I’m offline right now, so I don’t have the data to look into equality in the two extremities of Scandinavia, but I suspect it’s not as good as we like to make out. I’ve utopianised the Scandinavian nations for years as socialist paradises only to discover that the Finn’s are commiting suicide, the Danes are racist and Iceland’s economy is fucked.
Of course, these sorts of generalisations are absurd and useless; still based on assumption they do more harm than good.
And generalisations are where we should probably start on the equality thing. Or at least on a personal level.
I still believe that good behviour has a knock on effect. Changing your personal treatment of the people around you prompts, by example, other people to do the same. Do something positive today, even if it’s just smile.
With that in mind, remember to always challenge your assumptions about behaviour, belief, motivation or moral based on gender (or anything else apart from ACTION for that matter, and even then you should remember the breadth of reasoning that you may not be seeing).
I genuinely hope that one step at a time, treating people with respect will help.
Challenge yourself. Don’t just default to a mode of reasoning you’ve heard before or because it’s ‘common sense’ actually make a difference.
Elsewhere, get off your arse and actually campaign for equality. On the employment front, both in terms of wages and glass ceiling, our country is in an appalling state with regard to gender equality. Right now, I think that we are in need of positive discrimination, protest and activity to challenge the reigning power structures of business.
To be honest, I say the easiest way would be to get rid of the whole damn power structure. Fuck parliament, fuck corruption, fuck bankers, fuck the old boys network.
This is perhaps ambitious, but it’d certainly get where we need to be quicker.
We need to completely destroy certain structural inequalities before we affect change. Certain people would have you believe that equality is just a matter of time. Now that access to higher education has improved for women, it’s just a matter of the women reaching the appropriate age to be board members and CEOs. To be serious statespeople.
It’s bollocks. Be wary of anyone who ever tells you things will change slowly and naturally. They are campaigning for stasis. Stasis is essentially regression. Things change, they need to.
So tear it down and build something new. Something we are all invested in and care about.
Something built on the simple changes we can make to our own lives to respect everybody around us.
Help each other through this thing we are in.
We’re stuck in the world, let’s make the best of it.
Let’s build it better.
Illustrated by Adam.