I read an article on yesterday's paper. It was in the Culture pages and handled a new book about Virgin Mary (yesterday was All Saints Day so it makes sense) by a Finnish theologian who had approached the subject from not only theological viewpoint, but also feminism.
I, personally, couldn't care less about Christian saints, and the only thing that drew me to read said article was the mention of feminism.
There was this one quote, which inspired me to think and write.
The author pointed out that it's worth pondering whether the Scandinavian idea of feminism is practically to make women like men, cool dudes, in a manner of speaking.
Once again, I can't speak on anyone else's than my own behalf, but that idea is far from what I think of as feminism.
Originally, feminists were the ones who started to advocate for equality between genders. Their aim was not to make women more masculine but to equalise the treatment of women and men by guaranteeing everyone the same rights regardless of their sex. The intention was to make it possible for also women to manage by their own and have a say in political matters too.
Today and in my point of view those same values lie beneath this ideology. Already the 14-year-old me got steamed up by the discrimination of women. About a month ago I found a letter to the editor I had written at that age. It's a school assignment so I didn't actually send it anywhere. Nevertheless, the writing was about the inequality in the salaries between men and women. Mostly, I'd explained certain branches where women were paid more poorly than men. What surprised even myself was the fact that already by that time I seem to have been capable of comprehensive thinking: I'd given a few examples of jobs, in which men, instead of women, are paid less.
And this will finally lead me to why I find feminism so important and valuable.
The point is not make women the leaders of the world and start to disfavour men instead. I am against all discrimination based on psychological, biological, physical, cultural or any reason at all. And just because I happen to be a woman, and a feminist, and a non-heterosexual doesn't make me a man-hater. To support something doesn't automatically mean you despise the 'opposite'.
I love being a girl (except for once a month and sometimes when I wish being John Barrowman's partner). I also like other girls. All of my friends are girls (except for one).
However, I would like to be treated first and foremost as a person and not as female.
The first thing we notice when seeing another human being is their gender. If we can't define it, it starts to bother us. The first thing we want to know when a child is born is whether it's a boy or a girl. The desire to be sure of other's genders is so common we don't even realise it.
Why is it essential?
A biological instinct?
A proof of our small-mindedness?
I don't know.
Whatever the reason might be, what I find more important is that people could feel equal no matter which gender they biologically are. I'm not going to even start about transsexuals or transvestites or people born with both female and male sexual organs.
In my ideal world attitude toward sexes would be neutral. I'm not saying that men and women should be similar. There are differences between typical male and female brains for instance, not to mention the physical specialities. There are also major differences between people, between two men or two women. Also a man's brain can function more feminine way than average or the opposite. Thus, biological gender doesn't necessarily tell us anything else about a person than - frankly - whether they have a penis or a vagina.
Enough with lecturing for today I think.