I’m a fan of the vintage era but if there’s something from the times of 2nd wave of Feminism that we’re still battling for is gender equality. I mean, the frocks are cute, women appear to be smiling, but it just keeps coming down to the appalling & ridiculous state of women in society. I wanted to talk about it but kind-of mask it as a fashion-based article so that we don’t invite the disinterested to ruin our party.
A lot of our understanding is limited to the debate of gender pay wage gap, people seldom think about agency (sexual autonomy) and health. In fact, the socio-economic environmentwe live in today, says that education leading to financial independence is probably the only way for women to get positions of power, enable other women, and reach a level of equality.
An economic perspective of the modern world will think of the gender equality as a win-win situation for everyone since the Power to Parity 2015 says that the global economy would grow by an estimated $12 trillion by the year 2025 if we advanced women’s equality. Evidence from nearly 100 emerging economies shows that increasing women’s participation in the economy leads to other gains at home, at work, and in society at large.
But I guess, our vintage hangover just wants us women to
smile more & be ‘thankful for what we have’.
Or… I know a wild idea, but we actually become Feminists? It is a confusing word so let me clarify: Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, estabilish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes. This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to those for men.
That means Feminism is an enabler. Take it as an opposite of the word ‘Mankind’, because ‘mankind is doomed’ and all. It involves all genders, even men. So, everyone is invited to this tea-party.
“But, Aditi, why do we need feminism? I can already vote & am allowed to work, I am privileged enough to be educated, I guess we’re contributing to the economy so why now?”
I know! Shocking for me too, but despite the scope of growth participation of women in the economy, millions of women around the world face barriers to earning a living and controlling their assets. This is especially true of the world’s poorest women. By induction of logic, it’s safe to say that an aware & educated woman has the means and tools to realize and achieve her true potential, and thus Literacy plays a significant role in reducing gender inequality.
And that’s just one example. So, I’m sorry but we gotta!
The first step is Financial Independence.
Seen those vintage ads all over the internet saying how women need to do or exist for their husbands or the men in their lives? It’s not all fun and games, those slapping and spanking husbands are a reflection of the society. Yeah, basically because the financial dependence of women on men imposed by the patriarchal society not only daunts women but also pressurizes men enough to create an imbalanced, rather frustrated, power struggle leading to abuse.
What else can you do?
Awareness is the key to everything, even gender equality. The needs of the spectrum are evolving and you need constant education to not only be able to compete but also to have a viewpoint. Educate others too. Other women who may be averse to the information, take time with them. Introduce them to feminism, invite them to partake. This revolution goes way beyond the streets and all in your lifestyle.
Jealousy & women competing with other women is the most vintage thing that should’ve been buried decades ago. If you managed to get to a position of power, it is your duty to help people see and realize the importance of gender equality, the existing gaps and empower other women to climb the ladder. Your fight doesn’t end with your own financial and subsequent social independence, it gives you more responsibility.
Equality is not exclusive to the people of privilege. Your fight is real and so is of those who don’t even know about this fight, as an educated and empowered person, it’s your job to acknowledge their struggles and help your fellow women of minorities (color & class). Of course, the discourse and the path to the solutions will be different but it’s you being an ally that will make the difference. Listen, understand, & enable. This can easily be applied to men who think of gender equality, too.
Most importantly, ladies, we need to make a conscious effort to raise our expectations. You should be thankful for the men in your life but there’s absolutely no reason to celebrate them for basic human decency. Just because he is ‘not like those other men’ doesn’t mean that you’re under an inconceivable obligation. Abuse is of many types- physical, sexual, and mental. Yes! Someone ‘allowing’ the adult, aware you to do something is not progressive, it’s abuse (because they still do keep the power of revoking it, in principle). It’s easy to deny yourself as a victim (almost as easy as falsely victimizing yourself and standing in a rally asking for your gender rights in a world controlled by your gender). Read, talk, and educate yourself and the people around you about it, especially men. Recognition is the first step to recovery.
While it is amazing to celebrate men for all that they do, the boys will be boys tone is just not gonna cut it. I am outraged by how men have been and continue to get away with this ‘at least I’m better than that -worst possible convict- so what if I gaslight the women in my life. You have to hate no man, all I’m asking is you to not embrace a man relationally to how messed up those others on the news are. Take no bullsh**.
Raise your standards high enough so that the society is compelled to raise better men!
Thanks for reading this article. Leave a comment below to tell me what you think and of the ideas you can add in the steps you can take to start yours or enable the journey of other women. I will do more of such series in the ‘Growth’ depending on the response.
For more of my travel in style adventures, keep following ERTSY. Till then, keep empowering yourself & others.