It is a trend in Romania nowadays to be fighting for women’s rights. After the past generation of women (who are now in their 40s) fought quietly in a world of men to run successful businesses and be respected for their professional success while sometimes also fulfilling the classical roles of mothers and wives, women who put up with hurtful and discriminating remarks quietly, a new wave of young women make noise in the field of gender equality. In this context, it is important to take a step back and see whether the fight we’re carrying is really about gender equality per se.
On one hand, everyone wants women to be viewed as equal to men but how does that go with the ongoing expectancy for men to fulfill their role as providers, to open doors, to pay for drinks, to defend our honor and so on? Do we really want this equality or we just say we do for the sake of not being left outside of the discussion?
On the other hand, we have the argument for equal salaries. We still want the door to be opened for us and our groceries carried, but we want equal salaries. We even have studies showing how much a woman makes for each dollar a man makes. However, these studies are conducted by adding up all the money men earn divided by the total number of men, the same in the case of women and then the two resulting numbers are compared. The explanation could be as simple as men are the ones who have more confidence and choose to go for the higher paid jobs (which often also carry a higher degree of difficulty or responsibility).
Of course, there are also feminists who would be willing to give up all the perks that being “treated differently as a woman” brings, but those are few. Most women would basically want to be equal plus a little bit extra and that’s not gender equality either. Nevertheless, the same true feminists are the ones who sometimes bring it to the extreme, shaking off along with this discrimination the good manners and the conduit a feminine person should have. Or should we get rid of those too? Should a woman barf loudly, cut wood topless and get in bar fights?
To conclude, whether you are a true feminist or you’re just following the trends, it’s important to get your principles and arguments together as not only having values is important in order to achieve your goals, but also knowing them thoroughly and pursuing them smartly.
By Georgiana Bigea