The advantages and obligations of feminism

I am, and always have been, a great believer in gender equality – in the home, in business and in all

I am, and always have been, a great believer in gender equality – in the home, in business and in all other walks of life. The way women and girls were treated a century or two ago was bordering on slavery. Women were rarely, if ever, allowed to take up paid employment – they had to be totally subservient to their husbands, and they were unable to vote for almost anything. They were also expected to maintain and clean a house, bear and bring up children (at a time when birth control was virtually non-existent) and had no rights in law if a husband proved to be less than desirable!

Indeed it was a bad time for women and thank goodness those rotten days are long gone, due as much as anything to a group of young women in England, known as ‘suffragettes’. They endured the attention of unruly police, the indignity of arrest and forced feeding in jail, and even, in one or two cases, death, in order to get their demands heard and responded to by the (male) authorities.

They did get the vote eventually and they also won many other privileges and rights for their gender, things which should have been put right many, many years earlier. In fact, a lot of the things women had to put up with should never have been allowed to happen in the first place.

Of course, all this occurred in Europe, and the rest of what is known as the ‘western world’. The women of the Middle East, and to a certain extent the Far East, are still treated as they were treated in medieval times, much as I have described above. However, in a lot of countries the situation is even worse, with women being punished for being raped as if it was their fault, while the offenders got off scot-free unless the woman can find three male witnesses of the offence – what a joke! They are also, in some cases, made to cover themselves from head to toe, so no man but the husband is allowed to see what they look like. A cruel and imbalanced world indeed!

Of course, in some matters things tend to have gone too far in the west these days, where feminism has been allowed to take charge in many instances. Not the fight still going on for equal pay for equal work, or the available opportunities to get to the top in industry or commerce, or even the right to raise a loan without having to get a man to sign agreement to it – most of these problems will shortly, or already have been, cleared up and corrected. But there are some women who insist that they should be allowed to join men only clubs, for instance – the Freemasons, the City Club and numerous other male-dominated organisations, and I don’t, for the life of me, understand why these women are so aggressive about this. After all, what is wrong with the men having a few places where they can be in the company of just other men? And what about the reverse of the coin? There are many organisations that are for women only – would these ladies allow men to become members of, for instance, the Country Women’s Association, or the Women’s Sport Club, in Melbourne? And this is just the tip of the iceberg, the extremist feminists want much more, but the limited size of this blog can’t permit a broader picture.

Luckily though, it does seem to be just a particular group of women who take this extreme attitude; the vast majority are sensible as well as mature and they deserve to be treated as complete equals, but with the proviso that both sides should have, indeed need, places where they can go to be with just members of their own gender. I still treat ladies with respect, stand up for them on a bus or open doors for them; I think this is just old fashioned courtesy, nothing to do with feminism at all!

I don’t really think that is too much to ask for, is it?

Do you agree with Brian?=

Dymocks Blogger Rewards

To write for Starts at 60 and potentially win a $20 voucher, send your articles to our Community Editor here.