Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Fairness: The Parallel Intersection of Gender Rights

This weekend held the International Women's Day.

Movements across the world focused on women's rights. Fair wages and hiring opportunities. Eliminated violence. A woman myself, I want the gender gap smaller than a positive hydrogen atom have large ambitions in Engineering (Already I have large ambitions in sustainability) and to stay safe.

Today, though, let me highlight two ideas lingering in today's urbanized, developed-country atmosphere.

Focus on women and their stereotype. Conservative, emotional, slender and blemish-free. Flat bellies. Little fat to skin. Not a pimple to the skin. Show your feelings. Aggression like a stopped train.

Where do the statistics lead? 10 million women are unsatisfied with their bodies. Photoshopped models' photos on billboards, sometimes a noticeable ribcage. Even when the store Jacob stopped digitally editing models' photos in 2010, it would "continue to digitally even out skin tones and erase tattoos and scars." Meanwhile the average woman in Canada earns 80% of what the average Canadian man earns. This is where women's rights dangle.

Focus on men and their stereotype. Broad, muscular shoulders and chests on the replicated mannequin when passing Tommy Hilfiger. Authoritative. Computers chips. Math. Construction sites and pylons.

Where do the statistics lead? First, forty-three percent of men in the United States are "dissatisfied with their bodies." Males with an eating disorder are unlikelier to reach for help and also regularly misdiagnosed. Men's rights are also below the zenith, aren't they now?

I see a link between men's rights and women's rights. History has portrayed the man as tougher and more resilient than the woman. How many of you have seen a child flexing an arm to demonstrate their strength? How many of you blink against the tears in your eyes to yield against a non-neutral emotion, the idea lingering that emotional suppression is a sign of resilience? The idea that men are stronger than women and therefore deserve a higher level of privilege than women is, I believe, the root cause of gender inequality.

The Women's Right Movement is centered on both ending the differences in inequality between women and men and eliminating inequality altogether. We need to keep it up. Yet we must remember: Where women fall, men fall. Where men gain, we fall if women lose. Where women gain, we fall if men lose. Inequality will end when we can all gain.

- FA

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