Sunday, March 08, 2009

Today... International Women's Day.


JaneyV said...

I read President Obama's statement on IWD last year. I was quite moved by his appreciation of the women who have shaped his life. The biggest problem I see facing women in the world today is the lack of equity in status between roles. It's all very well to shout out that women are capable doing anything they want to (which I absolutely agree with BTW - I have no wish to denigrate this POV) but if cultures continue to place women in certain roles and then say that role is valueless and treat women as chattel, violence against women will continue. A powerful man like President Obama, announcing to the world that he is the man he is as a direct result of the influence of the women who have shaped his life sends a very important message to the cultures who continue to treat women as second-class citizens.
Of course if its true that more traditional cultures often devalue women because of the roles they are forced into then it has to be said that in Western societies women who chose the traditional role of homemaker and nurturer are also devalued. We have a nasty tendency to think that a woman who choses this life somehow has sold herself short and therefore is not worthy of respect.

What I would like to see is the role of motherhood placed, as I believe it should be, on a pedestal in society and proper recognition and value placed on its vital part in all our lives.

I'm stepping off the soapbox now - anybody else like a turn?

fairyhedgehog said...

This obviously struck a chord!

I'm not really clear how women's roles work out in mainstream Western society these days. I do know that there are groups of fundamentalist Christians, Muslims and probably others who see women as having a specific role: that of support system for the men. This in itself defines women as secondary.

Like you, I would like to see women able to do anything they are capable of, including staying home looking after children. Mind you, I'd like to see men able to do that if they are suited for it.

Really, I'd like everyone to be given the chance to be the best they can be without being forced into roles that are decided for them and that may not suit them.

Okay, I've finished ranting now, too.

JaneyV said...

Amen Sister!

I was, of course, just speaking about women because it's the day for it. Ideally people should chose the role that suits them, who they are, their talents and their situation and those choices should be respected. But my feeling is that there is a joint prejudice at work here. Traditionally female roles are held in lower esteem because they are women's work and women (and the men) who choose them are looked down on because the role is not valued.

In an ideal world every person would be valued for their contribution and status in society would be achieved by our actions and positive contribution rather than what we own.

fairyhedgehog said...

We're in complete agreement here!

Bevie said...

I would like to add something intelligent, but that's asking too much of my brain, I think.

So I'll just agree with you, JaneyV, with what you said about society's view of "roles", and about people needing to be able to choose their place without condemnation. This means whether they chose to go Traditional, or non-Traditional. As Fairy said, if a person is suited for the task, why not?

Robin B. said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly, and have been (as you might guess) vocal about women's mistreatment - sometimes subtle, sometimes overt, many times cruel as that treatment has been, and still is.

You go, girl - and thanks for point this out!

fairyhedgehog said...

I'm glad you agree, Bevie and Robin.

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