There are a range of challenges and disadvantages an individual can encounter inside any group that is an “ism”. One of my favourite principles that can serve any human well is being flexible in your attitude and behaviour because the world is in constant motion and change.
Being stuck to one decision or to a particular belief that doesn’t shift with the changing landscape is going to spell trouble. It’s like you say I was born in winter so I’m only wearing winter clothes for the rest of my life no matter what, even if I move to the desert. If you are part of the feminist movement, do you know a lot of top blokes? Or are they ALL dominating love making pigs?
When you make a blanket decision on an entire gender that’s a huge limitation placed on ourselves. That’s approximately half the population you’re viewing in a negative way no matter what the qualities are of an individual within that gender.
To be a pure feminist you’d have to be really accurate at defining whether a person is male or not because this person is going to be sent to the male line-up wall for stoning, and you’ll need to know who is who: innocent vs guilty.
If you haven’t noticed, there a real gender continuum present out there today where it’s pretty hard to determine with 100% accuracy which gender pigeon hole someone needs to be slid in to. If they have an obvious protruding genital does that qualify for a label and persecution? If they are not well endowed do they get a free pass? What is the definition by which you might classify a male vs a female? What if a person has no male genitalia but behaves more male than your average male?
By blanketing an entire gender with one belief you will miss the amazing qualities an individual will possess. Being “feminist” is focusing not on the unique behaviours of a person but on a system of sorting by your own physical criteria. Being feminist you state that females are not treated equally to men.
But who are the men and who are the women now? Now, if all males are randy dominating dogs, does this mean no females can be?
I have witnessed a perfect example of females “behaving badly” a couple of years ago. I was working in a well known Australian university. My female colleagues were telling crude, demeaning jokes about a male friend’s penis. This was in work time, at their work desk, within the presence of their male colleagues. Had this scenario been reversed there would have been outrage from my female colleagues and, I would guess, instant dismissal.
If you can purely observe today without an agenda, you might discover that male discrimination is now rising. The other month on Australian national TV, the female host was making sexually discriminating comments about a male performer’s body. Again, had this been a gender-reversed situation, there would have been outrage and I’m fairly certain of the dismissal of the host. By the way, I had nothing against the female host doing this, nor my female colleague’s commentary about their friend’s penis attributes. The problem I have is that the so-called persecutor is now becoming the victim. Stop right here.
Aren’t we all unique, precious and magically behaviourally diverse animals? We are a biological sexual mechanical chemical computerised neurological feat!
It’s a limiting behaviour to divide humans into a group for stoning and spitting on, the other for privilege and righteousness… sounding a little like World War II? It’s not about being equal. It is about respecting, honouring and celebrating our differences.
I’m not here to state that there are no injustices in our world. There are definitely perceptions of deep and cruel injustice, but is it ALL the men? Is it ALL the WOMEN? Be very decisive in your words and with directed right action. Stop with the “blankets”. If you believe that women are not paid equally in the workplace, then I’d say do your research. It is not all women. I am often paid more than my male counterparts in my corporate role.
It feels a bit lazy to me to put an entire gender into big pits with a label because you can’t be bothered sorting it out by other means.
How do you become bigger than your big labels and your big pits? Be:
- A compassionate observer of dysfunctional behaviour and where it originated from
- An activator of adaptive behaviour by being a role model
- An assessor of harmful behaviours and how to moderate them
- Use language that accurately reflects the situation
- Observant of shades of grey and colours in any situation
- Passionate about achieving freedom and human rights for everyone
It is “all about you” after all:
- Introspect why you might feel passionately persecutory against an entire gender.
- What led you to believe this? Was it your personal experience? Your parent’s belief. Your ancestors’ belief?
Realise that beliefs can be flexible and they are different for each one of us and they change over time.
Acknowledge that in your personal history each time you filtered your world, you could only see that which supported your belief and then reinforced it with the information you collected in a biased manner. Make it your mission to find new evidence to negate each piece of “old evidence” in your old belief system.
Use “third person” observation skills. This means to step out of your own shoes and into a third person position to observe yourself and the other person or group. In this position, you might discover a whole range of attributes of yourself and the other person that can help re-position your thinking.
The skills you learn on shifting from a hard and fast “ism” will serve you well in so many other areas of your life where your beliefs might not be serving you.
Become flexible in your perceptions and you will find life to be so much richer.