How to achieve Gender Equality in a Patriarchal Society?
Today, The Lesbionic invites us to wonder about gender, as a social construct based on biological differences that legitimates the power of patriarchy.
So many questions and we want answers… it’s time to take our power back! It’s time to end violence against women!
Can you tell us something about The Lesbionic?
Here I am, living my best (LGBT+) feminist life, isolated from my fellow humans. Patriarchy still needs to be dismantled but somehow I feel like our fight is on hold. They are taking my power away, once again, telling me to wait for better days. They told me I was too sensitive, that my butt was too big, that I was too masculine… an endless list designed to separate me from my true self and to embody the social idea of being THE feminine woman that every man desires.
Well let me reassure you, dear patriarchy: NO! THE Lesbionic won’t comply. Does she even want to be what men desire? I don’t think so. What she wants is respect.
You will be worthy of my love when: you stop being so loud, laughing so hard… and start acknowledging my power over you because you are powerless compared to me, they said.
Starting from our parents, to our schoolteachers, to our bosses, to our life partners… let them know that we are worthy of love, no matter what.
Who are you?
I am The Lesbionic. I am a social animal that lives in a society guided and controlled by the patriarchal system. I am recognized by others as belonging to a community and defined by my female attributes inside a gender duality organization. My material existence depends on the existence of others. I am a product of the action of social forces. Most of the ideas that I have on myself, especially my sense of moral and social identity, are only understandable if they are replaced in the social system of which I am only one element. Indeed, the complexity of the human condition is undeniable. To make sense of our experiences, our brain uses categorization by organizing our physical and social environment in little boxes. When it comes to categorizing other human beings, we use stereotypes: attributes that we believe are characteristic of these category members. Stereotypes are defined by physical and personality traits as well as behaviors. They often contain some elements of truth but become problematic when they are inaccurate. The patriarchal system uses the power of stereotypes as an ideological tool to legitimize men’s superiority over women.
Why would one group of humans systematically try to diminish the value of another?
Each human being has basic needs. The desire for recognition and respect is one of them. Feeling superior to somebody else is a way to fulfil this need. It becomes clear that the fundamental principle, which advocates that humanity is equal by nature, is fiction.
How is it possible that around 50% of the world population sees several of their basic human needs unmet because they were born with female attributes?
Historically, the construction of differences between individuals has become a weapon to ensure unequal hierarchy. Carrying out an analysis in terms of “gender” helps us to understand these elements as a social construct that can evolve and change. Gender theory has been developed on this belief: the gender of a person moves on a spectrum beyond the duality of male and female attributes. Yet stereotypes show us how to build our social image around “womanhood” or “manhood”. They strike in our subconscious that controls most of our behaviors, emotions and choices.
The Lesbionic found NOT Fun Facts…
All social institutions and organizations are messengers of stereotypes.
The labor market is the main place of socialization for adults. We observe that the division of labor is strongly impacted by gender duality e.g.:
- The wage gap is alarming (women earn an average of just 82 cents for every dollar men earn).
- The glass ceiling is stronger than ever (women face invisible obstacles to advancement on their career ladder).
- Marketing takes pleasure in playing with stereotypes to sell more (women are lead characters in stain remover commercials).
- The gender data gap (the cultural and artistic field that we like to see as “progressive” erased the presence of women artists from the history of art).
“It is a matter of justice that women have an equal chance of success as their equally qualified male colleagues”, Caroline Criado Perez The Invisible Women, p. 170.
In this society constructed on male data, people internalized stereotypes long before they got involved in a work environment: within their family and at school.
The role of the family in the socialization of the individual is significant. Traditional family values control our behavior by providing a differentiated upbringing between boys and girls. The “girl” section of toy stores can be spotted easily:
- Predominance of pink (color of femininity).
- Dolls, that I like to call “fake babies” (to develop her maternal instinct).
- Mini kitchens (to prepare her to stay at home).
Traditional parenting is the living proof of the subconscious internalization of norms by human beings. The destructive cycle will prosper in the next generation, they said.
Should the national education system know better?
Many people believe that it is through education that individuals can liberate themselves. I am one of them. However, the reality is that school plays a major role to enforce stereotypes by pushing boys to be extrovert and always speak their minds loudly while girls should be introverts and stay quiet. Teachers, like the rest of us are imprinted by stereotypes and they transmit them unconsciously. It is crucial that educators follow specific trainings focused on gender equality.
The Lesbionic Quote of the day…
“Redefining the concept of gender to break the patriarchal system, what a beautiful strategy!” (08/02/2021)
The Lesbionic found Hope…
Achieving gender equality should be an individual liberation journey towards a collective goal. Starting the conversation with yourself is the first step to reparent your inner child. You were raised as a good girl, but you must liberate her by evolving into a free human being.
Ten baby steps towards liberation:
- Identify all stereotypes in your everyday life. Question everything from the TV show to the radio podcast.
- Start counting the presence of women in decision-making processes. Ask yourself why patriarchy always takes away our right of representation…
- Go to the child section of your local supermarket and see how the girl section is not famous for its diversity and entertainment but for the dominance of pink. Ask yourself why our little girls should carry fake babies around…
- Make your voice count by noticing all the times you stopped yourself from speaking (up) because you felt like your existence is a burden.
- Scream “NO!” to unwanted comments about your appearance and wear what feels comfortable for you.
- Start seeing the woman next to you as a teammate and not as an enemy: patriarchy is the enemy.
- Realize that you have been conditioned to a role from the day that you were born with female attributes and slowly continue discovering the gender spectrum.
- Give your children the chance to create their own gender identity.
- Reparent your inner child by speaking kindly to yourself if you make a mistake. Being human means making mistakes, your mistake does not deserve a life sentence.
- Be proud of who you truly are.
The Lesbionic Disclaimer…
Liberation of the subconscious is hard and demands the work of a lifetime. Self-awareness is the highway to emotional pain but the journey to freedom is the greatest human experience.