10 – It’s a Man (and a Woman)’s World [an open letter to boys]

Before reading on:
This is not addressed to all who classify themselves as males, and I know men who take such issues seriously and have joined the conversation of gender equality and I am grateful that this is happening! This is my opinion, and yes if you share a different side you may share your arguments with me. I wanted to write this to clarify the reasons why days like International Women’s Day exist in the first place, and I hope I managed to convey that through this post. 

Dear boys: we meet again!

     This time round I did not prepare another rant about your doings like I did last November. Instead, I thought it would be best to talk to you about things which I personally think concern you as much as they concern women, even though they might not appear so at first glance!

     It may appear ironic to address this to you on International Women’s Day: I should pay tribute the women who overcame obstacles to arrive at where they want to be. I should mention how women received backlash or were judged because of what they say or do is a “man’s job”. I should celebrate the accomplishments we as women achieved to reduce gender inequality, particularly within in the working sector.  However, I still do believe that more needs to be done to improve women’s issues in different domains of life, especially in everyday interactions between both sexes: and hence, that’s where I’d like you to join the picture!

     Women are passionate when it comes to being vocal and standing up for their own rights, and not only because they had to do so in order to be taken seriously! Most women feel comfortable in expressing their feelings, especially when such matters are significant to them. However, some boys may perceive this as being too self-centred, attention-seeking, or too selfish to acknowledge the other sex’s needs or concerns about problems they encounter on a daily basis. Some boys might also look at women being vocal as their pass-time to shoot down  their emotions and shift the blame onto them. Although I do not deny the possibility that some women do voice out women’s issues to make men feel inferior, I – a 19 year old girl who does take women issues seriously – don’t and would never identify with such women who aim at making you feel inferior. 

      I genuinely do like hanging out with you boys ( and not due to the obvious fact that I tend to be attracted to men) It’s because you can be great people to talk to and to befriend: from the laissez faire quality you possess, to the chilled aura you give off, apart from the pretty amusing things your mouths blurt out from time to time which crack me up – Such qualities are a recipe for fun and drama free company. And at times, an anxious girl like me appreciates qualities like that, because it means that you don’t care about other’s opinions whilst having fun. Yes, there are things you do which I despise and irritate me a lot, but I feel that the worst thing is that sometimes, it’s as though you’re taken aback or choose to take this piss whenever I mention such matters to you: and I don’t know why – perhaps because you think it’s funny or I’m exaggerating? Or maybe you actually feel intimidated when confronting you? 

     The only reason why I address you on such things is not because I have the pleasure in making you look bad, or that I love making you feel inferior: I believe that you can do more to improve the present situation us women are in. This also applies to why we are constantly vocal about such issues: it’s because we believe that such things could be better for everyone to live without prejudice, and men are able to contribute in minimising this gender gap. Do know that you TOO have every right to voice your struggles on problems, particularly about gender equality, especially if us women are not aware of the – NO GENDER should refrain from voicing their concerns about any VALID issue or problem they are facing, irrespective of which gonads they end up developing when they grow up. As a young woman, I want you too to join this conversation and speak up for your problems, and to express your opinions whenever you feel like too, without feeling as though you’re being threatened.

     I know this might seem like a far-fetched Utopian dream which can never come true, and probably there are still going to be some of you who think that women thrive for a constant battle of the sexes so that we could eventually destroy you and take the podium of authority. I want future generations to live in a world where personal traits aren’t classified by sex and where abilities are fairly praised not based on who managed to grow a pair of balls or breasts. And I believe this could only happen if both men and women start engaging in an honest and open discussion about what could be done to improve the world for the benefit of BOTH genders. Yes, there might be differences still persisting between us and they may never diminish even if we discuss such gender issues, but at least it would give us a chance to understand each other’s positions instead of growing a rivalry out of pointless chauvinism!

     If you hold a view different from this, don’t hesitate to share your arguments with me. I am still learning new things everyday, and there’s nothing wrong in discussing such issues!

 

sincerely, a girl.