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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