Feminism is one of the defining concepts of our era, one that is challenging patriarchy, the prevailing paradigm for thousands of years. One that has sprung from the very unique technological, social and economical conditions we lived in for the last few decades. One that seems inevitably going to advance with time until the final goal is reached to grant equal rights and opportunities across genders.
I argued before that our current communication system is dividing and weakening our society. This isn’t about that type of division: it is more subtle and we didn’t even noticed it spreading, beginning to divide the two founding halves of our society and species: two halves that should really come together as one. Our society has undergone so many radical changes in the last century that we were forced to redefine many individual roles… some examples that serve us well here are:
- physical labour is the source of income for an ever shrinking slice of population as a result of technological advances causing the decline of physical strength as a sought after skill in the job market;
- these same technological advances freed up humanity from the seemingly inborn habit of dedicating the workforce of one or more individuals in each household to the care of the house itself… traditionally these individuals were the women;
- our economic system also found ways to optimise how half of the population in work age was employing their time, and this gave women the financial independence to gain a louder voice, and ultimately more rights.
While we are far from a meaningful destination that we can call “parity” without causing a sneer, it is worth taking a second to smile with satisfaction considering of how far we have gone as a society in just less than one century with so little blood shedding.
Even more considering how the situation had remained substantially unchanged for a few thousand years until a century ago.
As the cause of feminism progresses through its path, it is normal that some women will take more radical stances, others will be more moderate, others maybe won’t care at all.
It is important that we can all focus on the overall message and not on the single stances: while this is true for individuals, it would be even more important for journalists, opinion leaders, and influencers.
This is definitely something that I am failing to see. More in general, what we are seeing is a distortion that interests the communication in general: compared with the words of reason, those voices that are louder, and have rougher edges will be deemed more interesting, make more followers, and gain more “likes”. This is where this conversation has many points in common with this post.
This isn’t a call for all women to be moderate: a similar argument was portrayed against black people rights movements in America, during the last century, where the word of wisdom was sometime summarized as: be quiet, don’t make the white man angry or you will be worse off.
This was of course a flawed argument back then as history demonstrated, just as it is one today.
Any time we are considering a group of millions of individuals (billions, in fact), any attempt to set some ground rules that will be received by less than 99.999999% of the population, is domed to fail: there will always be some unreasonable voice in the chapter, and there will always be someone willing to make a big deal about them. This can be a newspaper with a political agenda, or ill tempered individuals from the opposed group unwilling to give up their status.
This is -if something- an invitation to consider in both directions: if you do accept the general rule that women are within their right to demand more equality, and if you do recognise that many men will not actively oppose and will in fact recognise this right, then you should probably not yeld to the temptation to be antagonised, or to contribute further to the division of our society.
Do not yield to temptation to overgeneralize when someone -individuals- pushes their demand in directions that seem unreasonable.
Don’t yeld to temptation when an individual expresses views that are diminishing of the other gender’s role or status, or even when they are outright divisive and obnoxious.
Let’s not let feminism be weaponised against our own society: we will be tempted many and many times, as our communication system is fine tuned towards silencing the words of reason against those of trolls.
It becomes our mission as sentient beings to choose to remain calm and realise that trolls are but a tiny fraction of the population, and that the larger mass is more interested in social justice than what we are brought to believe today.