A while back I was in a discussion with someone about what gender equality will look like. Many people think we already have it or that the pendulum has already swung the other way and women are beginning to dominate. Neither could be further from the truth, in my opinion. We disagreed on the state of gender equality and it seemed that we disagreed on what it would look like in it’s end state. What has stayed with me about this is that there must be a different image of what gender equality will look like for each person, though I imagine there must be overlaps. These images will be colored by our own histories, personalities, desires, hopes, dreams and everything else about us and what we want in life.
To me, gender equality does not have to be all ponies and rainbows. It just means that people of all genders are equally susceptible to the same things. Here are some of the things in my image of gender equality:
Being transgender does not increase your likelihood of committing suicide
Being a man doesn’t increase your likelihood of death on the job
Being a woman doesn’t increase your likelihood of being forced into sex work
Disputes for children in divorce are always based on things like who spent more time with them or who can adequately support them financially and emotionally
It is indisputable that all genders are equally likely to be abused or abusers
The definition of rape includes that a man can be forced to penetrate and that an erection is not consent
There’s no such things as “women’s work” and “men’s work”, work is just work and all genders are equally likely to be in management or hard labor at the same pay as anyone else
There are no gender roles, people can make their own compromises without societies input or criticism
Feminism and masculism are ideas as obvious and taken for granted as humanism is today
Transgender and non-binary people can have their identification reflect their identities and gender options on forms can incorporate some of the other non-binary genders such as genderfluid and genderqueer.
And the list goes on. What does gender equality look like to you?
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