Thursday, April 23, 2009

Equal Opportunity...

I don't claim to be an expert on Feminism by any means and I am only addressing a small part of it here, but it seems to me that the Feminist struggle for equality for women was still based on "male" as the measuring stick. Being able to enter the previously male-dominated fields of science or engineering or math does not mean equality to me. This idea of "equal opportunity", meaning giving women all the same work and educational opportunities as men, is a false perception of what equal opportunity means. To me, equal opportunity means the opportunity to be fully who you really are, to explore the depths of what makes you human (male or female) and to be honored for that humanity. And it means, in the working world, to be compensated for that fairly.

I am not man. I am woman. I am different than man. Not lesser. Not greater. But different. I want to be able to be different from man and still be seen as a human being worthy of all that is. I want to live in a world that values what is "female" equally to what is "male". I want to live in a world that values empathy and nurturing and tenderness and vulnerability. I want to live in a world that values those traits just as much in men as well. I want to see a world that no longer even needs to think of equality between sexes but rather the equality of all human life, and even further, the equality of all life in general. The recognition that our differences, whatever they might be, are variations on the one pulsating current of life that runs straight across this universe. That there is no division. That differences are not barriers. That our differences are the colors of an endless palette of creation, of an infinite consciousness that loves variety.

I have grown weary of these out-dated ideas of equality. We have contrived the illusion of equal opportunity but haven't yet fully understood what equality really means. When children are free to accept and explore who they really are; when children can be encouraged to celebrate differences while still retaining the connection of what makes us all lifeforms worthy of beauty and love; when children can be permitted to pursue any direction in life they so choose and be supported by a system that allows them to survive and thrive in that direction, then, I believe, we have a chance as a species to understand what equal opportunity really means.

tall penguin


Anonymous said...

Hi Anya,

I think you would enjoy reading Amy Alkon. She often has entries in her blog about equality. You can find her at

tall penguin said...

Interesting site. Thanks anon.