Yes, this really is still happening today
International Women's Day 2024 opinion

Yes, this really is still happening today

There are still people who believe that the inequalities we, as women, suffer are no big deal and that we should put up with it and sit back for a hundred years or so and wait for things to change, writes Ana Barreales

Ana Barreales


Friday, 15 March 2024, 16:56


There are still men who believe they are not sexist because they have wives and daughters. And they are so convinced that they say it out loud. There are those who get defensive when feminism is mentioned, as if it were an attack on them, as if equality did not have advantages for both, as if being able to truly share the raising of children or having a partner with the certainty that she is with you because she wants to be, and not because she has no other choice, were not a plus.

There are still people who believe that the inequalities we, as women, suffer are no big deal and that we should put up with it and sit back for a hundred years or so and wait for things to change and regulate themselves by inertia. And they do not find it strange that the majority of management positions are in the hands of men, because, although they agree that women are equally prepared, it is more frequent that we take a step back before a promotion because of the imposter syndrome or the ties of a family. And they do not think that the education received and the stereotypes with which we have lived and 'what is expected of us' have anything to do with it.

They think that going down a dark alley with fear, not losing sight of your glass in case someone pours something into your drink, knowing that if you get into trouble in a bar you have to go up to the barperson and ask for Angela (a password to ask for help in a hospitality venue in case of sexual harassment) and putting up with stares, as if evaluating where they would place you in their ranking, are things that are only complained about by bitter women who make themselves annoying going on about it.

And that since there are many countries where women are worse off we should keep quiet, which is like saying that because there is hunger in the world, we shouldn't worry about housing prices.

There are still people who believe that men cannot be feminists and women cannot be chauvinists, as if this were a game of the high road versus the low road in which roles are divided as they have been all their lives. People who think that gender biases are another invention by women, ignoring scientific studies that warn that girls, from the age of six, are less likely to associate intellectual brilliance with their own sex and tend to shy away from activities they consider for 'very smart' boys, even though they get better grades in science, technology, engineering and mathematics subjects. And that in multiple-choice tests they tend to have worse results because girls tend to take fewer risks and answer fewer questions.

And there are still women I consider very bright who confess before an interview that they don't know if what they have to say is going to be interesting, a phrase I have never heard a man say.

It is still necessary to explain that gender-based violence is something structural, that it occurs in all countries, at all times and at all ages. And that, like terrorism or assaults on medical service providers, it is a specific form of violence: they attack them because they are women and consider them their property. However, there are people who are more concerned about the possibility of a false accusation than about the more than 1,200 women murdered since official statistics began being recorded, in 2003.

Despite the nuances and differences that are often focused on for partisan interests, the strength of feminism is that it is a transversal movement, in which there is no room for backward steps, because there are many more things that unite us than those that separate us and because all this is what happens to us in our daily lives and it doesn't matter what party you vote for or what social class you belong to.

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