We are witnessing accelerated roles for women in this 21st Century; the gender gap is gradually closing at all levels. Understanding men are now allies; actively supporting, lobbying, advocating, championing for equality because a form of it will ultimately come. This year’s theme for International Women Day ‘Balance for better’-a balanced world is a better world assures men that the rise of women is not about their fall.
The rise of women may not be about the fall of men, but history has shown otherwise. Today, much of so-called strong and influential women are those who made a fortune through scandals. The Metoo movement saw many leaders in various realms of life enmeshed in scandals, bringing an end to their once cherished public image. Importantly, it revealed human sexuality as the dark matter surrounding inequality treatments. Inequality becomes a manifestation of the mind where masculine and feminine worlds exist and are created.
In spite of what the women suffered in the concluding patriarchal system, they wielded the psychological power over men’s sexuality. This raw power in addition to, religion, culture and enormous pressure regulated men’s sexual behaviours and so a sort of balance was in place. As the pendulum swings towards equality altering this equilibrium, it necessitates a typed of empowerment for men because religion and cultural’ controls are fading as well the physical labour due to automation of jobs and the entering of women into the labour market. This excess energy must be redirected.
Inclusion to ongoing gender empowerment must demystify these body parts to what they are-functional parts for reproductive activity. Inscriptions on public restrooms should address ‘respect’ not ‘male or female’; sports teams should consider mixing the gender as in other fields; reality show like BBNaija is helping to socialize young men and female by putting them together to compete. The focus should be to continue to promote problem-solving skills, emotional intelligence as the real valuable asset not seductive body marketing in the entertainment media. Societies and environment where real progress have been made in closing the gender gap allowed forms of socialization that demystify these body sensitive parts and a wide gap exist in those areas where it is considered offensive.
Closing the gender gap must include re-orientation on gender norms and roles from the family; it is not too dark that the light of enlightenment cannot shine through; it requires rational balanced views. The benefit will be huge: it will reduce the growing incidence of gender violence, the helplessness, distractions, manipulative skills deployed but wasted pursuing fantasy. Instead, energies will be channelled to innovation and creativity that will benefit the society at large.
Culture and religion influenced gender inequality but the dark matter is human sexuality.
By Esemonu Gerald
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