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On The Subtleties of Gender Inequality
Harmony of the Sexes
The following applies to me, my mind, and mine alone. I share it to offer up ideas for you to let your mind process so you can come to conclusions and practices that work best for you and your unique journey through life.
One day not long ago, I was on the bus. Not a particularly meaningful day or bus ride, just a typical experience. There was a lady driving the bus. At some point, I observed her driving and I thought to myself, "damn, this lady is driving the shit out of this bus", (in a praiseworthy way)...
...and that's when I realized something.
Praising the Non-praiseworthy Act
By praising this bus driver for doing something that anyone of any sex or gender identification can do equally safely, I am:
1) At least being condescending, even if I meant it warmly and without sarcasm(which I did), and being observationally discriminatory based upon this human's sex.
Let me tie it to something else that may not sound so odd. Me praising this woman for being a good bus driver, like going out of my way to point out how good she is, is like someone praising a person of colour for being "well spoken"; as if it's a miracle or surprising that people of colour can have a good, strong verbal command of the English language. By this same token, I see it as the same kind of prejudiced condescension for me to give praise to this bus driver for doing what any human can do, just because of her sexual identity. Follow? Behaving and speaking in this manner toward people, be they men, women, people of colour, not-people of colour, GLTBQer's, Straights, ANYONE, I feel, is putting them down, not lifting them up.
2) Feeding into the ignorant stereotypes, and counter reactions for, women doing "a man's job". THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A MAN'S JOB/FIELD. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A WOMAN'S JOB/FIELD. THERE IS JUST A JOB/FIELD. (there is no spoon)
After realizing this, I decided that it's not right for me to go out of my way to give extra praise to someone for doing a job that anyone can do, just because of their sex.
I'm about as far from a feminist/white-knight, or an MRA as they come, but I call it like I see it, and the truths I learn do not cow-tow to any political agenda or egos, least of all my own.
I'm sure beautiful people have to deal with this all the time; this undeserved lavishing of praise on them, not because they're doing something that requires a great deal of actual skill/thought, but simply because their sycophants want them or want to be seen with them.
I imagine that this unfounded worship and boot licking must get tiresome for them after a while.
Little Slices of Truth
It's not right of me to give extra praise to a man for showing good sensitivity or doing a good job caring for children because good sensitivity and good child care is something every human, who is wired for it, should be capable of, irrespective of their sex. There is no evidence that only one sex or gender ID is capable of doing a competent job of these things.
It's not right of me to give extra praise to a woman for taking charge of a situation or for building something out of heavy materials with her two bare hands or other such "sex assigned" tasks, because these are things that any human being with the mind for it is capable of. There is no evidence that only one sex or gender ID is capable of doing a competent job of these things.
I will always think of how condescending, not uplifting, it actually can be for that person to get praise for doing and accomplishing things that are just a given for human beings in general. Thinking in the manner prior to my realization is not helping the evolution of gender equality in our social ecosystem. It is regress under a thinly veiled guise of progressive, productive thought.
I don't want to be a party to devolution, so if you're doing something that has historically been opposite-sex assigned, and you do it well, I am not going to give you extra praise for it because of some sexual revolution, take-back-the-night, non-sensery. I am going to let you know how awesome you are at doing that thing because you're doing it damn well.