I’m going to cover a sensitive subject today, focusing on feminism. More specifically feminism in the workplace.
Let me preface this by stating that feminism has become a bit of an ugly word for some. Many men hear the word and it evokes the idea of an angry, man-hating kind of girl who, if you hold open a door for them, will bite your head off as that very action sets back equal rights fifty years…That’s a massive stereotype and sure those type of people probably do exist but I don’t think they do the fight for equality any good.
Proof of this is that in a recent survey only 7% of the 8000 asked identified as feminist. Whilst more than 66% supported gender equality. That’s a lot of people that don’t want to be labelled as a feminist. The reason for that is fascinating, but probably best explored another day.
The fact that such a large number of people are clamouring for equality clearly suggests that it doesn’t exist! What is baffling is that our countries legislation should encourage equality, actually, it demands it, but it still seems like it’s a man’s world. Here are some examples:
The glass ceiling
In the modern world, this exists! Still. Look at the very top jobs that our planet has to offer: out of the 197 heads of state a mere 22 are women. And figures of that ilk extend into the world of big business as well. There still seems to be a widely held dislike of any woman that dares to be ambitious, a trait often admired in men. It is a difficult issue to overcome as well. You can’t make legislation for people’s own opinions.
It’s hard to believe that in 2017 and with all the legislation in place to protect women who are pregnant that they are still discriminated against. Employers are just more subtle now than they used to be! I’ve seen pregnant women be demoted mid-pregnancy due to an “incident” that allegedly took place before they were pregnant. Do I think this issue is better than it was? Yes, I do. But it is still an issue.
Of course, there is also the issue of caring for children. Whilst not really connected to the workplace there is still a perceived belief that a woman’s place is at home. The media has a role to play in challenging this archaic notion.
The elephant in the room is that a man can still achieve better pay than a woman for doing the same job. That obviously isn’t always the case, but the reverse never happens. This absolutely is something that needs to be addressed.
So how do we move forward? Well, for a start we can acknowledge that there is still a divide. Nobody needs to throw themselves in front of a horse for basic rights anymore, but that doesn’t mean we can bury our heads in the sand either. Equality hasn’t been achieved yet!
There are of course more barriers than this being faced. The objectification of women is still rife. Despite advertisers being savvier then ever there is still a sex sells mentality, but more often than not these days firms are lambasted for advertising that panders to classic gender stereotypes and arguably this is how it should be! They shouldn’t have to make shampoo specifically for men, should they? I mean after all hair is made of the same stuff regardless of gender, and let’s be honest in this day and age there are a lot more guys rocking the man-bun! (or more positively a bun, it doesn’t need to be given a gender!)