Saturday, 12 September 2015

Equity and Equality

Earlier today on Facebook I posted somewhat of a rant as I felt that I was bottling stuff up that had to do with my choices in life and my aspirations within my career.

I won't repost it here but the general gist was that I felt like I was being made to feel guilty for not spending enough time or effort making a life outside of school. I've felt this a lot myself over the last few years here in Rotorua and perhaps that's why it hurt a little when I rethought it again this morning before writing. Because... at the end of it - it comes down to perception.

The perception I have of this issue is that I'm proud of where I've come so far. I've overcome a lot of issues, both emotional, psychological and physical as well as spiritual issues too. I've become a stronger and more confident person. I finally feel like the person I was when I was 16. With dreams and aspirations and a beautiful positive attitude that is trying hard not to be weighed down by the pressures of society.

The problem I suppose and the reason I'm now writing this post is because for some strange reason - I feel guilt for not having a life. A life where I have a lot of friends and a husband or partner and children. I feel guilt because I'm the oldest child and because I'm a woman and because even at 27 there is still this thing in the back of my mind that's telling me I have no worth unless I'm hitched and hapu. Which I know is pathetic and wrong.
However - as a result of this stupid unfounded guilt - I felt like I need to explain myself further this morning and say that I'm actually really proud of who I am and what I've done. I'm excited about my dreams and aspirations and believe that I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it.

The actual problem though is the fact that I know I wouldn't feel this guilt - or actually be made to feel like this - had I been born a man. My grandfather was congratulated by his friends on hearing that he finally had a grandson when they read in the paper of the birth of Alex Le Long. He grunted and said it was another girl. I've talked at length the impact this awesome man had on my life but it's this issue that continues to make me feel like I'm not good enough.

My post is quickly turning sad..

Anyway. The point of this post is this:
Just because a woman has dreams and aspirations does not mean that she should be overlooked because of her gender. She should be clearly pitted against her peers for the job and the best candidate wins. However - more often than not - men get the opportunities because they're seen as being more influential or inspiring or albeit interesting?

I know that this is not just an issue I face. It's something that's happening the world over. Because gender discrimination continues to happen. Despite the massive steps we've made.

Up until this point I've made a decision to put my career first. I've been lucky to have been able to do this. I haven't been burdened by distractions. I've been able to focus on me and what I want. Right now as I type I'm thinking that this sounds selfish. But would a man think this in the back of his mind? Would he feel overwhelming guilt for not having had children or having found a suitable wife by now? Some perhaps. But the majority are able to fly through and be bachelors like George Clooney (until recently) and get rewarded and celebrated for their focus on their career.

It frustrates me that it's not the same for women.

What I'd like to feel is rewarded and celebrated and valued for putting so much effort into my mahi and for putting it and my students first.

What I'd like to think about myself is that I am admired because I push myself to achieve my goals and work hard to do so. That I am valued because I continue to dream big and never stop learning.

I'd like to know that the world is ready for women to take a stand and be who we want to be without having to fit inside a particular box.

I'd like to know that despite whether I choose to have children or not that I won't be disregarded based on who I am. I'm totally fine if they don't think I have the qualifications or the ability to achieve their aims for that opportunity. But don't disregard me based on my gender nor my aspirations in life.

Edit:

Just found this post.

https://youtu.be/ltVPj6-5xpo

Beautiful.