I’ve been grappling with this topic since I was a teenager. People have asked me before if I was a feminist, or believed in feminism. I’ve never really had a definitive stance.
On the one hand, I do believe in a woman’s right not to be discriminated against on the basis of her gender, which is the root problem in society and especially in the work place. I also believe that men and women are not ‘equal’ in the sense that they are the same, because there are fundamental differences. And there’s the Islamic perception of women’s rights and a woman’s position in society.
There are aspects of my religion, when it comes to women, that I have a problem reconciling with. But that doesn’t mean I turn to feminism to fill in the void left by my uncertainty.
My main beef with feminism is the current wave and it’s proponents. The movement has become almost synonymous with anti-men, and I feel that contemporary feminists are going beyond fighting for equal rights to demanding more rights for women than men.
I read a fascinating article about the topic of quotas in The Economist. The premise of the article was that quotas in the workforce do more harm than good.
Quotas force firms either to pad their boards with token non-executive directors, or to allocate real power on the basis of sex rather than merit.
You can read the article here.
I think that these methods tend to create animosity between the two genders and widen the gap of understanding. Would a man sympathize to women’s causes if he sees her getting jobs and opportunity because of her gender?
Again, this is a complex topic that I have never been able to hold an affirmative stance on. I can tell you one thing, however. As a women, I appreciate when the men in my country allow me to cut ahead in the bakery line, or fill up my car with gas so I won’t have to get out. I think that this type of respect does more for the empowerment of women than expecting a woman to behave like a man.