Friday afternoon, 3PM.
I’m in class, studying Ethnology. And I’m really not paying attention. It’s the last lesson of the week & my mind already wandered off to better & happier places such as my warm bed that is waiting for me at home to comfortably lay in it & rewatch last night’s episode of Scandal. The professor is talking but I’m not hearing her. Not really. Until something catches my attention. Two words really: Gender Equality. A subject that really speaks to me. A matter that I’m truly interested in & passionate about.
And then, as I was –finally- getting the hang of the lesson, my friend leans into me & whispers:
– “I don’t believe in gender equality”.
You what? I yell in my mind.
On the outside though, I’m calm & collected. Although I think the look of confusion bordering on disdain I threw her way urged her to explain furthermore her point of view.
-“I mean men have been the upper sex for so many decades. It is only fair that we get a couple of decades of domination over them too. And then we can talk about gender equality”
Phew. I release the breath I was holding. I really wasn’t looking forward to getting into an argument with basically my only college friend. I briefly ponder over her words & then cast a smile her way.
“YAAAAS GIRL” hollers the feminist in me.
Still calm & collected though, I whisper a “Great point” & continue listening to the professor’s words.
A few hours later, I go home & it appears that my roommate invited a friend over for dinner. Sitting at the table, while eating our spaghettis, my roommate, knowing my feminist tendencies, urges our guest to retell something he said to her earlier.
-“I was just making a statement on how touchy you women are when it comes to the question of gender equality” he tells me.
Really? My inner voice wonders. Ok, pretty boy, let me think about how I’m going to eat you up for dessert for saying that. And wipe that smile off your face will you! –This is still my inner voice talking-
“Well, if you weren’t the big jerks that you were for so many decades & still continue to be sometimes, maybe we wouldn’t get so defensive”
And then I remember my friend’s words from earlier & I throw them in his face & somehow that shuts him right up.
Yes good, focus on your spaghettis –Damn, this inner voice is wild-.
As I lay in bed that night though, I can’t seem to stop thinking about the two encounters of the day. And somehow, I really dig deep & dive into what appears, in my personal opinion, to be the heart of the subject.
The notion of power.
What is really power?
Who has the power?
More so even, who DESERVES to have power?
In our traditional, ancient societies, the answers to such questions are simple & clear as water:
Men is power.
Men have the power.
Men deserve the power.
In the 21st century though, the answers are not as simple & definitely not as clear as before. Because our societies have changed, our views have grown and our eyes have opened to new horizons.
Because in the 21st century, the lines have been blurred.
Because today a woman who desires to become a man can become a man & a man who desires to become a woman can become a woman.
Because today, a marriage is not necessarily between a man & a woman.
Because today, two woman can be in love & married & having children and who is the head of the household then? Who is the “man”?
As I said, the lines are blurred. And so, today, everyone claims power. Because everyone has power. And everyone deserves power.
And what is power in the 21st century?
Power is EVERYONE.
Look around us, look at all the constructions we have built, the skyscrapers & the towers & the breathtakingly beautiful monuments. Look at all the progress we have made. The boom of technology. Internet. How crazy & powerful is it? The fact that you can reach any person, in any part of the world, at any time you want. The fact that you know what happens around the globe because we are all so connected to each other. The expansion of knowledge. Everyday. In every field. In the medical field! With all the researches & the testing & the experiments, we have found cures to further increase our chances of living.
THAT is Power!
And that power is exercised by all kinds of people. Man, woman, transgenders, straight, gay, bisexual, white, black, asian, muslims, catholics, jews…
E V E R Y O N E.
And with that, I come to regret my overly excited reaction at my friend’s words because if we want to recreate our traditional societies by giving women power & extorting it from men, that will only set us back. Because at the end of the day, as Ghandhi so wisely said it “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”.
So, Power is US. ALL of us.
And somehow, as I come to this conclusion, I feel bad. I feel as if I’m betraying the feminist in me. And every feminist out there.
But to you all feminists, I get you and I’m with you!
And as a consolation of my betrayal here’s what I came up with: Let us women be the bigger person. Let us be the heroes of yesterday, the heroes of today and the heroes of tomorrow. By working to bettering our world & our society & not wasting time in bickerings about who can flex the more muscles or who can lift the heaviest furniture. Let us focus on us. On our world. On our society.
Because god knows how much it needs some bettering…