Women’s Rights

We  live in a society which is very concerned with the rights of the individual, especially the rights of women.  While the tendency to desire that  our girls are treated equally and afforded the same rights  and opportunities as our boys is quite understandable and necessary, I believe that we are failing in one crucial aspect of this pursuit:  the definition of being a woman.

Following the conversations and arguments about the rights of women we come across two general strains of thought:  1. the woman is the weaker of the two sexes, is disempowered and so needs to be protected and taken care of and 2. the woman is a strong empowered individual who can stand on her own and does not need to be handled with kid gloves.  But which is she really?

The first paints a picture of a victim.  The woman needs to be protected from the ogres that are men and pitfalls of a decaying and unforgiving society.  Girls are the most vulnerable of all and need to be protected not only from men but from women and boys as well.  In this image women and girls are painted as having less opportunities than men, smaller chances of making their own decisions and living a life that they have chosen for themselves, greater difficulties in securing the same jobs and entitlements afforded to men and a lesser possibility of being part of the governing machinery of micro and macro systems.  In short, all of human civilisation is one ingenious system established to maintain the role of women as chattel of men: good only for breeding and service to men.

On the flip side of the coin, we see women fighting for the right to be treated like a man.  If , as part of a job, a man is required to lift 100 pounds with one hand, we feel that a woman should have the same requirements forced upon her.  Women want the right to act, speak, dress, walk and talk as men do.  But is making the the man the yardstick what equality is really about? 

To truly gain an appreciation for what laws should be put in place to protect the rights of women we first have to understand what/who is a woman.  And that begins with the acceptance that women are not men.  Biologically, psychologically and emotionally women are not the equivalent of men.  It is for this reason, just to name a few,  that there exists distinct wash rooms, medical treatments, educational methods, and security arrangements for the sexes. And by this logic the second approach to women’s rights is all wrong.

The first does not fair too well either.  Yes it is true that more often than not women and girls are the victims of assault and various crimes.  But that is not all there is to women.  They are strong, resourceful, capable,intelligent and are an important and essential part of civilisation.  They are the yin to the yang of men, and we know that to be whole these two parts are of equal importance.  It is for this reason, we should stop treating them like forever victims; because they are not.

The question now arises: If they are neither, what/who are they?  and who defines them? I believe that the true definition of a woman can only come from women themselves.  Sadly, today we find that women are unable to agree on such a definition.  They have become so caught up in fighting men and trying to be men that they see the kindness and thoughtfulness of men as an affront to them and their rights and only see themselves as something relative to a man.  This constant comparison has lead to a generation of vain, bitter, angry and confused women.

This confusion will persist as long as we continue to overcomplicate the issue.  Women are complex and beautiful creations who deserve the respect, protection and love of their male counterparts.  They should be given the right  and opportunities to shine and pursue their dreams and aspirations to the fullest, while enjoying the security of knowing that their needs are duly taken into consideration.  They are neither men nor better than men and certainly are not less than men in anyway.  They are human. And as every human has the right to self determination, women should fight for rights that protect the image of woman  as drawn by women.

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