My recent experience with a job via an employment agency revealed to me how many ideals and beliefs we as a society have around gender equality. It also revealed to me how much my ideals and beliefs about that have changed since attending courses and workshops held by Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine in understanding what true gender equality really is.
The work I had to do in this particular job was stacking boxes and filling them full of brochures that were quite heavy. It also incorporated a lot of bending and lifting things from the ground.
I felt amazed that they hired a woman to do this job in the first place.
I just knew that if I had known that this was the job I would have said no thanks, my body is just not built for that!
I could feel how extremely tender and delicate my body was and is, and that lifting all these heavy boxes was so against what felt natural to my body.
When addressing that the work was actually too heavy for me to my employer, we had an interesting conversation. He mentioned that for a man this work would be very doable but that he felt he just could not put in the job description that he wanted a man. To me this is showing what the fight of women to be equal to men has resulted in. People cannot just ask for a man in a job description because that would not be honouring the woman who would also want to do the job, but I am wondering if this is really honouring of women? I would have been very grateful if they had said to me that this work would be too heavy for me in the first place or at least tell me what the job’s tasks were exactly and then ask if I felt I could do that.
Saying that it is okay for a woman to not be as physically strong as a man and fully seeing her as equal and no less than a man is actually very honouring of women.
I pondered on how I myself had contributed to this gender inequality in my life.
A couple of years ago I also felt that to be equal to a man I had to be doing the same as a man or do even more. I was always competing with men, from a very young age. At 12 years I always tried to bicycle faster than my dad which resulted in races when we bicycled to some place together and yes I was faster than my dad, which made me feel good. I always felt this way with men. Later it wasn’t in sport but in being the smartest, outsmarting men especially, I was not so interested in outsmarting other women.
I always felt I had to define myself as equal to a man by being even better than a man. Being able to do everything men could do and even more.
I also would not accept a lot of support of men because I could perfectly change that lamp in my room myself (well that is not so hard to do but sometimes just the support is great).
- Women and men both have different qualities and that the body of a man simply is built more for doing heavy physical work than that of a woman.
- Men and women are both very tender and delicate in essence. My experience is that men are not just as portrayed in the stereotype that is so prevailing in society: strong, tough, unemotional, the breadwinner etc. I have come to see that men, just like women, when they allow themselves to, love to take a bath, be gentle with their bodies, love to be caring and understanding, love to buy lovely clothes and love to be open and cuddly.
Inspired by these presentations and many other esoteric practitioners, as well as fellow esoteric students, I slowly started to live more tenderly with myself. For instance being aware of how I opened a door and doing it gently, feeling my fingers or noticing how I sit down in my chair and doing that gracefully and not just plump down into my chair. I also started to polish my nails, not because that makes me more womanly, but because I love to spend time with me in that way – choosing a lovely colour and putting it on very delicately, celebrating the beautiful woman I am.
With that I began to feel that I as a woman, am very delicate and tender. I am still in the process of fully accepting this, how exquisitely beautiful this tenderness and delicateness is, but living with that so much more.
Understanding that it does not mean that I am less than a man or weak when I honour that tenderness by asking a man to carry my suitcase for instance. I also learned with this to allow men, who are naturally as tender as a woman and very caring, to support me in this way and to care for me.
So for me, being equal as men and women is not necessarily about being able to do the exact same thing. True gender equality is about honouring the specific qualities that each man and woman has in full.
This recent job reminded me of how I have lived, pretty hard, being able to do it all by myself and not allowing any support. This made me stop and appreciate how much I have changed and unfolded into this beautiful tender and delicate woman I am.
By Lieke van Haastrecht, Ghent, Belgium