(Originally posted to the Community section of MyMedia–first link edited to this blog)
On the first post of this thread, I stated that I am a feminist, and I expanded on that by repeating something often lost in the acrimony that word evokes: I want women–and people who do not reflect a strict gender binary, and people belonging to minorities of all types–not to be second class human beings.
Because the reality around the world is that, no matter what the laws on the books may say,¹ people are treated differently by society, based on factors which are beyond their control (sex, gender identity, color, ethnicity), and which have no proven bearing on their actual capacity, skills, talent, professionalism, or performance in any area.
There are many reasons groups of people treat other groups of people as ‘less than,’ but those are not static factors. We can change this toxic environment.
The first step? Acknowledge there is a problem.
The media is selling the idea that girls’ and women’s value lies in their youth, beauty, and sexuality and not in their capacity as leaders. Boys learn that their success is tied to dominance, power, and aggression. We must value people as whole human beings, not gendered stereotypes.
The second step? Take action. Think about these issues. Learn about these issues. Talk about this issues.
Check out The Representation Project. Here are the trailers for both MissRepresentation and The Mask You Live In; consider yourselves warned for language and offensive imagery, particularly on the first one.
Is this the world you want your own children (or anyone you care about) to grow up in?
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¹ From the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence of the US: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
Conveniently, we often ignore the fact that WOmen make about half the population of the planet, and just over 51% of the population of the USoA as of the last census. This all important document ignores women’s very existence. We also often ignore that many of the governed by use of those just powers can’t really consent when their voices are systematically silenced by the system, legal and social.
Please note that it’s impossible to talk about how equal things are for all people, in the books, without mentioning just how un-equal things have always been.