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“Gender Equality is not possible to be achieved.

Equality means to be equal, to be the same, evenly proportioned. Human beings have been fighting for
equality for all their lives; racial equality, social equality, marriage equality, and etc. Gender equality
is one of them. Although compared to the past, there is much more equality between the genders now,
in fact, some people even claim that gender equality has already been achieved and is a thing in the
past. However, it is not true. Inequality between the genders is still very present in this world, and it is
very important to realize that we are still very far from ever being equal, which is why I chose this
topic.

It is important to discuss this because gender equality has been a problem for thousands of centuries,
and we are constantly trying to solve it yet we cannot seem to solve it. I think it is important to shed
some light on why we cannot seem to solve this issue, and it is because it can never be achieved in the
first place. Although people still claim and believe that gender equality is possible to be achieved, it is
actually not possible to be achieved as to have equality in the first place, both genders should be the
same, in which they are not, both physically and biologically.

Gender inequality is due to physical and biological differences of men and women. Physical
differences of men and women include the fact that men, on average, are stronger than women as it
has been scientifically proven that women, on average, have less total muscle mass, both in absolute
term and relative to total body mass, than men. Men, on average, also have a larger skeletal frame
when compared to women as it has also been proven that men have denser and stronger bones,
tendons, and ligaments. This shows that men and women are not evenly proportioned to one another,
their differences are very evident and are inevitable.

Biologically, men and women also have inevitable differences. They have different reproductive
systems, having different organs and produces different reproductive cells. The male reproductive
system is composed of penis and scrotum with testes and has been developed to insert gametes
(sperms) while the female reproductive system contains ovaries and uterus and has been evolved to
receive the best gamete for fertilization. Men and women also produce different hormones, with men
producing testosterones and women producing progesterone and oestrogen.

It is also important to note that men and women also have different brain structures. It has been said
that female brains are more compact than male ​brains​, thus a lot of men say that they are more
intelligent than women but the truth is that though smaller, female brains are more densely packed
with ​neurons​, particularly in the region responsible for language, in addition to this, many recent
studies have concluded that IQ performances of men and women vary little; men are more represented
at the extremes of performance, and less represented at the ​median​.

The most compelling difference, however, is that women can give birth and men cannot give birth. As
long as only women can give birth, inequality will always be there as this will always shape the role
of women in society and how they are treated.

Women traditionally have a role in society of staying home to clean, cook, and take care of the
children. Men, in turn, traditionally also have a role in society of going out to work and make money
to support the family. These are called gender roles. ​A ​gender role​ is a set of societal norms dictating
the types of behaviors which are generally considered acceptable, appropriate, or desirable for people
based on their actual or perceived sex or sexuality. ​The gender role of women staying at home is
constructed because of the fact that women give birth as because of this, society creates a norm that
women should stay at home and watch the kids and let men due all the work.

Gender roles also affects gender wage gaps as because of the social norm that men are meant to take
the burden of supporting the family and that women are supposed to stay at home, workplaces treat
and pay men and women differently, even though they do the same thing and work the same hours.
Men are paid more because workplaces have long been dominated by men due to gender roles and
also because they have to support their families.

Gender roles also include the social norm that men have to be masculine, that they have to have be
tough, both physically and mentally. Men are expected to be brave and cannot show any sort of
weaknesses or fears. They are also expected to not cry or show any emotions as it is taken as a sign of
weakness. It also includes the social norm that women are expected to be shy, passive and submissive.
Women are also expected to be gentle and nurturing, and there is also a permanent image in society
that women are dependent, fragile, emotional and are easily influenced.

Gender roles are mostly constructed from cultures and traditions aging way back to thousands or
millions of years as in most cultures, women are meant to stay at home and men are considered
superior and better than women. This shapes the social construct that men are better than women,
leading to discrimination against women, which results in inequality. Why is it so rare for us to see
women working in maths or engineering fields? Because traditionally men would work in those fields.
Why? Because of the culture of believing that men are more intelligent and that men are the ones who
are supposed to work. Why are women expected to be submissive and passive? Because in various
cultures, they believe that men are superior than women, making men more dominant and making
women have to do what men tells them to do. Why are women expected to be quiet and shy? It is
because women used to not be allowed to speak up and always being inferior to men. Cultures and
traditions shape social norms that create gender roles that limit both men and women’s capacity to
develop their personal abilities, ​pursue their professional careers and make choices about their lives
and life plans, henceforth creating inequality.

Another key point is to realize what shapes cultures and traditions. Why are men expected not to show
emotions but it is socially acceptable when a woman does? It is because women are more inclined to
show emotions than men due to the hormones that are produced in their body and also due to their
brain structure. Why are men expected to be strong physically and to do dirty jobs such as
construction and mechanics? It is due to the fact that men, on average, are stronger than women and
that they have denser and stronger bones, tendons, and ligaments. Why are women expected to be
gentle and nurturing? Because women give birth and are supposed to take care of children, which
requires gentleness and nurture. Why do people think women are fragile and treat women delicately?
It is because women experience menstruation, menopause and pregnancy that can cause women to be
emotionally unstable and also due to hormones and neurons in the brain. Cultures and traditions are
constructed from physical and biological differences of men and women.

In a global perspective, although gender equality has very much progressed throughout centuries,
from women not being able to go to school or vote, to women being able to become president, we are
still very far from ever achieving gender equality or equal opportunities and there is still so much
discrimination against women that equality or equality in opportunity is impossible to be achieved.
Why? As to achieve gender equality or equality in opportunity, that would mean we would have to
change the minds of billions of people and that would most likely be an impossible thing to do. This is
because, as stated above, various cultures have traditions regarding gender such as women staying at
home and men working, men doing the “dirty jobs” and women doing the “clean jobs”, men aren’t
supposed to stay at home and watch the children and that women aren’t supposed to work, and etc.

Not to mention that a lot of cultures still believe that men are superior to women. These traditions
have been carried on for thousands of centuries and it would be hard to destroy them. Why? Because
when you grow up in an environment, in a culture that believes something has to be like this, it will
automatically create an image of that thing that would be difficult to change. Take racial equality in
america for example, blacks have fought for their rights since centuries, and when they finally got
their rights around 50 years ago, there is still discrimination against them, as can be seen by the recent
killings of black people and the movement, “BlackLivesMatter”. Why is discrimination still there
even though the blacks have achieved their rights? Because white people still believe that they are
superior of black people and this is because they grew up in a culture where blacks used to be inferior
of whites and that thought is still being carried on to future generations, even though it is no longer
true.

This also shows that even if we do achieve equal opportunities between genders, there will still always
be discrimination against women. An example of this would be discrimination between genders at
work. Women went from staying at home all the time, to working in workplaces that were usually
viewed as men’s job like engineering, yet they still face discrimination at work such as getting paid
less than men, even though they do the same job and work the same hours, and getting looked down
upon at work. This just shows how even if we do achieve equal opportunities between genders,
discrimination and inequality will always be present.

Even in a national perspective, it would be difficult to achieve gender equality in Indonesia as


Indonesia has a culture which believes that men are the breadwinners in the family and that women
should just stay at home and watch the children, creating gender wage gaps. There is also a lot of
discriminatory acts against women in Indonesia, having in ​August 2013​, Indonesia’s Commission on
Violence Against Women reported that since 1999, national and local governments have passed 342
discriminatory regulations, including 79 local laws requiring women to wear the hijab.

One such example of these would be that female police recruits have to take virginity tests, when male
police recruits do not and this practice has been done for a long time. Another example would be that
in​ ​Gorontalo, in Sulawesi Island, the government removed its entire female support staff in July 2013,
replacing them with men as part of an ​initiative​ supposedly to discourage extramarital affairs. In
Aceh, the local government has banned women from wearing skirts and riding motorcycles. This just
shows how Indonesia’s culture of believing that men are superior to women is, which has been carried
on for thousands of centuries, making it impossible to achieve gender equality.

It is also important to note that Indonesia is a country, in which majority of its citizens are muslims,
which follows the Sharia laws that have discriminatory laws against women. An example of this
would be the fact that they consider a woman’s testimony is worth half a man’s. One other example
would be that a woman also only gets half the inheritance of her male siblings and a woman’s
marriage contract is between her male guardian and her husband. A man can have four wives; he can
divorce by simply using the word “Talig.” A woman must give specific reasons to get a divorce. Even
if the father is abusive, women who remarry lose custody of their children. This directly destroys any
hopes of ever achieving gender equality in Indonesia since it’s citizens are majority muslims and their
religions discriminates women.

In my personal perspective, I also believe that gender equality and equal opportunity is not possible as
long as gender roles, social norms, traditions and cultures that believe men are superior than women
exist. I believe this mainly because if people cannot even look past colour and race, how can we make
people look past gender which basically defines how you are treated? The sociology between the
genders, in my honest opinion, is impossible to be destroyed because it is hard to erase an image of
something in one person’s head when it has already been drawn, especially when us, humans, like to
stereotype.

It is in our nature to stereotype things, humans will always stereotype even if we claim that we do not
because in truth, the moment you see something, there will automatically be an image in your head
about how that thing is gonna be. An example of this would be gender stereotypes, gender stereotypes
begin the moment the gender of the baby is found out. When the baby is found out to be a girl, we will
automatically buy things in colours that are meant for girls, like pink and buy dolls and dresses. When
the baby is found out to be a boy, we will automatically buy things in colours that are meant for boys,
like blue and green and buy toy cars and etc.

Unless gender roles, social norms, traditions and cultures are destroyed, equal opportunity will never
be achieved. And even when the day where gender roles, social norms, traditions and cultures that
believe men are superior to women no longer exists, which is also the day where we achieve equal
opportunity, true gender equality will never be achieved as we were never equal in the first place
because our physical and biological differences will always prevent us from ever achieving true
gender equality.
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