Discrimination based on gender

Post written by Orsolya Hernold

I used to call myself a feminist. I never took part in a feminist movement or activity, but was quite distinct and even heated in conversations about the rights and opportunities of women. I recall my strong objection to limiting women in driving long buses and becoming a nuclear physicist in a Hungarian power plant. I left a university class when a teacher made a joke of women’s voting rights for the third time. I had a strong determination to raise my children (what a great gift to have a boy and a girl) without discrimination, providing equal treatment and opportunities for both of them.

Then as theory is put in practice, I have to admit that I failed at many occasions. I have stressed to my son how clever he is, and my daughter was rather praised for her look. My son is going to a programming school, and I forgot to ask my daughter whether she is also interested. I saw a Tesla (a rare specimen on the roads of Budapest) and I only called to my son to look at it. The list could go on. Upon acknowledging my failures I could make some progress, but my upbringing and the social prejudices are more present in my conduct than I first wanted to admit.

Do you see gender-based discrimination present in your life?


I can also see now that I have different expectations of my children: how I see them as grownups in my images, what activities I encourage them to do, etc. By addressing this issue, I realized how fine the line is between the difference there is inherent between them (in their temper, abilities, interests) and the difference I impose upon them with my expectations. Nowadays, I try to just watch them and practice listening, observing, accepting without judgement. And rejoice when I see them playing soccer together or listening to a fairy tale.



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