Sexism: A Past or Prevalent Issue?
By Abby Rollinger
Implementing the Nineteenth Amendment served as the initial gateway that opened a vast amount of opportunities and rights for women over the years, yet the struggle for complete gender equality is still a prevailing fight in today’s world. Whether it is in the form of sexual harassment or a lack of equivalent pay, present-day women still experience the adverse effects of sexism in their daily lives.
The Everyday Sexism Project is a website where women all over the globe write about their personal encounters with sexism. While reading through the countless stories recorded on the page, it is hard to decide whether to be more shocked or disgusted over the absolute disrespect and unwarranted treatment these women have faced. One entry, submitted by a woman named Alex, says, “My friend said her (male) friend’s opinion was that he couldn’t understand why girls would dress-up nice if they didn’t want that kind of attention….. Feel free to think I look nice, but don’t think ‘looking nice’ equates to ‘wanting to be touched by random strangers’.” Many people, especially men, choose to remain ignorant to the fact that sexism is a current issue in society, and this is a perfect example of that. Women have been bestowed with expectations of constant poise, intelligence, beauty and overall appeal. The problem is, while attempting to live up to these notions, women are accused of instigating the vulgar and sometimes harmful actions of men against them. Rape and sexual assault are unfortunate common occurrences, but are often overlooked because the victimized women were “asking for it”. “Funnily enough,” Alex continues, “most girls will tell you they like to look nice for themselves before anyone else.”
Rights such as equal pay are still nonexistent between the genders. According to a study conducted by Forbes’s website, women earn an average of 80 cents to every dollar a man makes in the United States while performing the exact same work, sometimes at the same company or business. Tarcherbooks.net also researched this issue and discovered that “women get fewer promotions; they are critiqued for exhibiting ‘masculine’ leadership traits (such as showing anger); often they are either categorized as ‘likeable’ or ‘competent’ but not both; and they face harsher judgment and consequences than men” in the workplace. Any two persons, male or female, who have successfully completed identical work should receive equal opportunity, treatment, and pay- plain and simple. However, this is not currently the case, and that is why women must continue to seek the equality they deserve.
The women of today’s world are just as educated, talented, experienced, and strong as their male counterparts, and it is time they are treated as such. Traditional gender roles need to be thrown out the window and replaced with a new norm for women that constitutes their equality in society. Before this can happen, though, women need to stop playing the damsel in distress and start being the hero of their own story. Unless the female sex as a whole begins to push-forward towards the complete disbandment of sexism, there will always be a reason to hold women back from basic civil liberties. Roll up your sleeves and hike up those metaphorical skirts that have been forced upon our gender, ladies; it’s time to take a stand.