The issue of gender inequality has been rife in the media over the past week or so. The sacking of Jill Abramson and the resignation of Natalie Nougayrède has thrown the issue around once again.
However, has the onslaught of ‘pro-feminism’ tweets and posts that are smeared all over social media really contributed to the issue? Has it furthered the cause and developed the argument? For the most part, I think not.
Some FREE advice from my mom to Jill Abramson http://t.co/574ESC7gtE
— Rebecca Greenfield (@rzgreenfield) May 23, 2014
Much, maybe most, commentary on these two events, has blurred the issue and muddied the name of feminism. Feminism has became a chant that people love to yell but seem to have lost the meaning of. Gender inequality is nothing to be scoffed at, it exists and it is a worthy issue to be addressed. However, we mustn’t forget that it may not always be the case, and we as women need to start seeing ourselves equally as well, instead of continually lamenting over our so-called disempowerment.
It seems that “it happened because she’s a woman” is a quick and easy port of call for many young, social-media-image driven women who have decided they understand the issue without doing their research.
Whilst the dismissal of Abramson and the resignation of Nougayrède does require an investigation into how much gender played a role, it needs to be rational and reasonable. One-sided, dogmatic, vapid slogans are offensive to the integrity of Abramson, Nougayrède and feminism. (And Natalie Nougayrède resigned. She was not dismissed as many news publications chose to report.)
— Shira Tarrant (@shiratarrant) May 16, 2014
There’s no question that gender inequality is a serious problem, worthy of discussion and investigation. But it shouldn’t be the first port-of-call to find answers as to why women are being dismissed or resigning. That is in fact more undermining and merely deepens the divide further.
“Feminism… has had two strands: as a media phenomenon and as an academic discipline. The vast realm of reality that lies between remains unaffected by either.” – Germaine Greer, “White Beech: the Rainforest Years”
If women continue to act as victims, if we continue to make excuses for ourselves because “we are women and we are treated differently”, we will not end up on the even playing field. Yes, sexism needs to be addressed, but not through an irrational and uniform approach. That is not progressing the cause, that is pushing us back even further.
“Until we do away with the belief in an unassailable patriarchy and credit ourselves with the strength, intelligence and ability to change our world for the better, we will suffer inequality and injustice.” – Susan Bennett “The Drum”