated on matters like this? Why do we keep ourselves away from openness and why do we fight battles we know so little about?

Why the hell do we cry out so loud fighting for gender equality when we are so ignorant about the phrases and actions we say and do? Why do we want chivalry, crying if a guy is not a “gentleman” when we clearly fight for “gender equality”? Why do we use sexist phrases in the 21st century like it’s normal?

Think about it. Let’s discuss. Let’s talk about what you think. Let’s educate people, let’s share information, let’s speak up, let us help each other with the exchange of intelligence and openness. Let us not leave ourselves ignorant. Let’s keep asking, let’s keep learning.

 

I know I only covered a speck of the issues in our society, I know there are other problematic areas about this and there are deeper root problems here so don’t judge me haha!

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13 thoughts on “Gender Equality, Feminism, Chivalry and Sexism (I am all over the place so try to not judge me and how I wrote this)

  1. On point.

    Pregnancy means genders can’t yet be equal. When men are just as capable of carrying a healthy child, or women are no longer required to, then we can have total gender equality. Same with birth control; when both parties have access to equally reliable birth control, there can be equality.

    Everything else you discuss is with regards to gender norms.

    We should all be able to express our feelings, our laughter, our sadness, our anger.

    We should all have the same inherent value, the same visibility for our beauty, our wit, our accomplishments, our character.

    This applies more broadly, too. We need to recognize that these systems exist for race, for sexuality, for disability, for age. Put more simply: we need to stop defining people by what skin color, genitals, age, brain, etc. they have.

    We need to stop pretending that any one group of people is a monolith. It’s never “men are / women are / intersex people are / brown people are”. It is always “some men, some women, some intersex people” and so on. Every time we pretend there’s no middle ground, we erase the middle ground and all the people who already exist inside of it.

    Then we complain that things are so polarized and that there should be a middle ground.

    Then we go “where, oh where are our ALLIES?!?” and it’s like “they are right there. You are literally pretending they don’t exist. Stop driving them off and making them feel like they don’t count for anything.”

    Me, for example: I am *not* most guys. I’m unusual, even by unusual man standards. But it really sucks to contribute something to a conversation and have someone tell you “okay, but that’s just you. It doesn’t apply to anyone else.” Thanks! I’m alone in the universe. Awesome.

    When we stop listening, we stop being able to see solutions.

    We need to listen to people’s lived experiences and take them seriously. If a person says they are being harmed, or not; if a person has been the victim of a crime, or not; if a person’s experiences contradict what we’ve been taught or not; WE LISTEN.

    And that’s not happening.

    When I say “I am demisexual” I get people who say “you’re just damaged, that’s not a real thing”.

    When someone says they are asexual, they get told to stop making crap up.

    When someone describes depression, or chronic fatigue, people are like “Oh, I really had to drag my butt this morning, but I had a coffee and everything was better” (note: coffee does not make everything better).

    When someone says they are neuro-atypical, the first thing people hear is “oh, you’re just lazy”.

    We *cannot* break this system unless we let our minds be changed. The evidence of what we’re looking for is right in front of us, in our friends and family, in our coworkers – in people! And we refuse to trust anything they say. We have to wait for someone “credible” – part of the “in-group” – to say the thing that us outsiders have been saying for decades.

    “Is call-out culture toxic?”

    “Are we hurting people when we ______?”

    “Is there more than one gender?”

    “Is there a credibility issue in social and psychological science research?”

    (The answer is yes, to all of those things. And we need to be honest with ourselves about how uncomfortable this can be, for some people. If I’ve dedicated 30+ years of research into a field to find out little of my work is valid, it takes courage to say “we need to revisit all of this. None of it is any good until proven otherwise.”)

    … there are a lot of opportunists mixed in with any movement. There are a lot of people who believe that – in this case, equality – should serve their interests and exclude those of others. These are the people who think racism is bad but don’t want mandates requiring companies to hire more people of color. These are the people who want gender equality and expect you to pay for their lifestyle. These are the people who talk about loving Jesus and calling for the death penalty. These are the people who say “I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative” and have no problem getting rich at the expense of those less privileged (and staying that way).

    (see also:
    http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2011-04-14)

    We need a great revolution in honesty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some other things I’m going to add:

      (https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/i-lost-my-virginity-to-david-bowie)
      Lori Maddox lost her virginity to David Bowie at a way illegal age, does not consider herself a victim. A quick Google search of her name will come up with articles attempting to smear her and claim she doesn’t know what she’s talking about – literally telling her she’s not qualified to speak with authority on her own experiences in her own life. Whether you like Bowie or not, if she says she’s fine with it, then leave her alone. It’s the patriarchy that tells women their own experiences aren’t valid and that they need someone else to interpret on behalf of women.

      (http://nypost.com/2015/10/26/theres-a-feminist-civil-war-brewing-over-caitlyn-jenner/)
      Caitlyn Jenner is still a subject of contention for a lot of people, many of whom don’t even consider her a real woman, or claim that she has no place in feminism because she was born male and men are a problem to be solved (by way of the “toxic culture” she carries from her previous identity, posing a threat to feminism from the inside).

      (http://wiki.asexuality.org/Demisexual)
      The AVENwiki is an amazing resource, and this article in particular covers demisexuality, the general inability to form primary physical attraction, but instead relies on other forms of attraction. If you know a man or woman that expressed a sudden romantic interest in you, it’s possible they are demisexual. People generally look down upon this as a bad thing, but it’s far worse for men than for women.

      (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersectionality)
      Wikipedia primer on the idea that most systems of power, discrimination, and transfer are fundamentally alike, but differ in the particulars. If we are pushing other groups of people down in order to advance our own, it’s unlikely to be a net positive for anyone. This was developed by a black legal scholar in the 1980s, and, surprise surprise, it took almost 2 decades to enter popular culture (and, in many ways, still hasn’t made it).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I know this doesn’t provide much, but I wanted to say that I have wondered so many times about equality and chivalry. I personally want equality, but then find myself being wooed by chivalry….then again, that woman should not have blown up like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Seriously, what’s the whole point of this gender equality thing? Who’s the victim? What does he/she wants? and how can we make their dream come true?

    If we don’t have an answer to all these questions, we may be just wasting our time going round and round.

    Like

  4. This is such a hard subject. I have been working for a long time now on gender equality in tech. There are simply not enough women coming into the industry. My interest has been twofold, firstly because it is not right that workplace is so warped in favour of men and secondly because we are wasting all that talent. The rocks upon which we flounder are because we get hung up on being different rather than being equal. All people are different and there are differences and similarities across the genders, including simple things such as hirsuteness, body shape and strength for example. Gender equality for me means equal access to opportunity, development and pay, the ability to play an equivalent role in society and for everyone to contribute to their lot. I open doors for women and sit down after them when at a meal. Some will see this as sexist while I see this as being nice and respectful. Life is complicated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Thank you for this. It makes me sad thinking that the time we live in is still fighting for gender equality and is way far from winning it. However, with people like you, it gives me so much hope that there are still some who are open, intelligent and amazing individuals.

      Like

  5. Love this post, Thea. Lots of food for thought! Bear with me please, mejo mahaba comment ko! Hahaha.

    Point 1: Chivalry, giving seats up for women, etc.

    I agree with you. It’s not an absolute must for men to give up their seats for women. If the woman has children with her, is pregnant (I’ll get to that in Point 2!), is carrying a lot of stuff, is old, or is disabled, then absolutely yes, she should be given a seat! And not just by men, mind you. Able-bodied women too should offer their seats to such a person. In fact, if it was a man who has children with him, is carrying a lot of stuff, is old, or is disabled, then women should also give up their seat to that man. Giving up seats on public transportation is something that should be based on physical capability, not sex. If someone, whether they’re male or female, is encumbered, then people -whether male or female – around that person should give up their seat.

    Point 2: Priority for pregnant women

    Giving priority to pregnant women is not sexism. If men could get pregnant, I’m sure the same considerations would be accorded to them. Carrying a baby takes such a huge toll on the body, it’s only right that they should be accorded preference. In the same way that banks, public transpo, fast food restaurants, etc. give priority to the elderly and to the disabled because they are physically encumbered, that same priority is given to pregnant women because pregnancy is a physical inconvenience or difficulty. It’s not sexism, it’s just practicality and consideration.

    Point 3: Sexist phrases

    I’m only speaking for the Filipino experience, but by and large, Filipino society is still very patriarchal. The fact that phrases like “ka-babae mong tao” or “ka-lalake” mong tao” exist is testament to that. Education, I think, is the best way to combat this. If someone around you says something sexist like that, implying that men can’t cry or show emotion, women have to be dainty and delicate, men should be this, women should be that, we can speak up and say that that way of thinking is incorrect. I think that if we stay silent, we’re contributing to the perpetuation of sexist, gender insensitive behavior.

    Thanks for writing this talaga, I really love it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • WOW!!! Sobrang ganda ng insights mo huhuhu.

      Point 1, true!!! It should be about physical capability and not sex. GALING! (Di ko yan naisip hahahahaha)

      Point 2, oohhhhhhhh!!!! I seeee I seeee! Ganon pala! It’s either ignorante ako talaga sa part na ito or I got so used to people just saying prioritized yung pregnant at senior citizen without saying kung bakit (or dapat ba gets ko na sana tapos tanga lang ako hahahahah sorry naaa)

      Point 3, we live in a very sexist country! Minsan nakakasuka na. Gusto ko din idiscuss pa yung about feminism na medyo nagsasmite sa guys so inom tayo tapos discuss natin!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Sobrang galing! Thank you for imparting your knowledge (to an ignorant like me lalo na sa Point 2) to everyone who would be able to read this. Super galing and naappreciate ko talaga ❤ ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Awww thank youuuu huhu na-touch ako!

        About Point 3, ayoko mag-generalize, pero sometimes guys don’t get it noh? When women react to sexist issues they call us OA, dramatic, attention-seeking, etc. Nakakainit ng dugoooo.

        Tbh good for you deciding to write this post! 👏👏👏 I’ve been to write a blog entry about feminism and intersectionality for the longest time, pero di ko talaga ma-gather yung thoughts ko in a coherent manner.

        Like

    • Yes, I believe it’s true. I now understand why pregnant women are prioritized in crowded places. Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate it and thanks for reblogging! ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

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