[Blog posts starting with “My opinion:” are based of my complete honest view about a certain subject. Unlike most other blog posts, they are not intended about making you agree, neither do I truly care if you agree, they are just about sharing my opinion]
Just saying that term will already make you aware that what I am about to write is serious.
Which is not weird, as inequality is a serious problem.
However, as serious as it is, it’s also one of the most misunderstood problems.
Earlier today, the United Nations / UNESCO released a Global Education Monitoring Report policy paper.
The name already say what it is about, and after reading it, I sighed and wanted to scream “FINALLY!”.
It has taken a long time, but at last the United Nations recognized the fact that it are not just girls who are neglected, but also boys, especially in the region of Latin America and… Europe…
Yes, Europe, where I live, and the reason why I have been pushing the United Nations to the fact since already 2015, as the numbers over here in the region of Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus showed this fact for a long time already.
Still, the delay of them noticing is not that weird, as it also took a very long time before the United Nations focused their attention on the war situations in Syria, Yemen, and over here in Ukraine.
When we think of gender inequality, most people think of how women are oppressed by men, which is indeed very true that it happens.
In fact, I was forced to notice just this last week when an anonymous Iranian male on Twitter talked in such a degrading way about women that I actually wished harm upon him.
Although, I do have to admit, he also verbally attacked Iranian journalist Kaveh Taheri, so possibly that anonymous Iranian male just had a screw loose in his head or something, I do not know.
Regardless though, when we think of gender inequality, there is not often the thought about males, which is probably because people think of men, and not boys.
And yet, the clarity of there being inequality for boys, up to the age of about 18 years old, becomes clears not only at education, but many others aspects of our life as well.
One of the simplest examples can actually be proven with the internet itself.
As when we think of inequality, most people think of looks, and it most often also has to do with looks, as much as we want to deny this.
It’s possibly an example I should not point out, but when we are completely honest, that is why there is need for the #BlackLivesMatter campaigns. Yes, a need, as they are very justified to be happening, because some people do see those with darker skins as lesser.
Which is also the case when it comes to boys, there are quite some people who see them / us as lesser. (“Us” as I am a male, and I am a minor.)
In a test conducted on the social media platform that is all about looks, Instagram, with the support of several parents who manage their children’s accounts, as well as girls and boys up to the age of 18 who manage their accounts themselves, all located in Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, and South Korea, it was shown that girls, regardless of the age, were on average about 5 times as likely to be followed then boys.
When it comes to the specific ages of boys, up to the age of 9, and from the age of 14 and up, were on average 3 times as likely to be followed as those between the ages of 9 and 14.
So, in a simplistic comparison, a girl and a boy who both would be of the age of 11, and of the girl we would already know that she had 10 thousand followers on Instagram, we could expect that the boy would probably have about 700 followers, or even more simple, that the boy would have about 14 times less followers than the girl.
Sure, possibly there are more accurate mathmatical calculations to use, but like most of my age, math is my least liked school subject…
When it comes to those of my generation, that is eventually how most will compare each other to one another, by social media numbers.
That is why also buying followers was so very popular before. (“Was” as social media platforms are quite succesful by now in the fight against bots and such.)
Yet, also why the fight against inequality seems to be quite meaningless.
As when it comes to young people like myself, girls are not that often truly seen as inequals, quite the opposite even.
It’s one of those conversations I still can remember with a friend of mine online who is “at age”(60+ of age)…
Because as he told me about when he was young, and the situation was the same…
The situation I mean is the one of boys needing to impress the girls. It’s old-fashioned, but it still most often applies today.
If we critically look at that, we could say that girls are the ones who are seen as higher, as more important, as they are the ones who eventually need to be impressed.
Something that has not changed throughout time, which also shows even more than just that.
What is most often looked past by people are the more specific situations that happen.
Think for example about the fact that women are quite often oppressed.
Now, tell me, does that mean men are never oppressed?
Answer: Men are also sometimes oppressed.
Take that a moment to sink into your mind, the fact that men are also oppressed.
As most often people are not even aware of that, primarily because when the media and such report about oppression, they report about women and children, and preferably girls when it comes to children.
Just take a look at any charity that is active on a global level, like for example UNICEF, and compare the amount of times they share a photo of a girls, and of the times of boys.
You will easily notice that girls and women are far more used for their photos, in fact, some organizations almost never use photos of boys, let alone men.
Which is also actually a form of gender inequality, and even discrimination… (Yep, United Nations, I accuse you of gender discrimination.)
But like I said already, this is one of the misunderstood problems.
As when it comes to this, there is a huge wall of stigma, to the point that I know I will be receiving even more blocks on Twitter than I previously had.
(Not that I could truly care, as in the British city of Leeds I am heavily blocked already, as well as very well followed for that matter, so, I know very well how it is to be blocked.)
By acceptance, voicing that inequal treatment happens against males is basically a crime, something that truly should not be talked about, and that is what really bothers me.
Because when we wish to solve problems, we should not be silent, we should talk about it.
(That’s also when it comes to rights of children, I completely have handed my trust over to the ChildFund Alliance organizations, as they seem to speak up for every child, about every situation, and with respect to all. Well… and because their Head of Engagement and Campaigns, Bonar Bell, reminds me of the best caregiver I have had the honor of being cared by.)
And the undeniable reality is that it happens, especially when it comes to males of the younger ages, boys.
Because when it comes to this problem, it is not just about oppression, not just about inequal treatment, but also about judgemental behavior.
Which I only wrote about just a few days ago that this happens males as well, just as much as it happens to females.
The thing we as a society should start to understand is that many people are treated in an inequal way, all at a different aspect of our lives.
And although we always seem to focus on the bad, there is also a need to focus on the good as well.
Or well, “good”, that’s a question that remains, how good it truly is to begin with.
As the example I gave before, about the looks of people, about boys being inequally treated at that regard, it’s not truly a positive for girls either.
As I know there are people who look down upon me for being male, and instantly thinking that every girl I would follow I have some attraction towards. That is all but the case, I couldn’t care in the least for others girls, as I have a girlfriend who I love 100%.
However, there are those who instantly think that, and that comes from there being boys and men who are like that, hence it not being positive for girls either.
Because there are stalkers and other types of bad people who pry on others, females and males, of any age…
It’s even something I experienced myself, as I have been previously stalked by a girl, to the point I had to go to the police for help…
But I say focusing on the good as well, because not all forms of gender inequality are bad.
And apart of that, if we don’t do so, we also miss some important aspects that could prevent bad situations.
As an example, how many of you are aware that gender discrimination is not allowed by law here in Ukraine?
It’s intergrated in the Ukrainian Constitution, article 24.
I honestly doubt many people are aware of that, especially with the fact that people are also not aware of the fact that all other sorts of freedoms are also included in our Constitution, to the point that it factually can be said that in terms of our Constitution, we have more freedom in Ukraine than in the United States of America.
If we only focus on the bad, people are no longer aware of that, and more importantly, they won’t call on that right they have.
A problem we have seen through the ages, which is even the reason why the United Nations exists today.
Which is also my point of the almost 2000 words I wrote above.
We need to dare to see everything.
Just because most often females are treated worse, doesn’t mean that all males are treated correctly.
And even more so, just because 1 female, or 1 male, is treated some way, doesn’t mean every single female or male is treated that way…