Identity of Women

International Women's Day - Women are who they are
@SViswan (12071)
India
March 8, 2008 3:23am CST
The observance of International women's Day today got me thinking about the important question of 'identity of women'. I am no feminist (because my definition of feminist is different from the usually accepted one). And I don't want to do everything a man does to prove a point. But I am an individual in my own right and would like to recognized that way and what I do, say and feel to be considered of value. So, isn't it time that we shifted the platform from 'identity by physiology' to 'identity of opinion'?
8 people like this
18 responses
@skinnychick (6907)
• United States
8 Mar 08
I agree with you whole heartedly. There are things because of my anatomy that I cannot and wouldn't do. I think it makes me a stronger woman for admitting this and living by it. Culture defines gender roles and identities in society and it is about time that we do accept that in some respects women are not stronger than men for the most part. We may be smarter, more beautiful and more respectful but physically most of us don't have the strength that they do. As always there are exceptions to every rule and these are the women that set out to "prove a point". Even so most of the time they fail and just make themselves look ridiculous and weak. I'd rather let a man do the physical stuff for me and save my intelligence which ultimately take me further than any weakness in physical strength or the need to prove that I'm just as strong as they are when really anatomically speaking, I'm not!
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
I think that the choice should be left to a woman...and hopefully she will make the right choice. I certainly do not think that men and women are equal on all levels. But they definitely should be given an equal opportunity to voice their opinion. Men and women need to co-exist and not compete against each other. It also affects the men when they have to stick to the macho stereotype when they really aren't. I think that aspect got sidetracked with all the focus on the women..lol
• United States
9 Mar 08
I absolutely agree with you. It's not about taking away women's freesdom just to realize that physically we have different limitations. That is a fine line for some who have different (old fashioned) opinions of women! Have a great one!
@drannhh (15240)
• United States
8 Mar 08
Yes, yes, and yes. I know exactly what you mean. I want recognition as an equal intellectual, philosophically, and spiritually, without "isms" and would like for people to understand that equal does not have to mean the same. Just because people are different does not mean one is necessary better or worse, just different.
3 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
8 Mar 08
Exactly! That's exactly what I meant to say! See above response...lol
2 people like this
@cupid74 (11394)
• Pakistan
8 Mar 08
Hi SV Women have their own identity and no one can deny that. even we dont discuss women part in economical/politic life ( which is surly growing) but social life is not complete without her Do u think that soceity can grow with women No way its no only re-production of human race but its up bringing of kids setting value of socity womens are important in all aspects so both men and women are equally important and respect of each other bu both can result in harmonized society and i am not sure then human race can ever reach to that limit which is "identify of opinion"" take care
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
8 Mar 08
That's what I was trying to talk about...it's not only what you mentioned that is part of a woman. And not only setting up society. And that is why I said 'identity of opinion'...she has to choose what she wants to do for society...not family alone...maybe she's better at something else. And your kind of viewpoint is exactly why I started this discussion.
2 people like this
@cupid74 (11394)
• Pakistan
8 Mar 08
Hi SV well its primary objective for women a healthy mother can build healthy natiion who is clear about ideology of life. its not giving them birth and raising them but growing them beneficial for society. and its great thing just imagine if women dont do that then what would be situation??? and i do agree that they are excelling in every aspect of life, either its social, economical, politics or what so ever. They are growing But u can deny nature anyway, take care
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
8 Mar 08
Nature has nothing to do with the discussion I posted...besides giving each person an interest or aptitude in a different field. And why shouldn't the men be involved in raising a healthy society? Why do you want to put yourself down?
2 people like this
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
8 Mar 08
The feminist movement did miss the boat and never did understood what "equality" was meant to be. It was only about giving a voice to women. It was never about women trying to compete against men. The feminist saw it as a challenge. They went out there... trying to prove that were as good or better than men at everything. As a result... they did upset a lot of men... and were slowed down by men in their progress. It became a real fight between men and women... and it is still going on. It is not about opinion either. We know that men are different from women. So of course... they are going to have a different opinion. So... who is going to decide who has the right opinion? All we can do is to respect everyones opinion. But there will always be a conflict of opinions between men and women because their values are different. And there is nothing we can do about that... except compromise on both sides.
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
You are so right about the competing part...and in the process the whole idea of equality was lost. Men and women are different and I don't deny that. But what I don't like is not being respected for the person that I am just because I am a certain gender. It has nothing to do with whose opinion is right or wrong. But everyone needs to be heard. A right in a certain situation might be a wrong in another. Even men have different opinions to each other...and they get to say what they have to and sometimes...people just agree to disagree...that's fine too. Just that women need to be able to voice their outlook too...which I agree might be very different from that of a man. It doesn't have to be a conflict...but just understanding.
• Australia
9 Mar 08
It takes a long time to change people's attitude... Particulary when man was taught to be chauvinistic for 5000 years. You are not going to change that overnight... not even in 40 years. It will take at least another 40 years to erase it from their memory. And even then... you have cultures like Islam... who have not even started the process.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
I didn't think it could be done overnight...but a small step can always be taken. And since you are on the topic of Islam...it's the fanatics that have twisted it to mean what they want it to mean. The religion actually gives equal status (as far as voicing opinions go) to both men and women.
@nancyrowina (3850)
8 Mar 08
We still apparently paid less than men in the work place, and in the third world less girls get sent to school than boys (though this is changing finally) so there's still a long way to go. I agree with your statement about not being a feminist too, I believe if a woman wants to do a job that is traditionally a mans job she should be allowed too and could do it equally as well, but we shouldn't do it just to make a point. We have come a long way and are basically equal to men now there are laws preventing discrimination against us we should be happy with that and just get on with it. I found the website for international womens day too, it's here if anyone is interested: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/
2 people like this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
Yes, equality is what I am looking for...I've found that women are paid much less than men in the same post or field...and that's not fair. Why should women be paid less when they are doing the same amount of work?
9 Mar 08
It doesn't make sense at all does it? Not in this day and age.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
11 Mar 08
It's mainly due to the stereotype that the society expects us to confirm to.
@GardenGerty (109902)
• United States
8 Mar 08
That is a good thought. I am fortunate that I have been in relationships that allow that equality and standing. I am in work fields that actually favor women. So men actually need to be given the same standing as women in my fields.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
lol..that was the gist of my previous discussion..the one on male kindergarten teachers.
@Lakota12 (42681)
• United States
8 Mar 08
I already feel like I hvae proved the point of what I can and cant do. and I can do most anything I put my mind too. I was always told AS I was girl I couldnt do certain things well right there that was a challange so I set out to do all I could and I did.
2 people like this
@apsara60 (6612)
• Israel
9 Mar 08
Dear SV......Today you are educated and can raise this kind of question publicly in it self is a proof that women has already established her identity of opinion. Today in every field women are walking with shoulder to shoulder with men.....and this has happened because men realised and accepted that women were also intelligent and deserves such high position and respect. And you know what makes women superior to men, her ability to perform her duties excellently not only outdoors but in her personal and social life too. Lots of changes have come from sati system to single mother moving around respectfully in society today. I think I am quiet satisfied with the changes and I think it is better to work in cooperation with men ,than to compete with them.........have a nice day.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
But yes...though we can...are we able to do all that you mentioned? Women are paid less for the same job as men....sati still continues (in different ways)....a single mother is still frowned upon. And anyways...this discussion is not about empowering women and making them stronger than men. It is about co-existing. Knowing the strengths that each of us have as 'people' and utilizing it to better society. Most of the time women are able to see that they are not competing with men....but want to walk shoulder to shoulder...but because of the defensive mindset...most men THINK that women are trying to compete and prove to them that women are smarter or better than them. Men have their limitations in certain areas and so do women. We need to balance it out and that can be done only when we have an open mind to hearing every opinion.
1 person likes this
@apsara60 (6612)
• Israel
9 Mar 08
SV the higher the designation, the heavier is the burden of responsibilities.....I think it is better that men take away half of our headache and responsibilities....mujhe toh priminister nahi banna , par lagta hai tumne puri tayari kar li hai......:)))
@SViswan (12071)
• India
11 Mar 08
lol..bilkul nahin...waise toh I am the Prime Minister at home...pura kaam mein karti hoon...outside and inside...and I have no complaints about it either. Like it was said in one of my previous discussions...nothing is 50-50 in a relationship. And all I meant in this discussion was to have the right to opinion without having to look at the gender factor. The percentage of women in positions of their choice are less...and even then they have a lot of headaches because of their gender. And there is another aspect to this discussion too...that men also have it tough when they are trying to live up to a stereotype...that is where the feminism theory went wrong. Because we are assumed to be either the 'super women' or the 'downtrodded' (both which I do not agree to), the focus is always on women and not on the problems that men face due to the same thing. And that is what I said by everyone's opinion should be given importance...without looking into the gender aspect.
1 person likes this
9 Mar 08
I do find it sad that our physiology will always outweigh what our true identity is. I have never been one for burning my bra, wanting to prove myself to men, I mean living with a man proves to me straight away women are far better at getting things done. But at the same time, after all the progression we have made, it annoys me that the view of women is still so shallow. We are losers if we are overweight. Women are always shown as a mans sidekick. Dumb seems to be the fashion now. I could go on!! I believe that a woman role has changed so much, but not always for the better. We fought for equal pay..never happened, we are still employed in the menial jobs and still have to do most of the work around the house and with the kids if we choose to have them. Personally, I feel women have a worse deal now than they did years ago. Also when I look at women around they world who are still oppressed, it does break my heart and makes me understand why we need an International Women's Day.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
That's where the problem lies....less pay for the same job...and that kind of stuff. I know we have our limitations in certain areas...and so do men. It's just the point of equal opportunity...see each person for who they are and look beyond the gender.
9 Mar 08
Well said. I feel we are becoming a society that is segregating its self more and more instead of looking at what we can share together. It makes me want to scream like a woman!!
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
lol..I know what you mean. And what society doesn't understand is that gender equality can be more beneficial to men than to women. I just read an article about that in the newspaper and it opened my eyes. Maybe I should start a discussion on that one..lol
• India
8 Mar 08
One must establish our identity to prove the true color,and there is no necessity attached to wait till the society approves a dogma. If at all the stigma of identifying by phisiology is to go, then desperately women, must fight for it.But how long will they fight, as it is going on and on for years. Every year the parliment session begins the 33% reservation bill for women is kept in the agenda, and at no point of time till this date the bill is being discussed and doesnot even carry the hope in it of getting passed in the near future. I am at no point denigrating the women, but only trying to explain the phenomenon prevailing in our country. So my advice is, if a thing is not obtainable by demand, then no harm in plucking it away, by force, as long as it is genuine. Take care SV.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
That's where my defination of feminism differs. As a woman, I am not for the 33% reservation bill for women. I believe in equal opportunity. Women should be able to compete as 'people' and not have seats reserved for them anywhere...just shows that we are weaker in some aspect. I find that feminists are fighting for something which should be taken as a right...right for seats in a bus ...and the rest of the things that go with it. No one is stopping us from doing things...why do we have to fight for things that are not necessary. Now what I do not like is when we are sidetracked just because of our gender.
9 Mar 08
I just read your statement and I do agree with you. Its a form of positive discrimination. I want to get on in life because I am good at what I do, not because a certain amount of slots have been put there for women to fill. I have seen this happen in other areas and it just does not work. I am better than this and so is everyone else. Give me a position because I can fufill it, not because I am a woman...how patronising is that.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
That's exactly my take on the matter 'Ittakesall'.
• India
11 Mar 08
Hi Sandhya, If anybody ever asked me what I consider to be lucky about, I would definitely say that I am very very lucky to be born in a family which has given me quality education and respected my opinion (forget about the rebellious teenage years), to have a husband who thinks of me more as a friend than a wife and never imposes anything on me and above all, to have in-laws to whom there was little difference between their sons and me. So I have all along had my opinion respected so I cant really ‘feel’ the anguish of women whose spirits are being trodden by the men of their family everyday. But even then, I firmly believe that given equal opportunity, women outclass men in every department except physical strength (which is purely animal in nature and has no refinement).
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
11 Mar 08
lol..I come from a family where my opinion is respected too...but as you know that's not the case everywhere. We are a lucky few...and I'm sure the minority. And it's not only the men, it's other women too who do not let women speak out and voice their opinion. It's just a mental attitude that needs some rethinking. The men or rather society will gain and we will have a balanced outlook. I also do not feel that women outclass men...I just feel that the fact that we need to co-exist rather than compete against each other is lost with all the focus on the downtrodden women, feminists and women's rights.
@subha12 (18452)
• India
11 Mar 08
i always believe that we women have a true identity. it is accepted to some extent all over the world as I think. still i think in our country, all the women are not enlightened. they should be taken at the forefront by society.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
11 Mar 08
Though it does seem like it is bad in our country compared to other countries...having lived in other countries most of my life, I know that the issues are the same everywhere. And all I intended to say was that we need to co-exist and each indiviudal (be it man or woman) should work towards bettering society and not competing against each other as a group. Education for all groups is one thing that might help us towards the positive.
@Annmac (949)
9 Mar 08
I think 'Feminists' have a lot to answer for! I think that they originally set out with the right idea that us women should be 'equal' to men, but instead turned it into a kind of 'anything men can do we can do better' affair. They also screamed 'sexist' and 'discrimination' when there wasn't any. Obviously men fought back and even now some feel that things were better when women kept in their place. What society really needs is for women to be valued, to be paid the same wage for the same job and not automatically expected to hold down a full time job and do everything else in the home without the male partners help. I think we are both two sides to a single coin and that it should be reflected in society as well as in a family relationship.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
11 Mar 08
"I think we are both two sides to a single coin and that it should be reflected in society as well as in a family relationship." Exactly!! And all this feminist spewing fire...has really set people off...and even when you say something that really helps (like what you said), people tend to get defensive. Well said and thank you!
• United States
9 Mar 08
I don't know about identity of opinion. I often say, I offend more women then men ever could. I wouldn't consider myself a feminist either but I am a far cry from a girlie girl too. Mainly I think that is because of my practicality rather than my opinion.
1 person likes this
@SViswan (12071)
• India
11 Mar 08
That's just it. You choose to be practical...and the common stereotype of a 'girlie girl' shouldn't stop you. There are men out there who shy from doing the typical 'girlie' things that they would like to do because of society's mind set. Each individual is important to society...and each should do their role without being bound by gender.
@Hatley (164347)
• Garden Grove, California
8 Mar 08
I do not want to do everything a man does either but I would like to see women get paid at least as much as guys do when they do the same kind of thing. Women are at least as much worth as guys when they work the same hours so deserve to be paid accordingly.When I was younger I worked as a nurses aid and the orderlies were paid a third more than we were for doing practically the same kind of work. that is not fair.We should have the same value as men and should be paid the same way.
@SViswan (12071)
• India
9 Mar 08
I totally agree with that. No gender bias. I mean when I am doing the same job equally well, why should I be paid less due to my gender.
@vsraovsr (734)
• India
10 Mar 08
Yes I do agree with your discussion and also feel that ther is no need for this kind of celebrations once in a year when every body on this earth have the same kind of opinion towards woman.
• Philippines
9 Mar 08
Women, just like men have their own identity. Women have talents and their own capabilities which they may contribute to their family and community.
1 person likes this
• Kottayam, India
9 Mar 08
happy womans day