In a forum like this it's easy to spend a lot of time talking about poor gender equality- and indeed, it is important to talk about this.
However, sometimes it's nice to have a space where we can talk about positive things we have seen happen with regards to the issue.
I noticed something good today while I was waiting for a doctor's appointment- the foyer doubles as a waiting room for both doctor appointments and counselling appointments, and has a lot of support brochures to browse through while you wait. I was very happy to see literature for women, but also brochures offering support to men addressing issues such as sexuality, masculinity and fatherhood.
I was wondering if anyone else had seen other similar positive steps towards gender equality for either men or women (or other genders, since we don't have to restrict ourselves to the traditional poles of male and female).
Ever since this topic was posted, I've been wanting to answer... but I've had a hard time thinking about what's positive. I guess that being young makes me somewhat oblivious to how bad things were before I was born... thus I spend all my time complaining about the little things that are still wrong.
When I do reflect on the past though, I see how far we've come, and in quite a short timespan, too. It was not so long ago that women had to wear skirts to school, restaurants, etc. Not long ago it was very rare for women to be in influential positions at work. Women have caught up to men a great deal in the last century or so.
It seems that men are a little slower in catching up to women, though. On this front there is less positive news. However, when I look to the gay community, that is where I see the most signs of men blurring traditional gender lines. As gay men become more and more accepted, I hope more and more of their willingness to stray from "maculinity" will spread to the straight population.
i think if we start by looking at gender as a "construction" -- an arbitrary set of criteria set out to control us socially, it makes a lot of sense to try and defy these things -- how many times have you heard a statement like, "women are..." or "girls are..." and thought, "that's not me!"
it's become clearer and clearer that gender is -- like sexuality -- a sliding scale of sorts, with nothing "authentic" -- what if we're free to release ourselves from social strictures and choose the genders we want?
for what it's worth, a doctor at columbia has logged at least six different genders...
------------------ Why Things Burn: Poems now available from Soft Skull Press (http://www.softskull.com)
Posts: 3 | From: san francisco, ca, usa | Registered: Sep 2001
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