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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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  • 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.

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