Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Women's Achievements

Although I did like the video “About 50/50”, it showed me that there is much more work to be done in regards to the advancement of women. I was surprised that 50 women have been in presidential or major leadership positions around the world, but I still don’t feel that it is something to cheer about. Given that women still do not earn as much as a man, only 5% of Nobel Peace Prize winners have been women, and 18% of the heads of state are women, we still have a lot of work to do. I did my research on Margaret Wilcox and was taken aback to see that we had female engineers back in the early 1800s.  Her invention was basis of the modern day car heater, an important and vital feature in even the most basic entry level cars. I personally never even considered a woman being a pioneer in such a male-centered domain, but it is people and stories like hers that really do give me hope for the future.
I liked how Kings gave us a glimpse at the progress that has been made, from women such as Kathrine Switzer and Dorothy Vaughn, but also at the end showed us the things that we pay more attention to, which is social media and how women are portrayed in it. As Kate pointed out in class, I don’t know much about women’s accomplishments, but I do know “who wore it better.” I thought about why I only seem to know or care about this irrelevant information, and I realized it’s because that is all I am shown. Whether on the internet, the television, or when talking to peers, this is what I see on the headlines or top stories. We don’t tend to focus on the accomplishments of women, and the red carpet video in class really spoke to the difference in what we seem to care about when interviewing men and women. While male actors are asked about his craft and job, his female counterpart is often asked about her dress and makeup.
For me personally, the Lip Sync Battle on Friday night was pretty telling. It was pretty easy to draw similarities from our presentation into that night. I feel as a community we have made many advances for women, such as the creation of SWAGA, but that night showed me the flaws that are still embedded in our community. The “mob mentality” was revealing. See a group of hardworking women booed on stage, while boys who performed simply to make a mockery were applauded and praised. I like to believe that our community is beyond this childish and disrespectful behavior towards women, but it is evident that we are not. Instead of celebrating the accomplishments of women, we ridicule them and revert to the deep rooted seeds of misogyny. I want to think positively about our school, and I hope that Saturday night was a well noted “wake-up call” for those who have been ignoring this issue on our campus. To put it simply, we need to address the disrespect and entitlement that some members of our community possess.  As a school, we have made progress, but obviously, we still have a long way to go.

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