A distinctive feminist, La Franglophone, has called on women to stop supporting other women blindly.
Read her explanation below –
“I often hear some people talk about how women are not helping the feminist cause. That females should be more supportive of other females. While it is true that a lot of women could do with much more support in many areas as they try to attain a new feat, this seems to denote that women should blindly support simply based on gender. And basically this is still discrimination based on gender or gender-based bias, which is exactly what feminism is trying to create more awareness of and stop.
For as long as humanity can recount, there have been double standards, meaning different rules and privileges for different genders. And here, I am not referring to the basic biological differences in the human body. But to ones not at all related to it, thereby making it totally unnecessary and very cumbersome to many women. I’m talking about women not having the right to vote, drive, choose their marital partners or have a career. At some point in time, this was the norm. This was what society considered as normal. There were also restrictions pertaining to the man as well, like the inability to show certain emotions, the need to be physically strong, etc. The society set up a mold for each gender with no regard to the individual and what he/she really wants. While many things have changed in recent centuries, we still have a lot of lingering fallacies in our minds.
Now gender-based bias is using the societal assumptions and stereotypes about male and female to make decisions and come to conclusions before giving the individual a chance to prove to you otherwise. For example, a cook is wanted in a home, a male and a female apply. The female has more chances of getting that job. Although it is very possible that the male is a better and more creative cook. The family would most likely see the woman and automatically see ‘takes care of the house’ & ‘cooks for everyone’ = Good cook. Frankly, this is not necessarily true, but in this case they are jumping to conclusions based on how they perceive each gender and the roles assigned to them by society.
Now when we talk about women supporting women, one of the well-meaning advice is that if a female is running for a political office, all women should run to her rescue with female votes.
I actually don’t think this is right. Because that would just make this a males vs females war and this is not what feminism is really about. It is not a competition between the two genders. Or a personal vendetta to put women everywhere. To me, feminism is about the freedom of the individual. Freedom to vote, to drive, to have a career… Basically freedom from the gender-roles that society forces down the individual’s throat without giving the chance to explore something different and more suited to the individual’s character or needs.
I won’t go into the details of that right now, that’s for another article.
If a woman runs for a political office, I don’t think that people should vote for her based on her gender alone. That is gender-bias, that’s not what we want. Do not judge her based on gender alone, but listen to her and see if she makes sense. This goes to not only women but to men as well.
Men who say women should all be voting for their fellow woman, seem to be indirectly saying “Me, I’m definitely not going to vote for her but sure go ahead. You’re the one who wants women at the top.” I ask those who say this, “Would you also listen to her? And give her a chance?” That’s all that is needed, for the woman running for a political office as well as for the man running for the same office. They are all political candidates and their gender should not be the focal point.
A fair society is one that gives the woman a chance in the first place. Most times, a woman is discouraged from even trying simply because she is a woman. Feminism says do not judge her based on her gender. Do not disqualify her in your mind simply because she is a woman and do not give her your vote simply because she is a woman. She is not just a woman. She is so much more. Look at the other factors that determine who you vote for, what she is saying or doing, what kind of reforms she is proposing, etc.
Same thing for a woman in any other career. Do not just tell her ‘you can’t do this, you’re a woman’. She is much more than her genital organs. She is an individual with a personality, an intellect, talent, skills and competences. These are the major factors to be considered always. And not just by other women but by men as well.
No, we are not just going to divide ourselves into a girls vs boys team. This doesn’t have to be a gender war, so let’s not make it one. Rather, let us question the gender roles in our society. Does it really have to be 100% like this 100% of the time? Women in the kitchen and men at work? Why can’t we be flexible sometimes, shuffle things a bit? (Or a shuffle things a lot, if need be.) These days, many women are working and some men cook for their families. It is a system that also works and that is better suited to the individual needs of some couples. We can normalize this as well.
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We don’t want all women supporting just women and all men supporting just men. We shouldn’t give votes, jobs offers, or support based only on gender, or tribe, or personal relationship. We should look beyond that. That is a free and fair society or at least a step in that direction. That is a world in which no one group is imposing his/her ideas and desires on the other. And this can eventually lead to more satisfaction and advantages for all parties involved.