Jordyn Russell and Delaney Powell
Globally, one in three women experiences gender-based violence in her lifetime. One in three.
Although there is solid evidence proving gender inequality, it is still an issue many refuse to believe.
In a previous article, “Gender Rolls, the Worst Kind of Bread,” written on this topic, many interesting comments were prompted about sexism. The article featured a few of the school’s feminists. It also featured an anonymous contributor who had strong opinions on the subject.
For this article, we thought we would include some of his comments to show a different perspective. He wrote, “I’m not trying to offend anybody of any race or religion. I just simply scratch my head at the fact feminism still exists in the West, and our Middle School supports it. The way I look at it, you can’t really be a full-fledged feminist without having bias about everything you hear.” That is likely true. Although, to be truthful, the same could be said for anyone that identifies as anti-feminist.
He continued, ”What about their cultures and how women are oppressed over there [in third-world countries]? Where women can’t wear what they want and are more or less basically treated like slaves? Remember when women in the United States couldn’t vote? Remember when women in the United States didn’t have the right to call a divorce, only the man? Remember when women in the United States didn’t have equal pay? Remember when women in the United States were treated like slaves and actually kept in kitchens like servants . . . ? Remember when women in the United States couldn’t join the military because they were “too weak” or “too much of a liability”? But now Bravery has no gender! SURPRISE, SURPRISE, SURPRISE, IT’S ALL GONE, WELCOME TO THE PRESENT MY FRIEND, WAKE UP.”
The data does not support the viewpoint that it is “ALL GONE.” Nevertheless, this viewpoint still exists.
In a survey done by the Pew Research Center, 56% of men believe, “that challenges women once faced have basically been eliminated,” with 75% of those being Republican.
The facts, though, speak differently.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, not a feminist organization, women still face a significant wage gap with full-time wage and salary jobs earning roughly 83% of men’s median weekly earnings, sometimes less depending on the profession. For example, women in legal professions earn only 56.7% of what men earn. Women are also largely overlooked for promotions and account for only 4.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs.
In politics, women make up only 19.4% of the House and 20% of the Senate, a severe underrepresentation especially when women account for more than half of the U.S. population. And we’ve yet to have a woman President.
Additionally, women’s healthcare is widely overlooked in science and women are often excluded from clinical trials.
All this exists on top of the fact that women also still have to fight every day to make decisions about their own bodies, and the fear of sexual assault persists. Remember, one in three women experiences gender-based violence in her lifetime.
Whether believed or not, unfortunately, gender inequality remains a major barrier to human development. Girls and women have made major strides since 1990, but they have not yet gained gender equity.
The disadvantages facing women and girls are a major source of inequality. All too often, as stated, women and girls are discriminated against in health, education, political representation, labor market, etc., with adverse consequences for the development of their capabilities and their freedom of choice.
Only five countries in the world have closed 80% or more of the equality gap between genders according to the World Economic Forum, and the United States is not one of them.
Fortunately, we as Californians have one of the highest percentages of acceptance for not only gender but sexuality, race, and religion. This is the same for all the western states, but once one goes a bit east to states like Texas or Kansas, there is a rapid decline from 80% acceptance in California to only 30% in Texas.
Here at Stacey students weighed in on the topic. “I think the way people are leaning is male or female, we should all be equal,” Loren Morris a seventh a grader here at Stacey feels.
“We shouldn’t care what race, gender, religion we all are. We are all humans,” says seventh grader Daniel Zarate.
Christian Cirelli, another seventh-grader says, “Why does it matter who we are or who we like? We should judge people on their character.”
Additionally, according to many studies by the United Nations and Global Goals say women and men are lead to believe many socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes such as how to dress and act. Many adolescents feel pressured to be manly or ladylike.
Boys especially feel this pressure to be manly. “You see girls wearing more gender- neutral things theses days but if a guy wants to wear something even slightly girly we get ridiculed for being ‘gay,’” says a source that requests to remain secret.
“I feel when it comes to gender roles, we’ve made a lot of progress for females but everyone just assumes boys are okay with staying the way we are,” says Daniel Zarate.
Boys and girls are taught to believe that they are supposed to follow certain gender expectations, to not act like the opposite gender, but it should be okay to be who you are.