Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Feminism: Has much really changed?

To begin, when I think of the 70's I think of a fairly recent time period, so find out the lack of women's rights then is shocking. Reading "A Day Without Feminism" made me think of women's rights and lack there of even today. In "A Day Without Feminism" women are treated outwardly as insignificant and only proving to serve the purpose of mother, teacher, and house keeper. Women's rights don't even really exist and there is complete blatant segregation between the genders. When reading about this, I couldn't help but think about the way society treats women today. Yes, women have many more rights and are recognized far more than in the 70's but women still aren't treated completely equally. Women still get paid less than men for the same job, women's roles are still instilled in culture, and in an educational setting women still get treated inferior to their male counterparts. One part of "A Day Without Feminism" that I saw was still very similar today was the issue with women's sexuality and treatment of it. "A Day Without Feminism" showed the absolute taboo of women engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage and outside of being a man's property. One thing in particular that stuck out to me was this idea that if a woman had sex before marriage that would decrease her value as if comparing a woman to a used car. This stuck out to me because, while premarital sex is now thought of as more common, women still get 'slut shamed' because of fundamentally the same ideas. Also in the case of education, today although many barriers are being broken with women in the math and science fields, women are still thought of as inferior or incapable to men when doing work in the math and sciences. The engineering field is still dominated by men and although there are many new projects and companies such as Goldiblox and Girls who Code, these programs still get much backlash. Why? because these same ideas about women roles are still deeply engraved in society.

Although I was not able to hear the talk, I understand that it concerned waves of feminism. Personally I did not know feminism even had waves, nor do I think many other people do. One thing I believe hinders progress for full women equality is a lack of education and awareness. In the second handout "the story up till now" the lack of knowledge of women's rights is mentioned. This unfortunately is still true today. Coming from a family of educators, I strongly believe that the way to create change is to first learn and understand the issues and I do not believe America has completely done that. To get rid of or even attempt to get rid of the deeply engraved mentality of women and stereotypes is to address where those ideas even came from. For example race in America; there is still racism but what America has done is integrate the education of black culture into society in hopes to dilute some preconceived ideas and feeling of black Americans. If women history was as integrated and thought of as important, then I believe there would be much more progress

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