Monday, 25 May 2015

[Straits Times] Long way to go for gender equality

IT IS the 21st century, and despite enforcement by giants such as the United Nations, gender equality is still a goal that has not yet been achieved.
In the corporate world, power is shifting from men to women. But women who hold the top spots are often hit with more criticism than the men.
Today, the world is much more liberal in terms of how women are portrayed. Many female artists are scantily clad in their music videos and many films show women dressed provocatively and behaving seductively. Even in corporate settings, women in leadership roles are perceived as aggressive and sexual personalities.
This has resulted in the perception that women are no more than sex objects who need to use their sexuality to receive attention.
Feminism is a rising trend that is seeing women demand the right to be treated equally as men. But a radical few among the feminists tend to cross the line and try to exert complete dominance over males.
On the Internet, they are branded as "feminazis" - women and girls who are ridiculed for their unjustified and biased methods to raise the social status of women.
More often than not, however, their attempts have led to backlash, frequently sparking online debates on forums that heavily condemn their efforts.
This is merely the tip of the iceberg, and there are a multitude of other factors that contribute to this disparity in gender equality.
It remains a challenge to change our current mindset - that women can never be better than men.
And it seems that we still have quite a long way to go before we can achieve true equality.
Bryan Lim Mingzheng