The Fight For Gender Equality Isn’t Close to Over


carole argoThis instant, roughly half of people living in many parts of the globe crumble under widespread dehumanization, simply because some people born with one pattern of physical characteristics believe those traits somehow engender superiority, and grant them power over anyone with opposing features. If we could see thousands, or millions of places at once, we would witness thousands, if not millions of scenarios showing deliberately, systematically stifled female voices and stunted female potential.


Luckily, the resolve of strong women who fought (and died) for equal rights holds sway over federal policy in America and throughout many Western nations. Here, women and men have joined together, straddling the rails against a millennia-long train of thought, grinding misogynist ideals to a screeching, sparking crawl; we’ve finally proven to dead generations that equality is much more than just a theoretical ideal. Brave women spoke loud against injustice, wise men listened, and together, they corrected course. Thanks to their fight, opportunities for both genders reflect more equally here and now than during any other moment in history.


While it wouldn’t be a stretch to declare equality within reach for Western countries, in many locations the genders still stare down an immense gap in access to what the free world considers basic and intrinsically given human rights. If we live aware that simply for being women, the dignities, privacies, rights to opinion; even the lives of millions of women are hostage, then calling our shared living space a “free world,” is false comfort.


But what can we possibly do against such deeply carved misconception, especially when it stems from cultural systems that many don’t understand? Could it be better to call the fight? After all, outright sexism is practically taboo where I live…Why spend precious energy, all for people whose lives have no direct impact on most of ours?


Easy. Because we need to. Because misogyny, like any harmful social standard, needs to be fought hotly, and passionately, and peacefully. It needs to be logically stomped from validity with reason, here and everywhere, again and again, or, like any harmful standard, it will continue to entice and satisfy a few, while subjecting many more to undue suffering.


Equality can’t be forced, however.  It has to be understood: a reached conclusion; the final, most sensible solution. This is why the fight is necessary; because the real struggle is not to force with violence, but to demonstrate, through cultural and personal empathy, how the benefits achievable through gender equality outweigh the pain caused by suppressing it.