I have never considered myself a feminist. I really do believe that there are some things that men should do (like holding open the door for a lady) and that ladies should respect (like men to be the head of the household). Before you chew me up about girls perfectly capable of handling a door latch and some men being completely irresponsible pricks, I have to say that I agree with all of that too. I want to stress the point that men and women have different roles in society and there really is nothing wrong with that.
I don’t believe in favours or preferences just for being a girl. I don’t believe in filling quotas. I do believe in opportunities however, for the deserving, regardless of gender. I would consider myself an equalist. Give the job to whoever does it better. Give it based on merit, based on talent, based on whoever earned their space there by whatever it takes to get the job done.
If I get something, I would like to think that I deserved it. That I can do the job best and people believe in me and that is why I am there. I know what it is like to be called a quota filler and it tastes pretty nasty.
In a grand dinner in the company of greats, men should hold chairs out of the ladies. Sitting at the table side by side however, everyone should acknowledge that every single person there is worthy and deserving, regardless of gender.
It is 2012. One would think that the times when girls are discriminated and denied chances on the basis of gender is so Emily Dickinson and the Victorian Ages. Which is why it dumbfounds me to encounter such an ordeal yesterday.
And it is not about something that only men can do and women will have to grow a pair of balls to be in on the trip. This is on something that both men and women do. Both mean and women can be very, very good at. Both men and women stand the chance to lead.
Neither is this something whacked out of the ordinary. My parent taught me this, and mind you, my parent taught me to be very good at this. And I worked hard. Bloody hard. You, you watched and admired other girls do this too, and oftentimes, with greatness far exceeding your own abilities. You would, with no doubt, teach your own daughter this. And as she improves, so will your pride in her, sharing in her dreams of someday achieving greatness.
I pray that someday, when that happens, your daughter will not be denied her opportunity to show the world what she can do, the way you denied this of me yesterday.