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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Gender Equality. Is it a possibility?

According to evolutionary psychologists, women pay attention to the man’s resources while men focus on the woman’s youth but with women gaining the capability to be provider, the rules may have changed. So is this really the case?

The rules have changed since our ancestors moved out of the cave and into the suburban and urban homes of today. The roles of men and women have multiplied and role assignments are not as stringent as they used to. There are stay-at- home dads and working moms. Women can now provide shelter and protection. But amidst the change, the principle is still simple: the rules just need to be fair.

Today, women are more than just “baby-making” machines. They’re at the office making spreadsheets, developing budgets, and holding meetings. They’re at concerts playing music, doing PR, taking pictures, and controlling crowds. They’re at shows watching fashion, designing clothes, and making movies. And of course, they’re at home making dinner, washing the dishes, helping with homework, and putting kids to bed. The roles are endless. But is it too good to be true?

In the US, women still get paid significantly less compared to men in the same profession. In an in-depth study by UNIFEM (United Nations Development Funds for Women) on violence against women, “…at least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime – with the abuser usually someone known to her.” According to the World Economic Forum, two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. The reality is that there is such a thing as gender inequality. Just the fact that the World Health Organization lists “women doing more housework than men” as a gender characteristic goes to show that there might be something wrong here.

One of the caveats for a Utopian society is gender equality. But what is gender? And what does gender equality really mean? The World Health Organization defines gender as “…the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women.” Gender encompasses the biological and physiological characteristics that differentiates male from female. Gender, according to The World Health Organization, has more to do with masculinity and femininity. But in a generation flirting with androgyny especially when in comes to gender roles, the question of gender equality becomes even more complicated, if not outright confusing.

The difficulty lies in the fact that men and women take on different, multi-faceted roles. Men are fathers, sons, uncles, nephews, doctors, nurses, teachers, fashion designers, chefs, and much more. Just as women are mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces, doctors, lawyers, engineers, plumbers, nuclear physicists, and construction workers.

But why does it seem so much harder to be a woman? It seems that what it comes down to is the fact that childbearing leaves a woman with more needs and thus more vulnerabilities than a man. And the multiplicity of roles adds to the burden of being a woman. Ironically, it seems that the problem might be that women are indeed more than just baby-making machines. To regress into the era where women were the “weaker sex” is of course, not the suggestion here. But idea is that to treat women like they were men is probably the reason why there is such a thing as gender inequality. Maybe it’s not about being equal but more about being equitable.