Does Equality Also Deny Your Individuality?
It’s nothing new that “feminists” whether they are men or women campaign for equal rights. They campaign to say that men can be equal to women and then women can be equal to men. But is that all that means?
It’s a bit sad in a way to say that men and women should be treated the same because by definition men and women are different. Biologically each functions differently. This is true for all organisms which have male and female counterparts. In humans, women have a sophisticated system for carrying a child and giving birth which men do not have and do not experience the pain and joy that that system carries. Men, biologically as a majority, experience more in terms of strength and longevity in that strength as well as the ability to “populate” (enough said there, it is not the focus of the article).
But… so what? Right?
Who cares that men and women have different systems and that they allow each to function differently? Well, let’s take a deeper look. In both male and females there is an amount of responsibility that is innate to their system. When a women is carrying a child, giving birth and then caring for that child afterwards as the mother, the amount of time and energy that can be spent working or doing much else decreases. It could decrease by a little or it could decrease by a lot but the point is that women must spend some time everyday for their baby (more so when born than when they are pregnant but it could be debatable).
What about for men? Is there a “need” for the man to spend time with the child in the same way as the mother? I’m only discussing the survival needs here. Not the emotional and familial needs that the baby would also have. But from the point of view of pure survival, the man is not responsible as the food supply of the baby. Cleaning of the child, playing, carrying, etc. can be done by both the man or woman but the food is solely with the woman to provide. There are methods for the baby to survive with donated breast milk but I’ll leave that aside and focus on woman as a whole than the special cases because the list could go on.
So then back to the main point of equality. If men and women are going to be treated equally does that mean treated women the same as men or men the same as women? Equally comes up almost always in terms of work or school. That girls can play the same sports as boys or women should be paid the same for the same job. In terms of the pay it should be the same, no argument. But the system surrounding women at work is built for men for the most part. For example when a women menstruates some women feel nothing much in terms of pain and others have a lot of pain and fatigue thrown at them. But there are very few workplaces that do anything to support this, in the best case they would have to take a sick day or vacation day even though they are not sick and are not on vacation. Is it fair then to make someone do that or to make someone have to buy Tylenol or Aspirin just to make it through the day? A man would not need to use a vacation day for this type of issue and in more strict workplaces it would not seem fair.
There are certain aspects of being a woman that can’t be denied and would most likely only change if more workplaces were more focused on making their policies match a woman’s lifestyle than a man’s. But does that make it an equal system? Not really. You see equality works on a certain level. If I can fix something in the same way or better than either a man or woman then I should get paid the same flat rate that the work requires. But when you look at vacation policy and the costs that can be incurred of having women in the workplace, to a certain extent women would be more costly to a company than a man in terms of maternal leave or potential “sick” days.
If then women were to work without maternal leave or extra time off you could say the cost of men and women would be the same. However, it would sacrifice that person’s individuality greatly. There are reasons why women are women and just because there are phases in life when they have other responsibilities doesn’t mean those should be sacrificed for a job so that they can be treated the same as men. Women add value where men do not and the same for men. Equality should mean accepting the traits of each for what they are and symbiotically helping each other and working together. It works for the animals and plants and should work the same for people. We just need to build towards that type of system together.