If you have been following my blog you know I am not the kind of “feminist” (with “…” because I don’t consider them feminists at all) that (almost) hate men and feel that they are all part of a plot to exploit women and make them their slaves, or the kind of feminist that believes that positive discrimination is actually working (it could work, but in practice most of the time it doesn’t). That said, I do believe in equal rights for men and women, and I am fortunate enough to live in a society that is trying to close the still existing gaps between these two genders – the other gender identities have a different fight that I won’t mention in this post.
Some of those gaps are really serious, like different payment for the same job, but others are just daily practices that still remind us women that the female and male stereotypes are still too much rooted in our culture. Lets take the example of a simple night out at a restaurant:
- In a restaurant, men drink alcohol, woman drink water or juice:
Every time I go out to have dinner with my boyfriend, and I ask for wine and he asks for water (because he is a responsible driver), the waiter always serves him the wine and me the water. This happens mostly because the waiter that is serving is not the one that received the order, but nevertheless, they assume I am not the one who ordered wine – every single time! When the meal arrives, it is normal to ask “who order the dish X”. There are no preconceived ideas about which gender prefers meat or fish. But for drinks, it seems obvious that a lady would not order the wine nor the gentleman the water.
- At a date, the man pays for the meal:
When it is time for us to pay the meal, sometimes I ask the bill, other
times my boyfriend does it. Regardless of who asks for it, the waitress most of the times (ok, in these case there are some exceptions) will give the bill to my boyfriend. It seems that we still live in a time were men are supposed to provide for their families, or these can just be the waiter trying to force out the gentlemen inside the man, but in either case: we are in the XXI century — we can split, or we can decide who pays for the whole meal. There is no need to force the decision upon us.
I know these are just two small examples, but the truth is that they are multiplied by many small daily decisions that are somehow made using this frame of mind. And, unlike what many may say, they are almost as prejudicial for men as they are for women because they also reinforce the “do’s” and “don’t’s” in their lives.
Please comment below or on Facebook with some small daily experiences of your own that you consider are still made with gender roles in mind.