This Is A Man’s World

Equality. “What does it really mean?” Maeve Connolly asks.

“Mharaigh mé mo leanbh de bhrí gur cailín í”.

“I killed my baby because she was a girl”.

This is the opening line from the famous Irish play An Triail by renowned Irish playwright Máíréád Ni Ghráda. The play centres on the pregnancy and subsequent trials and tribulations of a young, unmarried, girl, Máire. It’s an excellent play which gives an amazing insight into the horrors and discrimination that was widespread in 1960’s Ireland.

Why on earth am I talking about this? Why am I resurrecting anything related to the Leaving cert, a period many of us would like very much to forget ever happened? Simple. The subject matter of this piece is one of great significance even in today’s age: gender inequality.

You see, one of the main issues that particularly affected me in this tale was the double standard awarded to Máire and Padraig, the misogynistic gadabout who impregnated her. He received no retribution for his actions. He was not shunned by the community as Máire was, nor was he berated and called a slut or striapach (or whatever the 1960’s equivalent was). She was treated as a common criminal whilst he got away with a “boys will be boys” mentality.

We have been welcomed into a new era of sexual freedom. Women, apparently, have been liberated in this sense and are permitted to “enjoy” sex now, unlike those generations before us, who engaged in these amorous activities for the sole reason of procreation (or so society was made believe). However, women’s sexual liberation is only skin deep. In reality, the concept of “slut shaming” is still as rampant in our society as ever. If a boy brings a girl home after a night out either he is met with admiration and respect from his cronies, or his relations go unnoticed due to the normality of them. If a girl brings a boy/girl home under the same fact scenario, then she is met with societal shame and judgement.  (I realise that in recent weeks we have been inundated with articles relating to this matter, so for fear of tiring out the subject I shall go no further down this path.)

Now, I’m sure a lot of people reading this will think “oh dear, here comes another angry man hating feminist”. This is a common misconception. Feminists do not hate men (well we hate some men but that’s just because they are confusing and don’t text us the next day and act like they “like” us even though they really don’t and make us feel bad about ourselves leading us to gorge ourselves on chocolate and swear off them until the next one shows an interest in us – woah..I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it out the other side of that..) ; We do not seek female supremacy. All we want is to be placed on the same footing as our male counterparts, to be on a level playing field. Another misconception people have is that all feminists are females. Au contraire, there is a huge party of men who also seek to alleviate the gender divide – the “meminists” (I swear that is a thing, I’m not just putting letters together in the hopes people will think they make a word!) I recently read a quote from Daniel Craig – 007, Britain’s finest, license to kill etc. etc. He stated that “Women are responsible for two thirds of the work done worldwide, yet earn only 10 percent of the total income and own 1 percent of the property…so, are we equals? Until the answer is yes, we must never stop asking”. Along with good old Dan, we have Terry Crews (who could forget his iconic role in ‘White chicks’! “making my way downtown…”) Seth Rogan, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Ryan Gosling and a personal favourite of mine, Tom Hiddlestone. These are all famous, successful men who have spoken out about their disgust that their female colleagues are not seen as equals.

Equality. This is a word whose meaning has evaded many for so long. A simple concept really, equality means all people being equal regardless of race, gender, religious beliefs, disabilities etc. Yet, this undeniably simple notion has yet to be successfully implemented across all factions of our world. We are in the year 2015 and yet if you just scratch the surface of our outwardly tolerant world you will discover a place where racism is rampant; where those not born into privilege are made to feel inferior; and where women are still treated as second class citizens. We must never settle and must continue to strive for equality in all areas of our lives. As it stands, it is still a man’s world; but we must realise that it really would be nothing, without a woman or a girl.


One thought on “This Is A Man’s World

  1. Hey Glen, my friend posted this on facebook there and I found a few things which I felt didn’t have the desired effect of the article. I hope my opinion is helpful.
    “well we hate some men but that’s just because they are confusing and don’t text us the next day and act like they “like” us even though they really don’t and make us feel bad about ourselves leading us to gorge ourselves on chocolate and swear off them until the next one shows an interest in us” – learn from this!! You shouldn’t form your opinion on yourself based on other peoples appreciation of you. In doing that you take the power away from those who don’t appreciate you.

    As for shaming, that’s always wrong anyways and unfortunately comes from both genders and on that point, to both genders. I do think that if men and women are to be given equal credit for pulling women should try to pull as much as guys do, but also that people shouldn’t add values to things like that, more just be happy that others are happy.

    The “to be on a level playing field” bit kind of struck the chord of men and women should have equal rights and equally be loved and accepted but are not equal in every aspect(both have their relative strengths an weaknesses when looked at in large scale rather than individually).

    “Meminists” is a terrible idea, it’s just dividing people up in another way, I much prefer the blanket term “egalitarian”. Daniel Craig, fair play for being a known actor and all but that doesn’t mean your opinion carries more weight, back it up. What consists of work is left very ambiguous and it’d be impossible to accurately calculate something accurately like that unless it was a very specific definition of work. Stating famous people, who aren’t famous for thinking well, to prove a point is encouraging ignorance. Thinking should be encouraged instead.

    “equality means all people being equal” that is not/should not be the goal at all here, we are not trying to get everyone to be the same. For example: somebody who is mentally incapable of leading a country due to disability should have equal access to trying, but not have an equal chance to lead a country. The ideal of equality is more if everybody is respected and loved equally.

    I loved the last line though.


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