I know a lot of females. I know a lot of males. I know intelligent, sophisticated members of both genders and I know people of both that are dumb as a sack of rocks. So I don’t understand why we still have problems of inequality. Now I’m not typing this to make points with anyone. I have enough points with those that affect my life routinely and I’m not looking for points from others. I’m not running for any office. . . but I had lunch today with some intelligent females and then I heard an old song today that got me pondering this point.
“Well I feel deep in your heart there are wounds Time can’t heal
And I feel somebody somewhere is trying to breathe
Well you know what I mean
It’s a world gone crazy
Keeps Woman in Chains”
(Tears for Fears – 1980s)
After thinking about this on and off today, I came up with this question: What inhibits me from accomplishing my objectives? I am a white, 48 year old male in the United States of America. I wasn’t born into a wealthy family but I wasn’t born into a poor family. I never had a silver spoon, but my parents sacrificed to provide opportunities for me when I was interested. When I spoke of childhood goals, in the seventies, adults didn’t respond with “you can’t do that – you’re a white male,” but I’m pretty sure a lot of girls my age have, at some point, heard a different version of that line, and I know those older than me have. My inhibitions are self inflicted, but I honestly can’t say that for friends of the opposite gender or darker skin tones.
I guess my problem is that we have accomplished great things in space and in the ocean and in all other fields, but our social philosophy seems to be lagging behind the rest of the disciplines. To this day, society still pays women less for equal jobs where men are paid more, and women are still treated as sex objects – even forcibly – by men even when they aren’t inviting that manner of attention. Now, just as both genders have their smart and not-so-smart representatives, both genders have their personalities perpetuating the problems. But that doesn’t seem like enough of an excuse to sustain the issue for all these years in the midst of progress in areas other than social justice.
So what can I do then? I can’t solve the problem. It’s much larger than my puny little sphere of influence. But I can teach my sons to view their female classmates as intelligent friends instead of mere objects for a date, and I can do so by treating my wife as a partner rather than a servant. And I can vote for people who speak and act respectfully toward women. And finally, not that this is the point at the moment, but it is worth pointing out: based on the stories of the Samaritan woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, and His treatment of Mary and Martha, I think that is what Christ would do and I find no evidence that Christ treated women as less valuable than men.
I don’t know what political label I’m earning here, but as usual, I’m not too interested either.