Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Let's See How Far We've Come

To say that the state of women's rights in America is dire is a lie.  But to say that we are already equal and that there is no need for feminism is also a lie.  We gained the right to vote, we gained equal support and facilities in federally funded locations, and  we have popularized our movement.  But we still don't have equal pay and we still deal with the day to day sexual harassment that unfortunately seems to come with being a woman.

In the books we discussed with Mr. Ogden the authors stated that women are better suited for the workforce of today and that men are being widdled out of the picture.  And while the argument about women seeking higher education ore often than men is certainly true, I am not sure that translates to success in the workforce.  In personal experience I know many families including my own, where the mother is more highly educated than the father, and yet the father makes the main income and the woman is a part time worker or stay at home mom.  So while a woman may be better suited toward thinking and the desk jobs that today's work is about, she is not often given the same chance to dot hat because of the societal norms that have been true for the past millenia.  When it comes to people my age I think these norms are shifting and women feel less obligated to have children and stop their careers.  But I think the point that women often get more highly educated is a direct refute to arguments that state that women just make different life decisions and therefore shouldn't get paid as much for the same work.

I think that where we are today is a fine place to be, and is certainly better than the place of women in much of the world outside of America.  But it is simply not true that we are equal.  The first time I was exposed to sexual harassment and cat calling was at the age of nine when I was walking down the street with my friend and her mother.  A man sitting on a bench called out, "Hey hot mama, why don't come over her and give me some love."  My friend's mother's face immediately tightened and she started walking faster, eyes straight ahead and beckoned us to come with her. As I've gotten older these transgressions have only gotten more frequent and more disturbing. This abuse that women become accustomed to tolerating is unacceptable and is a constant reminder that to some we are just an object and because of how we were born are inherently lower than a man.

I will believe that there is equality when women are paid equally for performing the same tasks as men, and when the frequent aggressions because of our femininity stop.  Until then we still have a job to do and a cause to support.

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