Sexism Response: Response
This article is pending translation
I thought I'd respond to a lot of the issues raised in BethanTheBarmy's recent article about sexism, feminism and attitudes towards men and women.
Modern feminists have a pretty bad name. The bra-burning, head-shaving, armpit-hair growing women of the sixties have badly tarnished feminists and everything they stand for.
The thing is, I can pretty much guarantee that whoever you are, wherever you are reading this, are yourself a feminist. Feminism: to support or advocate the belief that women should have equal rights to men. Now, you're not going to say that you don't believe in that, are you?
There were a lot of things in BethanTheBarmy's article that I didn't agree with and a lot of things that, considering they were coming from a woman, surprised me.
The extent of sexism and gender oppression in the UK, considering that the UK is a developed country, is ridiculous. I disagree with the idea that feminism has got women 'precisely where they want to be,' because if I'm honest, it hasn't. Sure, we got the vote, the right to equal pay, contraception and divorce, but for me, this isn't good enough.
Surely these things are given rights rather than privileges – I refuse to be 'grateful' that the divine right of our male-dominated government (and by dominated, I mean 81% of MPs are male) has given me the chance to have access to these things, because essentially I should have them anyway, regardless of whether or not I have a penis.
If you are currently a woman with a degree from a high-ranking university, you are more than likely to earn 15% less than your male counterparts at the age of 24. This gap widens with age, with the difference being 40.5% less for female graduates who are over the age of 40. This is, in fact, the highest rate in Europe.
What is interesting though is the fact that a) less girls get excluded or suspended from school, b) girls get higher GCSE and A Level results, c) more women go to university and d) more women finish with a first at degree level, but despite this high-profile professions are exclusively dominated by men. A good example of this is something that BethanTheBarmy commented on her article: the fact that women can now become successful lawyers.
Now, I'm not disputing the fact that women can become successful in the world of law, however, their chances are horrendously less likely than if they were a man. Going into a law degree myself in September, the odds are not in my favour. Studies show that female lawyers earn half as much as their male counterparts and in 2004 there were only 42 female barristers working in the UK's top firms, compared to 479 male.
Although I agree with a lot of what BethanTheBarmy was saying in regards to sexism being a two way street, I think that in 2012 it is more important than ever to highlight the differences between men and women. What I'm trying to say is this: I don't think that sexism on any level, towards whatever gender, should be acceptable, but I think credit is due where credit is needed.
Men should be allowed to do whatever they want regardless of the shackles of contemporary pre-set gender roles, whether it be for drinking a cheeky gin and tonic in the pub or wearing a skirt. But as well as this, I think that women should have the equal chance to gain high profile jobs in high profile boardrooms, courts and governments.
Although I acknowledge the fact that men are subject to sexism from women, I don't really think this is comparable to the oppression that intelligent, hard-working women face on a daily basis.