The marches this week have prompted much discussion around female equality and once again I see a view emerging that suggests minority groups have more rights and those who were the majority are now the minority.
This is not the first time I have encountered this view by any means. Last year I was training on preventing bullying and harassment and I introduced the protected characteristics these being:
Age, Disability, Sex, Gender Reassignment, Marriage and Civil Partnership, Pregnancy and Maternity, Race, Religion or belief and Sexual Orientation
For those not so familiar with the term protected characteristic, these come under the Equality Act and protect from discrimination and harassment due to these factors. Legislation around equality has been in place since the 70’s and over time new factors were introduced to bring in new areas which in 2010 were then brought under one act.
Introducing these areas I was faced with the statement from a white male who described himself as Saxon saying “where is our protection? All these people have all these rights, what do we have?” Surely we are now the majority. This was very soon after Brexit and I had printed off an article about race hate that had emerged. I allowed the views to be expressed and then read from an article that since Brexit reports had been made of an employee arriving at work to have their bag packed as a joke and another employee being abused due to not knowing about the battle of the Somme. I suggested we are not in an equal world historically or now and the legislation is designed to protect that.
I could have been direct and asked if they had watch the film 12 years a slave or heard of the suffragettes or been unable to get access to a shop due to a wheel chair or hidden their sexuality to avoid abuse and pointed out that this is where minority comes from.
I chose to try to educate and say that the minorities have a stronger voice in this world in more recent times, but it doesn’t mean equality has been reached.
This is my point. This view that the minorities get too much. Women don’t need to march they have it all. This was evident to me in a facebook forum this week I read titled “Why do we have women only networking groups”
I was genuinely stunned by the comments from some men saying how unfair this was. I think the Masons were there first! I am not sure why female groups emerged. Maybe to counter the all male world that was there before. Maybe to just support each other in the battle for equality in the workplace.
I won’t go into the woman that said she hated female groups as males were better at being aggressive and business focused and all females were soft. Nothing like sisterhood there!
It is common lately to present a view that there is no longer an equality issue. I am working this year with Herinvitation on women empowerment workshops which I have discussed sporadically in businesses and I want to work more on leadership for women. I have lost track of how many times I have been asked “well if you are offering training to the women in organisations, what will the men get?”
This week we have seen a case in the press of women being made to wear heels. Equal pay reporting is out this year. Women still hit a glass ceiling and do not make the board. My girl’s playground is not full of men doing the school run. We have made huge progress but much work is still needed.
I won’t argue and stomp my feet, but I will quietly continue to educate those who forget history and think they are now the minority. Who need to know that battle still exist. I will do my bit to make work places more fair and this year I will help women through the glass ceiling and try to make a better world for my daughters.
We may have had Obama and almost Clinton but we now have Trump. The fight is not finished. The tables have not turned and minority still exists and stills needs protection.
Maybe I might just answer that forum.
Member since: 2nd October 2015
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