women in all their glory

Saturday marke the yearly instalment of the International Women’s Day and that just gives me a whole bunch of mixed feelings. One of them is that this is the year 2014 and it makes me sick to my stomach that women still are not seen as equals in society. Women are still paid less then men are for the same job (not everywhere but in a lot of professions). Even in this highly industrialised country, there are barely any women in managerial positions even though year after year, women finish school with better grades than men and they are getting more every year. More women start studying and finish with degrees but they hardly end up as board members or other top positions in big companies.

It also makes me sad and angry that we even need a day to shine a light on those inequalities. Heck, women aren’t even a minority and we are still sometimes seen as second class citizens. But this post is not solely there to express my conflicting emotions when it comes to IWD.

I’ve been talking with a friend about how we both prefer to be able to do stuff on our own. Like opening a door for someone else is a nice gesture as long as it’s not so mean: Hey, you look like you can’t do this yourself! because then we were both like: Screw you! I can open my own damn door. This is valid for a whole lot of other things in life. Just cause I’m a girl doesn’t mean I can’t handle a power drill and I dare you to suggest otherwise.

When my female coworker tells me she doesn’t have to bother with something because she has her husband to fix it, I always have to bite down my bitter remarks because UGH! And I know it’s macabre to say this but just you wait until your husband is dead and you have to deal with everything yourself. I am an independent woman extraordinaire and while there are limits to what I can do myself I try to push them and do as much as possible on my own. It kills me that I don’t know how to properly do my taxes without help and I know I will try next year to not even ask for help because I should be able to do this. (Only taxes is such a damn complicated thing you basically need a PhD to even know where to start.) Anyway.

Over Sunday lunch with my Grandma, we got to talking about man children, you know, those 40 year old men that still live at home. Their mothers still cook and clean for them, do their ironing and all the stuff. I would so kick my son out and tell him to do his own damn ironing. Yes, honey, I still love you but it’s about time you do this yourself but I know my kids would never even get that far.

Grandma told me stories about Grandpa and how she had to lay out his fresh clothes for him every day because the guy couldn’t be bothered to remember where his underwear was stored. Not that there was anything complicated about that. Grandma’s brother was so cuddled by my Great-Grandma, he didn’t even knew he had to pay taxes for his car. She cooked for him, even bought his cigarettes. Every time I hear those things, all I can do is shake my head in disbelieve.

I’s no wonder women are still considered doormats by so many men. (I know I’m generalising and there are a lot of great men in this world who treat women with respect, but excuse me because there are also idiots who still think we shouldn’t be allowed to vote.) We have allowed to be treated like that for so long, partially because we were dependent on men. The other day I read an article in the paper about how women are more and more able to support themselves through their own work. Well CON-GRATU-LATIONS!! This shouldn’t even be news; this should be the rule and not the exception!

In a way, it’s women’s own fault that guys treat us like doormats or their mothers at least, when they raised their little boys like small kings and it makes me want to hulksmash everything.

What I am trying to explain is, women are awesome but we are not free of blame and fault. Some of the pickle we’re in is our own fault but a lot of it isn’t and the whole issue is much more complicated than I tried to make it sound here. There’s ideology behind it all that’s hundreds, probably thousands of years old but it’s changing, ever so slightly. And just keep in mind, be the change you want to see in the world. Add your own little piece to the puzzle, this of course, applies to everything concerning humans and this planet we so dearly call home.

Liked what you read? Please share it to spread the love!
  • Jorge Farah

    Great post. If you’ll forgive the fact that this video was made by a dude, you might find yourself nodding your head vigorously as it goes on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5i1W0z2Zdqs

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Oh I don’t have anything against men and a great deal of them already know that women aren’t there to serve them coffee and mend their clothes. Thanks for the link and also, thanks for stopping by and reading my rant.

      • Jorge Farah

        I didn’t mean to imply that you had something against men; I added the disclaimer because sometimes it can feel a little disingeruous to hear a guy talking about all the plights of womanhood instead of a woman

        • Wilhelmina Upton

          I get it ;)

  • cupitonians

    No, I completely agree with you. Everytime we clear ‘his’ plate up and put it to wash while he moves straight from the dining table to the TV, that isn’t pampering. That’s feeding a really bad idea that THAT is the woman’s ‘job’. To serve, to pamper. I’m not saying, don’t do nice things! I’m saying, do it because you want to, not because it is expected of you as a woman.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Doing nice things is cool, it’s a great gesture as long as it doesn’t turn into something we have to do.

  • There needs to be a class on life skills in high school where they teach EVERYONE how to do their taxes, sew on a button, change a tyre, and iron a shirt (amongst other things). Because it’s ridiculous that people (of either gender) don’t know how to do these kinds of things. My uncle took my washing and ironing home to my grandmother until she went into a retirement village in her early 70s. And on the other side of things, my 33 year old cousin takes her ironing and mending home to her mum because “Ew, why would I want to know how to do that?”. SIGH.

    Sometimes I hate everything…

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Right there with you, sometimes I hate everything. This morning we had a work meeting and this one guy was talking so badly about one of the female government employees we have to work with, I had to bite down my words. Something about her having slept her way to the position she is in now and calling her names. I get that the woman in question is of questionable qualification for the job she is doing, she may be rather incompetent but that was too much. I’m glad I don’t have to see that guy too often as he is not a real employee with our company anymore.

    • My Mum homeschooled me, my sister, and my brother. Her listed requirements for ‘graduation’ included everything you just said, and then some (all in the same theme). Except the ironing, because she hated doing that.

      • Wilhelmina Upton

        Homeschooling is such a weird concept for my German brain to grasp but I’m glad she taught you all the essential things there are to know in life.

        • Has, yeah, that was a big reason why she chose that route for education: so she could be sure we had actually-useful skills and knowledge for life. :-)

  • Vanessa

    Hells yes, women are awesome! Great post. Regardless of gender, we all have the capacity to do a variety of different things by ourselves. Or at the very least, we have the capacity to give things a try rather than automatically assuming someone of the other gender ‘can do that for me’. Women can pick up drills or the garbage can, men can pick up diapers or a mop.

    • Wilhelmina Upton

      Exactly, that’s all I really ask for. Screw gender stereotypes, there is no reason a boy can’t learn how to sow a button back on his shirt and a girl cannot learn how to change tires on a car. These are basic things everyone should know.