Presenting at U3A
Despite all the women’s liberation, women’s right and women’s lib movements’ equality has still not been achieved in Australian workplaces. Although over 50 percent of university graduates are women, only around 9% of executive officer positions and less than 4% of Board directorships in the ASX 200 are held by women. There is the pay gap, which is as large as ever and widening, with women in Australia earning about 86 cents for every dollar earned by men. Also women predominantly work in positions which are traditionally seen to be ‘woman’s work’ such as nursing, and childcare. This work is undervalued and underpaid. So that’s the market place.
The domestic situation is very different where once it did help women now it seems to be killing masculinity. For example, men are expected to allow for her ‘the time of the month’ and all the resultant mood swings with total understand and compassion to the extent that women fail to take responsibility for their own behaviour. The pendulum has swayed to far the opposite way.
The feminine movement developed as a result of women endeavouring to lift the oppressive blanket of being seen and treated as the lesser sex. It was a commitment to achieving the equality of the sexes. Females have been delegated the lesser place in the order of life as they did not have the same physical strength as males and therefore could be knocked into submission. They would also have starved when bound to the hearth by pregnancy and children if not for the male provider. Women learnt to keep their man happy by becoming submissive and treating them like the lord of their domain and hence men learnt they could lord it over everyone reliant on their goodwill for their survival.
This attitude was predominant in my parents’ generation. To demonstrate this I have used an excerpt from my autobiography Facing Demons.
“Mum lived in fear of my father’s tongue and temper. He was
scathingly critical if things were not just as he demanded they be.
She would get me to sit by the window where I could see the road so
I could tell her exactly when Dad started heading home for his cup
of tea. That’s when the frantic activity would start. Dad expected to
be able to walk in and everything be laid out ready for him. The jug
which had been previously heated was set to boil so the tea would
have time to be properly brewed by the time he entered the room,
milk carefully measured in his cup and plenty of choices of food
carefully laid out to try and satisfy his unpredictable wants. Despite
our best efforts he would still find faults and belittle my mother. ”
The women of my mother’s generation had no way of supporting themselves if they left their men. Many remained trapped within the marriage because of financial concerns.
The generation that I was brought up in, taught from an early age, that a girls purpose in life was to grow up, get married, keep a husband happy and bare his children, all with a smile on one’s face. There was nothing in my upbringing that taught me I also counted in the overall scheme of things. Believe it or not I was subservient and sold my soul to my husband, to such an extent, that I became suicidal as my inability to keep him happy diminished despite my best efforts. I felt I was a failure.
My generation endeavoured to teach our sons to be more sensitive, hence the sensitive ‘new age’ male. I wonder how much of a favour we really did them. Their attitude to marriage is summed up in the slogan “happy wife happy life”.
This attitude turned gender equality within the home on its head. Wives lord it over men within the home. Many men do most of the cooking and cleaning as well as more than their share of child raising whether both parties work or not. They became servants within their home, jumping when they were told to jump and being verbally condemned and belittled by manipulative, dominating controlling women who have learnt to use their tongues as destructive weapons. Respect on both sides largely destroyed.
Generally males are not as vocal as their female counterparts and are unable to express their feelings and emotions as vocally. One can’t help but wonder how much this changing scene has contributed to the increase in domestic violence. It is little wonder men seem to want to keep women out of positions of power in the market place when they could be threatened with being emasculated there as well. The feminists’ movement has failed to find the natural balance of equality between the sexes and emasculated their husbands. Seeking to become the perfect husband men have allowed this switch of roles to happen.
Any type of dominance or ‘isim’ has no place in true equality. People are people despite the gender. Some people are good at some things and others at different things. Each should be respected for their abilities and paid or treated accordingly. Despite what is happening within the home women are not being treated as equal in the market place and are still seen and treated as 2nd class citizens. This attitude is very deeply ingrained and passed on through generations despite all the feminist movements. If the younger generation’s attitude in the home is transferred to the market place I personally find it a scary scenario.
We should do away with words like feminism as it has become distorted and used by young women to manipulate and distort the true meaning of a balanced attitude between genders. Many weld the power more cruelly than their counterparts ever did. So let’s get rid of the word feminism and become humans being human with mutual respect between genders.