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Unit 6 Text B What does feminism really mean?翻译,原文和录音

[2018年11月6日] 来源:新视野大学英语Unit 6 编辑:给力英语网   字号 [] [] []  

What does feminism really mean?


1 Imagine a world where skirts makeup and high heels are prohibited where men are forbidden from giving gifts to women where mothers ignore their children and where marriage and dating are obscene. It sounds nightmarish but this is the dogma many people have in mind when they hear the word "feminism". Feminists we're told hate men and want them dead. Or feminists want to switch places with men so women can work all day and men can all stay home and keep house. Or maybe feminists want to be like men: dress identically use the same toilets compete in the same sports leagues. If this definition is true it seems feminists would be the provocation for insurgencies across the whole of society breaking routines eradicating traditions and ruining everyone's lives in the process!


2 Fortunately that's not feminism! Feminists don't believe that women are better than men or that women need to become or displace men. True some feminists enjoy masculine pursuits like boxing but they don't want to eject men from society. Feminists have fathers brothers husbands and sons. Their lives are just as coiled up with those they love as anyone else's.


3 So what do feminists believe? Distilled to its essence feminism is the idea that men and women should have equal opportunities. A woman should be able to be a man's boss if she is as capable as any other manager or a man should be allowed to look after children if he has the interest and ability. Nobody should find the situation strange or call it "queer". In other words feminists believe in a world where no one feels colonized or oppressed because of the roles they fill.


4 In some countries gender equality remains far away. There are places where women aren't allowed to participate in government or public life where women are denied education and remain illiterate and places where women have to keep their hair and faces hidden or they will risk terrible lashes detention or even execution. There are places where young virgin girls with no judicial process to protect them are forced to marry old men and bear children against their will. There are places where women are not allowed to drive a car or sit in the same section as men when using public transit.


5 In comparison in some other parts of the world the rights of women have grown tremendously. In the United States modern women live downright luxurious lives compared to the Pilgrims in colonial times. And in the British Isles modern women are essentially equal to men compared to the time when the early kings sat upon their mighty thrones. Feminists men as well as women have fought hard to overthrow outdated discriminatory practices and win rights we now take for granted such as girls attending school women gaining the voting ballot and running in electoral races for the Senate women owning property women in sales earning equal commissions as men and women choosing whether or not to marry or have children. These rights have given women control over their own lives while increasing vastly the number of people in the workforce who discover new ideas and patent new inventions. Can you imagine life without female scientists inventors doctors teachers and writers?

6 With all the progress of the last decades it can be hard to see that there is still work to be done or to remember what was so difficult before. Modern women may raise a chorus of complaints that there are no confident men left and blame feminism. A modern man may long for the days when a wife would stay home with a spatula and a sponge cooking kidney beans and steak for dinner fascinated by his work stories. However he would be forgetting the need to make enough money to support his household alone.


7 Truthfully most of us are feminists to some degree. A man who believes that women should stick to working as transcribing secretaries or midwives and leave the "good" jobs to men with families is more feminist than a man who believes in strict segregation of the genders or who insists that a woman shouldn't leave the house or speak to strangers. A "trophy wife" who does nothing but apply eye liner and lipstick and go to parties is still feminist enough to believe she shouldn't be hostage to her husband unable to go to the police if he attacks her for telling him "no". Many of us are feminist indeed; we work in blended groups of men and women dividing tasks according to ability and interest read books without caring about the gender of the author and listen to female teachers as well as male ones with equal attention and respect.


8 Yet even the most feminist environments have barriers we need to tunnel through. For example we might criticize successful female solicitors for not devoting enough time to their families or look down on those women who stay home with children for not being ambitious enough to take up a career. We might look down on men who disobey female bosses for not being team players or look down on other men who obey the same bosses for acting insufficiently masculine.


9 These seem like small problems the lingering ghosts of greater issues but they're significant when they're happening to you. Culture isn't easy to change; even if you think a woman has every right to speak loudly and swear like pirates you might have trouble imagining that any man would date her. Or you might have trouble relaxing around a man who is comfortable making less money than his female friends. Clearly our thirst for equality must never be fully quenched. But feminism cannot become an appendix at the end of a history book or an artifact of a bygone epoch. We must remain vigilant if we hope for a continuance of the rights of women.

女权主义究竟是什么?


设想这样一个世界:在这里,短裙、化妆品和高跟鞋通通遭禁,男人们被禁止给女人送礼物,母亲们对她们的孩子全然不顾,而婚姻与约会更被视为下流。这听起来像是梦魇,却是很多人在听到“女权主义”这个词时而想到的教条。有人告诉我们说,女权主义者仇恨男人,希望他们都死掉。或者是女权主义者想要与男人互换位置,这样女人就可以成天工作,而男人则都呆在家里管理家务。又或者是女权主义者想要像男人一样:穿同样的衣服,用同样的马桶,在同样的运动联盟中比赛。如果这种定义是真的,那似乎女权主义者将会挑起全社会的暴乱,进而破除惯例,消灭传统,甚至在此过程中毁掉每个人的生命!


幸运的是,那并不是女权主义!女权主义者不相信女人比男人更优秀,抑或女人要成为男人或取代男人。诚然,一些女权主义者喜欢像拳击那样的男性所热衷的爱好,但她们并不想将男人从社会中驱逐出去。女权主义者也有父亲、兄弟、丈夫和儿子。她们的生活就像其他任何人一样,与她们所爱的人密不可分。


那么,女权主义者究竟信仰什么?归根结底,女权主义指的是男人和女人应该拥有平等的机会。如果一个女人与其他任何经理一样能干,那她就可以做男人的老板;如果一个男人有照料孩子的兴趣和能力,那就应该允许他去照看孩子,没有人会觉得这种情况奇怪或称之为“怪异”。换句话说,女权主义者相信有这样一个世界,在那里,没有人会因其承担的角色而感到被奴役或受压制。


在有些国家,性别平等还远未实现。有些地方不允许女性参与政府工作或公共生活,不让女性接受教育以致她们仍是文盲;有些地方女人必须遮盖住头发和面容,否则就要面临可怕的鞭笞、拘役甚至被处死。也有些地方,年幼的少女没有司法程序的保护,被迫嫁给年老的男子并违背她们的意愿生育孩子。还有些地方不允许女人开车或在乘坐公共交通工具时与男人坐在同一区域。


相比之下,在世界其他一些地方,女性的权利已大大提升。在美国,与殖民时期的朝圣者相比,现代女性过着极其奢侈的生活。在英伦诸岛,现代女性与早先国王的统治时期相比,基本上已与男性一切平等。女权主义者,不论是男性还是女性,都曾奋力消除陈旧的歧视性做法,以赢得我们现在认为是理所当然的权利,比如女孩有机会上学、女性获得投票权并参与参议院议员席位的竞选、女性拥有财产、女性销售员挣得同男性一样的提成、女性有权选择是否结婚或生子。这些权利使得女性能够左右自己的生活,并极大增加了能够找到新点子、申请新发明专利的劳动者的数量。你能想象没有女科学家、女发明家、女医生、女教师或者女作家的生活吗?


有了过去几十年的进步,人们会很难看出在女权主义方面还有什么工作要做,也很难记得以前有多么艰难。现代女性可能会齐声抱怨,说现今再也没有真正自信的男人了,并因此谴责女权主义。现代男性会渴望以前那样的日子,那时妻子呆在家里拿着锅铲和海绵围着锅台转,做芸豆和牛排晚餐,还会入迷地听他讲工作中的故事,而此时,他却忘记了自己需要单独赚足够的钱养家。


说实话,我们中的大多数人在某种程度上都是女权主义者。如果一位男士认为女人都应该坚持做记录员或助产士,而把“好”工作留给需要养家的男人,那么,他与一名信奉严格的性别隔离制度或一名坚持认为女人不应该到外面或和陌生人说话的男性比起来,要更加具有女权意识。即使是一个只知道画眼线、涂唇膏和参加聚会而其他什么也不做的“花瓶太太”,她也具有足够的女权意识,认为自己不应该是丈夫的人质,不应该因对丈夫说“不”而遭到殴打也不敢报警。我们中很多人实际上都是女权主义者;我们在男女共事的团队中工作,依据各人的能力和兴趣分配任务,读书时不会在意作者的性别,听课时不论老师是女是男,我们都心怀敬意,认真听讲。


然而,哪怕是最具女权主义的环境也有我们尚需逾越的障碍。比如,我们可能会批评成功的女律师没有花足够的时间照顾家庭,或者歧视那些呆在家里照看孩子的女性,认为她们缺乏远大的志向去从事一份职业。我们可能会看不起那些不顺从女上司的男人,认为他们不具备团队意识;也可能会歧视另一些听从于这些女上司的男人,认为他们行为举止缺乏男子气。


这些看上去似乎只是小问题,是大问题的一些残留末节而已,但当它们真正发生在你本人身上时就是大问题了。文化是不容易改变的。即使你认为一个女人有足够的权利大声说话,可以像海盗那样咒骂,你可能仍然无法想象哪个男人会愿意与她约会;或者,当你面对一位即使赚钱比女性朋友要少却依然感觉舒坦的男人时,你可能仍然会不自在。显然,我们对平等的渴望永远也不可能完全得到满足。但是,女权主义不能只作为一本历史书最后的附录,或一件远古时代的手工艺品。如果我们希望女性的权利持续,我们就必须保持警觉。