View this post on Instagram
It seems obvious that we will only find true equality of any kind when we have a society in which:
>> Everyone feels secure and is treated with equal respect from cradle to grave.
>> Compassion and kindness overcome competitiveness.
>> Stronger members of society consider it an obligation and a privilege to protect and nourish the more vulnerable.
There have been many examples of such societies in so-called “primitive” cultures and pre-industrial societies. But these days, we don’t seem to be very good at living this way—especially perhaps the males (speaking as one).
Maybe after the seemingly unavoidable ecological catastrophe heading our way starts to have more of an impact, we’ll finally learn the danger and futility of greed and violence toward each other and toward the planet that nourishes us.
“Equality” is not “sameness.” Males and females, and those located at varying places on the gender spectrum, have differences (as well as many similarities) that can inspire and complement each other. But this can only happen when everyone is assumed to have equal status and value. I’ve always understood the basic aim of feminism to be a totally justifiable one achieving equal rights for women—of which a valuable spin-off benefit for men is that, in a gender-equal world, all of us could be at ease with who we are. No more needing to “man up” to justify our existence.
Sadly, some men seem to perceive feminism as a man-hating attack on their gender that has to be resisted. Personally, I’ve never felt remotely hated by any of the strong feminist women I’ve known. I’ve only witnessed their sincere hope that I and other men would become aware of the extent to which women have been historically disadvantaged and be committed to opposing that in any way we can—as we should be for any other group who have been treated unfairly.
For me, insisting that everyone should have the same rights to safety, freedom, respect, and opportunity is the essential step that’s needed now for humanity to move toward a more peaceful, tolerant, and sustainable way of living together
Gender equality and mutual respect is just as important in a relationship. If both partners are committed to unpicking any sexist attitudes they may have unconsciously acquired, in regard to each other and to the world at large, and to taking responsibility for sharing and managing their own feelings without needing to blame, they will have a much better chance of growing a loving and intimate partnership together.
But generally, men take longer to mature emotionally than women—and looking for a replacement mother in a relationship, and the childlike sense of entitlement that goes with it, is an obstacle for any man to achieving this level of connection with a woman. I think of a man as “grown-up” when he is able to accept himself as he is without needing to prove anything and is ready to treat all others as equals—especially anyone who is powerless or vulnerable. Such a man embodies strength not power, combining having boundaries with being compassionate. He is not afraid to ask what his partner likes in bed and is happy to do it!
As more and more people are identifying as non-binary or asexual, let’s encourage everyone to fully live as the person they feel themselves to be and give them equal respect and human rights—as long as they do no harm to others or try to deny others the freedom they want for themselves. Any human with enough courage and determination can decide for themselves the kind of person they want to be. All kinds of new gender variations have been appearing as increasing numbers of people feel that what’s between their ears doesn’t fit with what’s expected from them because of what’s between their legs.
By ignoring gender roles, we become free to be who we are, not what society says we should be. What more could anyone ask for in life?