Whenever we talk about gender equality, the one argument that is always used against it is that men and women are different biologically so how can they be equal sense? But my question is- why do these biological differences grant more power to one gender and give it the right to regulate the life of those from another gender? Equal rights for women can’t be denied based on the argument that we are different from men in terms of anatomy.
Feminism has always advocated equality for both men and women. Every person should be given equal opportunities and their gender should not come in the way of success. But only to construe the aim of feminism, people come up with many arguments such as can women lift weights like men? Can women physically fight like men on and offscreen? Can women pee in public? For such people, the difference in women’s anatomy somehow makes us inferior and thus undeserving of equal rights.
It is very problematic that people use biological differences to oppose feminism. By doing so they are not only encouraging male dominance but are also supporting women’s oppression in the various sectors of society. By quoting biological differences as a reason behind inequality among men and women, people are depriving women of the rights they have been invested with as a human. The rights in the constitution are applicable to every citizen in the country. So aren’t women citizens or humans?
It is by using the excuse of biological difference that women’s bodies are made territories to be conquered by men. Just because women have the reproductive system, they are pressured into producing male children. Just because women menstruate, they are prohibited from sacred places and treated like untouchables. Just because women have breasts, they are sexualised and reduced to being objects of male desire. Is a woman’s identity only restricted to her body or body parts?
Suggested Reading: Feminism Is About Freedom To Choose, Not Enforcing New Norms
We need to understand that there is a difference between biological similarity and social equality. Definitely, women are not similar to men biologically. Their bodies have different structures and functions from that men. But feminism is not demanding that women too have penis or men have vaginas. Or that men too menstruate or produce children. Feminism is demanding social equality for women and men which means that on a social level men and women should be equal as a gender. To understand it better just remember the difference between sex and gender. Sex is a biological term used to assign a particular identity to a person. But gender is a social construct defined to limit the identities of a person. Gender is used to assign roles to people based on their sex. But there is no role that a woman can perform and men can’t or vice versa.
So feminism is about women having the right to education, employment, freedom of speech, right to safety and the right to make decisions about themselves and their bodies. It is not about cancelling the scientific fact that men and women are biologically different. It is just trying to change the social ideology that because of biological differences, men and women should be treated differently. A woman’s body has nothing to do with exercising her rights like a normal human or citizen. Stop using the biological difference to support gender inequality.
Views expressed are the author’s own.