Gender & Equality | THE PRIVILEGED PERSPECTIVE

Gender & Equality | THE PRIVILEGED PERSPECTIVE

Filed under: 
Rants

PREFACE: While my essay observes the effects of institutionalized oppression and inequality between genders, I am conscious of intersectionality and believe that the issue of inequality is not unique to gender minorities. I will use traditional gender pronouns (he, she) and labels (man/male, woman/female) to facilitate the understanding of the reader, and introduce the topic to those who are unaware.

------

The 21st century has opened the door to a whole new realm of communication, with the internet giving a voice to those who, thus far, could seldom speak. Delving into the troughs of online banter has revealed new perspectives to age-old arguments that are quickly shaping millennial ideals. Blog posts and news articles advocating social matters dominate our Facebook feeds. Terms like “feminazi” and “the red pill” have crept their way into our conversations. Claims of “fake news” are popping up—seemingly at the sight of a source that disagrees with one’s own agenda—amidst a new wave of sociopolitical extremes. A war is underway, and it will not be fought with guns.

To begin, I am a straight, white, cis-gender male who has been told to “check my privilege” before for sharing an opinion on social media. One such instance was a conversation that revolved around the gender imbalance in the workforce, of which I had clearly expressed that I was in full acknowledgement of and in support of an equally diverse labour force.  What prompted the aforementioned response was a statement in which I explained that the reinforcement of a rule where a certain percentage of a team must be women may result in some higher-qualified men being overlooked to meet the quota. “Nevertheless,” I concluded, “this is the only possible recourse in a history of inequality, and will prove to be an effective (and permanent) solution if applied temporarily”. The aggression I received from feminists was exorbitant, telling me that my opinion does not matter because I’m a white male, overlooking the fact that I was in clear agreement with their own. A simple misunderstanding, I told myself, until I started seeing these kinds of exchanges all over my newsfeed.

Now, I am in firm accordance that being born a straight white male whose gender corresponds with his anatomical sex is an overwhelming privilege. I am privileged. I do not have to suffer through the fear of being shunned for my sexual orientation, or to be forced into labels with which I don’t relate. I do not have to bear the pain of feeling uncomfortable in my own skin because society does not acknowledge my true identity.  However, berating an opinion based solely on that with which I was born will only be fueling the fire that separates us. In the words of Jane Addams, a leader in women’s suffrage in the United States, “Social advance depends as much upon the process through which it is secured as upon the result itself”. Any kind of progress achieved in this manner will ultimately be arbitrary, as it equally promotes a system of oppression. Hugo Schwyzer, a pro-feminist blogger and academic, argues that men who support the cause must “live it out in [their] actions, and … be willing to do so publicly, as role models”. By hindering their expression, we are also halting the attempt at union being made, as well as the progressive influence it could have on other men.

Essentially, by attacking and silencing each other, we have let ourselves get blinded by the goal. This understandable anger is a manifestation of the lack of trust that stems from centuries of subjugation. However, what must be established is that censorship is not the answer.By muting the opposition, we will never understand why they think the way they do, and what can be done to move forward. With a medium as ubiquitous as the internet, we must encourage the mindful spread of information and discussion, without limiting the voice of those with conflicting opinions. Equality can only be reached through mutual acknowledgement; this can only be done together. 

This article was originally published in The Plant, Dawson College's Newspaper. 

Share this article

Comments

Content Stream

Setting a new musical tone. Del Bel offers up a wide array of musical genius through their dark, enchanting music founded on the basis of pushing the boundaries of artistic process. They are known to have everyone expect the unexpected through unusual collaborations that end up being the foundation...
WILL is one to watch out for. Better known as Keisha Williams , this Toronto-based independent artist has officially made it onto our radar with her latest release. "Palisades" is WILL 's latest tune, accompanied by visuals that will get you going as soon as you hit play. Her soul-binding voice...
Montreal is a digital arts capital, 3rd in the gaming world, 4th global hub in the visual effects industry and a new vector in virtual reality and artificial intelligence. The fourth edition of the Montreal Digital Spring festivities is here, and is proposing a whole slew of activities related to...
French Canadian singer AIDA kickstarts the summer with her new tune and 80s inspired visuals. The funk-style tune, produced by Fresco Klüb , gave AIDA the urge to look up to her mom's personal stories growing up in the 80s era and offer up a nostalgic yet refreshing take in this day and age. "Let's...
Man! Canadian Music Week is in its 35th year. That's 35 years of pure music biz #flex AND contribution towards North America's accelerating music industry. You and I both know the wise mon that once said, "... started from the bottom, now we here," and those words my friends, have never been more...
If you haven't watched the first part, click here first. Following up on his last release, Allan Rayman just dropped Vol. 2 of his short film "Verona's Obsession" and we just can't get enough. Set to "Wolf" off his Roadhouse 01 concept album, the film follows him as he escapes the previous...
EVERY SUNDAY. We feature the best underground tracks & remixes, and most of them are up for free download. We prioritize Canadian producers and acts but it is not exclusive. Every Sunday, we'll round-up all of our favourite remixes and tracks we've received through submissions and lay them out...
This Montreal based brand just got on our radar. Boulevard came to fruition based off the popular Main street where cultures mix, clash and mold together to inspire tons of creative ideas such as this brand that wants to celebrate the past, present and future of two languages: french and english...
We've had this Montreal producer on our radar for quite some time now. Aléatoire recetly hit up Toronto based singer Alina Libkind to collaborate on a new tune titled "Maps On The Palms" off his upcoming 4-track EP releasing in June. The shoegaze and synth-driven pop beat was made using vintage...
It's only getting better. Husser 's upcoming solo album Geto Rock For The Youth is dropping this fall. To tease this new project, we get the honour to enjoy a highly thought out music video directed by Emile Lavoie with a concept that is so unique, you will definitely want to watch it a few times...
Berlin Producer MOGUL teamed up with New York's Denzel White & Devin Tracy to deliver some HEAT with their new tune. "Last Stop" is a fun-filled track that will put you in the right mood. Seamlessly mixing your favourite genres, including some heart-hitting soul layered on top of a soft house...
You better watch out for this Danish R&B/Pop trio. Scarlet Pleasure got on our radar as soon as we got a glimpse of their latest music video for their amazing new single "Deja Vu" - As soon as you hit play on this one, you will get hooked to the catchy bridge and chorus and will want to play it...