Malaysiakini
OPINIONS

COMMENT | Not trying to mansplain gender equality, but we need to fix things

Zan Azlee

Published

COMMENT | The recent issues that have cropped up about the ill-treatment of girls in schools have been quite atrocious. Firstly, there was the period spot check on female students conducted by teachers. Then there was the teacher who made rape jokes in school, and when the student complained, she was threatened with rape.

Although the recent news can be considered a new exposé, it has been happening for a very long time. Period spot checks have been happening for decades. Inappropriate jokes made at the expense of women have been happening for a long time. Gender inequality and the mistreatment of women have been happening forever.

The problem is systemic and naturalised into society and every human being - not just in men but also in women. I am part of the problem and you are part of the problem. I don’t want to be mansplaining gender inequality because that is not fair. But I do realise that men are more the problem than women.

Men will always be the problem because no matter how "feminist" we say we are, we can never truly know and understand what women have gone through and is still going through. What men need to do is to listen to women and be as supportive as possible in their efforts to fight for equality and justice.

When I say that women are part of the problem, it is because unfortunately, they have been conditioned by a patriarchal society for hundreds of years. But they are also the only ones that can truly understand the oppression and inequality that exists. And so, as I have said before, they are the ones that we need to listen to if we want to...

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