The Gender Equality Paradox
12 Minute Read
Within society, females have always gotten the shitty end of the stick. Living within the constructs created by male dominance, if they weren’t being burnt at the stake or thrown into the local river for having an original thought, they have been the property of men, treated like second class citizens and generally oppressed.
Over time and after a long arduous journey things have changed. Within most western societies, women were freed from being somebody’s property and allowed to own physical property of their own. They were given the vote through women’s suffrage, allowed higher education, given the freedom of birth control and every other win towards the equality that we have today. Agreed, in some areas, a lot of societies still have a long way to go, such as equal pay within the workforce, but we are getting there, albeit slowly.
Obviously this equality differs between countries. Where some societies still view women as second class citizens, others have long surpassed that and have moved towards true egalitarianism – the view where all people are considered equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.
Women have been long fighting for these same rights and opportunities as men, without all of the sanctions that they have been subjected to. They want true equality, and this is a good thing.
One of these areas is to have the same opportunities and choices to work within whatever industry that they choose to, whether or not that particular industry has traditionally been dominated by males. Once there, they expect to be paid the same as their male colleagues. They want a level playing field.
In some progressive political agendas, an even scattering of 50/50 male to females within any given role is considered the ideal. The only way to achieve this, of course, is to give women the same freedoms and opportunities to be able to hold the same positions as men, and by removing all of the usual restraints getting in their way of achieving this. So, if a woman wants to become an engineer, work in the technology field, even become a bricklayer, then doors which would have previously been closed or half ajar are suddenly wide open.
And that’s fair enough.
Let’s suppose that women do indeed have the same opportunities as men. They can freely pick and choose to work wherever they want. The education is available to study the subjects to get them there and once there, they are not only paid the same as their male counterparts, but they are also completely accepted in fulfilling their position and responsibilities.
Given this freedom of choice, would you expect to see more women within what would otherwise be considered as male dominated roles, such as engineering?
This is expected to be the case. The hypothesis is that if the differences between men and women are primarily social constructs, society has been governed by male dominance, then as countries become more egalitarian and equal in opportunity, men and women would become more alike in choice of career. This is logical. By removing all barriers of choice, then pathways open for women that they have struggled to make headway in the past. This is what feminism and females, in general, have been fighting for eons.
Only, we have seen the complete opposite to be true.
The more egalitarian a society becomes, the further apart is the choice of career between men and women.
This has shocked psychologists but nonetheless, all of the research and studies have come to the same conclusions.
The studies ranked all countries in order of equality. By placing the egalitarian countries at one end of a scale, namely Sweden, Norway and Finland and the least at the other, the countries where women are still viewed as second class citizens, researchers worked out and placed all other countries in-between in their respective places.
The subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) were then studied as to how many females partook in educational degrees. These subjects were chosen as they have all been traditionally male dominated.1
The findings were, countries that were the least egalitarian had the most females in these roles and the most egalitarian counties had the least. All of the other countries in-between, they had their respective percentages of females which were in-line with their placement on the chart. This was completely the opposite of what was expected.
The more egalitarian the country the fewer women partake in STEM subjects
As renowned Canadian clinical psychologist and a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, Jordan Peterson explained the findings, “The answer: the more egalitarian and wealthier the country, the larger the differences between men and women in temperament and in interest. And the relationship is not small. The most recent study, published in Science showed a relationship between a wealth/egalitarian composite measure and sex differences that were larger than that reported in 99% of published social science studies. These are not small-scale studies. Tens of thousands of people have participated in them. And many different groups of scientists have come to the same conclusions, and published those results in very good journals.” 2, 3
The more egalitarian the country, the larger the differences between men and women in temperament and in interest – not smaller as expected.
SO WHAT IS GOING ON?
There are numerous hypotheses as to why these findings as they are, but research is looking toward the differences of essence between men and women. To take this one stage further, the inherent differences between the masculine and feminine energies.
As I have written about before on this site, there are major differences between men and women, or more specifically, between the masculine and feminine energies in which we embody.
We carry a combination of both in varying percentages. It makes no difference if you are actually male or female if you are straight or gay, but for clarity, I’m going to keep to the examples of men = masculine and female = feminine, where in reality, this actually makes no difference at all.
Remember that the masculine and feminine are both energies and that they are polar opposites of each other, actually complementing each other beautifully.
THE MASCULINE AND FEMININE
The masculine is logical, he spends most of his time in his head and loves solving problems, strategising and ’objects’. He is critically-minded and independent.
The feminine is intuitive, she is heart based and fluid. She gravitates more towards people, caring, empathy and is agreeable to others though she also experiences both the lower and higher emotions in equal regard.
Out of the two, the masculine is much more materialistic and goal orientated. He is led by a sense of personal mission and have the assertiveness to drive himself forward. The pure masculine often lacks the ability to touch the higher emotions and will easily quash the more agreeable feminine who does embody these. This is why the old stereotypes existed of the ‘macho’ male and the ’submissive’ housewife, and what has led to thousands of years of inequality and female oppression.
Being a male does not mean that you necessarily embody the masculine energy 100%, you will most probably have a percentage of feminine also, making you a balanced individual, though you may, or most probably have more masculine than feminine. For example, the feminine aspect of yourself will assist in caring for your child
Same deal with females. You will embody more feminine energy than masculine, but the masculine will be present. It is usual for women to be more balanced in this way than their male counterparts. The masculine part of you is what would be driving your career.
Regardless of who you are, whatever energy you embody the most will be your core essence, whether that be masculine or feminine.
Within psychology, studies have found that the biggest differences between men and women is that men love ‘things’ or objects and that women love people and this is an important difference to note.
In our natural state, we will always gravitate towards our own preferences.
If the masculine, a lover of things and solving problems is looking for a career path, then something within the STEM subjects would be natural choices. This is because they represent the masculine energy that is naturally embodied.
This is the same for females. There are roles that simply reflect the feminine qualities. Nursing is a good example or any role working with people, HR, catering, or anything concerning the heart and helping others.4
This is not being sexist but expressing an example that some things are more magnetic to the masculine and feminine energies respectively.
To quote Peterson again; “There are male tendencies and female tendencies. Scientific experiments have been carried out when assortments of children’s toys were placed around a playroom. The girls took to the dolls and teddy bears, while the boys gravitated towards model trucks and trains. In liberal secular Sweden, women predominate in medicine and social work while most engineering and construction jobs are done by men. Females tend to be nurturers and males tend to be builders and labourers. It must be in the genes – and the muscles.”
Think about it this way. Society has always been male dominated. Where there has been a lack of opportunity for females to enter male dominated roles, this hasn’t been the case in reverse. If a man wanted to enter nursing, for example, an industry traditionally is seen as ‘female’ he could so do. However, very little did, or have done. I’m not saying that there are no male nurses as there obviously are, even my own grandfather had a long career as an operating theatre nurse, but the point is, the opportunity was there, but very little chose to pursue it.
Because simply there are industries more reflective of the masculine energy that most males or masculine-led-people will gravitate towards.
Interestingly, ability has nothing to do with this. When females partake in STEM studies, they are shown to often outperform males in results and aptitude but they are simply gravitating towards roles more reflective of the feminine.
It seems, the true freedom of choice affords us the freedom to be authentic to our essence.
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