On Gender Equality

We can do it

Forgive me for having the unpopular viewpoint here, but I think that instead of trying to be equal to men, women should concentrate on being better… women. Gender equality has been blown out of proportion and I am failing to see why. It’s become the new racism – an issue that turns into a taboo – and everyone starts avoiding talks about it, just because it is safer.

Before you call me sexist, let me say that I adore women. I respect them and love them. But I hate it when they want to be men just for the sake of it. Instead, I would prefer if they embrace their femininity and even use it to their own advantage.

I grew up in a country where men have historically been sexist and dominating. Yet this hasn’t prevented women from being happy or successful. You know what else, Bulgarian women have been consistently voted in the top places as the most beautiful. I think Bulgaria is a much happier place than the US in terms of gender. The occasional sexist comment doesn’t provoke lawsuits and it is generally understood for what it means – a joke. I am not a fan of taking it to extremes and hurting women, but I am not a fan of making a fuss and forbidding jokes either. And I can say this, because I am an adult human who can think for himself. I have my common sense. When you create a law about gender discrimination, you rob people of the chance to have their own interpretation. You can do it to be on the safe side, but that makes everyone doubt other people’s intention and destroys trust. And trust is what lets people respect each other in the first place. Don’t force opinions. Let people communicate and resolve problems between them before making them public.

What provoked this outpour of thought is that today, Github’s co-founder resigned over a harassment scandal. There is absolutely no evidence about anything, but his reputation sustained enough damage and he couldn’t go on. I think that the publicity behind the whole story got in the way and he lost his position as a result. He shouldn’t have. The issue should have been resolved inside the company, rather than on the pages of newspapers and blogs. I respect Julie Ann Horvath for her work, but I hate her for starting this. She has damaged the reputation of one of the most loved companies and instead of solving her personal problem, she has used media as a weapon. Despite there being no evidence on the subject, and no matter if she is right or wrong, I still think less of her for bringing this public.

It seems to me that in our modern world, success and professionalism has been portrayed by the media as male-looking. And many women are mistakenly taking this as a sign that they should behave like men. This is hurting women and is hurting the image of success. One part of the problem is that the western world largely defines success as power. If you are not powerful, then you have not succeeded. I think this is plainly wrong. Success can be much more than that, but the most important thing is that it’s different for everyone. Find your own version and then make it happen, but don’t try to turn into the widely accepted powerful business executive only because the media loves it.

There have been a number of studies measuring the ratio of men to women in tech. Why even try to suggest that those numbers should be equal? Let people choose what they want to do. Let others appreciate the choice they’ve made and make sure that everyone respects them, no matter what their profession. If women want to be in tech – fine. Just don’t force them to go. Why isn’t anyone trying to solve the problem of not having enough male nurses? Because it doesn’t make sense, unless men want to be nurses. It seems to me we are trying to fight the natural order of things when we should be spending our time on more important problems. Widespread equality doesn’t exist. We have a number of examples of what happens when you try to force it.

Dear women, the media is trying to paint a picture of abuse and make you think that men think of you as inferior. I can assure you that most men in the west don’t. They love you, want to be with you, to work with you, to respect you and to share their life with you. Instead of trying to be equal to them, why not try to be a better woman? I would respect you much more if you are striving to be Marylin Monroe than Hilary Clinton. Marilyn is just more likeable. And even if you want Hilary’s success, go for it. Not because it is considered “successful”, but because that’s what you want. Just don’t turn into a man while chasing it.