A constant denial of inequalities

13 novembre 2005 par  Aude , Sylvia

Being feminist today is “doing archaeology” (sic) : “this is meaningless, there is equality, now you want to question our male identity”. That is what many men tell us, some even talk about superiority of women, who are able to give birth.

Let’s look at this “equality”. In France 80% of the poor are women, whereas they represent 49% of the population. Though the law claims “for equal work, equal wage”, women still earn 20% less money than men, for the same working hours. Furthermore 80% of part-time workers are women, usually not by choice.

Furthermore, when one considers unemployment according to different categories (age, educational level, class) one rarely mentions the higher level of female unemployment. Again a gender inequality is masked : the power relationship which is the cause of women’s exclusion from the labour market is thereby denied. Also, domestically women work more than men, whilst the male fraction of this work rises at only 10% every ten years.

Sexual violence is another important factor of inequality : rape is always committed by men, and most always women are the victims. What’s more, an average of six women die every year as a result of their partners beatings. According to a study by the ENVEF, one in ten women stated that they had been victim of violence (at whatever scale they may be) over the 12 months preceding the study.

And much more could be said ! Thus there appears to be a lot ahead before we reach equality... I do not believe that feminism is outdated, to the contrary, it has never been more important than now. By the way, the more I learn the more I am persuaded that our battle is legitimate and just. To be feminist means to keep an eye on inequalities of all sorts, not only those between men and women, also those between the rich and the poor, between European nationals and people with no rights in Europe, etc. I am not a feminist because I demand preferential treatment with respect to men, but because I believe it is the best position from which to fight an inegalitarian society.