Submitted by Steven Kaszab
I have been a member of a association called The Circle, with membership primarily women and like minded men. Hay you can call me a feminist if you like really. “Feminist” is a powerful word, because it challenges those who hear it when proclaimed. This word challenges everything that “mankind” once held as true, Society once was ruled by men, but the ladies of history have evolved and transformed society in so many ways.
“Global Feminism means a world in which women are free from violence and empowered to live fulfilling lives”(Sally Bennet). When ever a woman stands up for herself she is not alone, but is standing up for her gender and her fellow citizens and neighbor’s. If women are to be equal, free and respected, all of us must be given these rights as human beings. There are so many organizations carrying out the fight for equality, challenged by the cultural and historic influences found in every society on this globe.
Why become a Feminist? Do you respect a lady in your life, perhaps at work, school, or a social club? Becoming a Feminist is not so difficult really. Just realize that Women and Men are different and yet the same. I have found that the women in my life have been a positive influences, inspirational and critically a benefit to me.
Women are far more empathetic then men. Men have been raised to respect power and wealth, controlling themselves and their emotions. Perhaps it is the parental aspect only a woman can feel, that of creating a life and usually raising their offspring. Patience, teaching and being an example to a child forms you in many ways to become a better person. There is power in those experiences. Power to transform a piece of clay into something wonderful. Men cannot have that biological experience no matter how they try. This power unites all women into a group capable of anything. We see how women are transformed while in a position of power, within a mans environment. Men are far more competitive in every way then women. That is why our history was transformed historically. In the past women were the center of their societies, matriarch’s of power and influence. Men took this from women, and the world became a mans world. History shows how bloody and horrible these histories were. Women became inspirations to men, as well as possessions. Through marriage and societal challenges many women became enslaved. Yes, enslaved to a singular bread winner and support network. Men worked, and women did everything else. Education and the woman’s future prospects became secondary to those of their men.
Why should women rule the roost internationally? Women historically know what it is like to be oppressed, manipulated and used. Why has a movie like “roots” not been made about women’s historical struggles? Men cannot allow the truth to come out, that women, while being often better then their gender opponents, are still being oppressed, manipulated and used today.
Equal pay for those who do similar jobs. Ending gender and cultural violence towards women. Equal access of financial systems for women. The list is long indeed. One thing I have learnt while participating with The Circle is that we need to deal with one problem at a time. So lets look at violence towards women. The WHO (World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 3 (30%) of women have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non partner violence. Violence such as this can effect women’s physical, mental, sexual and reproductive health. In Canada @ 50% of all assaults on women are not reported. In many parts of the world young men( @ 69% of men are under 40 years of age) assault, rape and harm women daily. There are cultural influences that down play women’s rights to be free from matrimonial and community violence. I cannot point fingers at which parts of the world experience extreme violence against women, so research for yourself where these maybe ok.
Annie Lennox founded “The Circle” to give Women and their Allies opportunities to gather together to fight for a fairer world for Women and girls. Look to your mothers, aunts, sisters, daughters and neighbor’s and accept the challenge to become better men and women, and find the courage to fight societal fear and anger but ending violence not just against Women, but against all innocents of society.