Monday, June 23, 2014

Women's Equal Rights

"Women are now considered equal to Men, under the eyes of the law."

As a student new to Women's Studies, I was astounded to see the degree to which the laws, traditions, and general understandings have been skewed against women in every way, shape, form, and fashion.  A popular figure bantered about this year is the gathered fact that, "women make 77% of what men do for the same jobs."  Missing from this static is the fact that women gave birth to 100% of the babies.

This fact among all others, is the leading force dictating all of their lives, even if they never partake.  No where can one find a metric, for how much this process is 'worth' to the individual or to society as a whole.  How would one compare the ability to produce another person, to the ability to lead your team to an NBA Championship?  Clearly, our society 'values' these two abilities differently.  However, one thing is certain, one sex has more options, more freedoms, and more capitalistic opportunity than the other, in the world today.  Here in America it is no different.  It might be surprising to non-history students to learn that those who were slaves and freed were given the right to vote before women.

Today, besides being paid less to do the same jobs, women face standards and policies that are different than men, and these differences lead to outright biases, literally double standards, and then blatant sexism.  Jobs should have singular standards for that position.  Creating second class requirements for women, be the job firefighter, marine, or law enforcement officer, these 'gender norming standards' enlist subpar participants, and thus a valid reason to discriminate.

The problem is that many view women as different than men, and rightfully so.  However, different here, does not mean the same thing as separate from Brown v Board of Education.  Women are capable of giving birth, but this should not mean they are unequal to men, they are simply different.  The solution is for women to demand to be held to the same standards as men.  They should demand to compete against them head to head in sports events.  We should stop holding women to lower standards and begin treating the sexes as true equals.

Until women rewarded for their choice to give birth, rather than penalized for it, and are allowed to compete equally then inequality may well rule the day.

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