Imagine a class of kids, split roughly 50/50 boys and girls, the way classes in a normal culture are. Now picture them in a sunny field, laughing, happy, playing games. Today they are going to have some fun, and the teachers have set up obstacle courses. They will run through them, and the fastest students through will get a prize. Maybe it’s pizza, or a book, yay!
Now they line up, joking about who’s the fastest, and who will fall with their face in the mud. I can hear them in my head, and it makes me smile. But wait… the teachers are walking along the line of children, tapping the girls on the shoulder, and pointing to the second course. What’s happening?
The girls stand in one line, the boys in another, and the teachers announce that because everyone knows the boys will win the obstacle course times, and that’s not fair to the girls, they have set up a second, easier, course for the girls to run, and the times will be adjusted for sexes to determine the winner.
This is what’s happening with my beloved field of writing. I’m told that I, as a woman on my own merits, can’t compete with the men, so I need a leg up, because I’m a woman. Because I’m a woman, they say I’m a victim of oppression and without that easier course that only women are allowed to enter their writing in, I can’t make it.
And you wonder why I’m steamed. I demand equality. Offer me a hand up ‘because I’m a woman’ and I will spit in your eye and run the harder course. I might not win. But I will compete as an equal.
I am no victim.