In 1956, thousands of women marched to the Union building to protest passes that the government of the day was instituting for women.
Women, for thousands of years were made to be second class citizens by men. You see this in most religions, government policies as well as societal norms. This is tough enough without having to deal with race, class and all other social injustices.
If for example it was men that had “men”strual cycles every month, I can assure it would be common cause that every man would have 3 days off from work or school every month. Tempons and sanitary towels would be free and branded ones would be tax deductible.
I read somewhere, that women on average earn 20% less than men! Yup! How does that make any sense in today’s time, where almost everyone is an information worker. 100 years ago you could argue that men got paid more because of the strength required by the workload. This was a weak argument even then when you consider that most women still go to work even when they have hard core monthly cramps.
The truth is that this injustice persists purely because of male privilege. You see when you are privileged you don’t worry about other people’s issues. When privileged the are basically two types of problems mine or yours. So if it does not affect me directly then it’s your problem. Take an arbitrary example like the toilet seat, are you telling me there is no tech out there that can make the automatically go down after 5 mins or better yet keep the Toilet seat warm too? There is enough tech in an iPhone to land a man on the moon. Like I said there two types of problems.
I can’t claim ignorance to the fact that I know women earn less than men, what I didn’t know was that the average is 20% less. Now that I know, will that influence and change my behavior? Is it that my problem?
I think injustice is everyone’s problem! I think it is my problem and this is why I am writing about it. I also think it is very much every woman’s responsibility to change the status quo. You see a status quo seldom changes by itself, that’s why it’s the status quo. Capitalism strives on inequality, supply only rises to demand if demand is high. In fact sometimes supply is kept low in order to increase demand. This is the only reason diamonds are expensive.
It is pointless to have women’s day celebrations that exclude men. If men are still the ones perpetuating the in-equilibrium then you need to make sure men know what your issues are as women. Women’s day should not be about women gathering whilst the men go play golf and then Monday the status quo continues. Women’s day should be an AGM (attended by men and women) that reviews previous targets against deliverables achieved. The more you have women specific events albeit necessary be careful that you do not create an unintended consequence. Take a girl child to work is a phenomenal initiative my only concern however, is the unintended consequence to boy and the girls child. What is the message that’s being driven home to the two?
Perhaps another solution to this problem is to have more women entrepreneurs. This is the fastest way to level the playing field, if you ask me. It will take far too long to change the direction of the oil tanker called corporate SA. Corporate is snow capped with males that have a disincentive to change. Female entrepreneurs on the other hand could hire who they want faster. Women owned companies will naturally have a strategic competitive advantage. Have you ever won any argument with a woman? I know this is anecdotal but what is not anecdotal is; that men and women think differently and women tend to think more long term. My best bosses were women, they thought me a lot. #iamgrateful
Ironically however, there is anecdotal evidence that women tend not to work well with each other. Ladies, what’s up with that?!
Perhaps it’s time women marched together again, and should you need any assistance – me and my fellas we’ll be right here beside you. In fact it would be our privilege – see what if I did there