I consider myself to be a semi-feminist. I believe that there are things that men are better at and things that women can do better. For me, that equates to a slightly different role for men and women in society. However, I believe that these roles should be of equal value.
Let’s take the role of ‘stay at home parent’ as an example. That person spends all day at home looking after children with minimal adult interactions, cooking, cleaning and dealing with tantrums. That is most definitely work. But it does not attract a wage because the reward is something much greater than money can buy.
So why then do we see ‘stay at home mums’ (and dads) as inferior? Why do women get paid less for doing the exact same job as a man in the workplace? Why do women struggle to gain the respect of their male peers, simply due to their sex? And when a woman chastises a man at work, why is she accused of being hormonal or menstruating?
We can ask these questions all day, but what we really need is the right actions. And no, I am not referring to changing all the traffic lights to a female figure. Because trying to change something so petty actually sends us backwards. It says that we want to achieve small, insignificant goals rather than trying to change the culture that says that women are less than men. It achieves nothing because men come back with “What about us?”. So we end up in a situation where we are literally arguing about the sex of figures on a sign.
Let us take a step back and look at the big picture.
Because a women being given an allowance from her husband while on maternity leave is not okay. Having to scavenge money from the weekly grocery shop to afford a coffee when your husband buys a new gaming console is not okay. A sexist workplace is not okay. Sexual harassment is not okay. A gender based pay gap is not okay. But traffic lights with the silhouette of a man is probably okay.
I say that we need to pick our battles because there will be opposition to every change we try to make. So let’s make it a worthwhile change.