Since the Weinstein and the #metoo frenzy I revisited the position of women in society, feminism and abuse of power on both sides, men, but women as well.
I thought of feminism in Western society nowadays as an exaggeration.
Its original sense I thought to be lost in favour of obvious rights women have already gained over time. Yes, I was mistaken, but we will get to that later. I thought that in absence of a true cause, feminists have started to fight for unsubstantiated nonsense like … the freedom of walking the streets topless.
There was no doubt in my mind that feminism — as a doctrine — was no longer necessary. Once women had received the most obvious rights (vote, leadership jobs, politics, equal pay … more or less, etc), there was a new fight being fought: the fight for survival.
In the fight for survival, there can only be one winner and that is the fittest, may it be a man or a woman. Losing this kind of battle is normal. After all, this is evolution. Once the premises were set as equal for both men and women, the fight was fair. So it made absolutely no sense for a man or a woman to go home crying they lost. It turns out, there are some situations where women are more likely to lose and some situations where the exact opposite is valid.
I think we can agree that in a society where both men and women have equal chances at any imaginable race there is no place for feminism.
My thinking was misplaced. Here is why.
I am a female aerospace engineer and I have spent most my adult life surrounded by men at my job. Before that there was the university — I was also among the ten percent women there. Never ever in my professional life have I been mistreated, abused or ridiculed.
So no, not all women are victims.
But that doesn’t come as a god given grace. That comes through education. I was not among the unfortunate ones who were used and/or abused because I knew how to stand up for myself; because I have a mother who was wise enough to teach me at the right time that I am nobody’s mat and that nobody will stand up for me, nobody except me.
Given this background, I found recent feminist acts in the Western world pretty lamentable.
I thought that if I can stand up for myself then everybody can. It was a mistake. Now I know why.
First: Because not everybody was lucky to have parents like mine and to get an education.
Second: Because I might be stronger than other women.
Third: Because I remembered some things, little … abuses if you might, that happened to me when I was about 14, before becoming an adult, that I had just repressed. Of course, it’s nothing major, I was never in real danger, but it’s the kind of stuff you just shut up about because you are being silently taught by society that such things are normal and it’s not worth wasting your breath on them.
I never told my parents that in 9th grade, at a school dance, some guy passed by behind me and literally grabbed me by the p***y (pun intended). I was wearing pants, but still. When I turned my head he was gone. I only saw that back of his head and could only assume it was him. I was in shock for a minute. Over the years I think I mentioned this to some girlfriends, but it’s the kind of thing you … just can only talk about and that’s it.
So it starts small.
In the Harvey Weinstein context I read there is a huge discrepancy between men and women directors’ salaries at Hollywood. The news did not surprise me. But what did have an impact on me was really how big the difference really was: last year best paid female director, Patty Jenkins, received $8-9 mil for Wonderwoman, while Christopher Nolan got $20 mil for Dunkirk. That is more than 50% of a gap. This really stroke a chord.
After following #metoo and all Weinstein-related articles in international media, I have started to reconsider the fragile balance between men and women in our society.
I believe there still is a need for feminism.
Of course, it should be rational, sensible, not winey and poisoned by all female unsuccesses. This is probably one of the reasons why feminism gained such a bad reputation — the political correctness gone to absurd.
I would dare to go forward and say we have to expose our abusers of both genders and create equal premises for all individuals.