Friday, January 09, 2009

Sex Equality

For years, women have wanted to be equal to men and they are slowly getting there. But what about men's equality to women?

The treatment of women under law and by some men has, for centuries, been abysmal. They were treated as the chattels of the men and in some places still are.

The leap forward in female rights over the last 100 years in the west is welcomed. What worries me is that this equality seems to be going one way. Whilst women are becoming more equal to men, in law if not in culture, are men becoming equal to women?

Under British divorce law, it is still expected that the man will move out of the marital home as, in the words of a lawyer, 'the man is the more likely to earn an income'. Really? Does the law really think that no woman can ever earn more than a man? Is it plausible in today's western world that a man is less interested in or less less capable of looking after his children?

In the workplace, could a man charge a woman with sexual harassment?

Out of curiosity, what was your initial reaction to that question? Did you think that a man wouldn't consider it harassment, but would enjoy it? Isn't that a sexist generalisation in itself?

What is true equality between the sexes?

My opinion is that we will only have that equality when there are no preconceptions about the roles of men and women in life. When women can be builders and men can be homemakers, with no eyebrows being raised, we will have equality. But not until then.

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