Mulheres e feminismo

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Tenho muitos amigos que me chamam de feminista só porque gosto de pagar minha própria conta. Mas isso é apenas uma expressão da minha autonomia de vontade e independência, algo que prezo bastante. Eu, particularmente, não gosto do argumento de subjulgação que muitos utilizam como única base para o feminismo, causando uma revitimização.

Uma coisa é certa: enquanto o machismo prega a dominação dos homens na sociedade, o feminismo clama por direitos iguais, por um equilíbrio que ainda está longe de existir. Mas isso não significa levar ao extremo e dizer que nós, mulheres, somos superiores ou deveríamos ser "anti-man" e contrárias a todas as tradições. Hoje em dia, ao meu ver, lutar pelo feminismo é lutar pela liberdade, em especial, a liberdade de escolha. Isso é tão precioso e ao mesmo tempo complexo de se lidar. O feminismo ao extremo não pode impor modelos, bem pelo contrário: deve prezar pela autonomia da mulher escolher o que ela bem entender. E ter todas as condições para fazer isso prosperar.

A parte complicada dessa história é que inclusive nós, mulheres, temos muitos traços machistas e o sistema machista de educação ainda é vigente por aí - muitas vezes até endossado pelas próprias mulheres. Isso sim me deixa revoltada, de não vermos o nosso valor como iguais. E aí gostaria de trazer uma reflexão interessante:

Bringing women into senior management is first a matter of exploiting an existing and much-needed pool of talent: 60 percent of Europe’s university graduates are female.

When Reding asked business schools to come up with a list of women qualified to sit on European corporate boards, they found, as someone once said, binders full of women: 8,000 of them. Yet resistance to putting them on boards continues throughout Europe.

Women are needed to help corporations deal with an increasingly unpredictable business environment. We strongly believe that the more uncertain the world is, the more diverse you need the management to be, says Agnès Audier of the Boston Consulting Group. This diversity can come from different nationalities or simply different styles, but one of the most obvious ways to assure it is through different genders.

And women are needed to help the bottom line. McKinsey & Co. consultants have shown a very strong correlation between the presence of women in the executive suite, a company’s positive sense of its own organizational performance, and its financial performance. Indeed, in one of its most recent studies, McKinsey found that most of the clients surveyed said the kind of management they wanted and needed in the crisis is the kind generally associated with women: shared decision making, adroit use of expectation and rewards, intellectual stimulation. Yet what many businesses have been getting since the crunch came is an increase in the my-way-or-the-highway management often associated with male bosses.

Then there’s the question of how women are evaluated. It’s not about making it easier for women, says Devillard. It’s not, Oh, the poor darlings, they have difficulties; let’s lower the bar for them. It’s not that. It’s a question of whether the system is skewed to make advancement harder for women. If, for instance, leadership styles associated with men are valued over leadership styles often associated with women, that makes it harder for the women to advance.

Esse panorama me consterna, em especial, porque, no contexto universitário, minha turma ser majoritariamente composta por mulheres mas, na área que pretendo trabalhar, não vejo esse reflexo tão direto, pelo contrário - vejo um sala repleta de homens. E é nesse sentido que o melhor texto que vi, nos últimos tempos, foi esse: "Why Women Still Can’t Have It All". Se eu pudesse indicar apenas uma (longa) leitura para as mulheres de hoje, seria essa:

The striking gap between the responses I heard from those young women (and others like them) and the responses I heard from my peers and associates prompted me to write this article. Women of my generation have clung to the feminist credo we were raised with, even as our ranks have been steadily thinned by unresolvable tensions between family and career, because we are determined not to drop the flag for the next generation. But when many members of the younger generation have stopped listening, on the grounds that glibly repeating you can have it all is simply airbrushing reality, it is time to talk.

I still strongly believe that women can have it all (and that men can too). I believe that we can have it all at the same time. But not today, not with the way America’s economy and society are currently structured. My experiences over the past three years have forced me to confront a number of uncomfortable facts that need to be widely acknowledged—and quickly changed. (...)

A similar assumption underlies Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s widely publicized 2011 commencement speech at Barnard, and her earlier TED talk, in which she lamented the dismally small number of women at the top and advised young women not to leave before you leave. When a woman starts thinking about having children, Sandberg said, she doesn’t raise her hand anymore … She starts leaning back. Although couched in terms of encouragement, Sandberg’s exhortation contains more than a note of reproach. We who have made it to the top, or are striving to get there, are essentially saying to the women in the generation behind us: What’s the matter with you?

They have an answer that we don’t want to hear. After the speech I gave in New York, I went to dinner with a group of 30-somethings. I sat across from two vibrant women, one of whom worked at the UN and the other at a big New York law firm. As nearly always happens in these situations, they soon began asking me about work-life balance. When I told them I was writing this article, the lawyer said, I look for role models and can’t find any. She said the women in her firm who had become partners and taken on management positions had made tremendous sacrifices, many of which they don’t even seem to realize … They take two years off when their kids are young but then work like crazy to get back on track professionally, which means that they see their kids when they are toddlers but not teenagers, or really barely at all. Her friend nodded, mentioning the top professional women she knew, all of whom essentially relied on round-the-clock nannies. Both were very clear that they did not want that life, but could not figure out how to combine professional success and satisfaction with a real commitment to family. (...)

I am well aware that the majority of American women face problems far greater than any discussed in this article. I am writing for my demographic—highly educated, well-off women who are privileged enough to have choices in the first place. We may not have choices about whether to do paid work, as dual incomes have become indispensable. But we have choices about the type and tempo of the work we do. We are the women who could be leading, and who should be equally represented in the leadership ranks.

Millions of other working women face much more difficult life circumstances. Some are single mothers; many struggle to find any job; others support husbands who cannot find jobs. Many cope with a work life in which good day care is either unavailable or very expensive; school schedules do not match work schedules; and schools themselves are failing to educate their children. Many of these women are worrying not about having it all, but rather about holding on to what they do have. And although women as a group have made substantial gains in wages, educational attainment, and prestige over the past three decades, the economists Justin Wolfers and Betsey Stevenson have shown that women are less happy today than their predecessors were in 1972, both in absolute terms and relative to men. (...)

Seeking out a more balanced life is not a women’s issue; balance would be better for us all. Bronnie Ware, an Australian blogger who worked for years in palliative care and is the author of the 2011 book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, writes that the regret she heard most often was I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. The second-most-common regret was I wish I didn’t work so hard. She writes: This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship.

Perhaps the most encouraging news of all for achieving the sorts of changes that I have proposed is that men are joining the cause. In commenting on a draft of this article, Martha Minow, the dean of the Harvard Law School, wrote me that one change she has observed during 30 years of teaching law at Harvard is that today many young men are asking questions about how they can manage a work-life balance. And more systematic research on Generation Y confirms that many more men than in the past are asking questions about how they are going to integrate active parenthood with their professional lives. (...)

These women are extraordinary role models. If I had a daughter, I would encourage her to look to them, and I want a world in which they are extraordinary but not unusual. Yet I also want a world in which, in Lisa Jackson’s words, to be a strong woman, you don’t have to give up on the things that define you as a woman. That means respecting, enabling, and indeed celebrating the full range of women’s choices. Empowering yourself, Jackson said in her speech at Princeton, doesn’t have to mean rejecting motherhood, or eliminating the nurturing or feminine aspects of who you are.

I would never return to the world of segregated sexes and rampant discrimination. But now is the time to revisit the assumption that women must rush to adapt to the man’s world that our mothers and mentors warned us about.

I continually push the young women in my classes to speak more. They must gain the confidence to value their own insights and questions, and to present them readily. My husband agrees, but he actually tries to get the young men in his classes to act more like the women—to speak less and listen more. If women are ever to achieve real equality as leaders, then we have to stop accepting male behavior and male choices as the default and the ideal. We must insist on changing social policies and bending career tracks to accommodate our choices, too. We have the power to do it if we decide to, and we have many men standing beside us.

We’ll create a better society in the process, for all women. We may need to put a woman in the White House before we are able to change the conditions of the women working at Walmart. But when we do, we will stop talking about whether women can have it all. We will properly focus on how we can help all Americans have healthy, happy, productive lives, valuing the people they love as much as the success they seek.

Sim, nesse sentido podem me considerar feminista. Sobretudo, gostaria de finalizar esse texto com a reflexão da imagem inicial "treat people as people, not as genders". Que não hajam modelos-padrão do que uma mulher ou um homem devem ser. Que ninguém precise encaixar especificamente em "ser homem" ou "ser mulher" como socialmente aceitável. A valorização do ser humano, em todas a suas formas de expressão no mundo, é o que deve ser proposto. Não somente um ideal vago de "Feliz dia das Mulheres", mas sim de respeito a todos.

E que orgulho da nossa presidenta! “Faço um especial apelo e um alerta àqueles homens que, a despeito de tudo, ainda insistem em agredir suas mulheres. Se é por falta de amor e compaixão que vocês agem assim, peço que pensem no amor, no sacrifício e na dedicação que receberam de suas queridas mães. Mas se vocês agem assim por falta de respeito ou por falta de temor, não esqueçam jamais que a maior autoridade deste país é uma mulher, uma mulher que não tem medo de enfrentar os injustos nem a injustiça, estejam onde estiverem”.