I spent this afternoon watching some videos from Ted Talks. For those who don’t know, TED is a nonpartisan nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (you can subscribe TED channel in youtube though if you’d like to watch it as well). Continue on, I always got fascinated by the thoughts and notions shared from this channel. And what I spent watching this afternoon is “Feminist” topic. There are some videos about women from different backgrounds who talk about Feminist from their point of views. I’m not an expert in this field nor do I know so much about being a feminist. The basic knowledge I know about feminist is how you call a person who supports feminism. A person who believes that women are equal with men socially, economically, and politically. There are some types of feminist, but I’m not going to dig some more. However those videos give me some kind of insights that I absorbed and got me sit now writing with some thoughts.
My friends often call me a feminist, which I don’t agree with. Not because I don’t like a feminist or I don’t proud to be one, but simply because I’m not a feminist. Yes I stood up sometimes when my male friends speak low about women; how they should be, their flaws, their thoughts or when the other way around when they speak high about men; their dignities, what they capable of, and how women should respect men more. It is not the idea of women being dominated by men that makes me stood up. It is the thought of how people are labelled by their gender. Here I’m not going to talk about being a feminist nor an equalist. Here I’m simply talking about why people are labelled by their gender. Seeing those videos make me realize some things and one of it is how I tend to avoid conflict by trying to ignore the vivid problems that we have, in the past and yet still going around now: gender issues. One of the speaker said that we don’t comfortable in talking about gender – which is right. I and my friends tend to laugh and avoiding conflict when it comes to gender topic. Well I did stood up for some topics related to this matter but we didn’t go far as we would ended up laughing or changing the topic.
Physically, yes men are usually stronger than women. This is something that I won’t argue with. But when it comes to personalities, characters, and capabilities, we shouldn’t be judged by our gender. Yes we do have tendency to act or think due to our gender, but that doesn’t define who we are. Man who is afraid of cockroach doesn’t mean that he is less than a man, so does a woman who knows self-defense doesn’t mean that she is less than a woman. We have been seeing cross-profession such as male chef, male fashion designer, female pilot, female engineer, and so on, that we don’t see much in the past. I am blessed by the fact that women are being more appreciated now because I’m a woman myself. But read between the lines, we are “only” being more appreciated. There’s a saying, “respect others if you want to be respected”. I’m grateful by how far people would act on respecting women more now. However, have we respect men enough yet? In some cases, I felt like we are the ones who group ourselves based on our gender. Men should protect women, men should treat women gently, you are the man so you know what to do, you are a man so act like one, a man should not be afraid of height and so on. How can we be respected if we keep degrading men? Our society teaches us that a real gentlemen open the door for ladies, ladies’ first, men pay, quota for women in the government, and so on. I am not saying that I don’t like the special treatments given by men. But I believe that men deserve special treatments as well (i.e massage, home-cooking, surprise, gift, etc). I don’t understand why in queuing it has to be ladies’ first unless that woman is pregnant or an old lady. I don’t understand why there should be 30% quota for women sitting in the government while we strive to be where we want to be not because of our gender, but because of our brain, act, and vision. The one that I don’t support is the act of judging people by their gender, not their potentials and values. I don’t understand why women ask to be respected while we degrade men. I don’t understand why men should be the one to decide in a relationship while it takes two to tango. We shouldn’t act toward others because of their gender.
What I see, the more women demand for special treatment or “being respected”, the more men retaliate by degrading women that we don’t have anything worth to be compete with. Chimamanda Adichie said it beautifully that “culture doesn’t make people, people make culture”. We should be treated and respected by what we are, not our gender. If we keep on penetrating values of how men should respect women instead of how we should respect each other, how are we going to break the wall between men and women? Women’s success should not intimidate men. Men’s vulnerability should not degrade themselves. Don’t judge people by their gender. Everyone can go as far as they want, have the opportunities of being heard, and respected by their potentials and values.
I am a product of imagination who dwells in a faraway castle. This blog is not related to my profession in real life but meant to be a tool for me as a human to share my thoughts and notions. This blog was initially started as a project in my college time because I took marketing communication as my concentration but it appears that I need a vessel of my imagination so here we are ! PS: pardon my language or thoughts if you feel it's quite offensive :)