Gender Inequality

For the majority of this post, I will be discussing women’s issues to prove the gender inequality in our society. Cultural and social life has improved since the 1900s, but gender inequality still exists. Let’s look at the statistics of how women don’t have equal rights to men ranging from finance to social stance. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women make twenty-two percent less than men, meaning women’s median annual salary is 78% of how much men make for the same quantity of work. Women who were born women, or someone who identifies themselves as a woman is paid less than men ,when both parties contribute the same amount of work and this is due to sex discrimination. Sex discrimination all stems back to patriarchy and patriarchy hurts us all.

pa·tri·ar·chy

1. social organization marked by the supremacy of the father in the clan or family, the legal dependence of wives and children, and the reckoning of descent and inheritance in the male line; broadly :  control by men of a disproportionately large share of power

This basically means that men have a monopoly in power and women are subject to submit to it. The patriarch is similar to gender roles in which both have a set of rules and limitations as to how a sex should act or be. I will list some gender roles below:

      Men:

  • should be emotionally strong
  • should be able to support family, the “breadwinner”
  • should have muscles or look “macho” to look masculine

    Women:

  • should be able to cook or clean
  • should take care of the kids while the husband is gone
  • should look effeminate

 

As a kid growing up, I learned that men should be emotionally strong and that if they were to show any sign of vulnerability they would be labeled as “feminine”, implying that being feminine is a bad thing. Because women are portrayed as weak by vulnerability,men who are “weak” don’t comply to the cultural’s norms which results in the individual being ostracized.Vulnerability isn’t an emotion only women have, it doesn’t matter what gender you are because it’s a human emotion regardless of gender. Another thing I learned was that men should be able to support their families while their wives take care of the children at home. This leaves men to another disadvantage because they are pressured into thinking that they should be the sole resource for income, the men pay for everything while the women spend it and in return women are expected to submit to the men. Men should also look “manly” and by “manly” I mean men should look muscular, have lots of body hair, and have a deep voice. Genetics aren’t things you can control ,so why should you put limitations on one’s appearance? Some people don’t naturally have a lot of body hair or a deep voice, and if a man isn’t muscular he is then again ostracized for not looking like how men are supposed to look.

I’ve heard the “get back in the kitchen” and “make me a sandwich” slogans about a billion times through memes and social media and this is infuriating because it implies that this is all what women are good for-cooking and cleaning. Cooking and cleaning aren’t the only things women can do, women can acquire the same skills as men as long as they get an equal education. I’ve also heard that women should stay at home and take care of the kids, initially the work differences between sexes balances out, men go to work, while women take care of the household, but it’s portrayed in a way to dehumanize both genders. It’s perpetuated that men aren’t allowed to have a woman dominating him, while a woman should let a man dominate her. Taking care of the household doesn’t give you much of an option of getting a job, so it’s expected out of women that they don’t need to get a job because the husband will provide everything for them. So what happens if a woman wants to get a job so that she doesn’t have to rely on someone else? Again, women are ostracized so that being independent is seen a bad thing because it doesn’t fit the society’s norms. It’s unfair that we are assigned to be a certain way when we are born.

In 535 occupied seats of congress, only 18.5% are women. A good example to show why it’s bad to have a majority of men in congress when 50% of women should hold seat, is abortion. Why should men have a say in whether women can abortion or not, abortion is only possible through women because only women are able to conceive a child. It’s better to have more women in congress because it allows us to expand our viewpoint, but how can we better our country and press gender equality if there are only a minority of representatives to support the minority? The answer is you can’t, until more women get elected into congress to reach the equilibrium with men, gender inequality will still be present.

When it comes to mobility and sexual violence, women get it worse than men.In some countries, women are restricted to having a passport or riding a vehicle, and when women do have the right to travel by vehicle they’re often hindered by the threat of rape or attack to go outside. According to the national intimate partner and sexual violence survey, 1 in 5 women had been raped or had experienced a rape attempt, 1 in 4 reported being beaten by an intimate partner, and 1 in 6 women had been stalked. I grew up hearing stories about women getting raped, so it’s not hard to find how easily women are attacked. This doesn’t mean that men aren’t sexually assaulted, it’s just more apparent that more women are affected by sexual violence than men.

In some countries women aren’t able to own land, this means that some women are trapped into abusive marriages, and the inability to own land keeps them from breaking out of the poverty cycle. All deeds need the name of a man so if the man dies, the property isn’t handed over to you even if you had worked on the land for your whole life. The inability to hold land leaves widows homeless, and in some cases women stay in abusive marriages so that they can survive because they can’t support themselves.

Many of women’s rights involve men being dominant, and women being submissive, this furthers the idea that women are existing so we can help men, not ourselves. This only proves how women are viewed as inferior when compared to men, in conclusion men have more rights and are placed higher on the social hierarchy than women.

gender inequality

pay equity info: http://www.pay-equity.org/info-time.html

pay gap research: http://www.iwpr.org/publications/pubs/the-gender-wage-gap-2013/

congress make up: http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/fast_facts/levels_of_office/Current_Numbers.php

violence statistics: http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/nisvs/index.html

women limited to transportation and land ownership: http://www.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/examples-gender-inequality-around-world.htm

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It’s Better to be Deaf than to Hear the things You Only Want to Hear

I’ve been reading this novel, 1984 and there was a scene where the main character, Winston, had a flashback to a time where the thought police didn’t exist and the government wasn’t tyrannical. The thought police gather those who commit thought crimes, who then get executed and erased from history. A thought crime is when you start becoming self-aware of your surroundings, and it’s taught that people are trained to see whether you’re following the status quo. Fear is instilled within the people of Oceania which ultimately makes the government more powerful. They’re taught to not think for themselves, to accept any given information only based on the fact that what the government says, is what’s true. I wonder before all of this, how this came to be, how individuals failed to defend their self expression; this is just fiction, but questions still dawn on me. If totalitarianism took over, how would our generation react to this change and would anyone even react at all? Is it possible to lose our own control to a higher power that is the result of our decisions? In some ways I believe it can go either way, there is an equal possibility of our government streaming to totalitarianism and it not. Again, I’m not saying the government is what can make the state totalitarian, but ourselves that hold the most control. For those of us living in America, we’re able to express opinions without having someone validate what we say before we say it. We have one of the greatest gifts mankind can hold, which is free speech. We’ve been practicing free speech for millenniums and it seems as if our creativity is limitless. But like all generations, there is always a flaw. We silence those who we don’t want to listen to, even if it’s working for our benefit and this becomes arbitrary. It’s through our selfishness that we begin to silence the things that we don’t want to hear however this is limited to trolls online or offline because honestly trolls are just ridiculous, no one needs to pay attention to them. You need to be open to new ideas, if you’re only listening to the things you want to hear, you’d be better off being deaf. The majority of this generation would be better off not being able to hear anything and I say this because we act without reason, we adapt to what our ancestors or the generation before us did and we don’t learn from it. We don’t understand that some things are wrong and we don’t question it, we merely accept it, just like how the sheep-people in 1984 accept whatever the government tells them what to do because they make the decision unconsciously to think without logic. We are the problem and we need to fix it. There was once an experiment where monkeys were put into a cage with bananas stuck at the top of a ladder, each time one of the monkeys went to get the bananas,  the other monkeys would get soaked with water. The other monkeys eventually beat up the one that reached for the bananas and so that monkey was replaced. The new monkey did the same thing and reached for the bananas, and the other monkeys would get soaked so they beat up the new monkey and so they understood that every time anyone reached for the bananas there would be a punishment. The new monkey understood this and when another monkey was put in and did the same thing, the new monkey joined in on the brutality. This is a paradox to how things are now or have been. These technical terms like “girly” and “manly” are examples of gender roles that we should abide by, but why? Who decided the color pink was “girly” and that drinking beer and watching football is “manly”? This is only a portion of how we as a society hold our values and punish those who are beyond what is considered the “norm” just because the people before us acted this way. But at the same time, we’re learning to question ourselves and why we hold such values and this community is growing. This is a vast improvement and I can only hope this movement presses forward.


yas

How Should Loners be Viewed?

In society’s eyes, being alone can be viewed as a questionable and foreign behavior. When we see someone sitting alone we tend to shift towards the negative reasons of why someone would be alone. We all know how it feels to be inadvertently alone in public, but even with perspective we continue to assume that people who are alone are weird. There are moments where it seems like everyone is in conversation, but you. So you start to question yourself and your social standing and wonder whether no one is talking to you because you have a piece of lettuce from the salad you ate that day wedged between your teeth and you start thinking if you smell weird or give off a vibe that reads “back off”. All these little insecurities that weren’t there suddenly erupt like a volcano, and still you’re wondering whether you’re not good enough. Through these experiences, you conjure this idea that those who are alone, have the insecurities you thought about and so the cycle continues. Then there are the moments where some of us decide to be alone. I define solitude as having a thought or moment only to yourself. I think you can be surrounded by others and still be alone, I feel like the little discoveries and inquisitions you make is what sets you apart from talking to someone with talking with yourself(not literally though). The best time to be alone is any time especially if you’ve been on your computer or phone the whole day. Even though what others say might not affect you, there’s a notable difference of peace when you’re with someone versus when you aren’t. It’s great to take some time for yourself, it’s like a cheat day, but for your mind. The downside of being alone is that it can be boring and uncomfortable at first, but as soon as you pass through that uncomfortable phase, things start turning up and you might enjoy it more than you’d expect. If you don’t know where to start ,do the things you’d do with your friends, but by yourself. If you didn’t notice already, being alone is pretty fantastic so the next time you’re by yourself don’t resort to playing flappy bird on your smartphone, take the time to appreciate the moment you’re in, even if it’s bad. I guess being alone isn’t so weird after all.

home alone