The article above starts off with a very accurate description of our country when it says that we live in a deluded system of meritocracy. I agree 100%.
However, with regards to the issues of equal opportunity and equality before the law, I showed some hesitation.
It is highly unlikely for everyone to have equal opportunity, we can only get to a place where everyone has at least a chance to try their best in life and whatever is the result of that, is the consequence of (largely) individual choices. Our laws are set up to offer that, through genders, sexes and other identities, everyone has a starting point to pull themselves up from the bootstraps legally speaking. (Goes without saying that some are unfortunately disadvantaged due to some health issues or otherwise)
My next point addresses the idea that the author makes that misogyny is the clear-cut example that disproves the existence of a meritocracy or equality.
Is misogyny discriminatory? Yes.
Is it widespread? I’d argue it is.
But is it a part of our laws? i.e., is it systemic? I simply do not believe so.
If we are looking at instances where there is misogyny or any sort of prejudice based off of identities, in other words: Misandry, Trans-phobia, Homophobia and more. We can find plenty of examples in society but few in actual legislative institutions. Well, except the new Gender Quota bill. The existence of prejudice does not negate the existence of meritocracy or equality. And the existence of a meritocracy or equality does not eliminate prejudice. Prejudice is as old as human nature itself and the only solution to it is through education, which I will come back to later on…
Personally, I do not find the idea that some people have that “Women are natural caregivers” is misogynistic, it would be those people who try to nudge women in that direction, examples like stated in the article with words like “encouraged” and “stay at home”, that are the real misogynists.
This mentality is decreasing, that much is clear. Having an idea, even a stereotype, which might be somewhat prejudiced does not translate to outright discrimination if those who have this idea do not go out publicly to “encourage” women to be mothers or caregivers. The belief that Women were biologically designed for motherhood is not wrong, it is factual. It is the coercion to force women to be mothers which is wrong.
An example of a similar thing would be that men are made naturally stronger than women, mainly due to prehistoric traditions of the male looking after his family. This does not mean that men should be encouraged to go out and assert their strength. If they want, they can in MMA for example, but no one should force them, and no one really does.
Another point mentioned is regarding double standards. Yes, I 100% agree with the fact that there is a double standard between men and women who do not partake in monogamous relationships, and it is largely unfair. I would argue the reasoning behind it is because men generally find it harder to engage sexually with women, than women do to engage sexually with other men, and in a way, it is “celebrated.” And maybe this is not right.
However, the idea that it can lead to Femicide sounds slightly far-fetched to me. It would be great if an example could be provided so as to understand that point better. Most men when they talk about women in a manner to “win them over” like trophies, generally do so out of admiration, infatuation, or sexual interest. It does not necessarily make it 100% moral, but the intention is not of dehumanizing but rather one of putting on a pedestal.
On the other hand, if we are going to go down the route of slippery slopes, what can we do, make it illegal to catcall? And illegal to wolf whistle? Those same laws may be a slippery slope that goes too far and ends up ending freedom of speech and expression. It is a double-edged sword.
As I mentioned before, and as also mentioned by Kassandra Mallia, this all starts with education. It definitely does; legislation will not end harassment or misogyny. It starts with the weeding out of that mentality in our education. Teaching children respect, proper manners and effectively sanctioning those who show a lack of respect is the only way forward I believe.
Overall, I agree with most basic points of the article, except one, that we have a culture that propagates femicide. I cannot see how a society that puts people in jail for killing women is a society that propagates Femicide.
It is illegal, every politician speaks out against it, every influencer speaks out against it. Who speaks for it? I gather that they are aiming this at the inefficiency of the courts. And, yes, I would agree, our courts are terribly inefficient. But that does not mean that our culture propagates Femicide. Because if so, our culture promotes corruption, rape, violence, crime altogether simply because the courts are inefficient.
I hope that I’m not misunderstood. What happened to Paulina Dembska is a tragedy and I hope her family can achieve the closure they so deserve. May she rest in peace.
Written by: Anonymous
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