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Women still face oppression today in U.S.

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In August of 1920, women were granted the right to vote by the implementation of the 19th amendment. Since then, women have slowly progressed into having the same rights as men. And although most people would assume that women have reached the same status as men, given the modern era, that is simply not the case.

Women today are still oppressed in multiple ways, and yet we as a society turn a blind eye to the oppression that physically and emotionally harm women as a gender and as individuals. Not only are women financially oppressed, women are also socially and sexually oppressed in more than one circumstance in which men would not be.

In 2012, statistics from catalyst.org, documented the median annual income for both sexes. While women earned $37,791, men earned $49,398. In the educational field, statistics proved that the higher the degree, the higher the difference between pay. While the average median women with doctoral degrees get paid $1,371 weekly, men get paid $1,734.  Women with only a bachelor’s degree earn $930 while men earn $1,199.

In 2013, the average everyday female worker gets paid only 78% of what men earn. Though women in all states face unequal pay, some states only give women 66% of what men earn in states such as Louisiana, while in Washington, D.C, women receive 91% of what men earn.

In 2014, the Senate Republicans refused to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. This law has been persistent on being passed since 2012, however once again for the third time, it was shot down by Congress. The Paycheck Fairness Act allows employers to talk about their wages more freely and easily. The Act also forces employers to explain why the different sexes earn different wages, and to close the pay gap between males and females. And while every Democrat voted for the bill to be passed, every Republican in the Senate voted against the bill, though claiming they support equal pay for equal work. The Senates reason for the refusal of the bill was that it would ‘increase civil lawsuits, and would be pointless since discrimination based on sexes is already illegal in the United States’.

 

Equal-pay

But if discrimination against the sexes is already illegal why do women only get paid 77 cents for every dollar a man earns? Why we do take away money from the people who need it the most? Single mothers who clothe our future leading Americans? Our grandmothers who raise us when our mothers are busy working? Our aunts, sisters, and cousins?

There are also some misconceptions about occupations that some jobs are meant or geared towards certain genders. But this is just sexist and limits both men and women from achieving their dream job. For example, while most people perceive nurses as a female job, there are many male nurses. Or females who are firefighters, or car engineers. While some jobs are better suited for one gender, it does not stop the other gender from doing the occupation they wish to work for.

The most noticeable form of oppression women face, is the social and sexual oppression cast down on women from the media, men, and even other women. We, as a society fail to protect our women that bear, raise, and teach our children that grow up to replace us as Americans with time.

In the 1900s the ideal woman was a stay at home mom who cleaned the house, cooked for the family, and waited for her husband to come home from work, all dressed up with a wine to offer as he came in through the door. Although women now are free from that social standard, women are still expected to follow up on a new set of standards given to us by what the media and society believes how women should act.

Men do not shave their body hair, because it is considered manly. But what does ‘manly’ even mean? Why are women frowned upon when they do not shave their body hair? The only hair they are expected to have are facial hairs and sometimes arm hair. Womens’ body hair is no different from a males’ and yet we are chained by the notion that we have to shave it off in order to be visually appealing to others. Why do women need to shave away apart of their body that  actually benefits us in cold temperatures?

Women are also not allowed to be bare breasted at a beach or on a hot day, when in fact there is minimal difference between the breast of a male and a females. The  only difference  between the male and female breast is a sack of fatty milk. Both a male and females breasts have the clavicle, pectoral major muscle, nipple, and the areola. Though the breast of a woman’s is used differently than a mans, it is proven that a male can produce breast milk just like a womans, if met under the right conditions.

Another argument posed against the covering of the female breast is that they are sexual organs. But the main purpose of the female breast is used for the feeding of a newborn baby, not to sexually please the sexes. While it is true that some women may use them in a sexual way, many men also do them as such.

When women sit with their legs open it is also frowned upon by others because it is considered ‘inappropriate.’ Although when men do it, it is sometimes considered rude or vulgar, when women do it, they receive harsher warnings, and more judgement. While it is true that men do not share the same gentials as women, their purpose is the same. They are told to be more ‘ladylike’, when ‘manly’ and ‘ladylike’ are just sexist terms that bind genders to act a certain way.

Men were originally given the role to flirt and chase after the girl. When men flirt with multiple women, he is a ‘player’, and other males look up to him as a role model to get ladies. However, when women do the same thing, they are considered ‘trashy’. Why is that? Is it because it is deemed ‘unladylike’? When males get laid, others pat them on the back as a congratulations, while women get called ‘sluts.’ Men are encouraged to go after their urges, while women are taught to be ashamed of them.

Many women are afraid to walk alone, or even with other people because of the fear that they will be kidnapped, or raped. Many women are afraid to leave their drinks alone at a party for a fear that someone will spike their drink. And yet many people wonder why girls travel in packs: to the bathroom, to a party, or even to a classroom. Well, maybe its because they’re just afraid that something will happen to them if they are alone.

The media “portray women in a different way than they actually are,” Serrano Engligh teacher Mrs. Wallace argues. This gives the younger generation a different view of how women should be, compared to how they actually are. Movies, music videos, and T.V commercials only show women who are exceptionally beautiful, with flawless skin, and a near perfect smile. This unconsciously gives the younger generation a higher set of expectations, resulting in disappointment, low-esteem, self-confidence issues, and anxiety.

From a young age women are raised in an environment in which they need to be visually appealing for others. “Anorexia develops most often in teenage girl and young women.” (Glencoe Health.) This quote from our very own school’s health textbook. And when students needs to be taught that the leading factor of anorexia are from teenage females with low-esteem, because of what girls are raised believing what they should be, then we as parents and as a society have failed our new generation.

There is a huge misconception about women that they must be skinny to be beautiful or to get a boyfriend. They need to be smart, or innocent, or even wear make-up. But thats not true. Women don’t need to be visually appealing for others, and this is the same for men. Individuals need to be content with themselves before they try to take on the approval of another person. Insecurities don’t go away, not even when you grow up, so at least accept them.

we can do it

When women stand up for their rights, they called feminazis. They are accused of making a big deal of everything, trying to ‘overpower’ men, and are called ‘men-haters’. But, feminists only want to gain an equal standing as men. There is nothing wrong with wanting equal rights, and it would be considered strange if someone was against the idea of another human trying to gain equality.

However, men are not the only ones to blame for the modern day oppression of women. “Everyone is fault for how women are treated, including other women. We are all at fault as a society,” believes Mrs. Wallace. The point of having full independence and equal rights are so women are able to do things on their own such as open doors for themselves or to defend themselves. Because there is a disbelief that men are supposed to take care of women, women take this as an excuse/advantage against men. For example, “men are not supposed to hit women,” some women use this ‘rule’ to use violence. While it is true that a man should never lay a hand on a women, a women should never lay a hand on a man either.

Although its already 2015, female discrimination is still playing a huge role in America. There are more than one circumstance in which women are on the end of sexual, financial, and social oppression though the law states discrimination to both sexes are illegal. However, this is just more evidence to support the fact that the society we live in are turning a blind eye to the oppression faced by women.

 

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1 Comment

One Response to “Women still face oppression today in U.S.”

  1. David on April 4th, 2017 2:55 pm

    Actually, women in America are the most privileged and protected people on the planet… and yet still wine about points that have been continually debunked and no longer relevant. The wage gap is only a general sum of all wages, and doesn’t include many other factors for the supposed imbalance.

    [Reply]

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Women still face oppression today in U.S.