Name: Lungelo Andile Mkhize
Student Number: 215054727
Degree: Bachelor of Social Science
Course: Introduction to Gender Studies
Course Code: GEST202H2
Date: 10 September 2018
Freedom, apart from equality. Difference feminism assumes that women and men are different, that for women to be equal to men means to be like men, which is not desirable. Instead of equality, different feminists base feminism definition on women having the ability to be free from the scourge and control of men in all aspects of life. The author of the speech upon which the assignment is based, Andrea Dworkin, was an American radical feminist and writer best known for her criticism of pornography, which she argued was linked to rape and other forms of violence against women. After suffering abuse from her first husband, she was introduced to radical feminism- later becoming an activist on feminism. Therefore, leading to the essential call for a truce, the “Twenty-Four-Hour Truce During Which There Is No Rape”.
Henceforth this essay will critically discuss and analyze Dworkin’s speech, not only on her plea to end rape and the rise of men against this patriarchal war but to bring an upturn in gender equity and the evaluation of restorative and punitive justice. Gender equality means that all men and women enjoy the same right, resources, opportunities and protection. It means that women will no longer be afraid to be themselves, where they are given a platform to exercise their rights and showcase their talents. For many years many women have been taken for granted all in the name of cultural practices and religion. Equality does not necessarily mean that it is focused on women but merely monitoring constantly the benefits of men and women. The concern over the years is that women have been left out. The equality sought believes that women are responsible for their upbringing, education, health, family life, and their participation in the economy.
Dworkin’s claims that gender practice is equal to gender equality means that you cannot have gender equality without the practice of gender (which is done by men). South africa is one of the countries with highest rape cases. It is highly linked to culture where women are raised to believe that ‘a man’ has the last say in everything which lead to men believing that they have some sort of power against women.
In South Africa, in my own city Durban, many women fear to be out after dawn. It has led to the fear of just being alone with a male in our own homes. Dworkin links gender equity with the ending of gender violence like rape. This assumes that the practice of gender equality is a personal decision that needs to be made by men. The minute men stop believing that they ‘own’ women- whether it is their spouse, children or colleagues there will be a better life for women. Men need to make that decision to stop seeing women as sexual objects and that women can just be as independent and outspoken as men. We live in a society where women cannot express themselves sexually without automatically giving a man an ‘okay you can do what you want because she asked for it’. This is a cause for concern based on alarming statistics. Gender equity, therefore, means the fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but which is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations and opportunity. The country is losing out when women’s talents are not looked at once women are educated usually their benefits are shared by children and their family.
Misogyny affects all women in our society in some way, but many women also face ageism, ableism, and other -isms regularly. When combined with misogyny, these other types of oppression disproportionately affect women and gender-nonconforming people. One result of sexism is that women face additional discrimination based on other parts of their identities.
Many feminists now understand and embrace intersectionality. A concept which is essential for feminism accomplishing its goals, intersectionality is the idea that different women are oppressed in different ways because of other factors like their race, class, and sexual orientation. On the flip side, this also means that oppressed races, classes, and other groups differ by their gender, and in many cases, women within them face their own unique obstacles.