When We Talk About Sex Inequality, We’re Forgetting About Our Privilege (a note to those who believe in sex inequality in the developed world)

I heard enough about pay inequality. I heard enough about sexism at work. I heard enough about women being victims.

I want to hear about our power. I want to hear about our leadership skills. I want to hear about how we save others.

I want to hear the facts. How female billionaires grew by a factor of 6.6 from 1995 to 2014, where men grew by 5.2. I want to hear about how Asia, notorious for the subjection of women is the geography with the most self-made female billionaires in the world (Fortune). I want to hear all about the incredible feats women accomplished under monumental obstacles. (*Here, I’m using money as a success criteria because of the widespread belief that one has to have white-privilege to be extraordinarily wealthy.)

The world can be sexist- yes, that is true. Now what?

At a certain point, inequality discussions will only lead to untrue stereotypes.

By victimizing the female sex, we’re telling young women, young girls, and ourselves that we’re a handicap demographic. That we’re a demographic to be suppressed. This is simply not true. The world may be unfair, but the female demographic is not suppressible.

Historically and presently, we have women who:

  • Lead their country into an era of peace and prosperity (e.g. Empress Dowager Cizi, and Queen Elizabeth I)
  • Fought for the same legal rights as free men and won (countless powerful suffrage women)
  • Became self-made BILLIONAIRES (Oprah Winfrey and Sara Blakely).

For goodness sakes, we got a girl shot in the head and survived to fight another day for female equality. Sex inequality for her means somethings else, then for those who live in liberated countries such as the United States. We have the right to vote. We’re free to love whomever. And most importantly, we’re giving the same education as men.

It’s time to move forward and not get confused between our world and Malala’s world.

When a woman isn’t compensated the same amount for the same as another man, it doesn’t mean she’s stupid. It does not mean she has no backbone. It does not mean she can be taken advantage of.

IT JUST MEANS she’s need to know her price and value. 

I agree that things can be better for even us ladies in the developed world, but life isn’t perfect for anyone. Everyone has their own troubles. You can be a white man with no connections, thus no white privilege for you.

Life isn’t black and white. To generalize based on one criteria is dangerous. Just because the female sex had her rights ignored years ago (and some ’till this day) doesn’t mean it’s all over. Everyone is still fighting, but we need to make sure we’re fighting the right battles.

In the developed world, we need to fight within ourselves. Martha Stewart, has a great quote for this:

“So the pie isn’t perfect? Cut it into wedges. Stay in control, and never panic.” -Martha Stewart

Sometimes, life doesn’t turn out to be what we want, but we have a choice to practice our freedom and take back control.

Recently, my jaws dropped in admiration at how powerful the Empress Dowager Cizi became, in a society and time where foot binding was practiced and a female mind was nonexistent; I dare say, in the minds of men and women alike (majority). *From the biography, “Empress Dowager Cizi, The Concubine Who Launched Modern China” by Jung Chang.

I was hugely impressed because I grew up with no female idols of this magnitude. My idols were mostly men (fictional as well), Alexander The Great, Sun Tzu, Sun Wukong, etc. except for Elaine Benes, Lisa Simpson, and other female characters that played strong powerful women. I loved how unapologetic they were.

Empress Dowager Cixi ruled China for 50 YEARS, she did so with no formal title and with the partnership of another woman, Empress Xiaodexian, and of course other allies that were men (to be elaborated at another time).

The two formed a coup, facing ‘lingchi,’ death by a thousand cuts if unsuccessful. Lingchi was a form execution where the executioner methodically remove portions of the body over an extended period of time to make death as painful as possible. The two women formed the ultimate Lean-In partnership. Their objective was to save their country. One goal. One mind.

One key takeaway that I learned from Empress Dowager Cixi, was her ability to see the big picture and objectively choose what was more important to her. With the power she had as the ruler behind the curtains, she could’ve declared herself KING, but she choose not to (it would’ve cost too many lives).

She understood the world she lived it and made the best of it through aligning it with her dream. She wanted a stronger China where the people can prosper, and that’s what she did. It may not be as perfect, but she made do. Just like Martha’s action with her pie.

“So the pie isn’t perfect? Cut it into wedges. Stay in control, and never panic.” -Martha Stewart

Thus, as a woman in a developed nation, a human in a civilized society, we need to see the big picture and objectively choose what is important to us. Our privilege is our ability to dream of something better for ourselves and others. If you have something wonderful to give, don’t hold back because of the perceived inequality that exist.

Fight for it. It’s been done, and it can be done again, and again.

*This is what I believe and some may disagree with me. If you do and you care enough, please let me know why.


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