Gender-equality, is it a game dear women? [Archives:2007/1083/Community]

September 6 2007

By: Maged Thabet Al-kholidy
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Women's call for gender-equality has been one of the prominent issues of public interests. Men, to a certain limit, gradually accept this idea. They, themselves, sometimes, offer such rights to women. But, unfortunately, some of women, if not all, take only the rights that please them and forget (actually neglect) the others.

Thousands questions may be raised regarding what are exactly the women's rights. Some women, simply, take that matter as education, work, and share some social and political activities. While others announce war for more rights, raising the motto of 'gender-equality' as the main principle in any aspect of life.

The term 'gender-equality' is broad in its meaning. Some men, however, accept it as the women's 'full' rights to behave as equally as men. Such men have to respect women's rights and must deal with them as if they deal with men. But women themselves sometimes break such rights in certain situations, claiming that they are women, and must be dealt differently.

Suppose a man accepts the idea of 'gender-equality', keeping it in mind whenever he deals with 'female'. A woman, for him, is like a man. It is 'gender-equality'. He makes no distinctions in his treatment with both sexes.

Dealing with women as friends, he behaves in the same way he does with men. He takes the matter easy so that no one can blame him for violating the gender equality. He may phone one of these women either for work requirements or even as a personal relation as a friend or classmate.

The same thing may happen if he meets a woman in the street. He avoids not to neglect her, thinking that this is against 'gender-equality'. He may ask to take her home by his car instead of leaving her transporting from one bus to another. Innocently he deals with her. But a loud voice may stop him at once, charging him with 'rudeness', and 'shamefulness' for such a way of treatment with women.

At work, the same shit may take place. Having been responsible for a lot of work for a long period of time, thinking that it is a human duty to help women because they are 'fair sex'. As a project of 'gender-equality', he may suggest distributing work duties and responsibilities equally between the two sexes. But the moment he does so, women may kick him out for being hard-hearted with them.

In terms of respect, the man may announce his full respect to women as he does with men. He never thinks badly of any one of them. His relations with them may get stronger, respectfully thinking that they are as friendly as men. But a war is suddenly launched against him for being a man of 'dead emotions', or may be 'cool instinct' if, at least, a women thinks of him differently.

A real situation happened once reminds me of 'gender-equality'. That was in a bus where a man and women were about to fight. The woman was in front of the man, keeping her eyes moving on every par of his body. The man might have remembered 'gender-equality' for he suddenly looked at her. He was about to be beaten by the woman and other passengers in the bus on the claim that he was looking at her. Is this the 'Gender-equality' that women call for?

In marriage, both men and women are in need of each other. But it is only the man who is responsible for everything. This is not meant only the marriage expenses, but also includes many procedures after. The man is responsible for …. on the first night of marriage, he is also responsible of satisfying her in all the aspects. It is not important whether he gets responsive reactions offered by her or not. He satisfies her by all the means, but she may not, advocating that she is 'a woman'.

With his family members, he may talk normally, expressing feelings and thoughts with no restrictions. No longer boundaries restrict him to deal and even to speak differently with the so-called 'fair-sex'. He feels happy with that. But soon he is blamed for being 'rude' or 'shyless' in his treatment with the 'Eve's daughters'.

I just wonder, is this the equality that women fight for. Is it only the aspects that please them, while other aspects are not equality to them? Is there any one to reply? Or it is a mere a trick, you, women, play whenever you feel to win. I hope, at least, one replies not only to me but to all those, male and female, who ask themselves thousands times what 'gender-equality' exactly implies. The answer, I hope, must not be through prejudice or selfishness but through the mind's eye.

Majed Thabet Al-kholidy is a writer from Taiz, currently doing his M.A. at English Dep, Taiz Uni. He is an ex-editor of English Journal of the University