Good and Bad Gender Equality

Geslagsgelykheid het groot vordering gemaak,,en,Ongeveer honderd jaar gelede,,en,die meeste vroue in die wêreld het nie die reg om te stem nie,,en,geen stemreg nie,,en,om die regte term te gebruik,,en,ons het 'n vrou wat nader aan die kantoor van die president van die Verenigde State kom,,en,die magtigste beskou,,en,man,,en,op die aarde,,en,Ook in die korporatiewe toneel,,en,ons sien nou baie vroue in magtige posisies,,en,selfs die mees optimiste onder ons sal nie redeneer dat geslagsgelykheid 'n werklikheid is en dat vroue daar aangekom het nie,,en,Wat is presies die moeilikheid om hierdie heilige graal van gelykheid te bereik?,,en,Ek dink die probleem lê in ons definisie,,en,in wat ons bedoel met vrouegelykheid,,en,die hele gelykheidskwessie is 'n mynveld wat politieke korrektheid betref,,en. About one hundred years ago, most women in the world didn’t have the right to vote — no suffrage, to use the correct term. Right now, we have a woman inching closer than ever to the office of President of the United States, considered the most powerful “man” on earth. In the corporate scene too, we now see many women in powerful positions.

But, even the most optimistic among us wouldn’t argue that gender equality is a reality and that women have arrived. Why is that? What exactly is the difficulty in achieving this holy grail of equality?

I think that the difficulty lies in our definition, in what we mean by women’s equality. Of course, the whole equality issue is a minefield as far as political correctness is concerned. En ek skuif op dun ys waar geen verstandige persoon sal droom om in te tree nie,,en,Maar 'n rubriekskrywer mag toegelaat word om opinie te gee en,,en,kom ons kyk dit,,en,'n bietjie onaangenaam,,en,So hier gaan ons,,en,Ek voel dat daar goeie en slegte argumente vir gelykheid is,,en,Kom ons neem die saak van Grand Slams tennis,,en,waar hulle,,en,bereik,,en,gelykheid deur die prysgeld te vergelyk,,en,Die argument was bloot dat vroue en mans gelyk is en dat hulle dieselfde prysgeld verdien,,en,dit was glad nie veel van 'n argument nie,,en,Dit was 'n vorm van neerbuigendheid,,en,Dit is 'n bietjie soos die neerbuigende,,en,wel,,en,welmenend,,en,aanmoedigings wat moedertaalsprekers bied as u hul taal leer,,en,Teen die einde van my vyf jaar lange verblyf in Frankryk,,en,Ek kon redelik goed Frans praat, en mense het dit vir my gesê,,en,bemoedigend natuurlik,,en,dat ek goed gepraat het,,en. But a columnist is allowed to be opinionated and, let’s face it, a bit obnoxious. So here we go…

I feel that there are good and bad arguments for equality. Let’s take the case of tennis Grand Slams, where they “achieved” equality by equalizing the prize moneys. The argument was simply that women and men were equal and they deserved the same prize money.

To me, it wasn’t much of an argument at all. It was a form of condescension. It is a bit like the condescending (though, no doubt, well-meaning) encouragements offered by native speakers when you learn their tongue. Towards the end of my five year sojourn in France, I could speak pretty good French and people used to tell me, encouragingly of course, that I spoke well. To me, dit het altyd beteken dat ek nie goed genoeg gepraat het nie,,en,want as ek dit gedoen het,,en,hulle sou dit net glad nie agterkom nie,,en,sou hulle,,en,hulle gaan nie rond om mekaar geluk te wens met hul perfekte Frans nie,,en,as mans en dames tennisspelers regtig gelyk was,,en,niemand sou van gelykheid praat nie,,en,Daar sou nie wees nie,,en,mans s’n,,en,enkellopendes en,,en,vrouens,,en,enkellopendes om mee te begin,,en,daar sou net enkellopendes wees,,en,Hierdie argument vir gelykheid in prysgeld is dus sleg,,en,Daar is 'n baie beter argument,,en,Prysgeld word geborg deur korporatiewe liggame wat daarop gemik is om hul produkte te bevorder,,en,Die borge stel dus belang in TV-kykers,,en,Aangesien vroue-enkelspel net soveel kykers as mans lok,,en,die prysgeld moet gelyk wees,,en,dit is 'n vaste argument,,en, for if I did, they just wouldn’t notice it at all, would they? After all, they don’t go around congratulating each other on their perfect French!

Similarly, if men and women tennis players were really equal, nobody would speak of equality. There wouldn’t be “men’s” singles and “women’s” singles to begin with — there would be just singles! So this argument for equality in prize money is bad one.

There is a much better argument. Prize money is sponsored by corporate bodies bent on promoting their products. The sponsors are therefore interested in TV viewership. Given that women’s singles draws in as many viewers as men’s, the prize money should be equal. Now, that is a solid argument. Ons moet kyk na dimensies waar gelykheid werklik bestaan, eerder as om dit kunsmatig op te lê,,en,Wanneer sulke aspekte van gelykheid alle aspekte van ons lewens omvat,,en,ons sal met veiligheid kan sê dat geslagsgelykheid aangebreek het,,en,Ons moet nie op soek wees na gelykheid in testosteroongedrewe speelvelde nie,,en,Terloops,,en,kan hoër vlakke van die korporatiewe piramide insluit,,en,Ons moet debatte oor gelykheid na irrelevansie herlei deur genoeg respek en waarde toe te ken aan natuurlike verskille,,en,Artikuleer deur 'n man,,en,hierdie stelling van my,,en,is 'n bietjie verdag,,en,Probeer ek nie vroue verkort deur hulle nuttelose respek eerder as ware gelykheid te bied nie,,en.

When such dimensions of equality encompass all aspects of our lives, we will be able to safely say that gender equality has arrived. We should not be looking for equality in testosterone-driven playing fields, which, by the way, may include higher echelons of the corporate pyramid. We should be relegating debates on equality to irrelevance by attributing enough respect and value to natural differences.

Articulated by a man, this statement of mine, of course, is a bit suspect. Aren’t I trying to shortchange women by offering them useless respect rather than real equality?

Ek het een keer 'n soortgelyke woordewisseling gehoor toe iemand aangevoer het dat vroue in my geboorteland Kerala 'n hoër vlak van geslagsgelykheid geniet,,en,afkomstig van 'n matrilineêre stelsel,,en,hulle het die huishouding regeer,,en,Die negatiewe weerlegging van die argument kom van 'n Keralitiese vrou,,en,Mans is baie bly dat vroue hul huishoudings regeer solank hulle die wêreld regeer,,en,ons is redelik naby daaraan om Hillary Clinton die wêreld te laat regeer met net twee mans wat in haar pad staan,,en,So miskien het die geslagsgelykheid tog uiteindelik aangebreek,,en,Hoe vriendelik is dit nie te vriendelik nie,,en, coming from a matrilineal system, they ruled the household. The pithy rebuttal to that argument came from a Keralite woman, “Men are perfectly happy to let women rule their households as long as they get to rule the world!”

Then again, we are pretty close to letting Hillary Clinton rule the world with just two men standing in her way. So perhaps gender equality has finally arrived after all.

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