{Speaking My Mind} On Equality

On Equality:  I think women are losing a lot by pushing and wanting to be the same as men.  We’re not equal to men, we’re different. But we should have the same rights and same salary for doing the same work they do.  We’re not inferior,  but we are different.  And I think that we should accept that.

~Janet Van Leerdam, aged 66 (Frankie Magazine, Issue 41, page 30)

This issue of Frankie has an article “Back in my Day – five oldies tell tales from their younger days”.

It would appear that Janet was a bit of a pioneer for her times.  She trained as a doctor – one of 12 females in a class of 100 in her first year of med school.  I’m guessing that she trained around the late 1960’s, so I’m thinking she probably knows her way around the gender debate!

Recently in the Australian media there was renewed debate over whether women should be allowed to serve in the Australian Army in Infantry Units.  While I was saying ‘”Yeah, maybe, if they are physically and mentally fit enough for it”, Husband was dead against the idea (he has nearly 9 years of military experience, so comes to the argument well versed).

Here are some of Janet’s comment to consider:

We’re different.

Strength? Yes, men have the upper hand here.
Sensibilities? Some would argue that women are more level headed!

On heaps of other levels men and women are on even keel – some guys are super-organised, some women not; some women have the stamina of 40 horses, some guys wimp out after 5 minutes; some guys are the stay-at-home-dad who deals with the kids day in out day, while some women are the bread-winners.

Same pay for same work.

There’s always been a huge difference for the gender pay gap, and while the corporate world remains a ‘Boys Club’ I think women will always get the raw end of the deal here.  And what would be the wage of a Mum anyway?  We work 24/7/365 – all for love.

I am curious though, any gals out there who drive those huge mothers of trucks hauling stuff around the mine fields?  Are you on same wages as your male counterparts?

We’re not inferior.

Damn straight we’re not.

I know that I struck in lucky with my other half.  He was raised to pull his weight, help out around the house and treat a woman with respect.  And he’s been blessed with me – not afraid to get my hands dirty, help out when the going gets tough and been known to kick the shit out of a stump stuck in a wheel well (along with the shed-words to accompany it when it wouldn’t budge…)

Sure, Husband is the bread-winner in our family, but I’m the glue that keeps our family functioning – so we both have our roles and they are both important.  One without the other, and things just wouldn’t run as smoothly.

Accept our differences?

It goes without saying.

But I think what should be said here is to “respect” our differences (the ones that we can acknowledge… the ones that do exist).  I’ll never be part of the corporate world where I’ll bang my head on a glass ceiling, and I for one refuse to go back to the days when men opened doors and pulled out chairs for women.  But when men and women accept and ‘respect’ that each gender has their own unique blessedness and bits to add to the mix, then I think the world will start to spin a little straighter on its axis.

PS.  When are Mothers going to start receiving a wage?  (Note the capital “M” here, and a whole other controversial comment there, I’m sure!)

What do you think?
Is there gender equality in the workplace?
Should we as the female species stop fighting for equality and start embracing our differences?

Leave your comment – spark debate.  Tell me I’m right, wrong or barking up a tree… Let’s hear it!

{Image: The CEO Gender Gap by GDS Infographics}

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