Why do some men find it difficult to identify women as their equal? Could it be that their insecurities have had them repeat myths? What does your religious text(s) have to say about women? Why is it that the 'leader of the free world' has never had a female president in its 237 year history? Are only men created equal?
In Eutropia, from Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities, a wife is equated with a new job, a view, and even gossip. This is no surprise since from the beginning of 'biblical' time, at least, women have been treated like possessions instead of persons. The bible suggests that 'Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing' and Paul reminded us in good old Corinthians “As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches." What is stupefying is that we still cling to these antiquated ideals from the bronze age, and some women stoutly defend them!
The world's newest and youngest feminist hero is Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year old girl who dared to stand up to the cowardly Taliban. She defied the ban on education for girls in Pakistan and championed their cause even at the level of the UN. The Taliban responded with an assassination attempt on her life. Today, Malala, now a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, still faces death threats as sexism's ugly head still protrudes from the dark ages.
As exemplified in The Twilight Zone's “The Hitch-Hiker” women are left to the mercy of men. Women must be subservient and dependent on the kindness of men to get by. Men must speak on their behalf, as women are weak and unsure of what they want. Their thoughts and words do not carry the same weight as their male counterparts.
On the reverse side of sexism, men are also adversely affected. Boys are taught they must act masculine and uncaring, play sports and 'man up'. We are taught that to embrace our femininity is abnormal. Sexism, racism, ageism, classism, etc are all members of the same family. They branch from the parent idea that some of us are more equal than others. Those who fall short must be treated accordingly. While I will be the second to admit that we have made much progress, real advancement will only win when women and men refuse to tolerate inequality. I propose that we all make an extra effort to understand each other and in the process bring equality to the sexes. Our infantile species depend on it!