Equality, or rather “complementarity”. At the root of the gender issue, to get out of the labyrinth together


By John

Gender and gender differences. Terms of a perennial diatribe around which stereotypes and prejudices revolve, in the recursive circuit that clearly marks the boundary between pre-established roles as typical of men or women. A true labyrinth that traps identities and choices of opposite sexes, from which contemporary societies are unable to find the way out. The problem of the gender gap is in fact on the table even in contexts of greater civilization and development, where the much-discussed “gender equality” still maintains the split polarity that makes it a “male” or “female” issue. Because gender anthropologically recalls “power”, a historical male prerogative and a watershed between the sexes, as well as the basis of a widespread misunderstood sense of equality.

In fact, equality does not mean the denial of differences, and does not translate into the total homologation of male to female, or vice versa, but in the equal opportunity to choose personal objectives and conceive projects in conditions of absolute freedom, free from any socially determined conditioning. According to the correct meaning of equal opportunities, power, no longer based on gender, becomes an achievement linked to merit, freeing itself from that aura of oppression which deviates its authentic meaning.

However, although the number of powerful women is growing exponentially, and many prominent roles today are female, it is undeniable that the price to pay for women to make their way in the world is always high, and in many cases a difference in economic treatment for the same role as a man establishes an imbalance of power connected to the subdued desire to keep the woman in a condition of subordination. There is still a long way to go therefore and there are many walls to be broken down to achieve the dignity of total equality; but the commitment necessary to demolish further barriers cannot be just a “women's issue”.

It is the Tim commercial signed by Giuseppe Tornatore is a perfect metaphorwhich, through images of strong impact and meaning, effectively talks about the gender gap, indirectly reiterating the need for a choral commitment, not exclusively female.
“Equality cannot wait” is the slogan which seals those few minutes of truth telling, which has a labyrinth as a location in which two characters of the opposite sex move. Yes, a labyrinth, just like everyone's life, in which both men and women can get lost. It is not easy to find your way in the world, but it becomes impossible if the path leading to the exit is blocked by walls. The protagonists of the short film enter the labyrinth together, but their paths gradually diverge, based on specific answers that each gives to the questions that light up on the platforms at their feet.

«Has having children penalized you?»; «Do you earn less than your colleague?»; “Have you ever been harassed?”. With each step, the two move further and further away, until they lose sight of each other; and while he finds the exit, she remains trapped between the walls. But the woman, as we know, is a warrior, she does not give up on the solution, despite the many, too many frustrations and the countless obstacles towards emancipation.

And like Uma Thurman in «Kill Bill» – who is buried alive and tries to get out… with her bare hands – the woman in the advert takes off her shoe and hits the wall several times with her heel. With each shot, sobering numbers appear: «Still 169 years to achieve economic equality, 162 for political equality, 131 for equal opportunities…». And they are figures taken from the World Economic Forum report on Gender Disparity.

A check, even a summary one, of the figures confirms, for example, that political equality, sealed by the right to vote, dates back to 1893, the year New Zealand became the first country in the world to allow women to vote. In Italy, although voting was permitted in some prefectures as early as 1880, women's suffrage was enacted at a national level in 1945, with lieutenant legislative decree 23. In the 20th century, starting from the 1990s, women's vote was recognized throughout the world, except in some Muslim countries and Vatican City.

Even today, following the metaphor of the labyrinth, we see that the gender gap is based on the fundamental contradiction of a feminine on the rise, and a masculine who, although he takes the exit with ease, often resents the fact that women can break down walls and barriers with their hands. naked, relying exclusively on their own strength. There is no doubt, however, that men and women, through experience, modify their relationship between themselves and with the world over time in a logic of “reciprocity”. But this does not necessarily entail equality, specifically linked to the balance of “complementarity”, which, while respecting individuality, enhances the enormous richness inherent in differences. The exercise of complementarity therefore seems to be the only way out of relational discomfort between the sexescapable of breaking down, with the contribution of men and women, the walls of prejudice and mistrust regarding gender.