Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Women, Men, Why Stress on the Differences?

I was raised in a family that believe in improbable things. When I was a child, I believed that girls and boys were essentially the same. I thought girls and boys were equals. I still do, even though many people seem to shake this faith of mine.

It depends on the power of the individual. A girl can be smarter than a boy, and vice versa. My family does not really believe in stereotypes and cliches. Like, boys aren't supposed to cry. Girls are more emotional and not dependable. Boys are stronger mentally and physically. Loads and loads of nonsense that have been pumped into our society for eons. Things that, unfortunately, many people seem to believe.

When I was in junior high school, there was an extra class called Electronics. You could choose to take this class or another one, which was Book-Keeping or some sort (can't really remember). I was more interested in Electronics--the gadgets fascinated me. Turned out that the teacher was a chauvinist pig. He blatantly told us that girls weren't supposed to excel in this subject, saying that every person--especially a girl, had a limitation. Arrogantly he thought he could judge how intelligent a student was. Once I got nine in a test. He lowered the grade to eight, saying that other boys who were supposed to be smarter than I was (or so he thought) got 8.5. It was ridiculously unfair.

On practical tests, I usually managed to outdo the others. Several other girls also excelled in this subject. Yet he always gave better grades to boys.

In my opinion, teachers like him ought to be branded and flogged! Even until now, I still feel remnants of anger. I've been a teacher myself. And I disagree strongly with him. A teacher should encourage the students to move forward. Not chain them with an invisible shackle called gender.

I can say that he is a victim of social conditioning. Realize it or not, it works. Even now.

I wonder. Why do people tend to stress on the differences instead of the similarities between women and men? Many times I read articles and jokes that stress on the differences. Maybe some people find this funny. I don't.

How many times I find people saying that women and men are equals.

I wonder if they really believe in it.

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