Two steps forward, one step back; Women versus chauvinism
In today's world, women have it more difficult than ever. Competing to stay ahead of the curve, they often have to overcome a seemingly insurmountable amount of stereotypes and outdated mindsets to reach their hopes, their goals, their dreams. It is an unfair reality that many have fought against, and continue to fight against to this day. And for what? Well, it all simply boils down to this...
Men and women are equally important to the survival of the human race, and therefore should get equal treatment.
It is that simple.
Such an uncomplicated idea, yet still a vocal point of contention for many.
Most who rally against that idea either show an overwhelming sense of insecurity or some deep form of prejudice, and are easily dismissed.
The bigger problem, however, is that that still leaves many out there who believe women to be lesser, and happen to have a way to hide this belief from the general populace until it is "safe" to reveal it (e.g. around other like-minded individuals). And, shockingly, these are not people of low intelligence.
It' is a very sad and harsh reality too, because most men who think this way fail to see the ironies they them self live with entrenched firmly in their mind.
Take, for example, something as simple as shaving.
While this is something that both men and women do, it is a widely held belief that the act of shaving tends to lean more towards the feminine side. But this could not be further from the truth.
According to a Glamour study, the total amount of U.S. men 15 years or older who remove hair hovered around a cool 94 billion. The percentage of those men who do so daily? A whopping 75.
With women, the percentages were decidedly lower; 11% who shave every day and 58% that prefer shaving over other methods.
Of course, in some... Well, in many ways, men and women are different.
But it seems the quest to smoothness is more universal than previously thought.
Luckily, with the advent of technology such as depilatory creams and epilators, that burden has at least become more tolerable if not much easier. Even with the large supply of those products out there, the task of choosing one is still not too hard, again, thanks to technology; sites like theartofshaving.com
and pickmyepilator.com make it easy to get decisive, unbiased reviews and suggestions from people who know what they're talking about as well as actual product users. This extends not only to external issues, but internal as well; you can now easily find an online therapist to talk about anything that may be bothering you.
And therein lies the rub; with the unbelievable amount of knowledge at our fingertips today, how is it that women, generally speaking, are still treated as second-class citizens most of the time, and especially online?
Many experts believe that chauvinistic behavior has always existed and always will, and that it simply thrives now because of the relative anonymity the internet provides to even the lowest of people.
But it seems that simply writing this behavior off as that of "lower-intelligence men" is no longer a possibility.
Of course, chauvinism in the business workplace has long existed and been documented by real as well as fictitious sources; the hit television show Mad Men made many of its dollars parading its chauvinistic antihero leading male to the audience, and a simple short trip to any of the many firms in America will give you an idea of the ever-present problem.
But other fields have it, too.
Take the recently published and aptly titled article "Chauvinism in the Lab"
by Bibiana Campos Seijo, for example. (I highly suggest you read it, as it speaks volumes for the relatively short article it is.)
In it, Seijo tells us a highly disconcerting series of events that prove what I'm trying to say. And she puts forward a convincing case.
Sir Richard Timothy Hunt, a 72-year old English biochemist, is a fellow of the Royal Society who was knighted by the queen in 2006. He was awarded the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine along with Paul Nurse and Leland H. Hartwell for their discoveries of protein molecules that control the division of cells. These are just a few of his impressive accolades.
Yet, for all his intelligence, this man managed to let these words come out of his mouth:
“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. … Three things happen when they are in the lab. … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry.”
Now hopefully, I don't need to tell you what's wrong with that. But in case I do, let me lay it out.
For a man of such impressive feats to sound so juvenile, has many effects on society, but mostly one huge and positive effect.
It brings the problem that has been hiding so long right in front of everyone out into the open.
No longer can anyone deny that this is an epidemic, a long-ignored, large heaping of shortsightedness and small-mindedness that threatens to corrupt our very way of living.
And the biggest question of it all... What role is the internet playing?
On the one hand, certainly, the internet acts as a wall with holes behind which anybody can hide to say anything, and many do so. Inflammatory comments that once would have been said face to face and only if indeed highly indicative of what a person was feeling, now get belted out as comments in some Youtube video by a child simply for spite.
Yet of course one can not overlook the vast seas of information we can now quickly dump into our laps; a phone with cheap unlimited internet access can pull out more wisdom than all libraries combined.
But what is it we do with that wisdom?
One would hope so... someday.