July Ai advises that equal rights campaigners should exercise caution when voicing their issues.  If you’re not getting paid enough, it might not be discrimination – it might just be bad marketing.


Feminism: The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.

One of the many branches of the equal rights movement.

Equal rights has many categories: gay rights, racial rights, religious rights and so on.

You might well ask “Why isn’t there a men’s rights movement?”

Actually there is – it goes by the unoriginal name of the Men’s Rights Movement. It was established in the early 1970’s and they advocate the fair treatment of men in cases of custody battles where men face discrimination, as well as in cases of reproductive rights, where they argue that men have the freedom of declining paternity rights in cases of unplanned pregnancy.

Is it fair for men to have the right to decline paternity rights?

While I feel that if the women in these cases choose to go ahead with the birth, then no parent has the right to deny paternity, it still does give you something to think about.

Women aren’t the only ones who face adversity. Coloured people face adversity, the disabled; the mentally ill. It seems we all face adversity of some sort. Michael Jordan faced adversity in high school when he was cut from the basketball team for being too small. Yet, he still went on to win six NBA championships. When Anne Rice was looking for people to publish her manuscript for Interview with the Vampire, no one thought she was any good.

When it comes to equal rights, think of society like a movie. Each person is cast on their acting ability as well as their appearance. Would you expect an overweight male to be cast into the role of Wolverine? No, you wouldn’t. Would it be fair for an overweight actor to cry foul-play against the producers of an X-Men movie for discrimination? Of course not, that would be absurd. In the workplace as well as in many parts of society, we are judged on more than our abilities. We are judged on our appearance, our attitude, our leadership, and our ability to market and sell ourselves.

I recently had the chance to look over the report released by the WGEA on the gender pay gap that is so prevalent in our workplace. You can find a copy here. It shows there definitely is a disparity between the payments of men and women, but I have yet to read an article that sheds the light on the award wage, which is set by state and industry authorities, and shows women are paid 2.5 percent higher than men in the award wage category. The discrepancies against women are made by collective or individual agreement.

This is a good indicator that women could work on their negotiation skills at the bargaining table as well as their self-promotion. Realise that there is more to achieving success than just plain hard work. It is very noble to just put your head down, work hard and achieve higher levels of success, but it’s not quite accurate.

So, the next time you feel you are being discriminated against, don’t be so hasty in jumping to the conclusion that it was regarding your gender. The reason I ask feminists to be cautious is that when you are in a world of paranoia, it is very easy to be clouded, to think that everyone conspires against you. We all saw the case of Elliot Rodger, the mad man who suffered the extreme feeling that women discriminated against him – conspiring against him – and not realising that it may have been himself that was the problem.

It also needs to be pointed out that he was actually involved in some extreme Men’s Rights groups online.

So, look within yourselves: ask are there better ways I can promote myself in the work place? Am I displaying the correct attitude? Do I market and promote myself well? Do I have a plan for how I want to progress? Are there other reasons other than discrimination?

Here’s to looking within before making excuses for being without.

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