Fingers Crossed

by kthai

I feel that these days I don’t personally experience many conscious feelings of being an Other in relation to men. Maybe men and women are becoming more equal in general. Maybe it’s because I’m around progressive people most of the time. I’m lucky I’m sure, as most of us are, to be living where I am and to have been educated about gender inequalities.

I’m probably considered an Other to men I interact with on some level. I probably just don’t notice it, and I might if I overanalyze my interactions. I wonder if men notice any inherent superiority in themselves because of their sex. “He never questioned his rights in this world.” liv
If they don’t notice it could in part be because they are confident in their masculinity and abilities. “Some men dread feminine competition…The most mediocre of males feels himself a demigod as compared with women” liv
“…no one is more arrogant toward women, more agressive or scornful, than the man who is anxious about his virility” lv

And then I remember some things.

I’m aware of my Otherness when I’m exposed to my parents and their traditional values and concerns. Suddenly I’m limited by restrictions that have nothing to do with any supposed lack of capabilities and everything to do with my vulnerability as a woman. I love my brother, but honestly he lacks some street smarts and sits around playing video games a lot. However, because he’s a boy he becomes the one who is supposed to protect me when we go out on walks. He gets his bed made and his laundry folded, but it’s my responsibility to attend to my duties as well as some general household chores. My time outside is limited and monitored despite my age, awareness, and knowledge of self-defence. What’s with these attempts to fix me to the private sphere, while my brother is pushed to enter the public sphere (even when he has little desire to do so)? It’s because I’m a girl. I know I can’t expect there to be absolute freedom for me to do whatever I please, at least not now. Because while I interact with people who treat me like a human being, there are people out there who do feel entitled to perceive me as inferior, with my worth being in my body.

“…many men will affirm…that women are the equals of man…at the same time they will say that women can never be the equals of man” (lvi)
It does feel like we are simultaneously winning and losing.

Why is it that women do not dispute male sovereignty? xlvi
Because of the arguments presented from people such as Simone deBeauvoir, many women, and even men, are disputing male sovereignty.We’ve come a long way since this text was written, and there’s still ways to go. It’s important that we all keep the debate going, even when it feels like we’ve arrived at a comfortable place for us, because the inequalities are rampant in other parts of the world and outside of our social circles.




Also, really Aristotle?