Gender Inequality: Pointless whining or sad reality?
Gender equality remains a controversial subject in America today nearly 100 years after women were allowed the right to vote. That’s because a lot of people think it’s already been achieved.
Yet studies have found that men are more likely to be chosen for jobs than equally qualified women. Along with this comes the infamous wage gap. Women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. While it’s hard to determine how much of this is due to direct discrimination, it’s definitely a factor. The pay gap is even worse for women of color.
In politics, women represent only 18 percent of congressional seats, and a woman has never won her respective party’s nomination for POTUS.
Inequality goes beyond the work force, however. Social conditioning and expected gender roles are incredibly confining for women and girls. Women are also undoubtedly judged more for their looks than anything else.
Here on campus, benevolent sexism is rampant. Elements of this are seen in dress code rules, male “chivalry” and the perception that women must be protected or cared for by men. Benevolent sexists ultimately have a narrow view of acceptable behaviors for women.
Last fall’s Yik Yak debacle shows that on-campus sexism is often far worse than benevolence. It may seem like harmless jokes, but sexist humor contributes to a hostile atmosphere and has been shown as correlatory to sexism and sexually aggressive behavior in men.
It’s time for men to stop the joking and whining anytime a women’s issue is brought up. It’s time to stop asking whether inequality exists, and time to man up and start figuring out what we can do to stop it.