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dany masado

TEDCRED 50+

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can we reform the discussion surrounding gender inequality?

As of late, the gender discussion seems to dominate the mainstream discussion on social justice. The alarming trend that I have noticed is that it has become a real battle of the sexes where one side accuses the other of causing its demise, which means any progress for one gender is seen as a loss for the other. I am proposing that we start to reframe the gender debate in a way where we can honestly address issues faced by men without saying "men just don't have as bad", in a way where we can address female issues without saying "women complain too much, get over it.
We must remember that progress in gender justice is (or should be) a benefit for all not a sum zero battle. Often, we get caught up if tallying up a score on who has it worse, rather than finding ways to address issues for both sides, simultaneously.
What will you tell your sons or your daughters when they come to you for advice?

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  • Gord G 50+

    • +3
    Jul 5 2012: Ultimately we can not solve gender issues together. Empathy is a subjective supposition. I believe we (male and female) need to find our true self through determined exploration of past indiscretions. We have all suffered and are shadows of the path we imagined for ourselves. I think rather than trying to adjust our behaviour to intellectual precepts, we need to find truth in our own journey before we can hope to be sensitive to the tribulations of others.
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    Jul 4 2012: And you, Rhona, haven't responded to a single point I have made. You have carried on with your own agenda according to what you perceive, or know. How are we different? Please explain...how do you tell a businessman or businesswoman who just doesn't have the money, that they have to pay a person for 4 months for producing nothing? How do you do that? Is it okay for a French farmer to pay a Moroccan woman correspondingly more for peeling 3 times more garlic than a European in the same time? If so, is it ok to pay a man 33% more than a woman for bringing 3 tonnes of coal to the surface in the same time as a woman brings 2 tonnes to the surface?
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    Jun 26 2012: I must remind you all that the purpose of this discussion is not create another battle of the sexes about the percentage of women represented in the top positions of companies or how many of them graduate from college with science degrees. This conversation aims to encourage us all to reframe the gender discussion, to truly understand how one gender's problem is not separated from the other, to accept that encouraging the success of women doesn't mean wishing the demise of men, to accept that men too are objectified, men too are raped and acknowledging that does undermine the issues faced by women.

    All in all, my hope is that we can all do better! and we must do better!!!! redefine the way you look at gender equality
  • Jul 4 2012: I have not read all comments so forgive me if I reiterate part of previous discussion but I would ask all of you under 40 to realize the older u get the more you see numerous ways in which inequality exists in subtle and insidious ways in U S society. It pains me to know that. No matter how much I do it will never be appreciated or respected in the way I would wish. Until we start really having men expected to truly consider egalitarian relationships I think women will be their own worst enemies in this world. It will take both genders to truly change and assist each other on multiple levels and not just financial
  • Jul 4 2012: If one cannot understand and accept the concept of wholeness within, then they are not able to reflect this acceptance outward. I believe for true change to occur, it begins with everyone individual understanding and accepting unity, as opposed to separateness. When one accepts and loves themselves this loving, accepting energy is carry forth from them. There are always going to be those who are not ready to accept this, that is OK. However, those who do, they must be the one to raise their voices for love, and acceptance of all; unity. Does this make sense?
    • Jul 5 2012: It makes perfect sense except for one part,

      "There are always going to be those who are not ready to accept this, that is OK."

      The whole feminist movement is about saying that this is not OK. Injustice is not OK.
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        Jul 5 2012: Barry, most of us are educated too and of course we can answer the points in isolation but integrting the information and allowing it to speak in proportion to the issues involved takes more than a flippant confidence.
      • Jul 5 2012: I am not powerful enough to control others thoughts, nor do I want to. I Accept all. My purpose is to stand in my power and speak my truth, if my truth resonates with someone else this is great but not my purpose. My purpose is to connect to my heart and be true to myself and perhaps empower others through my process. In other words, by setting and example of self empowerment, speak from a space of acceptance,respect and honor. I feel it is a more powerful position, than trying to force,control, manipulate.....
  • Jun 29 2012: Just some thoughts

    women have feminity and have it well defined. What is needed is for a redefinition of masculinity.

    Kids are being taught that women are as capable and intellegent as them, but at the same time (from personal experience) girls get preferential treatment

    One thing I feel would help this immensly would be to balance out the ratio of men and woman teachers, this is the only career that needs to be about equal. I think that would go a long way into helping bridge any remaining distance between the treatment of men and women
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      Jul 3 2012: Yes, Scott this dicotomy is a problem that I never quite figured out how to handle. I was trying to raise boys who would become good men in a time of transition so I tried to instill the courtly values in them and sometimes they felt resentment when they did the 'right' or courtly thing and a girl seemed to get all the break. For a bad example - I literally told them that women do not 'toot' and if they did a gentleman would not notice. This is a weird hold over from another era BUT women sure appreciate my boys and their manners. I guess they consider it a win long term.
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    Jun 27 2012: Mr Lee Miller, the fact that moral laws are broken does not mean societies that hope to attain order and security should stop making laws.

    Banks will always be robbed, whether by armed robbers, trusted staff(good pretenders), shady corporate excecutives, or by hackers. But this does not stop banks from working hard to ensure security.

    We will always have paedophiles, murderers and traffic offenders, but we cant not do away with the law because some people will break it anyway.

    You may be right that Saudi Arabia has porn sites, but it sure doesn't have as much as the US.
    Issues that face women all over the world are peculiar to the various nations. Women do live in a sort of 'private hell' as it pertains to established oppression.
    I just want us to have the right perspective, and not to think that women in the US,UK or elsewhere in the developed world are better off that women elsewhere. The oppression of women is like the same story performed in different theatres all over the world.

    Well packaged garbage is still garbage.
    • J M

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      Jun 30 2012: Define a woman's 'private hell' .
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    Jun 26 2012: The issue of gender inequality is a tricky one. Just like freedom or democracy. Freedom as a concept falls into a trap if it is recieved as 'living without any restraints'; just as democracy could fall into the trap of 'tyranny of the majority' as if anything is right as long as there are enough people to support it.

    Gender inequality persists because most of the proponents of gender equality are not sure what it entails, even though there is so much noise about it.
    The super-American feminists would want to 'save' the Middle-east/African women, even when women in the US are reduced to mere objects of sexual pleasure by popular culture.
    In the US, pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry, and most citizens would deny watching porn(as if the billions just flew off from some pit). Saudi Arabia does not have this kind of exploitation of women.

    Jesus Christ says in Luke 6:41-42 "And why worry about the speck in your friends's eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying, 'friend,let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye, when you cant see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrites! First get rid of the log in your eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye."

    Women would need self-examination if gender equality is to be a reality. How do women react to the objectification of their kind? Are they enjoying all the attention?
    Sex sells, we are told. So, how will that image of a 'just a pretty face that helps to sell stuff', 'whore' , 'stripper' , 'seducer' , 'one of the spoils of a successful man' that has been created by the media, how will these images ever come to respect, let alone being able to 'save' the women of India or Africa?

    Any attempt to promote equality without careful consideration to determine what is morally right and what is morally wrong, is doomed to fail.
    In our world where things are taken as 'good' or 'great' as long as such brings money, I guess we are going nowhere slowly.
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    Jun 26 2012: To reform the conflict there first has to be a basic understanding about conflict. It is just the simple fact that there is a party who benefits from the conflict. This is often the cause of wars, divorce, and fights. The key is to expose the party who benefits from the conflict.

    I talked about this on the other thread but it fell on deaf ears.
    • Jun 26 2012: I hear you, pat. I agree with you. Truth out!
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      Jun 26 2012: The question however is, what is this party we speak of? that is what we must identify; saying that men are the ones who enjoy all the privileges ignores a much bigger problem where men are also enslaved by the rigidity of masculinity, which in turn influences how a woman is treated and why her success might seem threatening to a man. It is a dynamic that cannot and should not be ignored because it slows down our progress toward gender equality
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        Jun 26 2012: The party is an individual it is not a group. While it is true that a meme will be more predominant with one group or the other but in order to resolve the conflict it boils down to exposing an individual. In the case of women's right the ostensible one is Gloria Steinem.
      • Jun 27 2012: I think you've hit on the problem. Men oppress women, but they also oppress each other. I once heard heard a woman say to a man: "You were born male; why do you think you have to keep proving that you're a man?"
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          Jun 27 2012: "You were born male; why do you think you have to keep proving that you're a man?"
          I actually find that this quote perfectly embodies the problem faced by men today in that masculinity or manhood is something that can be given or taken away, something that must earned. Phrases such as "be a man", "man up" "grow some balls" are illustrations that manhood is a very fragile thing and that's something that must be recognized when we deconstruct the man to woman interaction. The pressure a guy feels to treat a woman a certain way, to have sex with a certain number of women, to be tough, and the lingering knowledge that if you don't act a certain way, your man card can be revoked. That is something that I think ought to be addressed and I think would have a profound impact on the gender dynamic
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      Jul 3 2012: Pat. maybe it is not about deaf ears but about time restaints. I do not remember seeing your quretion or idea.
      Could you please share more of those thoughts here?
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        Jul 3 2012: Conflict is caused by another party who is not the obvious 2 opposing groups or individuals.

        E.G. a couple is divorcing and get lawyers the lawyers exacerbate the situation as it is in their best interest to do so. World War 2 might have been financed by those who profit from a war.
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          Jul 4 2012: Thank you, Pat. In my case, I decided against the woman pit bull and chose a mediative lawyer. His lawyer was not mediative and man did that cause me trouble. My ex emailed me a separation agreement and told me to sign. I was aware enough to get legal advice but every change he made, I ended up paying for.
          Yes, lawyers do profit but it is our divorce ()Unfortunatelly) just as it was MY tumour. IN the end we chose our own direction. How often have I told people not to surrendert their children blindly to paediatricians -they are your kids -h/she is the expert in children but YOU are the ex]prt in this child. The same goes for our relatiohships. My ex only paid 2 months at 700 bucks after 5 kids and 28 years - many of which I was at home after paying off our first house. Still, even though the kids did not want me in legal battles with their Dad, the outcome is my responsibility if I chose a mediative lawyer and was not sufficiently shrewd. I do not think I can ever forget that he is the father of my children and I wanted nothing so much as peace betwen us. I do not think the lawyers did this. I think we did.
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        Jul 4 2012: Got it, however that does not negate the principle. If you don't think the lawyers had something to do with this your are fooling yourself.
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        Jul 4 2012: Of course you do...
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    Jul 7 2012: New social EDUCATION would help when everyone would be able to learn how to be an INDIVIDUAL not a thing that Belongs to some tribe. We do live in our mixed societies but each of us is born unique and this uniqueness is crying to manifest itself. New School? I mean we shall learn to respect the values within every individual. One person is not a tribe. If you bring your tribal behavior, mentality and habits to some public place you are more or less Violating other individuals. I think this initially good intention in developing our postmodern civilization means to let people be individuals without demonstrating their physical, religious or other kinds of origins when they are not asked for it. If I come to the bank, a public service place, asking for a job, wearing some loud native outfit and manifesting my tribal ideas, I would most likely scare the rest of people away.

    Be an INDIVIDUAL in our mixed society while developing our original characters however with respect to our complicated social environment is the key. Before demonstrating that you belong to any tribe be yourself, and be responsible for yourself.
  • Jul 5 2012: Though I haven't read every comment there's posted here, and I just scanned through the topic, from what the comments I've seen I can already tell where this is heading. Though this is supposed to be about 'gender inequality' and how we should stop hurting each other, because its rather pointless to even compare men to women, both are very different. What I see here is people talking about how bad women have it, its the same topic every single time. Once the topic of gender inequality is brought up, we cant stop talking about how badly women are treated.

    Yes in the past they weren't treated unfairly, and yes you still have it bad in a way. But even so, since after all this is the topic about gender inequality, why don't we talk about men as well? Men have it pretty bad too, specially nowadays. You see women being pitied when something bad happens, such as Debra, in one of her comments she pointed out how badly she was treated at work, yet no man here, at least not from what I've read...has said anything about how unfairly they are also treated. Without notice, the world we live in has...in a way, become feminist. Just two weeks ago, I was siting at a bar looking around just to find myself looking at very nice woman, she was beautiful. Without even noticing I apparently stared for a slight second or two, well it was enough for her to meet eye contact with me. And upon us making eye contact she immediately chuckled and called me a 'pervert' as if I was staring at her breasts or anywhere that might lead her to say this. But in fact...I was merely looking at her face. What do you make of that? '' Men are beasts who prey of women!'' men also have stereotypes and have it bad. But even so...we hardly ever talk about any of it. Women in the past and even now have it tough, but in a way, its their fault too. Just like its mens fault that we are seen as rapists if we walk on the streets at night alone.Both genders/sex's have faults in how they are currently being treated.
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      Aja B. 20+

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      Jul 5 2012: I've noticed that, whenever large groups of people try to correct something they agree is wrong, they have a tendency to over-correct. I think you're right that we're starting to see something of an over-correction to the mistreatment of women in places... which isn't to say that women aren't still being mistreated, of course they still are, but that the growing tendency to treat all men as abusers of women and children is ridiculous and unjust. We can, as a society, treat women well without tearing men down.... but I worry that it may take some time to find the right balance.
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      Jul 5 2012: Michel, if you read the short paragraph introducing this conversation, you will notice that I did point out there are issues that men are facing which don't get enough spotlight, and this is why I welcome people to engage in a conversation where these issues can be addressed. I am glad you are remind us to give attention to the other side too
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    Jul 3 2012: FEMINISM DEADLOCK
    I want to elaborate the phrase “feminism deadlock” which I used it in my comments. Unfortunately the feminist movements have been impeded by several successive historical catastrophes. After first victory for feminists in 1920, when they gained federal amendment for Women’s Suffrage, a controversy aroused between feminist activists and cleaved them into tow antagonistic parties. A party thought that they reached their goal and the movement has reached its end and the other party believed that it is the genesis of a long and arduous procedure. When feminists were engaged this tough dispute the first catastrophe happened: The Great Depression. Then job opportunities disappeared and people lost their careers. Traditional workers, men, considered new workforce, women, as rival. It was too soon for society to accept a woman as breadwinner. Hence, men tried aggressively to take jobs form women. It was a shattering blow for feminist movement.

    After that, the second catastrophe occurred: the World War II. This war masculinized the atmosphere intensely again and people forgot all things about gender justice because of more severe issues.
    In 70s and 80s, by developing the communication technology, the trio of the mass media, popular culture and capitalism formed an impenetrable fort that has a great disposition to objectification of women.
    Now, I think people have no interest in changing the gender justice situation and are satisfied with current status. They just grumble sometime about it ignorantly. When I refer to feminism deadlock I mean this indifferent attitude towards gender justice which has a historical base.
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      Jul 4 2012: Thank you Ata for that valuable contribution to our understanding.
  • Jul 3 2012: Until we are willing to explore and connect to our masculine and feminine energies within and bring them into unity within, there will be no tangible actions taking place. Everyone has masculine and feminine within and we all need to connect to both sides of ourselves. Then we will be able to experience respect and honor both sides of ourselves and thus create equality for all. It is not a man and woman issue, it is accepting ourselves as a whole (masculine and feminine energies) and not as separate.
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      Jul 3 2012: Teresa, I am not sure about this because I sort of think that it was accessing my whole self and not just the 'masculine" of my personality that led me to wish to have good, well paying work and thus to do a nontradtional job.
      • Jul 4 2012: When coming from a space of balance, it is no longer about the masculine and feminine, it is about freedom for all, respect and honor. When we choose to see ourselves as separate, this is what leads to judgment.
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          Jul 4 2012: What a great new response! It is hard to feel part of a group that rallies its identity by marginaizing the newcomers.
        • Jul 5 2012: I certainly and wholeheartedly agree with your idea.

          However, the whole reason there is a feminist movement is that there is a portion of the population that do not agree with us. We might convince their children to our way of thinking, but meanwhile we have to do something about injustice now.
    • Jul 4 2012: "Everyone has masculine and feminine within"

      I have heard and read this many times, and it is always stated as an absolute, and always in the context of a solution. The problem is that the people who are the problem are not listening, and even if they were, they would reply by either laughing or saying "You just don't understand."

      The actual situation is more like, we are all women, and some of us have more testosterone than others. There is a genetic condition called Androgen insensitivity syndrome. At the extreme, every cell in the body cannot absorb any testosterone at all. When a genetic male has this condition, the result is a very voluptuous female body, without the inner female genitalia.

      Our masculine and feminine traits start with biology, but our upbringing has a big effect also. I think a great deal of my morals and notions of masculinity came from John Wayne movies, no joking. I think the point I am trying to make is that this is a very complex reality and talk about male and female energies oversimplifies it to the point of uselessness. Teresa, I fully agree that accepting ourselves as a whole is very important. Knowing ourselves is a big part of the answer. Lets make sure we get it right, or the people who need convincing will be right to not listen.
  • Jul 3 2012: The truth of the this debate is what exactly is equality? Males and females are very different. Some of this "discrimination" does not come through sexist ideas but rather from practicality. Look at construction workers for example. There are probably a lot more male construction workers than female construction workers. While I think a women would certainly be able to be a great construction worker, it would probably be easier for the male who is on average taller and heavier than his female counterpart. I don't necessarily see that as discrimination, but I see it as efficiency.

    I believe that in many ways women are discriminated against in the work place. There are many more male dominated jobs than women dominated jobs. This in large has been based on physical requirements of jobs and social attitudes. Remember that until fairly recently in American history (world war 1 was when it women really joined the work force in mass, and again in WWII), and people just take a long time to break stereotypes.


    It seems that women who have children can cause relatively more issues for employers than their husbands. A lot of that is simply biological. Maternity leave is still a chunk of time where someone cannot work. Males don't have this equivalent. Also, I saw something on the news that I think is important. I saw a women recently sue her company because her company wouldn't let her off early to pick up her child from school. She wanted to get off two hours early many different days. As the boss of that company, I would not grant that request because I'd be missing an employee for two hours frequently; it would have nothing to do with the fact that she was a mother.

    Males and females have different biological needs and social roles. These different needs require different rules and regulations.These different regulations are not "equal" though. I don't think true equality is what we even really want. I think as a society we just need to be reasonable and unbiased.
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      Jul 3 2012: Noah I suggest you look at how the Scandinavian countries have been handling these issues for 50 years now... not to the detriment of any company, women, men or their economies. I think you would be surprised to find out that your positions and thinking are quite retrograde.

      As for women construction workers...averages are not the issue. A small man with relatively little upper body strength who spent his youth typing away on a keyboard would be no match for an athletic woman who spent her youth doing triathalons. We need to stop thinking in "averages" and open the world up to individuals with strengths and weaknesses...
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        Jul 3 2012: I second Liz here. In Canada, what it has taken to defeat this type of usually faith based logic is human rights legislation. Our human rights tribunals have proven scientifically that many of the so called requirements for jobs were simply guesses for lack of a better word - designed to keep women and minorities out. For example how tall should you be to be a good firefighter? Is it relevant?
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      Jul 4 2012: Noah does have a great point though. We do need to really define what we mean by equality. We often say that there is an undeniable bias toward males in the top positions, yet nobody seems to point out the fact that Another thing to point out is that men have the highest percentage of job related injuries or fatalities, not counting the obvious life expectancy difference. Do we attribute this to gender inequality too, or do we simply say that it's the way things are?
      • Jul 4 2012: To Mrs Smith and Mrs. McLellan, I totally see what you're saying. I was not saying that there were not exceptions to stereotypical views of men and women; I was simply pointing out a biological truth. Men are normally larger. There are certainly exceptions to this like the hypothetical example that Mrs. McLellan pointed out. There is something very important to note about the stature difference though. Why are there different divisions between males and females in sports? In the olympics, the weight-lifting is split into a male and female division because, on average, the male competitors are larger. All I'm saying is that there is a biological difference that slightly favors men in physically demanding jobs. Mrs. Smith, I really know nothing about these laws, so I don't know what to say about them. I believe that a company should hire who they believe would do the job in the best way possible. I couldn't really see the height of a firefighter being relevant. The firefighter should be chosen based on his or her ability to do the job.

        Dany, I believe that a lot of the job-related injuries come from the differences in jobs. I believe that if there were equal amounts of men and women in these jobs, the difference in injuries would be much smaller.

        One other issue is the choice of vocation. My teacher is a female engineer which was very uncommon when she graduated. It is not that her female friends couldn't be an engineer (they most certainly could), they simply chose to get some other degree. That being said, it does create a field that has many more males than females. I don't think that this is necessarily sexist though. Society didn't really stress female engineers thirty years ago, so we have many male engineers. This isn't really discrimination against women; it is societal thinking though that just promotes other jobs. I don't believe that women were ever told "you can't" they just were never told "you should." Now there are more female engineers than back then
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          Jul 4 2012: I love chatting with you Noah!
          I simply feel that while there are a few occupations (furniture movers)ho benefit from greater physical strength - it is worse than you let on- with women having estrogen influenced muscle mass and men having testosterone influenced muscle mass- partially creating the difference in physique- but it is still the men in charge holding on to old and worn out logic to keep certatin folks out of the fold.

          What I did not tell this group is that four of us were hired on the same day. 3 men and me. The toolmakers refused to train a woman and threatened a walk out strike. The union backed the men (the majority and to hell with facts or truth) and all four of us were laid off to appease them. We were rehired one day after out lay off surpassed the time we worked (to surcumvent legalities) and rehired with a different job description which did not require our training by toolmakers. We were, of course paid less. I had to get my training from some men who would not even talk to me. They did not want me there and they felt that they should not have to train a woman. How would you endure such treatment? How can we all do better for your daughters and sisters and for my sons?

          BTW- I worked there for ten years and guess what???????????????

          They denied me a pension because I had taken a maturnity leave during that time.
      • Jul 4 2012: Debra, I totally see understand your side. There are only a few jobs which physique plays a fundamental role, but i still think it is worth mentioning. You were wronged; there is no denying that. I don't really know how to "fix" the problem either. The only thing silver lining that I can see on this issue is that things are changing. Sexism is becoming less common in the younger generations. That is coming through women who work hard and accomplish despite the opinions of others. Your ten years at this job proved that you could do this job quite well. You chiseled against the stereotype and changed how the people you worked with saw women in your field. We are changing the stereotypes; unfortunately culture takes a long time to change.

        The only thing that we have to be conscious of is the what we are working for. Our goal should always be equality. We need to be very careful that we don't inadvertently hurt the other sex while trying to promote our own.
  • Jul 1 2012: Dany Masado,

    “More importantly, Is it possible that some men felt that they were restricted to working ungodly hours to be the breadwinner when they wish they could spend more time with their children?”

    This is a great question, and there are a couple parts to it.

    First, the directly stated:

    -“, Is it possible that some men felt that they were restricted to working ungodly hours to be the breadwinner”?

    And

    -“ they wish they could spend more time with their children?”

    Second, the indirectly stated:

    -Did it take away from women the chance to be a breadwinner and possibly do it in a career that they may have cherished while being a major contributor to the field?

    I commend these questions as valuable to all of our freedoms (also of course the topic of the debate). Even if having a child is a choice, should that choice take away specific freedoms from each gender, or should the person (not the gender) get to choose their contributions? Is this a choice our societies truly offer?

    (Sorry for the delayed response)
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    Jul 1 2012: In response to my take on this topic, J M asked me to define a woman's 'private hell'.

    I used the word 'hell' as a symbolism for oppression. Women all over the world are dealing with domestic violence, objectification, institutionalised inequalities and oppressive cultural/traditional practices.
    A woman may face one, all or none of these; and individual experiences are individual experiences.
    One may symphathise or emphathise with an oppressed fellow, but it is impossible for someone to feel a pain that is experienced in another person's body.
    That is why I called it 'private hell'; in order to make it clear that women in the developed nations are not in any way better than Middle-East, Indian, Chinese, or African women. Just like someone agonising over a toothache, is in no way better than someone who has just been shot in the foot with an AK47.
    An African proverb says 'Think twice if a ragged man promises you a beautiful cloth'.

    The effects of oppression on individuals do vary. In fact, the responses of oppressed individuals to oppression, varies.

    Sometimes oppression becomes fatal such that the oppressed could forget his or her original state of freedom. One will definately not notice the abnormal if one does not even know(or remember vividly) the norm.
    A tamed lion, a charmed snake, a castrated bull or a de-horned Rhino; are all different from an unaltered lion,snake,bull or rhino.
    Here, the animals are different. So their alteration is a form of 'private hell'.

    There is a gap between equality laws and attitudinal realities. Now, I refer to the attitude of men and women. The truth is that some nations have successfully created the illussion that women are free; while some other nations have made it clear that they are not.
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      Jul 1 2012: "The truth is that some nations have successfully created the illussion that women are free; while some other nations have made it clear that they are not."

      I couldn't agree more
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        Jul 3 2012: Free to do what? What can't people do now that they want to? I hear this all the time. If only we were free... What do women want to do that's so wonderful and perfect and if only men would stop holding them back?

        Women graduate high school and college at higher rates than men in the US... and have for 30 years straight... but men are oppressing women.

        Women are less likely to be unemployed than men... and have been for 20 years.

        Womens health costs more money than mens health because of pregnancy, so men are taxed extra to cover the difference.

        Womens retirement costs more than mens, because they live a decade longer than men... So men are taxed to cover that too.

        Rape and murder are down. It's illegal to beat your wife. "Irreconsilable differences" is grounds for divorce...

        What are men doing that is so horrible? I was born in 1982... so I haven't seen any of this oppression you talk of.

        It's also important to point out that while women were being oppressed in the 1960's... Men were being drafted into a meaningless war. Rich men have it easy, and they always have, most guys, do now, and have always, lead miserable lives where they work for people they hate, to feed their family.
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          Jul 3 2012: Oh David- pick something other than pregnancy- we might carry the ball but you made the pass! That in particular seems like we are on the same team (even if we do all the work!)
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          Jul 4 2012: David, I think you make a valid point, especially in reference to the fact that all men are required to register for the draft, which women don't have to do. The graduation rate for women is much higher, but nobody sees this as alarming because it indicates progress in the women's empowerment movement. We do need to be able to address men's issues as well as women, avoid dismissing either gender's problem under the idea that either one has it worse. domestic violence is still a problem so is rape (no matter that the rates are down, they could be better). however, I also see a bias in the way rape is addressed in that there isn't enough coverage on male rape (especially in the military). Wasn't it recently that the definition of rape was changed to include males too? I think that is grounds for dicussion
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        Jul 4 2012: I apologize for being a bit terse... It just seems to me like everyone feels oppressed now, but we all think our group has it worse... To me, all the arguments fell apart when old white men started to be able to sue their employers for agism... Really... Old white men are being descriminated against?... in the job market? We're doing something wrong here.

        I don't mean to pretend that women don't have specific issues, that do warrant further work, study, and assistance. In every southern state they're trying to pass birth control legislation, and that's nonsense. It's rediculous that we're re fighting some of these battles.

        You mentioned sex trafficing... I personally think an honest discussion of legalization of prostitution, might be essential to dealing with that problem long term, but it's a very sensitive subject with fair and rational arguments on both sides. Whatever the solution however, it is simply unacceptable that this is a relatively common practice in strip clubs country wide.

        Btw... The real increase in medical expenses comes from increased life expectancy, I just wanted to talk about that with social security : p. Just so you know I don't have any problem with these taxes and such, I've been convinced by the argument that these are good investments...

        I just think it's important to point out, if you smoke, drink, or eat too much... and you're a man. Statistically, you will pay into social security for 30 years, and die before you collect. African American and Latino men also have shockingly low life expectancies to this day... In fact, the average black man, lives to be 67, and that's the age you start collecting social security under current changes...

        There are dark aspects to our system, that need to be reformed... I just really think men and women need to work together if we want to fix them, and... Life's hard all around.

        "A woman who seeks to be equal to a man, lacks ambition" Timothy Leary
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    Jun 30 2012: Dany, I have to place much of the blame on media coverage. They report the extremes and exploit the "gory" details of all incidents. How often do you hear the good things that are happening in the world of EEOC, advances by people and companies, seldom because it is not news worthy. Tabloids and bad media keep the fires stirred up.

    We do not need to re-focus or reform ... we need to accentuate the positive ... eliminate the infatuation with the negative. Perhaps a better way would be to resolve the issues on a smaller scale. Resolve them one on one not as a office issue where everyone must take a side.

    My sons can all cook, sew, do dishes and have changed diapers. My daughters can change tires, do plumbing, and household repairs. The is no man / woman work .. there are tasks that need to be done.

    All the best. Bob.
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      Jul 1 2012: I am so glad that you are raising your children do defy the stereotypes, to simply be who they want to be, outside of gender role restrictions. I also wholeheartedly agree with you that the media does tend to sensationalize the negative rather than give us more positivity. It would indeed help to have a little hope that things are on their way up
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    Jun 29 2012: Understand your point......my feeling is even after re-framing / re-pharsing words of subject of such discussion / debate, things will come out which are deep seated in the mind due to tradition practiced centuries after centuries in human civilization without having conscious effort to change our psyche.

    Wish your such effort will make feeling to be wrong....
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      Jun 29 2012: I am sure that a paradigm shift in the way we discuss gender equality will not come easy, because change is destabilizing and often frustrating. It is indeed a conscious and difficult effort to make, but I don't think progress can be made otherwise
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        Jul 1 2012: I don't think equality and progress are the right words in this matter.

        If you look at traditional cultures life could only be sustained by a certain division of tasks between genders. Modern life changes fast, much more fast than most people can follow. Lots of people adapt to the new circumstances while others migrate from traditional areas.

        So it isn't progress but adaptation to a new way of life and it isn't a fight for equality, for genders were mostly equal in respect within traditions all over the world.

        Over time there's been a change of focus within humane life. At first all interest was on the group, then it became fhe family and now the focus changes to the individual.
  • Jun 29 2012: This is what I would tell my kids (in my current case my little brother):

    We are all people, but we are also all different. We see things differently, we feel stresses differently, and we draw different conclusions in different situations. All of this and more are exactly the reasons why we have our own individual value and make our own contributions to our world. Our only definitive equality is that we are all different and the difference are much more fundamental than gender.

    The human brain "names" people with differences: how their face looks, what the color of their skin is, what their gender is, and so on... Our brains then use this natural naming tendency as a foundation of definition. The problem is this habit sometimes causes us to draw conclusions which are not well founded at all levels.

    In example: a man might recognize that someone is a woman and therefore draw the conclusion that they are different from each other. This is true. But it doesn't stop there; then they conclude they can do different things and in turn they can't do the same things. Not true at all levels.

    Humans have a tendency towards pride, and that pride often turns into a feeling of being better than someone else (hubris). In a society that has primarily been dominated by men, this tendency has turned toward men being better than women. This tendency is an extreme and is not true on this general basis. The only thing that you can say on this general level is that they are different.
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      Jun 29 2012: One of the important reason for this illusion that men are better than women is that women have been restricted in home to give birth and take care of children and often didn't take other more serious social positions. But today, families have for the most part only one or tow children. On the other hand, there are many modern facilities and legislation which allow families to take care of their children in new ways. Nevertheless, still there is a great tendency between women to stay home or take low-level jobs such as clerkship. For instance you can take a look at staff of a university; most professors are men and most secretaries are women. Why women still follow patriarchal rules however the situation has been completely changed?
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        Jun 29 2012: maybe a bigger problem here is to ask ourselves why we think that staying at home giving birth and taking care of children is not a "serious social position". This forces us to really re-evaluate why stay-at-home moms have almost become tantamount to wasted potential, as if they are to be pitied regardless of whether or not it was a choice for them to stay home and care for the kids.
        More importantly, Is it possible that some men felt that they were restricted to working ungodly hours to be the breadwinner when they wish they could spend more time with their children? In our quest for gender equality, do you think that stay at home dads get the same rep that mothers do? What is your first reaction when you hear a man say he stays at home to care for the kids while his wife works? This is yet another example of the gender restriction on men which inevitably affect the man to woman interaction.
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          Jun 29 2012: This idea is very excellent that man and woman in a family share a fixed amount of working hours per week equally and each of them spends equal hours at home and take care of children and do household chores. It can ameliorate the negative effect of long working hours especially in routine jobs and provide more free time to foster creativity or non-profit activities at home. However this plan cannot expand to all class of families. For example when you are a executive manager you cannot attend your company only 3 days per week or a mechanical design engineer who must accomplish a major project during one year cannot go to work part-time and prolong the project, because it will lead to financial loss and miss the market. Nevertheless, these families have enough income to hire servant.

          But let me to emphasize that in my view cooking for your own sake, taking care of you own child and doing your domestic chores of your own home IS NOT A JAB! A job is a career which involves promotion, social interaction, appropriate income, organization and so forth.
        • Jun 29 2012: maybe a bigger problem here is to ask ourselves why we think that staying at home giving birth and taking care of children is not a "serious social position".

          This is no mystery. Anyone can stay home and raise children. No qualifications needed, no need for an interview, and the position often gets no pay. It is one of the least exclusive roles in society. IMO, there are two related problems that together become the root cause of this lack of status. One, the tradition that a man's home is his castle, and whatever happens in that home is the business of the family and no one else, especially not the government. So there are no standards or guidelines for raising children. Not long ago, beating your children was perfectly acceptable if you did not break bones.

          The second problem is the flip side of the first one. We have no scientifically confirmed method for raising children. I have not kept up with the research in this area, but when I first became a father, in 1977, I looked up everything that was available. There were about a half dozen methods of child raising that could credibly claim to be scientifically based. So I looked into the independent studies of these methods, and found that only one of them had better results than children raised with none of these methods, and the improvement was insignificant. I remember that one of the methods produced a significantly higher percentage of teenagers abusing drugs.

          So basically, society believes that raising kids is a 'by guess and by golly' business, as evidenced by the fact that parents who appear to be doing everything right still produce children who become criminals, drug abusers, or just lazy losers.

          A successful scientific method for raising children will transform our society, and trained parents will get the status of respected professional.
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          Jul 3 2012: And if I had kids I would not let you anywhere near them friend! No offense intended... but state sanctioned methods come and go. Most of them have been misery making unscientific ideological drivel backed up by men in white coats and a certain level of coersion.

          My job as a parent is not to raise cogs for your corporate machine - the network of "respected professionals" - as I am one I suggest that is a rather limited spec for a well raised human.
        • Jul 4 2012: Liz, please take another look. I never mentioned state sanctioned methods and would oppose them. I have no corporate machine. I never suggested that "respected professional" was the spec. There is a lot of good research being done into child development and parenting, and some of it has produced very surprising results. If this research eventually produces a SUCCESSFUL (no teens abusing drugs or alcohol, no juvenile delinquents, etc.) method of parenting, I am sure you would at least look into it before rejecting it.
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    Jun 28 2012: Can I humbly submit that in my experience good men hate what I have had to endure? When I was at GM I was sexually inexperienced and wholly unprepared for someone to ;help' himself to servings of my body. IN their peer group where I was the only woman, it was pretty cool to grab me by the boob or crotch- at least at first while I was still working out how to deal with it. It took me years and a hell of a lot of stress to figure out how to deal with it. BUT I DID and so I have less patience for women who blow off my real work and complain about this more limited definition of sexual harassment. The laws are there because it can get really bad reaaly fast without them even among men who have wives and daughters of their own who feel they would never treat them in such a manner- which is pecisely the problem- they put those women in a different category from 'my kind of woman.' What kind is that, I ask?The kiind who wants to make a living and be well paid for it?
    • Jun 28 2012: WOW, that must have been stressful >.< Sometimes people might think they are doing one thing but they are really doing something completely different (of course sometimes people know exactly what they are doing). Acceptance and comradery can quickly become exploitation and degradation.
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        Jun 29 2012: Hi Robert, yes, it was certainly stressful at the time but in a weird way it made my values coalesce. I purposed then never to do such a thing (emotionally) to another and I do not knowingly do so and I pray that I do not do it unknowingly either.
        It was NOT sexual at all at heart. It was dominant and it was meant to put me in my place - and I still do not know where they believed that was.
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      Jun 29 2012: I consider myself a good man, and on behalf of most of them, I have to say that your experience, is exactly why good men, also tend to have difficulty with confidence and self image. To me, the struggle of a good man, is to learn to control his own often brutally self destructive nature, for the sake of the people he cares about... The werewolf, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Most good men know these laws were put in place for a reason.

      At the same time, as a member of a much younger generation, I have to suggest that paranoia, over sexual confusion turning into lawsuit, has changed the way men and women interact, in a strange way. Men are so much better at controlling themselves nowadays, that many, are convincing themselves that the beast was just a legend. There are are 25 year old men, who actually believe that they are these androgenous carefree creatures... and... they're not.

      No one's really correcting the behavior, because women feel like they've found friends, and comrades with which to share experience... when in reality, it is more often a wolf in sheeps clothing. Quite a few men who grew up, very good at navigating these weird new social norms, are actually what I like to call "secret relationship sociopaths". People that just ride a wave of lies, and self humiliation for a year or so, it collapses around them, and then they move on to the next relationship, with almost no pause between, because they have so many "friends".

      Good young men worry about this strange, dark, undercurrent developing in masculine society. Often we feel like laws have made it difficult for us to speak honestly in public space, and it makes this weird subculture difficult to fix. I think most good men realize that laws needed to be put in place to defend against such awful abuse as what you experienced however. Such behavior must be legally, and socially unacceptable. We just may have gone a bit to far in self censoring, and it may be a bit unhealthy, imho.
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        Jun 29 2012: I wonder if people have any idea how wonderful it is for me not to have to keep quiet and pretend my experiences never happened? Thanks so much for talking with me about this - sometimes it still rolls over inside and I wonder WHY"
        Your points are so important as a foil. What the women learned and experienced influenced and impacted all the men in their lives just as all men do determines how women react to them. I hate what the innocent young guys have endured too. It is not fair! How do you think the brutality i experienced affected my burgeoning sex life with my husband. It did affect me, it cannot be denied.
        All I ever wanted was the chance to work and do work that was meaningful to me so that I could take good care of those who were entrusted to me. Once I had the job all of the expectations flooded in and there was no way to quit or go back.
        Your point about what is called "serial friendshp" is on Psychologist's radar/ It is maladaptive and it is destructive even as it appears as a coping mechanism. You are intuitive and intelligent. Hold on to your observations lightly so they are not toxic to you, good man.
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          Jun 29 2012: I get all the toxins out in comedic vitriol on the internet. I've always loved the yin and yang of tragedy and comedy. I don't think there's a harder thing in the world for a compassionate human being to do, than to write a good holocaust joke. If ever I sound a bit too heavy... there's a reason that people like George Carlin get popular in their 40's, it takes a long time to refine the skill. You're reading some of the duds : p

          Seriously, ponder for a moment, what a great problem this is that we have... Could you ever imagine, when you were going through what you did, that one day it might get so safe in the workplace, that we'd be complaining it's getting a bit boring, and that's creating creepy people? Compared to the problems we've had in the past, this is childs play, lol... but it's still important.

          This discussion actually illuminated what I was talking about before in reference to culture. Until fifty years ago, there was almost no where in the world a woman could live, and not be treated the way you were... Yet every country in the world thought their culture was so good, they should export it everywhere else... We really are a pretty dumb bunch of chimpanzees.
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        Jun 29 2012: Now that final line must be unique to an age demographic, David, MY eldest son calls us litttle pink monkies.
        the one thing that is really clear is that men hate being treated as women have been treated for years. Maybe their indignation teaches women how we should be handleing it?
        I wish I could undo the confidence thing you refer to (and I do try in my personal relationships) because I do not want that crisis of confidnece for anyone I care about and the well being of our men affects us so deeply.
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      Jun 29 2012: I can't believe how rude the Canadians are/were?
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        Jun 29 2012: Rude Pat? please explain because that is generally not the view we hear from other cultures. Rudeness may be in the eye of the beholder especially if you are offended by the truth or other people's perspective of it.

        You may find it interesting that it was a Canadian who tried to convince your Greenspan to save you from the meltdown. It was also Canadians who saved your diplomats in Iran.

        One of the things Canadians generally consider polite is to never forget a kindness.

        Maybe what you meant is UPPITY? We are never thrilled about bending our knee to psuedo rulers of the world.

        If you refer to the men at GM remember to watch some of your own movies about what all women in mines and factories endured in the USA as well.
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          Jun 29 2012: The last one, it was a joke lighten up.

          How can I joke about such a terrible thing? because you are obviously tougher than that as you blazed the trail.

          Cultures change because of people like you.
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        Jun 30 2012: my joke detector may also have been broken by the brain stem clots or maybe it went when my balance went. I am sorry for being as serious as dirt but the issue is a tough one for me.
        Thanks for your light response.
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          Jun 30 2012: Sorry to hear about your health problems.

          By balance do you mean regarding politics, hasn't that been a problem for some time? (8^(l)
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    Jun 27 2012: If we want break the deadlock of feminism and gender justice the first step is acceptance of this fact that gender is not just male or female. If you read the comments of people who blame generally men or women, all of them have a typical conception of Man and Woman. They consider all women have the same characteristics and attitudes; however you cannot find tow people with exactly the same personality in the world. Firstly we must accept each individual has his/her own characteristics regardless to his/her gender. A man with feminine behavior is not mentally ill, and vice versa. In the ideal form, gender should not restrict the behavior and lifestyle of individuals. I think it can define as a specific goal of gender justice.
    • J M

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      Jun 30 2012: Where is this dead lock?
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        Jul 3 2012: Dear J M
        I tried to discuss this subject which you came up, above this page.
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      Jul 3 2012: My concerns are less with individual attitudes than with national and corporate policies which limit my choices and my freedom or refuse to protect me as a citizen say when being stalked... That sort of thing... I deeply wish people would stop making it all about feelings and anecdotes...

      Or media representations which tell young women the way to make your mark is to be hot and stupid, or hot and mean, or just hot and hot. Of course the impacts on young men also suck for the models they are offered and the expectations which they are filled with with regards to girls and women....
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        Jul 3 2012: Mass media and popular culture which have a close reciprocal relationship when combine with power and economical desires of entrepreneurs consolidate the power of influence of media on ordinary people. The regrettable fact is that none of them has nothing to do with non-profit activities such as gender justice which don't have direct economic results. My main contention is that subjects such as feminism and gender justice are not interesting topics for mass media and it has been a major hindrance for feminism movement. How we can raise the public interest in this issue?
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    Jun 27 2012: Beyond the blatant physical differences, women are said to make more use of their right hemisphere, men of the left..
    Plain logic has been the driving force behind the early industrial years.. now the tide is changing in the richest countries, imagination, creativity & empathy are all becoming more important.. (even by stock exchange measures!)

    I could be totally wrong, but I wonder if there's any correlation there?
  • Jun 27 2012: Feyisayo Anjorin makes an extremely important point. Just what do women want? And what do feminists want?

    Feminists pushed for the equal rights amendment in the USA, and it failed, due in large part to women refusing to support it. I think they refused to support it because treating men and women exactly alike under the law would be an injustice because men and women are different. It is ridiculous for feminists to complain about men treating them like sex objects when it is clear that many women are trying their hardest to be treated exactly that way.

    Now, I firmly believe that women have legitimate complaints and that our culture puts ridiculous pressures on men. If you are serious about accomplishing something, you must first establish realistic goals. These goals must be based on what men and women have in common as well as the real differences. Feminism needs a basis in science and philosophy, a basis which I think will result in the death of feminism and a re-emergence of humanism.

    Back in the seventies, when many people were first hearing about feminism, I told people it would be the best thing that ever happened for men. I still think so.

    I would tell my children and grandchildren to fight injustice of all kinds.
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    Jul 7 2012: From the mouth of babes and TEDx

    http://youtu.be/lPqWzA25R0M

    This little lady has something really true and valid to say. I discovered it when I followed a link from the Bullying thread.
    Debra
  • Jul 5 2012: Aja, I'm glad someone else has noticed this. I'm afraid that even as the years go, this world we live in wont change at all. Men will still be seen as beasts, and women will still be seen as too delicate and housewife's. I believe its our own faults that the world we live in wont change. Some women nowadays want to be respected, yet they dress like...If I dare say, prostitutes. Men, will be men, if you dress in proactive way some things are bound to happen. And that's also one of the reason why men are seen as beasts, if some men could just control themselves, they wouldn't be seen as 'perverts' and 'molesters' We wont progress at all.
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      Jul 5 2012: If you carry a man child inside your body for 9 months and then give birth to him, nurse him and love him into adulthood, I think it unlikely that you would be unable to empathize with his trials and tribulations especially if they are the same ones you yourself have endured.
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        Jul 5 2012: very well said Debra. This is the reason why I asked what we will tell both our sons and daughters when in the adult world, we are pitching one gender against the other. Remembering that we might have children of both genders helps put in perspective the pressing need to acknowledge issues from both sides
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    Jul 5 2012: Hello Robert
    I understand there's many different systems mostly man made. The system I was refering to was nature or eveloution. I believe man is his own worst enemy we keep screwing with the system and it will bite us in the ass. So sir don't jump on me to hard and ill work at spelling better and being clearer in what I'm saying
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    Jul 5 2012: OK, let's try a new approach to get some of our ideas across: look up Nelllie McKay's TED talk called Mother of Pearl and see if it resonates. (I am sorry for some reason it would not attach).
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    Jul 5 2012: Howdy Dany
    Let's try and remember we are all part of a system that won't be any different 100 years from now but we will keep try . As a race we are mulely like that.
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      Jul 5 2012: Sorry Dean, I have seen so much progress since those guys were touching me and I could not even figure out how to get into my job station that I cannot share your pessimism.
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        Jul 5 2012: What are you sorry for? Because they touched you or because they missed a lesson on being a man or are you sorry you were born a woman and not a man or vise versa. Hey I know your sorry for being so weak that you apoligize for others short comings or mistakes
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          Jul 5 2012: HIDean,
          It is a terrible thing to mistake kindness for weakness Dean. I guess I am sorry that you are so pessimistic and that I cannot find common ground with you on this. Did you just call me weak. LOVE it when people make that mistake, sweety pie. My grandfather who died the same weekend i was born said never mistake meekness for weakness.

          I LOVE being a woman and would never choose to be anything else. I am of course, still indignant that people took such advantage of the young woman that I was. I was caught in the changing times and I just needed a job. I made mistakes as I alone fought this fight and I know that millions of women are better off because I spoke out. Maybe the jerks who touched my body without invitation never would have had a shot then or since and they were willing to risk it at my expense. Maybe jerks that make rude retortsa never get to play in the big leagues either so they take their cheap shots where ever they can.

          What am i trruly sorry for: it goes iwth my original statement- I am sorry thaT ANYONE IS STILL BEING JUDGED BY THEIR BODY- because that affects us all. I am also sorry that jerks miisinterpret the obvious in life - but hey that is another discussion.
    • Jul 5 2012: "Let's try and remember we are all part of a system that won't be any different 100 years from now but we will keep try ."

      At what level do you want to look at the system, because at the level of women's rights (and human rights in general) the system is vastly different than it was 100 years ago. To assume there won't be any more changes 100 years from now is statistically improbable.
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    Jul 4 2012: When I was in France, the farmers used to pay us for peeling garlic by the kilo. 10 centimes for one kilo. The Moroccan women were the best by far...outpeeling the Europeans by 3 times the amount in the same time. Consequently, they were paid three times more. If a male coalminer gets 3 tonnes of coal to the surface in the same time that a female miner gets 2 tonnes of coal to the surface, should they be paid the same amount? I have no doubt that the men and the women have made the same amount of physical effort and worked for the same time, but the simple fact of the matter is that the man has produced a third more. Shouldn't he, like the Moroccan women, be compensated for his work? This is a practical question which people all too readily avoid discussing. Please respond.
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      Jul 5 2012: David, it might be hard to repsond to this but I am grateful that you are bringing it up. No one enjoys mistreatment. I would just ask you to consider that this treatment is the way it has been for women for all time except now. If we do not fix this now, when will we?
      Excelent points.
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        Jul 5 2012: But this is my point...are the examples I have given examples of mistreatment or fair treatment? Although you thanked me for bringing them up, they still haven't been addressed.
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          Jul 5 2012: David, darling, if I could answer the world's conundrums - I would have done so already. All I can actually do is recognize when a point made here is a major one but what is confusing to me is why you do not feel it necessary to recognize points made here that are truly, experiencially and morally right. What is inherently male about making car parts?
        • Jul 5 2012: I will be glad to answer. The answer is both. It is mistreatment from the view of the person doing an equal amount of work and getting paid less. It is fair treatment from the view of the employer, who should not have to pay more to an employee who delivers less.

          When feminists look at unequal wages, do they consider it from the view of a woman employer?

          I think this is an area that feminism should not consider a high priority because it is extremely complex. I was a computer programmer and a good one. Studies showed that the best computer programmers were 20 times more productive than the average programmer, but received only slightly more compensation. Capitalism is not kind to workers of either sex.