When there are arguments about equality, quite often people argue that there are no solutions and very little factual basis to claims that women, for instance, deserve a fair share. The ‘reality’ of commercial contexts leaves little room for developing sport where the minority group might get the same terms and conditions as the group in power.
Critiques of feminist criticism have long held that there isn’t a clear definition of what equality would look like. Basically, complaining doesn’t provide a pathway. However, there are pathways to equality in existence already and it’s a bit like dealing with ethical supply chains in business. Sports are testing the waters, so to speak, and the solution doesn’t happen overnight. Some sports are better than others, as are some countries. Often the measures taken can seem like lip service. Sometimes they are.
We know this, but it doesn’t mean women online or in real life will quiet down and demonstrate infinite patience. I personally have been discussing and campaigning for equality in sport for almost twenty years. If I go to a meeting with older women, little old church ladies with grey hair will nod their heads emphatically at the same problems women nowadays share. Can you even imagine the shared disappointment of seeing women who campaigned in the 60s and 70s continuing to see women nowadays still working for it? It makes the fury of social activists on twitter seem somewhat more understandable, especially people of colour who have a definite disadvantage against racism but little voice in mainstream politics.
When arguing online, people define the measures taken as only valid in that context rather than reflecting a campaign in real life. So I personally have been told my frame of reference is only within Twitter where people are deliberately inflaming sexist rhetoric. The problem with this is, that Twitter is only a reflection of what is happening in real life anyway. People might think that it’s exaggerated but actually Twitter is one of the places where I notice feminine silence because the risks of speaking out are as bad as they are in real life. You can’t lose your job and still have influence within the industry so women will be silent and slowly campaigning in the board room to try and effect change. I’ll end up making claims and references people know I can’t personally have but without revealing the source. Or frankly I really do have a frame of reference that isn’t just Twitter and I’m tackling systemic issues, not specific incidents. Either way, online activism is a valid voice and people who claim otherwise fail to note that mainstream media and industry sources can’t necessarily be so blunt.
It hurts to read women talking about inequality. Inequality hurts men. Many men make an effort to be respectful and individual men are not responsible for the system that has evolved. The idea of feminism and fighting for equality being anti-male stemmed from 70s feminism. The idea that women gaining equality would deliberately disadvantage men is outrageous to me. We know what it’s like. Feminism isn’t allowed to be just about women nowadays. There are many disadvantaged groups so levelling the playing field means having compassion and empathy. Feminism is the radical notion that all people deserve a fair chance. It can’t be anti male. There is definitely feminist humour that claims to be anti male, such as ‘misandry’. Misandry is the radical notion that making fun of reverse sexism is hilarious. Hash tagging misandry is an exercise in irony. Sexism is ridiculous. It should be mocked and dismantled. Why campaign for equality only to believe in continuing a system of disadvantage?
So there you have it. A vague opinion under 800 words. The next part to this will be the specifics of what equality could mean and have references to further info or what I’ve researched. I’ve noticed many people don’t click those links but whatever. Maybe it’s worth it.