In the last issue of The Scroll, there was a powerfully written article by one of my fellow students entitled “For The Girls.” While I commend the bravery of the author to step outside the lines and take a stand for feminism and equal rights, I have to say that I personally prefer my feminism to be of a different sort.
In her article, Kay Calloway ’14 asserts that women shouldn’t “try to be Tor the boys’ just to win their approval. Instead of shyly giggling at some guy’s inappropriate joke, counter with an even more inappropriate joke.”
Here’s where I get confused. Women’s rights is about equal opportunity, equal treatment, equal pay—equal everything, to sum it up. We want to be treated as men are, while still recognizing that we are women.
The way I see it, this means that, if I were to apply to be the CEO of a business, I would get paid as much as my male predecessor, regardless of whether I wear skirts and spend Sunday nights with a friend painting my nails and watching The Notebook or not.
Correct me if I’m wrong, but what it seems Calloway is asserting is that in order to prove that we (women) are as good as men, we have to act like men. Make inappropriate jokes, speak without a “filter,” be apathetic about participation.
Not only is that stereotyping men to a gross degree—the same thing we accuse them of doing when we resist being told that we must be domestic and reserved —but it is implying that in order to get the same rights as men, we have to be men.
Something about that just doesn’t sit well with me. It sounds more like eliminating a gender than equalizing it.
My conclusion, therefore, is the same as my fellow student’s was: “love and shout your
opinions, because you’re brilliant and you matter.” I would simply like to add that, in this case, “equal” does not mean “same.”
When I strut down the hall in my Converse hi-tops, I expect the same treatment from society as the boy next to me in Timberlands, the girl next to him in Jack Rogers and the person who chooses not to identify as either rocking a pair of high heels.
Girls: be yourself, whether you are docile or unnervingly assertive. It’s okay to like pink ruffles, and it’s okay to like black leather, and it’s okay to like both. Boys: the same goes for you.
Don’t assume that your appearance and demeanor have anything to do with what you think and how you behave.