A Reminder About Gender Roles

Allef Vinicius

Don’t fear for me. Don’t tell me that you hope that I find good man. One that will cope with my ideals, my goals, my beliefs, one that will cope with my feminism. Me being a feminist is not about making anyone feel any less valuable.

It’s not about hating men. It’s about equality.

Feminism—as defined by the Merriam Webster Dictionary—is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. Nowhere in that definition does the phrase “supremacy of women” stand.

People have questioned me about this when I talk about the gender gap. Specifically men have said to me that there must be a reason for the lack of women at certain job positions. They argue that there might not be women qualified for them. Time and again I tell them that I do believe that there are women out there prepared for executive positions in a company but they’re not given the chance to compete for them. Those same men immediately come up with the same questions: “So …you want to give a certain number of those jobs to women? Isn’t that unfair for the men that are more qualified for them?”

This has not happened to me once or twice, but dozens of times. And no, I’m not asking for unqualified women to take over those jobs, but to have parity in opportunities when considering candidates for them.

There’s a very interesting thing that happens when a woman goes to a job interview. She’s usually questioned on whether she’s planning to get married (even though this clearly has nothing to do with the actual job) and if she is, HR recruiters ask her about her plans regarding children. If she says that she wants kids she’s seen as a liability, if she says she’s not planning on having any, she’s seen as a soulless woman.

This happened to me during my very first job interview. I was 18.

Let me assure you that this is not meant to be a tale of all the times women have suffered from abuse, or about how unfair life has been for us. Rather, it’s a way of acknowledging that year after year not only women but also men have suffered from oppression in their lives. They have both been victims of gender roles.

At the end of the day, what defines what a man or woman should be like? Where’s the book that explains why some activities seem to make someone lesser of a man or a woman?

I remember when a local high-school was thinking about opening a wooden sculpting class because there were not any other “artistic” classes for men. It’s important to mention that the artistic curriculum already included painting, dance (hip hop, jazz, salsa,…), music, theatre, and singing. Now let me ask you, which of those activities are exclusive to women? According to society most of them, according to biology none of them.

Strength is not exclusive to men. Sensitiveness is not exclusive to women.

Dear women in my life…

I fear for those of you that still believe that a woman’s purpose is to serve the men in her life. I fear for those of you who put their dreams and feelings aside and instead put those of their partners as the most important ones. I fear for those of you who don’t recognize how valuable and strong they are. I fear for those of you who still see themselves as inferiors. I fear for those of you who are teaching these to their daughters and sons. I fear for them because they might not be able to follow their passions because of the fear of appearing less of a man or woman. I fear that they won’t be able to recognize oppression. I fear that they will someday become the oppressor, or the one suffering from it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Photographer and passionate of the arts.

Keep up with Cinthya on Instagram

More From Thought Catalog