Carla is a clear-headed young woman living in the suburbs of Brussels, where bigger city issues sometimes seem far away. “My school used to be an all-boy one, and it’s run the Catholic way. I guess they find it hard to shake off certain concepts who’d be better off in the past.”Carla
We will never be able to go beyond the physical differences between men and women. How we as a society decide to deal with those differences is a whole other story. Even if men generally have an advantage over women in terms of physical strength, we should never have to accept abuse or consider domestic violence to be normal within relationships.
My friend recently told me that his mother suffered abuse from his father for over two years. She never reached out to anyone about it. Why? She thought it was embarrassing. Additionally, she was raised to believe that women who divorce their partners harm their children and women should just accept men as the strong-willed head of the family.
I can’t get my head around the fact that this woman didn’t feel she had the right to safety, let alone happiness. I know some people say, “But men are exposed to violence too. Men are considered to be inferior to women by some.” Okay, but not to the same extent. The numbers are different. Either way, every side of the story deserves both our empathy as a critical approach.
At school, I don’t always agree with the way girls and boys are treated. I wouldn’t say the teachers make us feel less worthy, but when more girls than boys opt for the science courses, many male teachers won’t shy away from sharing their surprise. The place used to be a boarding school for boys, and it’s run the Catholic way. I guess they find it hard to shake off certain concepts who’d be better off in the past.
When I try to think about the future, bearing in mind the many feminist activists today, I am confident that our society will continue to evolve towards a more gender-neutral one. However, I believe a certain amount of inequality will forever be engrained in our way of doing things. A mom will probably forever be the go-to person for kids dealing with heartache, the dad will come and pick them up from the party at 1 AM. As long as both sexes have equal rights and equal chances at life, I can live with that idea.
Me? I want to work hard and take my chances on a career as a professional. In an ideal world, my future husband would be willing to take on much of the responsibilities of raising children. History has shown us that things sometimes turn out much different than what was to be expected. I can only hope that as far as equality between women and men is concerned, we’ll find ourselves pleasantly surprised.