It was a comment made by a woman I work with. It caught the attention of another male co-worker.
My immediate reaction was to laugh and it curbed the conversation to the “practical mechanics” of having a penis versus vulva. The male then laughing and saying they are easy on the upkeep and men rarely get UTI’s.
She chimed in with “it must be awfully conviennent to be able to pee anywhere and standing up too”.
Yet, I know it was a comment originally intended for just my ears and about the incongruencies between women and men.
My initial thought after diffusion was simply that of agreement. ‘Men’ do have it easier. There are so many ways that men are far more privileged than women: wages, banking, attaining jobs, even like my experience of buying a house. I had to have 3 co-signers because they simply couldn’t believe a female massage therapist had made that much and supported a family of 5 for a decade. I had more hoops to jump through than a male with a day-job would have had. Men never have to face the “hey there little lady” mentality either. Plus there are so many laws that favor men over women. It has taken most of a century for women to even come close to men through affirmative action and similar equal opportunity laws, and yet there are still huge incongruencies.
Yet, my secondary reaction is that it isn’t just about having a penis. It is very much both the penis and color of skin.
Even men of color are still struggling to attain equality with white men. That is the very reason that Black Lives Matter has become such an intense movement.
Being a woman, married to a kind hearted black man who has automatic responses to being pulled over for a simple speeding infraction, I understand all sides of this issue.
Yet being in a mode of reaching for better, I am choosing to write of my hopes in this matter.
- I look forward to days where women and men of any color are genuinely equals in every way.
- I look forward to better wages for everyone and good wages based on education alone.
- I look forward to younger white men helping to bring equality by speaking up for inequalities.
- I look forward to the voices that have the privilege, ensuring that everyone is treated equally.
- I look forward to those with the privilege, stepping back and seeing how their behaviors, words, actions, and deeds might be skewed. How sometimes words so ingrained in their psyche, were learned from a perspective that might not have been supportive of others. And, it wasn’t always out of malice, older generations just didn’t know better, or if they did they failed to prevent passing on the less desired options.
- I look forward to the day that younger white mean realize that terms like: sweety, honey, dude, and guys; are just as much ‘you versus me’ or inappropriate generalizations, as words like mocha, chocolate, cracker or nigger.
- I look forward to days when respect is shown to everyone. It’s the one aspect of the military I like, everyone is sir or madam. We need more blanket respect for everyone regardless of age or gender or skin color.
- I look forward to the day that our police serve and protect everyone and stop seeing color or gender as crime.
- I look forward to the day that crime and punishment no longer feed greedy corporations.
- I look forward to the day that many prisoners are genuine cases that intend to rehabilitate instead of haunting someone for their entire life. (It’ll be decades more I’m certain before we are able to rehab murderers like Norway has managed.)
- I look forward to more peace and unity.
May you see your privileges and use your voice to uplift others. May you see the ways that we can come together and support each other. May you see your influence in the world. May you see your ability to help bring unity and equality. May you know you are supported by God and the universe.
Siva Hir Su