Here we have an issue I have mulled over many times in my life. I fully agree with the idea a man and a woman can each do anything the other can do–with the exception of certain biologically assigned tasks. However, not every individual is capable of doing everything they put their mind to. What do I mean by this? Well, let me start simply and we will build from there.
Women are quite capable of being in the military, being police officers and firefighters, however, I do not believe there should be a different set of standards for the job based on gender. If job X requires the person to do A-B-C, then the candidate should be able to perform those requirements regardless of plumbing. By creating different standards, we do not create the opportunity for women to do these jobs, we instead highlight the misconception women are weaker and need allowances to perform the basic tasks of the job. I know I am opening myself to being called sexist and misogynist, but I am not and those insults would be improper and unfair. If a soldier is expected to carry their weapon, wear their pack and hike for 10 or more miles they should be able to do the job regardless of gender without allowance. Same goes for a fireman carry a hose up a flight of stairs or carrying a victim out of a building.
Moving on… The reproductive rights of individuals. We are at a point in history where women are allowed to make their own choices regarding reproduction. Women choose whether or not to carry a child and make their own decisions regarding birth control–and this is right and how it should be. However, there is this mostly unspoken belief men do not have this same freedom. If a man makes a decision to get a vasectomy, it is expected of him to consult with his wife and take her input into his decision, why? This allowance is not required for women getting an abortion, why can a man not make his own decisions regarding his reproductive parts? A man should not have to worry about his wife resenting or divorcing him because he no longer wants to have children and takes action to make it so. If women are allowed to make the decision for an abortion on their own, so men should be allowed to have that same freedom for a vasectomy. Divorce, withholding sex, and hatred should not things a man should have to face for making a decision about his own body, we do not allow men to do the same to a woman who gets an abortion. Neither should a man be forced, or coerced, into getting a vasectomy. Just because one person in a relationship decides they are done having children, it should not be imposed on the other to take a permanent solution. A woman should not be able to dictate reproductive rights to a man any more than a man should to a woman. Just because a woman does not want a man to have children with anyone else if their marriage should end, does not give her the right to enforce her will on him.
True gender equality will only come about when both sides accept the rights of the other. When it is fully understood, there are men’s rights as well as women’s rights, when reproductive decisions are left up to the individual, and when things like jobs are based on the who is capable of doing the job as needed without allowances because of gender. Just like with racism, the more we highlight and focus on the differences between the genders, the further away we get from true equality.