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dany masado

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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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    Jun 29 2012: I actually like to reframe the issue of gender inequality, through the lens of workers rights. I feel like with both feminism, and civil rights, somewhere in the 80's we seemed to forget the goal. I know this is going to sound a bit akward, but I always thought the goal of both struggles, was to insist that a working human being, be treated with respect, and paid a living wage, which could raise a family.

    Basically, it seems like the dream used to be to give every working woman, and working member of a minority, the benefits, that at the time, were reserved for white men. It seems like the glut in the labor market, created by the feminist movement, and the civil rights movement, through no fault of their own, was used by corporations, to force us all to meet somewhere in the middle.

    I think this is why you see so much anger amonst, let's be honest, uneducated, white males in the south. They basically say "My daddy farmed a small plot of land, and fed a family of four... Now in my town, no one can feed a family of four on one job... What the hell did we do?". I think we need to have a bit more sympathy for that often incoherently expressed argument. While I must admit lots of people who think like that are racist, and or sexist jerks too, we shouldn't listen to them too much.

    If a woman wants to work 40-60 hours a week to have a career, that income should be enough to feed a family of four... same as a man... same whatever color you are... We seem nowhere near that in modern society, and the big winners... are corporations. We're making more stuff than we used to because of automation... So what's happening to the good jobs?

    The problem is that most men see this as "We got screwed"... Instead, we should look back and say "Nobody won... Somethings wrong here. I also think we need some full time parents to raise children, and take them to museums, and art galleries, but that decision should now be gender neutral.
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      Jun 29 2012: The main point of feminism is that the society must provide equal job opportunity for every individuals regardless to gender. Men in society must accept this truth that an occupation should be take by the person who have the higher eligibility and this person can be man or woman. We need inform society what was had being happened in the past did not fair and true and must be changed. Of course there will be a tough resistance against this change specially from traditional men who have a strong control over society. So I think the key to success is just raising the awareness of women and urge them to focus on their abilities and skills in order to make more and more contribution in high social positions not for struggle with men but rather for demonstration of true lifestyle of humankind.
    • Jun 29 2012: That's an excellent point David. My mom actually blames much of our current economic woes on women wanting to work. What people don't understand is that that view does not have to go hand in hand with the view that women are inferior. Just because women should be respected in the workplace doesn't mean that women should have to work to gain respect.
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        Jun 29 2012: I'm happy when talented and educated women wish to work and raise a family, their husband should learn to cook. I am not happy that no one can raise a family on a single income anymore, and worse, we've given it up as a pipe dream.

        No where in America can you work a 40-60 hour week and raise a family, unless you have a top tier degree. In almost every family the man works that long, and the woman works that long, and the child is raised by the television... We have robots and computers why do we work twice as much for less stuff?
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          Jul 3 2012: While I agree the labor/work/family issues need to be reintegrated and thought about more inclusively... and I agree with that deeply...It's tough for me to limit feminism to that single concern.

          Sex trafficking, rape, domestic violence-- though not limited to women - the persistence of invisible walls and ceilings, tokenism, differences in pricing and coverage, pay gaps, lack of sufficient representation in halls of power commensurate with numbers... the list is really long...of goals women and feminists seek to address...along with the fact that the middle class (or what call the working class) is being carved out so that there are two classes....those with infinite security and those with none.

          Globally - out of the reach of the concerns you point out - extreme poverty is the lot of most women and men....both pay a heavy heavy price. The price women and girls pay is quite different though...

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