Mirror Magazine
14th November 1999

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Is there equality of the sexes?

Society is changing by the day and many modern concepts are becoming some of the most burning issues society has had to deal with. Equality of the sexes is one such issue. Is it that most men feel that as long as the family car is shared there is enough equality in the world while women cry out for equal treatment at home, at work just to prove themselves? Or is it that when women want things their way equality is a big issue, but when it comes to paying for a meal equality is not such a big issue anymore? The young adults who are grappling with these issues certainly have a lot to say...

By Laila Nasry and Ruhanie Perera

Dayan Georgesz. (19)

In my opinion men and women are not equal. You can't expect them to be equal when they are biologically different. But I believe in equal opportunities for both men and women. Both sexes were given brains, thus in that way they are both similar and should not be discriminated against. For example girls should not be denied higher studies because they are girls, now that's nonsense. But I do not believe that girls can do all that boys can do or vice versa because if you take sports girls are Dayanbetter at netball than guys and the guys are better at rugby than girls.

Girls are pretty selective about when they want to be equal. This happens all the time. Like for example ladies are expected to be served first. Now if men and women are equal why this favouritism. I don't mind being served first. About men being the superior sex, well that's what the guys would love to think but I don't quite agree. Sometimes men are superior and women expect that of them like when women have a flat tyre they don't get a man to change it for them. I've still to see a woman under a car changing a tyre. But men are not superior all the time, like when it comes to parenting women are far better. If women want equal opportunities why didn't they make all this noise long ago.

I agree that of the two sexes that women suffer the most. Guys suffer inequality too. It's always the guy who should go down on his knee and ask the girl to marry him. I don't mind if girls do the asking. I think it's only fair because we are talking about equality here.

Channaka Leanage (21)

I don't see much of a difference between men and women. There are so many things that women do that men can't do. I think both sexes are equal in every way. It's only in Asian countries that women are suppressed. However women do suffer from the selective equality complex, but it depends on the girl and the situation. There are times that you have to put up with it and there are times when you've got to put your foot down as well.

I use this selective equality to my advantage. Give the girls what they want is my policy. Personally though I still want to be the ruler. Men on the other hand suffer from a superiority complex. There are some guys who haven't achieved much and have been deprived so they are insecure and in turn suppress girls.I've seen situations when guys get jealous and they try to get it out on the girl by putting her down and insulting her. Some girls take it while others let those guys have it. But that too depends on the person. Of the two sexes I think it's the woman who has a harder time.

You read a lot in the newspapers about women suffering and women activists fighting for their rights. I think their causes should be supported because they are not making a noise for nothing.

Tamir Junaid (20)

The ideal equality between the sexes would be and should be mutual respect, acknowledging the achievements of both sexes and appreciating both for what they are and have achieved. I believe that physically men and women are not equal. Men and women were formed differently and women can't do hard stuff because their bodies are not that strong. But I strongly believe that mentally, men and women are equal. Not all girls but some practise selective equality. This tends to confuse the guys, because obviously we are not sure when they are being selective. But guys are not all that innocent either because in Sri Lanka they act like the superior of the sexes. Not only uneducated men but even educated ones don't give a woman the respect she deserves. Of the two sexes I think the women suffer the most. Right now that's what's happening.

Natalie Soysa (19)

My idea of the perfect situation where equality is concerned is what I conceive the 21st century marriage to be. An instance where both the man and woman share responsibility and make decisions together. Of course that sounds highly unrealistic and that's why this is an "ideal".

I say this because most men take it upon themselves to make decisions for the woman - be it his mother, girlfriend, wife or daughter. (I say this judging by all the men I know.) So where's the equality when one party thinks they are the superior sex? I get highly ticked off because it feels like just because I'm a woman I can't make a decision.

Of course there are times when the man takes lead and things work out perfectly and everybody is happy - so I suppose sometimes things work out for the best (sometimes!!). Occasionally girls can get a bit selective about equality - but some guys are as selective as girls about equality.

I used to feel that women suffered the most where equality was concerned, because they are considered the biologically 'weaker sex' and as result there is this subconscious attitude that they are intellectually and morally weaker too. So women have had to go the extra mile to prove this wrong.

Pascha Emmanuel (19)

I'm a person who believes that a woman's first priority is to her family. At the same time I feel that Paschawomen deserve to have every opportunity in life - which I don't think really happens. Where men are concerned they have every opportunity open to them. Likewise a woman should be able choose her own career without discrimination. I think we are getting there - slowly but steadily.

At this point guys treat me as an equal, but a couple of years back guys thought they were 'it' and girls couldn't do the stuff they could. Of course I feel the attitude of the guy depends on the age and the background he comes from. Of course there are the romantic type of girls who like when the guys 'take care' of them, but you also get the girls who believe in equality to the last letter. There are some who like to talk a lot about equality but compromise depending on the circumstance. That's not too great.

Niranga Jayasekera (20)

I think what we really need is equality in every sense of the word in the workplace, because I feel that if you can work with a woman then you can live with a woman. Men just need to get used to the idea that women are as good as they are. I think it's really unfair that some jobs are not opened to women just because they are women.

When you see things in that light women are really underestimated - women can do as good a job as men. I think in that sense women really suffer.

At the same time men suffer as well because since they don't give women a chance they will never know what they are missing. At the same time there are some women who are rather selective about equality.

They rant and rave about equal treatment, but they will also complain if doors aren't opened for them or chairs aren't pulled out for them. I hate to admit it, but we may complain about not having equal treatment but we also like to be spoiled once in awhile.

Sometimes the women of the generation before us really add to that because they feel that women need a man to survive. Most of my aunts consider me an object of pity because I'm not going steady with someone. That can be bad because if you aren't a strong personality it can do some serious damage to your ego - like you begin to wonder what's wrong with you.

Interactors denounce child abuse

By Laila Nasry.

It seemed like the perfect Sunday morning to cuddle up and sleep. It was gloomy and raining, and let alone walk, it didn't seem like a day anyone would want to be outdoors. But rains were not going to stop these determined youth from taking to the streets. So one day last week, poignant placards were carried, slogans were shouted, and traffic was stopped as 300 Interactors from around the Imageisland (even as far as Batticaloa) took to the streets, denouncing child abuse.

The walk organised by the Interact District 3220 as a community service project, was in order to raise more awareness against child abuse. In keeping with the District Interact Representative's theme for the year 1999/2000 - "The core of our life; our heritage", this walk comes at a time when there is much national concern over this issue.

Saif Ramzi, the District Interact Representative felt that this was a popular issue which needs addressing immediately. "Interact is for those between 14 to 18 years, so as children we thought we should strive to make a difference for those children who have been abused. Also that today's abused maybe tomorrow's abusers, made us think an awareness programme of this nature would be good."

The walk is just the first step of a long-term project, which the Interactors hope to continue for many years. The project consists of three stages. The first stage is the awareness campaign on child abuse which they hoped to have achieve through the walk.The second is training volunteers in counselling with the help of UNICEF and the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and in the final stage they hope to initiate and establish counselling centres for the victims.

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