As men and women continue to work together in hopes of mutual respect and cohabiting Planet Earth equally, both genders will have to learn to accept each other’s new roles in society.
Not to fuel stereotypes, but it is chiefly men who have to accept that women are capable leaders as well. Military officers have gone to great lengths to ensure that women are respected and treated without any prejudice by some of the more conservative soldiers. Rank is always the decisive factor for command in the army, and sexism is not tolerated at all.
Of course, this varies from situation to situation and country to country. There are still instances of bigoted men attempting to abuse their female superiors, and even worse, of rape in the military. That is because many people are still unable to accept that they can be managed or bossed by a woman. That’s a Neanderthal’s mentality, but it is still very obvious in today’s world.
Being a female with a big position in a large organization – be it governmental, corporate or otherwise – carries with it the unfortunate vulnerability to abuse by bigots in the industry. Very often, the abuse is psychological and is used to wound the woman’s self-esteem in order to take advantage of her. It is just one of many tools used to weaken someone’s grip on power and essentially make them subservient to one’s will.
But that at least, is one tool that should no longer be used. The time for women to be respected based on their qualifications and expertise arrived a long time ago, and anyone still unaware of that fact is simply a dinosaur. Times have changed and the disrespect shown to women over the millennia has finally come to an end, but the transitional period will obviously have its bumps.
That’s why women need to be firm in their demands for respect from their subordinates, superiors and colleagues. A steady hand and a firm word is a good way to start, but unfortunately for most women, the problems don’t end there. The abuse often resurfaces during times of pressure, or when a woman’s management skills are placed under stress or in doubt. Instead of focusing on resolving situations, people often resort to attacking the person with the most responsibility – personally. So when women are tasked with big decisions, prejudiced minds will always go for the most obvious or easiest thing to attack – their femininity.
And that’s what has to stop.
If this world is ever going to evolve beyond a bunch of insults and weary tirades that undermine people’s positions based on their inherent characteristics, then we must begin to critique people based on the skills they employ for the job. You cannot say a woman is a poor manager simply because she wears a scrunchie, but you should definitely call a woman a poor manager if she is unable to motivate her underlings to do well.
This is a debate that ranges from seats in the parliament to the mastery of a household. From positions of the highest importance to the simplest work, prejudice against women is an issue that needs to be tackled swiftly and harshly. Women in the army who feel disrespected by male officers can readily request a punishment for them and see to it that their authority is never questioned. The same is true for men now, so in the spirit of equality, women should also benefit from those rights.
By learning to respect the positions of females above or below us in any given hierarchy, men will be allowing our society to grow and become more intelligent. The more sensitive but objective a society is, the faster it evolves. Allowing women to be disrespected simply because of their femininity allows excuses for failure and mediocrity. If any organization is to succeed, then there should be a clear organizational structure that must never fail at any time. In the 21st century, that means accepting that there are one or many women out there who are far more competent than a man at the job, and vice-versa.
Once we eliminate that hurdle to communication, then we can only profit as a species. We can eradicate a lot of the trivial issues still plaguing the world. The future of the human race is heavily dependent on harmony and total cooperation, and accepting one another’s roles without being bigoted or prejudiced about them is a good way to start.
With the hard work being carried out by feminists and supporters of gender equality all over the world, it is clear that one day, men and women will be able to co-exist in the same environment without challenging each other based on their physical differences. Hopefully, that day will be soon enough to fix the mess that the world is currently in without any further hitches. The great successes of top female political personas like Angela Merkel or Ellen Johnson Sirleaf should be a good indicator that a woman in power can be extremely successful when she is given space to perform to her level best.