In my opinion, it is not only the responsibility of leaders (political, financial, corporate, etc.) to educate themselves, but also our responsibility too… you and me, as neighbors living on our globe together. The saying “knowledge is power” can be used in a good way. Educating yourself about the views of your neighbor, will lead to more understanding, tolerance and even though you might not agree with other views, I strongly believe this will increase compassion and kindness towards each other.
A term I heard a lot about while growing up, and I always figured it was related to women’s movements, fighting for equal rights in comparison to men. Recently, I viewed a part of a talk show in which women and men were talking about feminism. Apparently, feminism is no longer only associated with women.
With the help of the internet, I learned that historically feminism was indeed a term used by women who fought for equal rights. Economic, political, social and personal differences based on gender, in this case feminine, were the common starting points for women to start movements to raise awareness for the inequality between men and women. What I didn’t know; even in the early movements, there were male members who did advocate for more equal rights and thus member of such groups.
In general, emancipation is still the main fighting point these days. However, what I learned, not only with regards to more rights for women. Nowadays, feminism is also connected with men who fight for more rights which are normally only given to women. Per example, an increase in days off after the birth of a child. Equality regardless your gender or sexual preference, or regardless your religion and especially in Western society; feminism has become more often a part of human rights in general.
Differences in rights between women and men is unfortunately not the only inequality that (still) exist today. One of the reasons I keep my website online these days is to address the, in my opinion, unfair treatment of each other. Neighbors who discriminate their neighbors in our world based not only on gender, but also based on economic, racial, political, religious and other differences.
Personally, I don’t get the kind of reasoning for why it is ok to treat each other unequally based on mentioned differences.
At the same time, I also believe we shouldn’t generalize when it comes to the topic of feminism. I think it is more fair to go about this in a more individualistic way. Per example, I too believe that all genders should earn the same salary for the same job. I also believe women should be provided the same opportunities when it comes down to work, education, etc. That doesn’t also mean that women HAVE to be placed in a certain function, when it is obvious that the men who applied are more qualified.
Personally, I don’t mind if a man whistles at me when I pass by. I appreciate a man opening a door for me. However, take the time to hear me out, when I can’t find the right words immediately, talking about a topic I do know a lot about. These days, fortunately, more and more women do study too 😉
Asking your neighbors about their perspectives, their wants and needs and thus seeking understanding for their view, I believe, is still the most valuable thing one can do. Even if you can’t understand their reasoning, they have a right to their belief-system(s). Call it feminism, emancipation, human rights… Assumptions will lead to an increase in misunderstanding.
Hopefully, I inspired you to keep educating yourself, because knowledge will lead to kindness. Connect with your neighbors, be open minded and never ever dismiss someone based on gender, race, belief-system, etc. without asking for their perspectives first. You might decide to walk the other way. You might gain a wonderful new friend.