Hannah and Je together

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Gender Fairness

Couple days ago I mentioned gender fairness and equality in my previous posting “Gender Equality in America.”  I want to clarify the difference and why I pursue gender fairness rather than equality.  Before I begin, a good friend of mine at the seminary corrected me almost every time I use fairness that it should be equity.  Well, I do know the word equity but I would like to avoid it.  First because it looks and sounds quite similar to equality.  Second because fairness is easier to everybody.  One of the big goal of higher education is to learn how to say the same thing in difficult terminology so that other people may not understand and confused.  But I want my words and writings easy enough to everybody so that those people even with only elementary education could understand what I am saying.

Gender equality, as I define, is that man and woman get the same thing.  By doing the same job, if a man is paid $100, then any woman must be paid the same amount of $100.  And let me say you are a social worker and distributing goods or money to homeless people.  If you are giving some amount of value to a homeless brother, then you should give the same amount of value to any homeless sister.  This is gender equality.  And as I wrote before, the American society does not have this gender equality not to mention third world countries.

What is, then, gender fairness?  Instead of defining it with one sentence like a shining gorgeous scholar, let me give you an example — the real life example.  When I was travelling in South Korea, once I stopped at a highway rest area.  There was a small restaurant and rest room for both genders.  Then I saw two chartered buses came and almost seventy some people rushed out because their businesses were so urgent.  As far as I remember the number of male and female was almost equal.  And there were five booths each for both genders, so I would say the rest area has the gender equality.  But what actually happened in real life was different.  Within ten minutes the male queue disappeared while the female queue was still long and many women were kind of jumping or twisting their legs because their businesses were too urgent with long queue.  So, in my idea of fairness, the waiting time must be equal for both of them.  If men wait only ten minutes maximum, so should women.  In that situation, I would say that there was gender equality, but not the gender fairness.

As I wrote above, we don’t even have gender equality in our society.  Then how much would it be really worse because the situation is like that even when there was gender equality?  Because of our culture, custom and tradition, we do not even notice the unequal situation.  We may think it would be normal if we have five booths for men and three for women.  But to be fair, not to be just equal, we must benefit women much more even up to the level it might look not equal and not fair to men.  Then we might have real gender fairness.

The example above is in South Korea, but I saw the same thing in Chicago — every and anywhere including the famous Navy Pier.  We must work for the gender equality for now because we do not even have that, but that should not be our goal.  Our goal must be the gender fairness.

I mentioned about goods distribution to homeless people.  Even for that, homeless sisters must get much more.  At least, they must be supplied with enough feminine sanitising goods including pads.  And for single moms … well, do I really have to explain for this, too?

Let all good Christians citizens arise and make the fair society!

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Gender Equality in America

Living in America, I inevitably talk to Americans.  And almost always I find that they think America is the greatest country not only in the world but even EVER in history as well as the best place to live in.  So, sometimes I ask them which countries they have lived visited, and about 70% of the answer is surprisingly None.  Quite many of them did not even go outside their state for whole life.

I am not quite sure in what sense America is the greatest country in the world.  Maybe Yosemite?  Or maybe highest incarceration rate per capita in the world?  Or highest gun related crime and homicide in the whole world ever in history?  Or spending more money on the military and weapons than the rest of the world combined (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute 2015 Fact Sheet), rather than improving education, health, welfare and infrastructure?

Most Americans believe that America is the best country for human rights including gender equality.  For this – human rights – matter, I do not also agree but I do not publicly express my thoughts.  I am quite interested in gender matter.  My goal is not equality but equity (I prefer say it fairness).  I’ve recently read a huffington post article – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/foreign-women-assess-us-gender-equality_566ef77de4b0e292150e92f0

There are actually long way to go.  Though money is not everything, it can still be a measure and we have significant difference in wages.  Women get paid much less in Hollywood and even in White House.

In U.S Cabinet, there are seven women out of 23 (excluding President) which is 30% while there are exactly half women in Canadian Cabinet.  Even Canada has a First Nations Woman as the minister of justice and attorney general who will oversea the court cases of First Nation’s appeal to get their land back.  And the minister of National Defence is a Indian Sikh immigrant.

They say that the very first step to solve a problem is to recognise there is one.  To make America really the best and/or greatest country, American media must stop hypnosis on their people, and Americans should stop doing mental masturbation reciting that “we are the greatest.”  They must throw away the drugs of greatness.

I am not saying that America is worst country.  Human rights and women’s status are almost best in comparison to those of North Korea, Middle Eastern countries such as ISIL.  But we should not be satisfied and continue progressing.

Blog at WordPress.com.