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Should we “preserve” women’s opinion for the sake of family values?

 

Men are not the only opponents of gender equality. Sometimes women oppose also. Often it’s women who unconditionally support their so called place “reserved” by the traditional society over media coverage by assessing women’s participation in politics as “another caprice of the weaker sex.”

Certainly, each point of view has the right to exist. The only problem is the “traditions”, on which such stand-point is based, are rather dogmas, than traditions. Someone likes to  cling to the old societies, moreover, to disseminate and present it as truth, though in reality it is all about myths .

 

 

Myth 1 

Traditional societies do not seriously take a woman in politics։

Certainly, the day when we have a women candidate for the President in our country is far off (oh, not so far as it seams to be!). In case of a strong candidate she undoubtedly will be considered equally. It is a different case that a series of elections will be hold untill a woman is able to hold the highest state office in the country. The reasons are not only the old-fashioned stereotypes,  but also the electoral system formulated by men’s  hard and fast standards and women’s social status. Obviously, putting oneself forward for elections requires huge financial resources. Traditionally, in our country usually men possess money. By the way, the men who possess the financial resources constitute the 10% of our society. Hence, it turns out that firstly men must want women to be engaged in politics. They must be so generous and noble-minded in order to pay for their electoral campaign, or, as for the political leaders, to include women in their party lists. Do you think there are a lot of such ”generous” men around us?

The answer to this question is obvious since in terms of women’s involvement in the executive and judicial powers we fall behind with all our neighbors in the region.

The women, who are more or less involved in the decision-making processes in the country, owe  men for their engagement in politics. This is the absurdity, but not the fact that politically active women are not taken seriously by the society.  Only the female activists, who go the whole hog  to promote their male political idols, are not taken seriously.

 

During the years of independence a few woman-only parties have been established in Armenia. None of them has followed the main mission of political power. They have acted in accordance with the principle of a social organization. Once a single political party initiated its almost one-month long women’s grouping project, which was driven by men. In this case we certainly can speak about women’s solidarity. All the efforts to consolidate the potential of active female electors and enable them consciously support their representatives nominated in the legislative power, have not achieved their goal. Again due to the stereotypes, old-fashioned perceptions on the role of a woman in a “traditional society” and partly by inertia women usually vote for men. It seems they do not rush to break the men’s monopoly for power. Politically active women irritate them since men are not able to imitate perhaps disputable but their success. That is why women’s solidarity is usually expressed in cases when they have to soothe and encourage their friends or neighbors suffering from their husband-adulterers and so on.

Summarising the aforementioned, let us emphasize the fact that the problem is not in the perception of female politicians by the society. The problem is in the men’s monopoly in power and the fact that women’s political pretension is not supported by the society. Nevertheless, the existence of such pretensions, which is sometimes well-grounded, is beyond debate.  Only those suffering from sexism can seriously insist that women have smaller brains than men.  If some women agree with this, it will mean they really have smaller brains. However, this is not a criterion to judge others.

 

 

Myth number 2

In politics women always adopt men’s behavior thus harming exclusively typical female features and woman’s world outlook.

 

“There is a belief that a woman who steps into the man’s world must adopt his rules and- almost permanently – in prejudice of her features and world outlook given by the nature. How comfortable can a woman feel in an environment when the level of numerous politicians is alas higher?” some female representatives may think.

It is difficult to understand what disturbs authors having such thoughts more: a female politician’s comfort or other consequences of her adaptation into the man’s world? Let us try to ask “opposite” questions։ How pleased is a woman to live with a feeling that someone has depicted her “ceiling”? And what if a woman continuously hits that benchmark with her head? Hasn’t the politics become merely men’s world where numerous women pretend being satisfied with their limited conventionalities, bias, stereotypes and status?

What if a woman can do more than being engaged only in housework or in a strictly “female” job by specialty? It should be assumed that inherent female features are expressed as being brooding, caring for the warmth of the house and expecting the husband to come home after work or, if the husband is unemployed, to shoulder the whole household bringing more “wood” for the house and smile mildly while canning for the winter. Who said that these are real female features and family values and that the woman in power will do all these worse than her neighbor housewife and that she makes less use to the family?

A woman in a responsible position is by no means obliged to imitate her male colleagues. This thesis – if you have not understood it yet – has become old. On the contrary, following the existing intentions femininity   is to be emphasized now even if it has not been given by birth at all. Nevertheless, this is not the utmost principal question as it is not important how a female minister walks or speaks and so on. We do not judge male ministers in accordance with such criteria, we do not bother so much if a government member is rude, uncouth as it “suits” a man nor if he is well-groomed and so on, do we? The fact that a woman may lose something working in a male environment including the one not so polite it is preferable to touch this question from another side: Will the society benefit if a woman with this or that features becomes a minister? There should be only one criterion regardless of the sex.

A woman’s ideology is not an egg-plant to be canned. The world has been initially “two-polar”: a man and a woman.  Wherever there is one opinion there should be another for balance and harmony in order to develop optimal processes in families, authorities, countries and the whole world. Discrimination of a woman’s position spontaneously leads to failure in all fields.

Initially created “female nature” suffers not from the fact that a woman engages in politics but that she is under pressure and when they shut the mouth of a woman who has something to tell pointing out to her gender. The concept of gender equality has arisen to thrust a wedge among men and women; this is the only reasonable way of peaceful existence within a family and a state. This concept does not affect anyone’s personality; it just secures all human rights regardless to the sex, independent self realization without depriving of liberty for those people who do not want to enjoy the right.

 

By Nana Gevorkyan

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