On sexual equality
Sexual equality has never meant “sameness” between men and women when after all men and women are not born, groomed or socialized in the same ways. Stereotyping the two sexes is still unfortunately the norm. Boys are stronger, tougher and less articulate etc. while girls are meeker, weaker and more expressive. In Hong Kong, males in their forties and are still single are crowned as “diamond bachelors” while the female counterparts are teased as “residual girls”. Married women with no children are looked at as “incomplete” or even condemned as “not delivering their duties”.
As in all cases of generalization, sexual stereotyping is dangerously naïve. Careers such as the disciplinary force or professions like the architects, engineers, medical doctors, lawyers etc. have long taken women on board. These days, women can bring in money while men do the laundry. But social conceptions are not easy to change. It takes time. Quitting jobs to attend to children is expected of women but regarded as an act of sacrifice or stupidity when it comes to a man opting for it. .
Institutionalizing sexual equality is not to promote “sameness” but “fairness” of not discriminating between two people on the basis of sex. They are to be judged on the same criteria or standards irrespective of gender. They are to be given the same opportunities and granted the same rights. But even in this modern society of ours, such is sadly not the reality. Women are still earning less. There are more men than women in top positions. Why are housewives not classified in the employed category? They are doing a “no-thanks” job putting their body and soul into the big business of taking care of the family and bringing up children.There is Women’s Day but no Men’s Day! Why not let us have Human Day like the 7th day of the first month of the Chinese calendar!
As the Chairperson of Hong Kong Women Teachers’ Organization, I have been criticized as sexist! I am not. Our activities or classes held at Hong Kong Teachers’ Centre are open to all teachers, men and women. And it is because of the limited space we have at our office that the classes held there are for women only.
So sisters, with heads held up, let’s celebrate our greatness - Happy Women’s Day!