By: Zach Geldert
Everyone remembers Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s iconic sound bite, “because it’s 2016”. Prime Minister Trudeau uttered those three words in response to questions about his decision to have a Cabinet that was divided 50/50 between males and females. While I applaud Mr. Trudeau for his ‘forwardness’ there is still one burning question that I would like to ask, why are we even having this conversation? There should have been gender-diverse Cabinets, Legislatures, offices, construction sites, and schools about 300 years ago. In, what some might call a fairy tale world, there would be no talk of gender as it relates to anything but your sexual preferences. However, this is far from the truth. In reality, people have hatred, insults, and sometimes death threats directed towards them because they are feminists.
There it is ladies and gentlemen, the dreaded F-WORD! Curse and swear all you want but as soon as someone says they are a feminist some people lose their minds and start with the hairy legs and man-hating assumptions. If you think I’m making grandiose assumptions and statements to attract attention I invite you to take a look at some alarmingly popular websites such as www.reddit.com/r/theredpill. This website promotes a male dominated society and argues, poorly through initiation readings, that man has been the victim of oppression throughout history and women are manipulators. It is garbage and I would like to wager a bet that a 5-year-old could effectively argue against these outrageous straw-man arguments. I digress, my motivation for writing this article is to provide my opinion as to why women and men are 100% equal.
I wish to propose, as a man and a feminist that all men ought to be feminists because women and men are 100% equal. To begin this argument, I would like to define feminism as it appears in the Merriam-Webster dictionary: the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. I believe that, intuitively, every normal person knows that men and women are equal yet there is a lack of contextualization as to why. Consider the following proposition as my reasoning for this intuitive belief.
In society there are cosmetic social norms such as hair length and clothing choice, that are commonly used to distinguish between women and men. However, these are arbitrary differences that can be changed. The only constant difference that can distinguish a man from a woman is the biological difference in a person’s sexual reproduction organs. While social norms of men and women serve diverse purposes, such as attracting sexual partners and self expression, the biological difference serves only one purpose, the reproduction of the human race.
When one discounts these social norms as constructed artifacts of a given society that are subject to change, one is left with the pure biological distinction that is below the belt and above the thigh that serves a single purpose. The biological distinction is only effective when a man and a woman equally come together in a 50/50 split to perform the act of reproduction (for those who skipped junior high sex-ed class). Separated from the act of reproduction the biological distinction is a moot point. Men do not gain anything more than women by having a penis and testicles nor do women gain anything from having a vagina and ovaries. Any perceived advantage gained by either gender is a social construct that is subject to change. Thus, it must be concluded that men and women are identical in every facet of social life. Therefore, women and men are equal.
This reasoning is important to understanding the fundamental similarities of men and women. Is such an explanation needed? Perhaps it is not but it lends to supporting my argument that men and women are equal. The fact of the matter is that it is 2016 and we are still having a useless debate that should have been solved long ago. As a man it is infuriating to see my fellow humans continually discriminated against because of archaic social ideas about the role of men and women.
As my rage over this incomprehensible injustice spills on the page I know that there is much more that we can all do to change social ideas and create a truly equal society. Let us all wear our feminism hats with pride and properly explain to the misogynists what it means to be a feminist. We are not out to relegate men to second tier status, that is hypocritical. All we want is for women and men to be treated as they should, equally. Humans, come together as the equals you are and fight against the continued injustices against women. Imagine what we could accomplish if 100% of the population was liberated from oppression, rather than just half of it.
I would like to extend a thank you to some guest contributors who helped me to collect my thoughts and make my argument as solid as it could be. Thank you to Cody Cudmore, Molly Kelly, Alex MacBain, and Hope Howatt.
We at the Cadre would love to hear your opinion on this topic. Please do not be shy to let your voice be heard. Email us at email@example.com or stop by our office 218 in the Student Union building.