“I see you have used the word “equality”. I`m just curious, enlighten me if I am wrong.”

Have you ever been asked this question? How would you respond?

This is a comment in response to this post: “Are these advises and suggestions possible for an Average Indian Woman to even consider? Will she be able to think that way… educate me” 

The comment:

‘I see you have used the word “equality”. I`m just curious, enlighten me if I am wrong.
Can men and women be really “equal”? They are different biologically, and that starts a chain reaction. Physical strength will tend to affect mental strength, thought process, actions, habits, behaviour, and the whole personality. This is how nature is. If you are a theist, this is how God is. Instead of striving for “equality”, isn`t it sensible and important to find a way to “co-exist”, “complement each other” etc inspite of the obvious differences?’

IHM:

In a fair society, everybody, an old widower, a young dad, a teenager, a blind man, a dalit rape victim, a farmer, a village Sarpanch, a factory worker are, all, equal.

Gender, age, wealth, caste or marital status, do not take away the right to equality.

More on Equality below:

And if a woman demands equality, she should behave exactly like a male…

Can anyone guarantee that absolute empowerment of women thru feminism will improve the social balance and not give rise to new social problems?”

India leads in sexual violence, worst on gender equality: Study

What is equality?

Why Scandinavian women make the rest of the world jealous.

60 thoughts on ““I see you have used the word “equality”. I`m just curious, enlighten me if I am wrong.”

  1. Er…”Physical strength will tend to affect mental strength, thought process, actions, habits, behaviour, and the whole personality. This is how nature is.”

    Physical strength does not ‘affect mental strength, thought process, actions, habit, behavior and ‘whole personality.” No, that’s not how ‘nature’ works. I suggest that the commenter go back to school and take up bio, anatomy, and psych. actually, a basic genetics class wouldn’t hurt either.

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    • Gosh, I had the same reaction as Kay.

      Yes, Men and women are different – genetically, anatomically. Different however does not mean the two can be compared on different sides of an equation. The mathematical definition of equality only holds when the two parameters being compared are of equal value. To know the value of something you must be able to measure it. So you could say, men, on an average are stronger (as defined by how far, say 1km, in a certain time, they are able to carry a 5kg weight) than women. But pray, how do you quantify mental strength? or even start to put a value on the different genetic make ups? Is the Y chromosome really better? How would you prove it scientifically? And if physical strength indeed correlates proportionally with mental strength, then couldn’t you argue that women would come out stronger, because of the ability to bear child birth pain, period cramps etc?

      Also, metaphysically speaking, in Vedantic philosophy, all souls are equal, regardless of gender and species.

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      • Yup.

        And justifying equal rights in a social construct based on the biological differences between men and women is so Victorian–that’s not even the last century, it’s the century before that!

        In any case, dear curious commenter, you are wrong and I hope you’ve been enlightened.

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      • DG is yet to meet these proponents of impossibility of physical equality of genders tell me how many of them can compete with PT Usha or Karnam Maleshawari. How can all men can be physically stronger than all women in their rightful mind is beyond DG. Even if we keep women aside how many men can match Stephen Hawking or even Milkha Singh. Can Amartya Sen just because he is man claim physical prowess against any female athlete in his age group?

        If not all men can be physically stronger than some men then they should not claim equality because their contributions are not equal same stands for the mental prowess. First let them tackle their size issues between themselves then women can be introduced into the discussion to see how many can do this http://www.wimp.com/coolability/

        Can they say Nick Vujicic.is more equal in this marriage just by virtue of his sex or his wife Kanae Miyahara can go around telling him he is not equal in the marriage. How screwed it will be.
        http://www.kemifilani.com/2012/08/man-born-without-limbs-arms-or-legs.html

        http://gnli.christianpost.com/video/the-incredible-love-story-of-nick-vujicic-and-his-wife-interview-18880

        It is ridiculous these anti gender equality workers crawl out of wood work every now then and more so in 2014, guess they are still in 1420.

        Peace,
        Desi Girl

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    • This person is not just sexist but also racist, here’s why: If physical strength is in any way related to mental capacity then races that are traditionally stronger (regardless of which side of nature/nurture spectrum you stand) are also predisposed to a proportional difference in mental functioning.

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  2. The way we value physical strength is incredibly sexist in itself. Women have higher endurance than men when it comes to cardio but we value things like heavy lifting.

    Also giving giving birth takes an incredible amount of strength yet that strength is not valued.

    Also this lw is making alot of generalizations. All men are not stronger than all women. They are many indivdual women who stronger than some individual men. My brother is physically stonger than me after having trained in tae kwon do for years. I am much pysically stronger than a male cousin who is a bit scrawny, on the skinny side and who never works out where as i do cardio and wieght training.

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    • Yes, I absolutely agree….especially regarding the childbirth. I often wonder why that is not valued. That takes physical strength (endurance, pushing) and emotional strength and mental strength.
      Can you imagine if men could give birth? They can’t even get their hair waxed without crying like little babies!!!! Lol

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  3. Equality does not mean being the same. Men and women can be different but they still equal. They both have equal worth as human beings. Black people and white people are different on the basis of skin but they are still equal. I dont understand the arguement that men and women cant be equal because they are different. Does that mean a person with physical and mental diaabilities is not equal? Every human being is equal and has equal value and worth.

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  4. I have yet to meet a woman (feminists included) who have demanded equal strength as men.
    They expect equal opportunity for education, success and happiness.
    They expect equal treatment in society.
    These are being denied.
    Women are aware of Biological differences and are not complaining about these differences.
    What is wrong and unacceptable is that these biological differences are wrongly being used to justify inequality and to pass off inequality as something inevitable. It should not be.
    Co-existence or complementing each other is welcome but why not have it in addition to equality and not instead of it?

    Regards
    GV

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    • “I have yet to meet a woman (feminists included) who have demanded equal strength as men.”

      Do not despair! The Chicago fire department got sued and paid out huge sums to compensate a woman who felt the firefighter entry test was sexist because a smaller % of women managed to run the required distance in the given amount of time.

      The same is happening to prisons guards across America. Physical requirements for prison guards have been relaxed nationwide because fewer women than men are capable of running the full length of the prison in the same amount of time. Apparently, this is a result of sexism.

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      • Discrimination is in assuming that established standards should not be revisited when conditions change. Sexism is when there are gender-specific standards. Was the standard set because it was required for the job? Or was it set as a barrier to entry to entry? l suspect the latter.

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  5. I don’t think equality means literal equal to.It more or less implies equal rights and equal opportunities…it would be stupid to compare men and woman trait by trait….they are not “equal” in many respects, but when it comes to how an individual is treated by law or society or a workplace or an educational institute, gender should not be the deciding element

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  6. Let’s take this to its logical conclusion (using the questioner’s logic).

    Women are weaker than men, ergo women are not equal.
    Some men are weaker than other men, ergo such men are not equal to other men who are stronger than them.
    Physically disabled people may be weaker than others without disability, ergo those without disability are more equal than others.
    Some women are stronger than some men, ergo these women are special and more equal.
    Some women are weaker than other women, ergo, these weaker women are the least equal.

    Makes any sense? I think not.

    What are we, in second standard, where we make everyone line up by height and the tallest feels proud of herself?

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    • Not to mention homophobia. This is the exact argument used by anti-gay marriage advocates. Something along the lines of ‘men and women complement each other; therefore, being gay is unnatural.’

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  7. Let alone men vs women, no two people in the world are exactly equal. In terms of physical and mental strength, any two men are not equal. One will always have more strength than the other. And even though generally men are physically stronger, there are women at the other end of the spectrum who are stronger than most men, A non athletic male, for example, would not win a boxing match with Mary Kom.

    When we say equal, we mean it in terms of equal opportunity. And equal respect. If you were hiring people to do manual labor and I could not lift as much weight as some other person for which you decided not to hire me, I would be totally OK with it. What would bother me is you not letting me apply in the first place.

    And “physical strength tends to mental strength” ?? How exactly? Take a look at Mahatma Gandhi for example – one of the frailest people and mentally the toughest. People come in all hues and shades irrespective of which gender they belong to.

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  8. – All men are not stronger than all women. Some women can be stronger than some men. For eg., average Scandinavian woman may be stronger than average Indian man.
    – Physical strength does not translate to mental strength. Look around you. Women who’ve been given opportunities to learn have excelled in everything from mathematics and physics to philosophy and fine arts.
    – Finally regardless of capability, all humans should have equal rights. That’s what equality is.
    – If we are to apply your logic, man A who is weaker than man B should have fewer rights and should not strive for equality but must try to complement man B. So man B can apply for the job of an engineer, but man A must stay home and cook because he must not compete for the same job, but must “complement” man A and “coexist with him”.

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  9. “This is how nature is.”

    Yes. And that is a perfect reason to excuse centuries of rape, cruelty, and second-class treatment, isn’t it? Because that’s just how it is. Nature made you to be treated like less than human, so simply shut up and deal with it.

    Please take your pseudo-science and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

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  10. Most of the points I wanted to make have already been made. I have a theory (without proof) about how ‘nature’ intended the physical strength to be – My theory is that ‘nature’ intended it to be equal – But centuries of women being denied nutritious food, caged at home, forced to keep their basic physical needs as least important (just how many stories in our epics glorify a poor woman sacrificing her meal for her husband and children/sons?) has gradually made women physically weaker. I found this striking difference when I went on a family trip with my in-laws and family recently – we all toured around a lot for two days (in buses) and by the time we returned home on the 2nd day night, everyone was exhausted. But still, somehow it was expected that the women would magically conjure tea/coffee/refreshments etc. and cook dinner for everyone at home (of course, ensuring that we eat last) even though I was sick because of bus journey (motion sickness), my MIL had a fracture in her finger and my husband’s aunt was sick too. I was so enraged at this assumption that I told my husband that I don’t want to eat dinner – we eat outside (if others don’t want to eat at home, they can stay but I’ll eat out and not cook). Somehow, his mom and aunt insisted and cooked something. I formed my theory after this episode and am no longer wondering if the difference in physical strength is because of ‘nature’s intentions’ or centuries of suppression.

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    • I agree with you. Among animals, the differences in physical strength are either imperceptible or non-existent. I wouldn’t want to ever taken on a tigress or a female shark. Maybe in the beginning, the female humans were just as wild and aggressive as the male ones, and needed to be physically strong to survive in the wilderness. But then, at some point, the concept of division of labor came in, then, for billions of years, women have been conditioned to perform certain tasks which required less physical capability (having been kicked out the hunting team so they could stay home and take care of the brood) and over time, our genes must have adapted to being strong only in specific areas – childbirth and it’s excruciating pain – rather than heavy lifting or beating up someone.

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    • I have a different theory, which I like to tell my daughters ; women are much stronger than men, blessed with a superior physical and mental/emotional resistance… that’s why we are carrying babies. This is what leads weak men to try and put women down, and abuse them, because they feel humiliated. Strong men do not feel threatened by women🙂

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  11. Just thought i’d quote Atticus Finch:
    Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal, a phrase that the government is fond of hurling at us. We know that all men are not created equal in the sense that some people would have us believe. Some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they are born with it, some men have more money than others, and some people are more gifted than others.
    But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal. An institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the ignorant man the equal of any president, and the stupid man the equal of Einstein. That institution is the court.

    And so basically we are all equal(or should be) in the eyes of the law.

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  12. “Social equality includes equal rights under the law, such as security, voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, property rights, and equal access to social goods and services. However, it also includes concepts of economic equity, i.e. access to education, health care and other social securities. It also includes equal opportunities and obligations, and so involves the whole of society.
    Social equality requires the absence of legally enforced social class or caste boundaries and the absence of discrimination motivated by an inalienable part of a person’s identity. For example, sex, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, origin, caste or class, income or property, language, religion, convictions, opinions, health or disability must not result in unequal treatment under the law and should not reduce opportunities unjustifiably”.

    Every time when you hear about equality you should think to equal chances. Is not about that we are same because each person is a perfect individual, but we should have equal chances. No matter that a woman will not be able ever to reach same goals like a man in some activities but should have the chance to try, to fight to reach that goal and to enjoy the journey.
    The big problem with indian men and their families is they are so much affraid of equality because in this way they loose something. When woman will have equal chances, when will be independent and free to choose then nobody can force her to marry and stay married and to be a slave in the in-laws’ house.

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  13. The UN has an online ‘cyber school bus’ for students ages 5-18 and their teachers. From the entry under “Right to Equality” it reads-
    “Equal does not mean that we are all the same. Each of us is different in our own special way. But we also have the common qualities that make us all humans. So each of us should be treated with respect and dignity and treat others in the same way.”
    For more check here-
    http://www.un.org/cyberschoolbus/humanrights/declaration/1.asp

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  14. Dear letter writer:

    We are not speaking of equality in the mathematical sense! We do not wish to turn all people into identical clones of one another and thus achieve mathematical equality.

    We wish to achieve political and social equality. People are all different. But that doesn’t mean they should have different rights, different opportunities, different treatment at the hands of society.

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  15. I have a very radical thought of late, seeing as I am soon belonging to that ‘sell by date’ passing off tribe of women, maybe things would be better, if the whole and sole aim of having a family and women’s lives was not about producing kids. Maybe things would be better if somehow women’s child bearing ability could be brought to the same age limit as that of men and if adoption or a choice to not have kids at all was more welcome than it is now. Maybe….too idealistic.

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    • If only reproduction was solely a woman and her partner’s discretion…sadly enough we don’t seem to be even remotely headed in that direction. The standard seems to be “get married, make a male baby in one year and make more male babies”. I am amazed at the number of educated women who fall prey to this type of conditioning.

      Increasing the reproductive timespan of a woman will make zero difference to her life because we believe in marrying them off early so they can be “moulded” to fit her in-laws. An accomplished, slightly older woman might have her own worldviews and opinions which cannot be permitted…sigh!

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    • @ Cilla,
      I sort of see this happening to a smaller extent. There are many young women (and men) who come from India to work here (in the US) at various companies. They are in their mid to late 20s. They may end up marrying (if they choose to) in their early 30s. So, the kids are being born in their mid to late 30s. Some are also having kids in their 40s or by then, they are choosing not to have kids.
      So, what is different about these women who are marrying later, having kids later, or choosing not to have kids?
      They have been allowed to become adults first, before entering any relationship. That meant getting real, meaningful skills, getting a job, supporting oneself, going through some difficulties (having to pay for your rent, gas, health insurance, and basic necessities is not a piece of cake).
      Now, modern medicine is allowing women to have kids at a later age, so they can become full-fledged adults first. But there are also some concerns that maternal and paternal age has an impact on the babies’ health. So if modern medicine can fix this problem, that would give both men and women time to break free from the time bomb pressure of ‘have to have kids early’ which contributes to a lot of patriarchy’s problems.

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      • Some people are family oriented and their priority is to find a partner and have kids early, other people are career oriented and have other priorities. Then if you chose to have a family, don’t complain you sacrificed your career, and if you chose to have a career then don’t complain you sacrificed your personal life… And many people manage to balance both aspects of their lives.

        Many of my friends don’t have kids and will never have any given their age and situation, and they’re fine.

        As usual the key issue is choosing your own path willingly and knowingly. Being bitter is bad for your health🙂

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  16. if we were praying mantises I guess gender would make a huge difference in the way we treat each other because we wouldn’t know any better (just in case someone doesn’t know: a female mantis devours the male after mating)

    But we’re human. And supposedly possess the gift of reason. Reason tells us that male or female; brown, yellow, white, black or orange; rich or poor; disabled or Temporarily Able Bodied; intelligent or special needs; we’re human first. And all people, by virtue of being people, have equal rights.

    The Constitution of India grants me equal rights in all civil matters. l can live, work, travel, own property, vote, obtain government assistance, stand for election, hold posts of power, etc. with the same authority as any other citizen. This is what equality means in a society because our laws define our code of behaviour or the rules we agree to operate by. No stealing, no killing, and oh! everyone’s equal here.

    What the comment talks about is social equality. Rather, the lack of it. Indian society is set up to prevent women from exercising their legal rights in many ways. The most significant of these is using gender differences as a basis for discrimination. Most people believe – wrongly – that rights must be earned. No. Everyone has rights and if you commit a crime, you lose some of them for some time.

    Presumably, the majority of women have not committed any crimes – as is the case with the majority of men – and therefore have done nothing to lose their rights.

    Contrary to popular belief, being born a woman is not a crime. Neither does being born a man give one extra rights.

    Other common misconcepitions I’d like to clear up: No, we are not bound by the manusmriti or other ancient/medieval text. No, age does not confer extra rights. And no, marriage/motherhood do not diminish a woman’s rights.

    With these facts firmly established, let’s see, nope! Even the weakest of the weak citizens has the same rights as the strongest of the strong. So let’s learn to live in an equal society, shall we?

    ps: Not saying women are weak or strong. Saying it’s irrelavant.

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  17. If physical strength affects mental intelligence then elephants, tigers…..all animals shld hav been the most intelligent species.Humans r weak puny creatures compared to most of the wildlife.
    But thats not how it works got it ??

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  18. Has there ever been a time in the known history of mankind when men and women lived “equally” ?(socially,politically,economically or whatever). Have women (feminists especially) given it a thought as to why this has been happening for as long as one can remember ? I had said that physical strength “tends” (not necessarily, but can extend or proceed to) to mental strength. When I was about 7 or 8 years old , I feared my school teachers. At 15 or 16 , I was stronger and taller,and hence lost inhibition of them. Who is to argue against this basic animal and human behavioural change. Men , on an AVERAGE SCALE, are physically stronger than women. Physical strength enhances one`s mental strength. Don`t bring in Mahatma gandhi , Stephen hawking and some other exceptional case for the sake of argument. Ask yourselves how you would feel if you were physically stronger than you are now.
    Can the weaker ,irrespective of gender, demand equality ? No. May be they can ,but they may never get it. At school , I and my friends of similar age were most of the times teased and bullied by our seniors. While playing cricket , they used to make us go fetch the ball everytime,all day and do all such sort of exploiting that was on offer. I used to wonder (angrily though) why all this was happening. When I became a little older, I was tempted to do the same to my juniors, but I didn`t. Just didn`t. I started rationalizing things,
    may be. Taking advantage of a lesser person happens everywhere; within a gender ,cross gender,family,friends,colleagues etc
    “survival of the fittest” is a term often used , and gives a clue as to how life is in general.
    If one lives in denial , one cannot progress.There are hard jobs that many women cannot do. How many women do you find in the Indian army , navy and air force, without any of which a nation cannot live in peace, let alone hundreds of domestic jobs that demand physical labour ? is this PSEUDO SCIENCE ?
    Indian women are lured into the idea of having a husband who will make money for them forever, give them a cute little family,kids,romance,love etc. This ,in my opinion, is the base for most of the problems Indian women face . IF YOU ARE GOING TO SPEND SOMEONE ELSE`S MONEY , YOU MAY WELL HAVE TO DANCE TO THEIR TUNES . Women have to be FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT , only then should they even think about the rest.
    And I think I have asked this question before in this forum for which I was termed a misogynist .That`s fine. I ask the question once again , Who wants a marriage more ? men or women ? In India , in my opinion, most men want it for sex,social status , and most women for sex,social status and financial security. If a woman wants it badly just to get financial support , that`s when the man raises his bar and demands a lot more in exchange of his financial support for that woman. A woman who makes her own money can dictate terms.
    I don`t know about equality , because no two people can be equal , and thus will not be treated equally, whoever they are.
    “TERMS OF EQUALITY” will always be decided by the strongest. That itself is not equality.
    Women empowerment will happen only if all women are encouraged to, and they be FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT and MORALLY SOUND. Things like Dating , being in a relationship is all fine. Marriage should only be an option . One has to check the waters before stepping in. If women think that they can get married first , and then try and make things work their way , it is like dancing with the Devil . The Devil does not change . The Devil changes You.

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    • You seem to be defining survival of the fittest based on just physical strength. But in today’s society, success and survival is rarely defined by how physically strong you are. The CEO of a large company does not compete by lifting weights. You don’t pick a neurosurgeon based on how fast they can run.While the CEO and the famous neurosurgeon may be physically weaker than you, they are way above you in the pecking order and live much more comfortable lives. I am a technical team leader, leading a team of men, most of who are physically stronger than me (going by your argument. I have never asked them to compete with me in any way to prove this). Guess what, when I got to lead the team, the one thing I was NOT asked is how strong I am physically.

      A lot of jobs in the defense forces need physical stamina. Everyday domestic work also needs physical stamina. Then why are there less women soldiers and more women domestic helpers? Maybe it is because for centuries it has been taboo for women to be allowed in the battle field? Maybe because for centuries, it was a taboo for women to work at all! The imbalance is especially noticeable in what is considered masculine professions like defense because there is more resistance to accepting women in these fields, rather than women not being capable.

      I am especially amused by your terms “give you children”. As if women play no part in making babies at all and it is the men who do all the work and then in the end just hand the finished product to women. Based on pure effort, it is the women who would be doing the “giving babies” part, not men!

      Feminists never said that women should free load from men. They just want you to treat women as people. What arrangement happens within a marriage is the business of the individuals involved, unless there is abuse and violence involved. The readers of this blog have always been suggesting that whoever feels forced into anything or is unhappy should stand up for themselves. Are you unhappy with your marriage? Do you think your wife is a money sucking she-vampire? Talk to her about your expectations! If it does not work out, then divorce! I don’t see what you are so unhappy about.

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      • Clueless, why do you bother writing out reasoned responses? Clearly this chap has not read any of the comments above and comes up with the same old reasoning about physical strength.

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    • my head is spinning a bit but let me try to summarize your main argument. you’re saying:

      1. since the average woman is physically weaker than the average man, women can’t demand or get equality. (I don’t agree. but this appears to be what you’re saying)

      2. you’re saying that equality and respect depend on fear and physical intimidation.

      we are saying:
      1. all human beings, irrespective of physical or mental differences, **are** equal. get it? no one gives you equality. it exists whether you like it or not

      2. you cannot choose to *give* people their rights. you can only curb their freedom to exercise their rights. just because one person can control another it doesn’t mean they should. in fact, it’s termed as abuse if they do. like kicking a puppy or hitting a small child just because you can.

      3. the might is right philosophy you are proposing is uncivilized. the goal of most societies is to move towards a culture of mutual respect not fear, threats and a police state where people grab power whenever they can. that’s not how democracy works. it’s how Patna used to work and no one thought that was right. especially the citizens themselves.

      4. men and women want marriage equally because most human beings cherish companionship and togetherness. a marriage is a partnership where two individuals want to spend their lives together and often raise a family together. if you think a non-earning partner or physically weaker partner brings nothing to a marriage, you need to re-think marriage.

      I don’t think you’re a misogynist although many of your statements certainly are. I think you’re either misinformed or extraordinarily resistant to change because the world doesn’t fit with your mental model of what’s right and wrong. either way, it doesn’t affect most of us. you posted a question and said, “enlighten me” so people responded.

      unfortunately, a lot of people share your thoughts allowing social injustice to continue.

      perhaps you can read just the preamble to the Indian constitution to see what our leaders imagined India would grow to be. http://en.wikipedia.org/Preamble_to_the_Constitution_of_India

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    • Btw the reaction of normal human beings when they meet someone they think is a gold digger who only wants to marry you for money is to say “Thanks, but no thanks”, not “I will marry you and treat you like shit because I have money” .

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    • Kabilan,

      I admit that men in general are stronger than women in general in terms of how much weight they can carry and braver when it comes to killing snakes and scorpions.

      I also admit that school boys have this hierarchy system amoung themselvesin which the strongest boy is high on the pecking order and the weakest boy is the the lowest order. The weaker are constantly belittled. In my own class, until 9th grade we had particularly effemate boy and God only knows the torture the other boys metted out to him in the name of teasing. But I digress.

      The same is there in Colleges as Raging in which age and experience are the new tyrants now.

      The same is there in school girls and the girl with the biggest boobs and the “looks mature for her age” looks wins and is the Alpha.

      In older women and the women “looks younger for her age” wins and is the new Alpha. For older men, money and political power are the most important hierarchy determining factors.

      All this is understood.

      But this physical strength “tends” to mental strength thingie which you are emphasising is not something I understand well.

      You say you were a weak boy who eventually became a stronger boy.
      I was an average looking girl who eventually became better looking. Yep, the hierarchy changes. And I am alive to this as well. But this doesn’t mean that anybody ever gets to belittle anybody else.

      This should be taught to everybody. Emphatically.

      We are all equal. Strengh/Beauty non-withstanding.

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    • I sense quite some confusion in your comment because you’re making contradictory points. Let me explain (‘Equality’ always refers to equality of rights here):
      1) By survival of ‘fittest’, you mean ‘fit’ are defined through physical strength. And according to your logic, someone carrying a sickle can intimidate you and kill but you can’t demand ‘equality’ (being applied here for ‘right to live’) or even if you ‘demand’ it, you can’t ‘get’ it. And going by this logic, the fittest person in the world has the ‘right’ to kill all the other ‘unfit’ people. Do you think this makes sense?
      2) In continuation with the above point, what do you think laws are for? Aren’t they meant to ensure ‘equality’ for everyone?
      3) You said you were bullied by your seniors but you just didn’t bully your juniors. This is admirable. So what made you stop? Was it awareness about your juniors’ rights or was it fear of retribution or a combination of both? My point is somehow you still didn’t treat them ‘unequally’. Isn’t it possible to apply whatever made you do that on a larger scale to help women ‘get equality’?
      4) When you say physical strength ‘tends to’ mental strength (which is factually incorrect), you mean ‘physical strength’ makes you more ‘confident’ of your ‘survival’ – because you feel ‘physical strength’ gives you ‘power’ (this is true in a barbaric civilization from which we’ve been moving away since centuries). There could be more aspects which determine ‘power’ in any society, like money, beauty, fame etc. But at the end of the day, irrespective of all this, aren’t we working on a system which minimizes scope for abuse of power and gives ‘equal rights’ for all irrespective of how powerful each individual is?
      5) I and many commentators, including the blog-writer herself have advocated financial independence for women many times. But I want to clarify a couple of points on this one:
      (5a) Different people have different terms of defining a relationship – for some, it doesn’t matter how much the other partner earns because they have prioritized other aspects (work, household responsibilities etc.) when defining the contribution of each partner. But if you want both the partners to contribute equally for joint needs, do you agree that both the partners should share the household responsibilities (cooking, paying the bills, coordinating with cooks/maids, buying grocery/other necessities, when organizing an event at home etc.) equally? This is equality in terms of the contribution made by each partner in sustaining as a couple.
      (5b) When you speak about the need for financial independence, while I’m most encouraging of women to pursue careers seriously, do you agree that homemakers also ‘contribute’ to the household (through unpaid work) and should be paid to enable their financial independence?
      (5c) In the traditional system of marriage, husband earns and wife contributes to household responsibilities, bringing up children etc.. They are both working hard and making equal contribution as a couple (It is OK if you’re personally not fine with this distribution of work). In such case, why should the wife be deprived of having a say in how the money should be spent?
      6) Continuing from above, even if you don’t agree that the traditional distribution of work is equal, to what extent do you think it is permissible for the ‘stronger’ (according to you, the earning partner) to dictate the terms of the relationship? Is it OK for the earning partner to abuse the non-earning partner physically/mentally (by constantly offending her/forcing her to suppress her wishes in personal aspects like what to wear in line with his etc.)? Does ‘money’ give someone the ‘power’ to abuse anyone else like this? Should this kind of abuse be permitted in a society striving towards a better civilization? Saying both the partners have ‘volunteered’ for this is like saying slavery is voluntary.
      7) Agree on seeing marriage only as an option and advise women to be clear on expectations from the partner before marriage. But not doing that does not deprive them the right to fight against abuse which they face after marriage. A woman who entered into an arranged marriage still has the right to expect that she should not be abused in her marital home.

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    • @Vasanth Kabilan,

      There are several logical fallacies in your statements –

      – “Has there ever been a time in the known history of mankind when men and women lived “equally” ?(socially,politically,economically or whatever).”
      – So are you suggesting we should not strive for social, political, economic equality? Because we have been uncivilized in the past, let’s continue to be so? In the past, black people were slaves. So let’s go back to slavery? In the past, we walked around naked, without clothes. Let’s go back and abandon clothes? This is illogical. The past should not hold us back. We must continue to evolve and make progress.

      “Physical strength tends to mental strength.”
      Forget women for the moment. Some of the smartest men I know (professors, scientists, neurosurgeons, writers in my area are all un-athletic, they are either skinny or out of shape or flabby. They are also some of the most intelligent, creative, interesting, and productive people I know. I never paid any attention to their looks until you brought up this weird statement. Not even men will agree with you on this, not even chauvinistic men. Some races are stronger than others. By your logic, India should not be a free nation but must be dominated by a nation with a physically stronger race.

      “Can the weaker ,irrespective of gender, demand equality ? ”
      Yes, they can. That’s why we have the constitution. That’s why we have laws. If we didn’t, your stronger neighbor can walk into your house, loot everything, and leave. If the laws in India are not being enforced well enough, it is because of this very mentality that you are showing – I’m stronger/richer/morepowerful/more connected/more whatever, so I can get away with it. Are you saying we should forget about right and wrong? Survival of the fittest means pedophiles can abuse children as much as they want because even the weakest man may be stronger than a child. That’s just sick.

      Your points about marriage are irrelevant to the issue of equal rights for all, so I won’t comment on it.

      Your statements are insulting not just to women but also to men of varying physical abilities, people of different races, and children, and older people. You are therefore not a misogynist but just a very confused person.

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    • You sir do not understand evolutionary biology or “Survival of the fittest”. As a trained biologist with a PhD to boot, I’m here to say – “oh yes indeed. This is PSEUDO SCIENCE”

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    • @Vasanth,
      Feminism means giving/taking an equal space to live with her own thoughts.Live and let live process.Is financial independence is the only thing for women empowerment?Is financial independent women are happy in their life?They get all freedom to do whatever they want?So,you are ready to listen only to independent women?Is this the right way to speak about women empowerment?Can a men/women have their rights to rise their bar towards the financially or physically weaker?
      I think mental strength enhance a persons physical strength.’Survival of the fittest’,here fit means one’s mental fitness and not physically fit.Be an optimist.Equality means, men and women should be equal in expressing their own thoughts and do whatever they want.
      Marriage is not a slavery bond,its an unconditional partnership,exchange of support,more friendship,equal love between the two.Marriage don’t brings you the social status.Sex is just a part of expressing love.Usually men think that women are the ring masters in marriage life.How foolish thinking process is this?Are you ready to dance to a woman’s tune,who is financially independent?Marriage is not a dark cave where devils are waiting to catch you and suck your blood(according to you ‘money’).Most of the men insulting their partner by these kind of statements.Don’t be in a fool paradise.
      Try to treat the women as co existing human not a weaker.Don’t estimate any person by physical strength or by financial status.Just try to estimate them by mental strength,that is confidence level.I accept financial independence is also have to be their for a women,but its not the only thing to speak about equality.Most women didn’t get their right to do whatever they want to be before marriage,that’s why they expect to do it after marriage.I think mental strength worth more than physical strength.Women just need MORAL SUPPORT from you guys and they have the ability to get things done.Women have potential to do anything,just encourage them.How do you learn to swim without getting in to the water?
      You are not a misogynist,you are a confused person.I think a person having fear would think like this.I think optimist wants the marriage more,he/she don’t matter…

      Like

  19. “Taking advantage of a lesser person happens everywhere; within a gender ,cross gender,family,friends,colleagues etc
    “survival of the fittest” is a term often used , and gives a clue as to how life is in general.”

    Which is why civilized societies impose laws (and enforce them) against that kind of thing.

    ” is this PSEUDO SCIENCE ?”

    Yes. And this kind of psychotic rambling is quite indicative of schizophrenia. Get thee to a mental health professional asap.

    Is it just me, or is this person is very reminiscent of the moon cycle/women’s menstrual phase/fasting for husband psycho. This isn’t even a normal sexist trying to argue for the status quo on sexism/racism using BS evo-bio and evo-psych, it’s a complete nonsensical argument which is all over the place.

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  20. Hi IHM, back after a long break!
    To answer, YES WE CAN AND SHOULD BE EQUAL. Equal in work, equal in parenting, equal treatment, everything! If they want to talk about women’s physical strength than please feel free to tune into the Sochi Olympics! LOL.
    But the question that should be asked, perhaps, is WHY that person thinks that we should not be equal….perhaps a control issue????

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  21. Pingback: ‘My question is, what do you do? What do you say when the majority thinks this way…’ | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

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