Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Why do we need gender equality?

Jill Uchiyama
Jill Uchiyamacreator of Legacy films

The question, "why do we need gender equality?" could have been asked anywhere, at any time in history. Whenever we speak of this subject, of gender equality, we must kowtow to the past, tip our hats, scuffle a shoe. 

There are many who have already answered this question with their entire lives, with blood. There are women and men who have died for this question. Some are still in our presence, some have been documented on film, in Wikipedia, on Quora.  Have we forgotten them? Is it that soon to forget or are we just so comfortable now that asking this question is like a spinning game?

The question has been answered, but the bottle continues to spin and spin. As if this is the world's biggest contemplation- still hanging around for those who have yet to decide whether freedom, justice, and rights are good to be shared. 

Go back and read your history, man- or woman. That will tell you why. Or if not, seek out an author as of late, sit down, and read her story. Find out about women's history, specifically, and learn the names of the countless women that never got credit. That were glossed over in school or left absent from the pages.

I myself was 38 years old and had never heard of Alice Paul. Nor did any of the women in the group I was part of- a women's group, no less. Some of those women went to MIT and Harvard. None of us had heard of Alice Paul.

Get to know that history, women, men. Why? So that you may not be ignorant of how it happened. Read and research what you never learned, were never taught. Why is this important? Because equality demands more intelligence. Equality demands that we stop believing one side of a story- that we are mature enough, savvy enough to embrace more.

What's more..

Until we can really embrace equality, which includes understanding history as it really happened, we will never be ready for what is next nor will we be free enough to set sail on unknown waters, into forbidden territory.  We will not be able to find out what comes after gender equality, after patriarchy? After feminism? What potentials lie beyond these concepts that keep us teeter tottering between history that is laden with only men's names- and a future that includes the world? How much more time do we need to understand what we are holding back by clinging on to old stories. Is it not enough time to be convinced that a young black girl born in rural Mississippi can grow up and become a billionaire? Or that a teenager girl from Pakistan can break free of oppression and lead a revolt in her own words through her story?

Gender equality must be embraced if we are to evolve culture and ourselves. It is not just a nice idea about a few women who can open their own doors. It is about cultural revolution. Imagine the possibilities in that- and how many people will begin to show up once this someday, some way, becomes the norm? Imagine what will happen when we stop spinning the question, wondering if it's the right movement forward.