WOW Love Light Inspire the podcast

The importance of Gender Equality

June 16, 2023 Lorene Roberts | Root Cause Therapist | Life Reinvention | Women of Wisdom | Mature Women | Inspirational Women | Episode 39
WOW Love Light Inspire the podcast
The importance of Gender Equality
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

In this episode, Lorene Roberts discusses the changing landscape of gender dynamics, especially with more women coming forward about sexual harassment and assault. Men need to own up to their past behaviors and demonstrate respect and empathy to be role models for younger generations.

Lorene also explores the history of patriarchal society and the societal expectations placed on women.
Learn about the importance of gender equality with your host Lorene Roberts.

Show Timestamps:
1:36 Gender dynamics undergoing significant change

4:08 Accountability and healthy masculinity.

9:56 PTSD and three generations.

13:23 Speaking up against toxic masculinity.

15:26 Abuse and Gender Equality

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Welcome. Welcome to Wow! Love, Light, Inspire the Podcast. This podcast is for men who don't want to let life pass them by. It features in-depth conversations with amazing inspirational women from around the globe. Sometimes it's just me. And we explore hard, challenging topics. They can be candid, racy, fun, all sorts of different topics. They can make you cry or laugh. So I hope you enjoy it. Now I'm Lorraine Roberts, your host, and I specialise in group course therapy counselling and I help people overcome their struggles in life. If you're looking to find direction, understand what's been holding you back and heal from past issues, then I'm the person who can help you. I help you dive deep into the group course and why things have happened, providing you with strategies, ideas and methods to make positive change and live an amazing life in all areas. Now today's podcast is an opinion piece, really. It's for men and for women. That's my opinion. And I'm going to explore the implications for men basically in the 2020s and beyond, as well as delve into the historical context of a patriarchal society, which has shaped our perceptions and expectations over the years. Now the landscape of gender dynamics is going under significant change, which I believe is well overdue. And as more and more women speak up about badly behaved men, this will continue. Now this last week, an Australian parliamentarian, Senator Lydia Thorpe, accused a fellow parliamentarian, Senator David Vann, of harassment and sexual assault. Now she did later withdraw it on the grounds of a request from her statement, did not comply with the parliament's standing orders. A second former Liberal Senator, Amanda Stoke, heard what happened, so stood up and also accused Senator David Vann of inappropriately squeezing her bottom twice, adding to the ever growing list of claims against the Senator, from what I believe. Now these accusations have not been proven and probably will never be confirmed because it comes down to his word against hers. So you can't take it anywhere when there's no one to corroborate what you've heard. But it has raised some very important issues and certainly made me think. The incidents highlighted the growing importance of addressing past behaviours and the need for a cultural shift in society. Now what this means for men in 2020 and beyond is that past behaviours might come back and bite you on the bum. They resurface things that happened years ago and they have consequences. So skeletons that you think you've buried in the closet might come back out and you might hear about them later and you might have to deal with them. So men have to own their past behaviours. Denial and evasiveness isn't working anymore. Just look at Prince Andrew and his association with Geoffrey Epstein and the significant repercussions he's had on his reputation and standing in the community. Now if he had initially come out and admitted the association, apologised for any wrongdoings on his behalf, admitted that he was young, he was stupid, and that he made a mistake and how he had a lapse in judgement at that time, then society would have frowned upon him. They would have made him pay in some ways, lapped him on the wrist, but he would not be the leper that he is now. They would have forgiven him eventually. I don't think he'll ever be forgiven now. But with the rise of social media and increased awareness around issues of consent and harassment, actions that were once brushed aside are now coming back to haunt individuals. And it serves as a reminder that accountability is crucial. And ignoring and denying any past behaviours and things that you did is no longer a viable option. We all know better now. So men today have an opportunity to become role models for the boys growing up in this changing world. That's their biggest challenge and the biggest thing that they can do for our society. Because by demonstrating respect, empathy, and healthy expressions of masculinity, they can help shape a more inclusive and equitable society. It is essential for men to recognise that respecting others, regardless of gender, is a fundamental aspect of being a responsible and compassionate human being. Breaking away from traditional stereotypes and showcasing positive behaviours can create a huge ripple effect, inspiring others to do the same. So to understand how we came to this place, we need to look at the history of patriarchal society, which has dominated our societal structure where men ruled. They were the rulers of the earth. Kings were the kings for centuries. Women were considered physically weaker, yet morally stronger than men, which meant that we were more suited to raising children in the household. We were the domestic servants of the stronger men who went out to work. So we had to be subservient to them. Prior to the 1960s, it was considered a woman's national duty to reproduce and her primary function in life. After this time, there was a significant shift in our attitudes. I think that's when the pill came. We didn't even have female toilets in Parliament House until 1974. Now in Australia, the first female was elected to Parliament in 1943, so it took over 30 years for female parliamentarians to have toilets in their workplace. And that was acceptable. Otherwise, they would have taken 30 years for them to come. When you look at history, the world wars played a crucial role in challenging traditional gender roles and expectations. The aftermath of those wars exposed the vulnerabilities and struggles faced by our men returning from the front lines. World War I was a shocking war where the men returned. They were all traumatised and they had no training or no understanding on how to cope with the horrendous things that they had witnessed and seen with their own eyes. So what did they do? They drank to escape. They drank an awful lot at that time. Some of them actually committed suicide because they couldn't cope with returning and what they'd seen. Others would just run around with women eyes. They'd get girls pregnant, run off and they weren't responsible fathers. They couldn't love themselves and they certainly couldn't love anyone else and they certainly didn't show love or affection to their sons because they didn't know how to. A lot of them came home unable to work and hold down full-time jobs and the economic insecurity during those years was really horrible. And the only way the government would give them a pension was if they had a physical disability and so many of them had PTSD. So if they were shaking and couldn't work, they didn't qualify for a pension. Now fast forward 25 years to World War II and if you think 25 years later and our society hadn't learned much, the boys who went to this war were the sons of the men who went to the First World War and who came home totally traumatised. So here we have a generation repeating the same patterns. There was no examples of how to deal with trauma when returning home from the war. Men still returned home traumatised from war but most were just soon to get on with the job. That's what they did. Now the government told them to smoke cigarettes to reduce their stress. That's what the government did. Now these men were still fairly isolated within themselves. They couldn't hug their sons and they couldn't love them. They couldn't love anyone. A lot of these men that came home from World War II, they were very cold, very distant. They suffered from a lot of depression and it was just horrible. Women had to step up. They had to take on jobs. As the men left to go to war, the women took their jobs but they weren't treated the same as the men. Their pay rates were about a half of that of the men. So when the men came back, the companies didn't want to replace the women with men because they had to pay them double. So there's a lot of resentment in that too and some of the women, they had to go back to the kitchens because that's all they were good for in their eyes. Now if I was forward another 25 years and here we have another generation and we have the Vietnam War, now the pattern was just repeating itself. Except this time, our boys came home to bad blood and jeering from our population. They were made to feel guilty for doing what our government told them they had to do or they went to jail. So our society sent the very mixed messages to these poor kids. Honestly, they were damned if they did and they were damned if they didn't and they certainly had PTSD. So by the end of the day, our men returned home from war with PTSD. So three generations in a row, one, two, three, bang, all returning home with PTSD. So living with trauma lowers your self-esteem, it lowers your self-worth and they often did not speak about what happened to them or what they saw. They kept it all inside and the only way to let it out was through the depression, in their dreams. So you have to ask, how could a man who's gone through all of this and didn't respect himself, respect others and life in general? They didn't. How could they give their sons love and the knowledge of how to love yourself? They couldn't. In the post-war era, women continued to step into roles traditionally occupied by men. Reshaping societal dynamics. However, despite their contribution, women were still undervalued and paid less than their male counterparts. And it still goes on today. Society reinforced messages to our men that was meant to keep them safe and strong and everyone said they step up and be a man. Men, men don't cry. It's weak to show your emotions. Oh, who's heard? Man up. Men wear the pants. These messages were harmful. They actually stunted the emotional growth of our men. And men have not been shown love and affection by the men and fathers in their lives. They have learned to suppress their emotions, not show them to anyone who is not safe to do so. They learned that vulnerability and showing their feelings was a weakness and something not to be shown. They learned not to open up and express how they were feeling. Instead, opting to use brute force. So who's heard? Let's take this outside. Oh, here they go again. You think to yourself when you hear that, let's take this outside. Really? You're going to use your fists? Okay, whatever works for you. You know, it was acceptable for men to have angry outbursts and flare ups. Why is it acceptable for men to have that and not a woman? Men became standover tactics. Men started using standover tactics. They expected compliance from women and they expected to be always right. And who remembers the saying, the man's the boss of the house? I think I remember my mother saying that to me. Fortunately, the societal norms, perpetuating toxic masculinity and gender inequality are gradually being changed. Men are beginning to recognize the importance of emotional expression and seeking support. The stigma surrounding mental health is slowly eroding, thank goodness, allowing men to embrace vulnerability and develop healthier relationships. However, these changes are not happening fast enough. And many men continue to struggle with expressing their emotions and treating others with respect. You really have to admire every man that stands up and says, I have a mental health problem at the moment and I need help. It's wonderful to hear. Now women want to stand up. We're a little bit tired and sick of being repressed. Women want to have a say. They want to make a point that the past history of toxic masculinity is not acceptable. They don't want to be treated with disrespect. As Lydia Thorpe said, silence is violence. So women are slowly waking up and they're speaking up. And the more we speak up, there could be a cascading effect. The more women who wake up to the unacceptable behavior and speak up, then stand up and demand respect, which may be scary for people with skeletons in their closet, because they may be caught out or not believed when they deny what has been. We don't believe Andrew. He's been caught out, even though he's denied it. We don't believe him. So the more women that stand up, it's scary for the men who've got their things in their closet. So just think of Harvey Weinstein. One woman spoke up and 30 more came forward. It took the one woman and 30 more came forward. Same thing happened with Rob Harris. And then they all came forward. It took just one woman to come forward. And then every woman abused by him, joined him. Jeffrey Epstein. The same thing happened. It was an adage. Now we hear this about celebrities, but don't think it's specific to them. Bad behavior is everywhere. So speaking out is so important. It gives strength to others who are not as brave to speak up. I've had conversations with women and we all have stories that we can all tell about something that's happened to all of us at some stage in our lives. One person speaks up and the rest will follow. Now every week one woman dies from domestic violence and that's sadistic, is alarming. What we don't talk about is how many women are seriously injured at the hands of domestic violence because they are more likely to experience repeated and severe forms of abuse, including sexual assault. And we certainly don't talk about how many women end up in hospital with sustained physical injuries or the psychological, emotional and financial abuse afflicted upon women in a coercive and controlling manner, which can be totally hidden. It can be totally hidden and we don't even realize it's a form of abuse. Now these numbers may be impossible to know as they often go unreported. Most of the time they're unreported and they're even unnoticed. But they would be frightening to actually know the truth of what happens. I want to make a point here that women as general are not the only ones who are being abused. There certainly are women who physically abuse and treat men with total disrespect too. And I'm absolutely not saying that this is acceptable either because it's not. No one has the right to treat someone else in a bad manner. No one has the right to abuse someone else. So the call for justice, freedom and equality extends beyond gender boundaries. As women, we advocate for justice, freedom and equality in all aspects of our life for absolutely everyone. We are not saying that anyone is better than anyone else. We are all equal and no matter what majority or minority you are, we are all equal. And that's what we want. And until this is our reality, we will continue to speak out. So watch out human beings who are not treating others with respect. You will be called out no matter who you are. Now the incident involving Senator Lydia Thorpe and Senator David Vann served as a reminder of the urgent need to address past behaviours. The urgent need to address challenges, past societal norms and demand respect and equality for all. Men have an important role to play in this transformation by unlearning toxic masculinity, embracing vulnerability and becoming advocates for gender equality and by being wonderful role models for our boys, showing them how to love and be loved by others. And by doing so, we can create a future where individuals are judged based on their characters, ability, contributions rather than their gender. Thank you so much for joining me in this episode of Wow Love Line Inspire the Podcast. It was a little bit heavy, but something that I just really wanted to say. So I hope you enjoyed it and please subscribe, share it with your friends so you don't miss another episode. And I'd love you to give me a five star rating. Look, the more we can get with ratings, the better we can get with guests and all sorts of things and the higher we go up, the more people see it. Now we generally really do value your feedback as well. So I'd love to hear from you. Please share all your takeaways from this episode and any others you've listened to. As always, I'm Loreen Roberts, your host, and I'm here to support you as a counsellor, a root course therapist coach. And if you have any struggles in life and want to improve the way you're living your life so you can live an amazing life, get in touch with me. You can find me on my own personal Facebook page, Loreen Roberts, or you can go to the website, so forward slash Loreen Roberts, or you can visit the website. The website's got lots of stuff on it. Thank you, the NISA. She's put this together for you. And remember that the information shared on this podcast is just general in nature. It's not directly addressing your specific situation. So if you need assistance, if you need help, if you need guidance, please seek out an expert. Thank you.

Gender dynamics undergoing significant change
Accountability and healthy masculinity.
PTSD and three generations.
Speaking up against toxic masculinity.
Abuse and Gender Equality