In our society there is also an inequality between men and women based on the ideal of beauty. It’s the duty of a woman to look good, no matter her age.

Nancy
Nancy
Nancy
Nancy

Inequality has shaped me into the person I am today.

I grew up in a household where my father behaved as a patriarch and my mother as a submissive wife. We were thought that the purpose of women was to bare children and nurture them. In the mind of my father, a woman was unable to be independent. If she didn’t follow the rules or spoke back, he considered it to be normal to discipline her, even by force. The worse part is that my mother believed this to be true and respected his opinion.

In our society there is also an inequality between men and women based on the ideal of beauty. It’s the duty of a woman to look good, no matter her age. Men on the other hand are praised for having beer belly’s. There is still a truth in the cliché of the ‘good’ woman having three duties: being a princess in the kitchen, a mother for the children and an object of lust in the bedroom.

Growing up with this extreme mindset has made me fight back: I refuse to justify my actions to a man. I have a job and make my own money. If I go shopping, I’m not going to show my outfits to my husband and tell him how much I’ve spend, even when he expects it. Don’t get me wrong, I can go along to the point where the man thinks he’s in charge, but I’ll protect and hold on to my freedom.

But inequality isn’t just a problem at home. In my professional life I have faced it many times. For example, it was considered normal to make sexual or inappropriate jokes about women. If a visitor arrived, my male peers would come to me and asked me to bring their clients to them, as if I was their secretary. The inequality of salaries and bonusses, such as a company car, was seen as something evident.

Nowadays, I believe this has changed thanks to the #metoo movement.

Men are more cautious how they behave towards women. Companies take more initiatives to reduce inequality on the work floor. Our management is making efforts to place women in higher positions. However, I don’t feel this is being done out of conviction, but rather under pressure from society.

The attitude of women has also changed. We have become more verbal: we know what we want and don’t accept to be kept dumb anymore. At home, my children witness a certain equality between their mother and father. In their social lives I notice that our boys have a lot of girlfriends; not lovers, just friends. This was not possible at all when I was growing up.

So generally speaking, I do have the feeling that equality between men and women is evolving in a positive way.