Photography | Women, Why we Fight for
Albert Yeung is a co-founder of The Visual Voices and The Visual Voices Magazine. Follow him on Instagram at @albertyeung_
The female half of the human race has, for the past millennium, been oppressed as the inferior being. Such oppression has been fostered by countless generations, under a myriad of circumstances, and under the blind verdicts of not only men, but by men’s teachings, men’s beliefs, and women themselves, who were subdued by the almost transparent and seemingly harmless assumptions and experiences that unconsciously designated women the social status of second class, of the subordinate, and of the inferior.
It is human nature to be comfortable with a predestined sense of social superiority; you see it in almost every aspect of human-to-human comparison: Who is smarter? Who is stronger? Who is more successful? We, as a species, created negative “isms” for the sole purpose of placing ourselves in a better situation than our peers and there are none more insecure than the ones already in power.
Sexist men are insecure and fearful. They do not want to lose their royal status, granted to them through the opportunities and social protection offered by a patriarchal society. There has been no other trait-based prejudice as deep and long-lasting as the prejudice on the basis of sex.
We fight today against such prejudice, but nonetheless, the stereotypes and ordained social constructs linger. Men that have been raised in a patriarchal background can never revert back to a clean slate of neutrality on the ideals of gender equality.
Men are not women; they experience far less gender-based prejudice and discrimination. We men too often forget that sexism is rarely as apparent as we believe; sexism occurs in the household, from your parents and siblings to your relatives. It occurs in everyday conversation about matters that are completely unrelated to gender, it occurs in the classroom with your peers, and it occurs perhaps most obviously on the streets, in the workforce, throughout the job application process , or attempts to gain respect from others.
Not recognizing “casual sexism” is as grave of a problem as sexism that butchers opportunity and safety. There is nothing casual about sexism. Derogatory speech and behavior might not hurt, but the accumulation of everyday, sexist remarks have harsh effects on women’s perceptions of society.
This is why the fight for women’s rights must be supported by members of all sexes. It is not enough for the women to fight for themselves, for social reconstruction has never been efficient solely based on the sanctions and laws of the government. What we need is not only a political right but also an evolution of the whole perception of women. Women are not inferior, they are unique. They are women, characterized differently only because of their genetic differences. We are variations of the same species. We are all necessary for biological sustainment. We are not the same, but we are equal.
To unquestionably alter our patriarchal society into one of true ambiguity, we need sufficient education. We need to educate young girls and boys that the only important difference between the two sexes is the difference in their organs. The fight is a long one, there will not be an immediate visible change, but dedication and hard work can drastically drive the disintegration of sexism in future generations.
Human nature proves that no human was born with any prejudices against any category of people. We just need to accept what we were born with, and the rest is history.
If we all understand and become truly self-aware that sex does not determine anything except for bodily structures, the eradication of sexism will be just around the corner. With this evolution, the other forms of prejudice will quickly follow suit and die off. A conscious society will naturally rebuild the world into a better place.