The majority of people believed that women were oppressed in the past, while some others suggest that men were the one being oppressed. Both of them have cited some points. Let's see what their arguments are:
1. Women were overpowered.
2. Women were being kept out of work place.
3. Men were sent to war to die in painful and gruesome ways, while women stayed in relatively safe and comfortable places for their whole lives.
4. Men's health were less protected, despite being more vulnerable to most diseases.
Indeed, both sides had made some good points. Now the problem is, if we are to say that one of the genders were oppressed, we NEED to prove that one of the sets of points outweight the others. Say, to suggest that women were more oppressed, one have to prove that the total unhappiness caused by 1 and 2 is greater than that by 3 and 4, and the same goes for vice versa.
Obviously, even if we derive some ingenius methods to measure "happiness", we can by no mean determine the amount of unhappiness experienced by either gender in the past. This implies that we have NO reasons to believe that one of the gender was more "oppressed". In other words, debating over the issue is not going to yield any meaningful answers. To put it bluntly, it is nothing but a waste of time and energy. I guess it would probably be more useful to focus on the present moment.
As I have mentioned in one of my previous pieces, lack of objective measurement can be very dangerous since it would allow some people to interpret data in infinitely possible ways.
All in all, I strongly believe that debating over which gender was more oppressed (and indeed, what classes of people, be it whites, blacks, heterosexuals, homosexuals, etc.) is totally, meaningless and silly thing to do. Instead, it would be more helpful for us if we concentrate on what is happening NOW.