Yesterday was International Women’s day. I figured that now would be an appropriate time to write my long time coming blog about women’s rights. So here it goes.
This is the 21st century and although men and women should be equal, we aren’t. For every dollar a man makes, women are payed 77 cents. Men are still the family breadwinners, while women are suppose to stay home and raise the kids. Currently, women make up only 18.5% of Congress.
This isn’t right.
From a young age, girls are often told, “girls can do anything boys can do but better”. So why is this not translating into society? I believe that social norms and stigmas are holding us back along with subtle sexism.
First off, there is the view that women are weaker than men. Women are suppose to stay home and clean and cook because those jobs are easier. Women are viewed as fragile.
Another factor that contributes to the view that women are weak is the stereotypical “she’s just being emotional”. Being sad or angry when you’re are a girl is easily blamed on the fact that you are a girl. Guys are just as emotional. The only difference is that they aren’t given shit for it because of their gender.
The whole idea that women are weak is bullshit. We can do anything a man can do. We can shoot a gun just as well as a man can. For godsake, we deliver the babies! If that doesn’t merit an award for strength then I don’t know what will. Women are strong and capable of much more than we are given credit for.
Secondly, there is the stigma that men are suppose to be the breadwinners. Men are expected to be alpha males, making the big bucks, while women raise the children. This stigma is diminishing slowly with more and more women becoming CEOs. However, it’s still there.
For example, one day at lunch, my friends got on the topic of our futures. I mentioned that I wanted to have a career first before I have children and that I had thought about raising children on my own without a spouse. My friends reaction at that was to gawk and say there was no way I would be able to do that. I said that if I did have kids, I would want my husband to stay at home with them so I could pursue my career. I mentioned that I would likely be the breadwinner. One of my friends flat out said, “Your husband is going to be the breadwinner.”
That pissed me off. Who was she to even say that? Shouldn’t she, as a woman, understand where I was coming from? Women are holding women back.
Last of all, anytime a female achieves a leadership role, she is often viewed as bitchy and bossy. While men in leadership roles, are neither. Let me tell you right now, there is no difference between the two, but because one is a woman and one is a man, they are treated differently.
So how do we fix these things?
I believe that we need to talk about this more. We need to empower females and legally make men and women equal.
The first step would be equal pay. How can we expect women to be treated equally to men when even our own government does not view us as equal?
I don’t understand how the Supreme Court has not ruled unequal pay as unconstitutional at this point. I think that is the first step to equality. To create a law that enforces equal pay. Then women might be seen as equals in the workforce.
I think that Sheryl Sandberg has the right idea in mind when it comes to talking about it more. Many people viewed her book, Lean In, as a bitch fest. I read it and it was not. She told the truth. But apparently society is not mature enough at this point to accept criticism.
I think one of the biggest problems in society is that we shy away from talking about anything that makes us uncomfortable. The only way to become more comfortable talking about controversial issues is to talk about them. Yes, it will be hard. But you have to start somewhere.
We have to teach young girls to dream big. We have to show them that they can do anything. That there are no limits.
The younger generation is the future of this country. We have the ability to change society.
We need to start with changing ourselves.