I want to talk of gender rights.
Please do not tune out, roll your eyes or become defensive. My aim is not on any specific aspect of this concept but rather on the general meaning of it and how it is understood or meant to be understood. This concept like many others is subjectively interpreted and even controversial. While the realization of a pure version of an ideology or concept might as well be wishful thinking in this humanly flawed word of ours, we would nevertheless, strive to make the best of what we can.
Gender rights according to the Oxford dictionary is the legal and social equality of all genders. This definition can be faulted in the sense that different genders have different needs and as such, cannot be treated equally in the actual sense. A more befitting definition of gender rights would be the equitable treatment of all genders. The latter definition is the harder of the two as it implies the mental and psychological investment to accommodate the varying needs of people rather than just the mechanical ‘equal’ treatment of everyone, and therein lies the problem. It might be easier to treat someone well when it is convenient or seemingly befitting. According to Hank Aimes, the father of the protagonist in the 2005 movie, North country: “The daughter who accompanied me to my work dinners is still the same daughter who currently works in the mines. Why is she greeted with respect during these dinners yet groped and mocked when working in the mines''?
Therefore, organizations such as NewLife Incorporated works to spread not just the knowledge but also, the realization of such issues. We strive to bring to light the fact that the context or situation where you interact with a member of a particular gender shouldn’t affect the tone of such interaction. We would like to talk of gender rights and please do not turn away.
Coop students at NewLife Project Inc,
Centennial College, Scarborough, Toronto