ENGENDERING THE GENDER AGENDA

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When A Man Gives His Opinion, He’s A Man. When A Woman Gives Her Opinion, She’s A Bitch.

Someone recently finished reading the book..

Lean In: Women, Work, And The Will To Lead.

…written by a female top gun in Facebook and seemed to endorse two areas I felt like responding to. Here goes:

When It Comes To Time To Settle Down, Find Someone Who Wants An Equal Partner.

Settle down is used to  refer to marrying.  I don’t think there is anything like equal partnership in marriage. Check it out. In any organization,there must be the boss. Even when there are partners, there must be the senior one. In an airplane, a ship, there is the senior pilot, and the junior,  or assistant.  In marriage, there is no way there can be equality in the partnership, one needs to be the head, the ultimate decision maker. (This can even be the wife, actually).

gender bias

I do not think all these equal partnership oyibo concept has much applicability in an African society, and may explain why marriages based on such foreign concepts capsize  rather quickly, or don’t even happen, to start with. Yes, I am an African man, and wouldn’t tolerate a wife that imagines she has as much authority as me – the husband. It is even un_islamic, and the bible also states clearly that the man is the head of the family! The next assertion was:

My Gender Has Never Limited Me Nor Will Ever Limit Me

There are real limitations for an (African) woman, whether we admit it or not. Perhaps the recent American election is a pointer. Many men would probably not admit it in public, but there are certainly men who see women as inferior in certain ways. Such men would never vote a woman as President, no matter how capable. Whether this condescending attitude is justifiable, correct or not is not the issue, but my point is; this is a possible impediment to female achievement. Of course that kind of attitude is more pronounced in countries where women belong firmly in “those rooms” the President mentioned (kitchen, living room and bedroom).

gender bias

There are jobs that could be physically so demanding that a female may not be appropriate. Women generally have to work twice as hard as men to prove their mettle in certain instances. That’s some form of impediment (It is also true that women may not need to work as hard as men to get certain recognition). Perhaps it is a matter  of knowing how to use one’s strengths as a woman maximally, to counteract and downplay  the feminine disadvantage in the generally patriarchal society we operate in.

Similarly to many factors like birthplace, parenthood, network, specific profession affecting success positively or negatively, the particular area of operation (country) has significant impact on what a woman can aspire to. As a natter of fact, there are professions that women are better at, so gender  not only hinders but can enhance depending on so many factors. This is a fact of life Some countries won’t allow a woman to drive, won’t allow a woman to vote or bail, or be a priest, or dream of ever becoming  President.

Some societies are even so restrictive that a woman can not go out in public alone, unchaperoned,and cannot show their faces when a man  other than their husband is present etc.  If those things are not limiting to achievement, I don’t know what else would be limiting.

The world being a global village, the maximization of one’s potentials (irrespective of sex) could be facilitated by leveraging, like moving to a society where “gender equality” is strong, or choosing  a profession that has no gender limitations.

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