We say it’s a man’s world.
Well, perhaps it is. There are areas where it is undeniably a man’s world.
Let’s take that big fat paycheck for example; in Australia, women’s average full-time total remuneration across all industries is 23.1% lower than that of men’s (http://data.wgea.gov.au/).
We can also take the issue of sexual harassment to illustrate; a study that appears in the research journal Social Psychological and Personality science compared the percentage of men and women that reported at least one incident of sexual harassment in a 12 month period in the US military – 20% versus 50%.
But throughout the years, we’ve seen the fruits of the feminist movement, and in my humble opinion, I would say women today are at least 50% better than the women living just 100 years ago.
We’re louder, we are heard. Whether or not the men listen, whatevs – but we are heard.
We vote, we have presence in the workplace; some companies are even blessed with the presence of female board of directors, we drive, our husbands help around the house more and no longer leave us all alone in the middle of the night while we nourish our newborns (applicable to only some places in the world), and the list goes on.
We also, apparently, have the more correct view as to whether the toilet seat should be up or down (?)
The inspiration to write this piece came as I walked into my dad’s toilet.
Yes, my dad has his own toilet – ground floor of our house right next to his man cave room (where he gets the best sleep he claims).
Note: I contemplated of putting up a photo of his toilet, but reasoned against it. Privacy issues 🙂 So please do NOT think that the picture above is that of my dad’s – it’s MY dream toilet.
As I walk into his toilet, I notice that the toilet seat is up. I didn’t really give much thought to it; except for taking a tissue to act as a barrier between my hand and the toilet seat that I was about to bring down.
After I was finished, I flushed, and for some reason, I put the toilet seat up.
As I was washing my hands, I glanced to the toilet seat and then it crossed my mind; Dude, you actually put the toilet seat up.
What made me do it?
Probably because it’s just drilled in all of our heads, that this is pa’s toilet. So you leave it as it was, and more importantly, leave it as he would like it.
Sure, the argument stands (and trust me, my lawyer sister and I have presented this argument to him before) that putting the toilet seat down is generally safer for everyone. Really, it probably is. So that no one accidentally plops right into the icky toilet bowl and potentially hurts their thighs and bottom (can easily happen when you get up in the middle of the night and couldn’t bother to check “Is the toilet seat up or down?”)
Notwithstanding the above argument, I put the toilet seat up really just to do what my dad would like me to do.
I guess I wanted to make him happy?
OK maybe that’s too far-fetched.
But it got me thinking afterwards “Why don’t I just put the toilet seat up next time (when I go to the toilet that is also used by men)?” I remember this conversation I had with my husband; I was telling him that some people that visited our house would always leave the guest toilet seat up.
“Why can’t they just pee like you do? Just sit?”
“What makes you think I sit?”
“I never find the toilet seat up”
“That’s because I always put it down after”
I immediately said “Auwww” and told him I found that very sweet. I asked him how he was so well trained – and he just answered that he knew it might be an issue with me so he just did it because.
Yes, Alhamdulillah, I’m a lucky girl. But let’s get to the more important point – if he did that, just because he knew I would (most) probably make a big fuss of the opposite, why couldn’t I do the same?
Why couldn’t I be more toilet-sensitive to my husband’s preferences?
When we talk about gender equality, we are, admittedly, spoilt for choice when it comes to the pro-women argument.
But, dig a little deeper, I think there’s a fair share that can be said for the pro-men side as well. (Granted, I think this actually applies more to the first world rather than other parts of the world; where women’s rights and the feminist movement is much more mature)
For example, when (some) girls talk about their husbands – more often than not, it’s complaining about them. And sometimes, it really does cross my mind, “Is he like that, because he’s like that. Or is he like that, because something triggered him to be like that?” Human beings are extremely reactive creatures – this is one of the most vital traits we have that has helped our species’ survival. Don’t like something, move away from it. Something threatens to endanger us, either fight flight or freeze kicks in.
That man that you were so in love with just a few months ago – he changed, yes. But why?
Is it really really really 100% him, or do you have 1.1% contribution to the problem?
Because I guess if you do, then it’s worthwhile working on that 1.1% before you harp on what’s wrong with him – because it’s only that 1.1% that you can actually control. Mind you, that 1.1% might just be you backbiting your own husband; how is Allah supposed to bless your marriage if you’re “eating the flesh” (Surah Al-Hujurat: 12) the one person you voluntarily took a spiritual covenant to protect and respect?
Please don’t get me wrong here; I understand there are legitimate reasons out there to believe that it is a man’s world.
But what about the good ones? Are we giving them the second, third and fourth chances they deserve? I don’t know about you, but I’m SURE my hubs has given me at least ten.
Here are some points for reflection:
- Have we now become overzealous with the feminist cause? At the expense of the well meaning men who are really just probably acting as any reasonable human being would? Should we really be picking on the fact that the toilet seat is up?
- Are we women, also contributing to the population of entitled people; and claiming that we have the right to do so because the women before us suffered worst?
I once told my husband, “I’ve learnt to pick my battles”
His reply caught me off guard.
“Why do you need to see it as a battle?”