The U.S., Women, and the Glorification of Men: Are We All Truly Created Equal?

Womens rightsHello everyone, I’m back from my vacation, and as promised am attempting to write another blog entry. One subject that has been on my mind a lot lately, is the one of gender equality (or lack thereof). I think most people have this fantasy that since women were “allowed” the right to vote, that everything became this wonderful place for both women and men alike and that we all have the same rights, but reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Last week, I read some posts on another blog that I found particularly upsetting. The entire blog seemed to be a full out attack on feminism, the role of women in our society, and gender equality, and is, of course, written by a man. Statements along the lines of the following appear on his blog:

A myth has been being perpetuated that women need to have a successful career in order to find meaning and happiness. Working at home helping your husband will bring greater joy, peace, and happiness for everyone.

50

I don’t quite know where to begin with this quote… In this single statement the author makes it seem like working women are somehow delusion and can’t be happy while working, and then goes on to imply that all women should be married and must depend on a man for “greater joy, peace, and happiness for everyone.” Sure, there may be some women that want to stay at home to cook, clean, and raise their children, that is their individual choice… But there are also women that are perfectly happy pursuing careers, husbands who are happy staying home raising the children, cooking, and cleaning, homes where both the husband and wife work by choice or by necessity, and even households made up of two wives or two husbands, which I’m sure is completely outside of the authors accepted reality. We are all individuals, with individual dreams, individual goals, and individual lives, and what is good for one person may not necessarily be good for another.

Besides that quote, (which is just the tip of the iceberg), there are countless others, equally as upsetting… Just to give a general idea, here are a few entry titles:

7 (8) Reasons Why Women Should not be Cops(This includes such “reasons” as “it is not in a woman’s makeup,” it is “setting a bad example for children,” and it is “usurping/stealing a man’s intended role.”)

God does not Support Equal Oppurtunity(What can I even say about this? How much arrogance can a person truly have to claim to speak for God? Did Jesus ever mention anything about women being less than men? If so, I can’t recall the scripture…) 

The blog says several different things like this, ranging from such statements as “women should have long hair and dress pretty” to “women shouldn’t be in the military / police force” etc… I don’t want to completely attack this blog, but at first I thought that “this is just one random person, it can’t possible be a widespread view…” Then I started noticing (just in the last week) different articles highlighting just how far away the United States is when it comes to true gender equality.

The first article that caught my attention was one on thinkprogress.com, that discussed the global gender gap report. In this report, which ranks the world’s nations on gender equality, the United States ranked… Take a guess… You think it’s number one? Think again… Concerning gender equality, the United States ranked number 23. This study uses four categories to judge equality (each broken up further into sub-categories), 1) Economic participation and opportunity, 2) Educational attainment, 3) Health and Survival, and 4) Political empowerment. I think we would all like to think this sort of thing is isolated to some of the more backwater places in the south, or smaller towns, but then you see things like the blog I discussed, or issues like Steubenville / Maryville where rape victims are made to feel worthless by their communities. Daisy Coleman, of the Maryville Mo. Case, stated in one of her own online essays:
“I sat alone in my room, most days, pondering the worth of my life.{… I burned and carved the ugly I saw into my arms, wrists, legs and anywhere I could find room. On Twitter and Facebook, I was called a skank and a liar and people encouraged me to kill myself. Twice, I did try to take my own life.”

This poor girl was victimized not once, but twice; first by her despicable rapist, then by her despicable community, all because of the glorification of men, especially athletes, in our society.

MC VmaNow let’s consider the entertainment industry. Let’s take the Miley Cyrus/VMA incident for example. After the “show” that Miley Cyrus and Robyn Thicke put on, Miley Cyrus was demonized by the media. I saw Facebook posts calling her a whore, saying she went off the deep end, and saying that she was a horrible example for young girls everywhere. Sure, what she did was distasteful, but… Was she the only one on the stage? As another article I read pointed out (although I don’t have the link for it…) We have a man singing about the blurred lines of sexual consent, but all of the attention is focused on the half naked girl singing and dancing along with him. Absolutely no outrage is shown for the man involved in the situation, and we wonder why we keep seeing incidents of rape and abuse popping up in the news? Well, here’s a news-flash, when pop-culture glorifies men who demean and abuse women, then the rest of our culture will probably mimic that behavior.  I recently heard a kid in my current class say:

Girls like when you treat them badly.”

And he said it with a completely straight face!  To me it seems young men actually believe this garbage! With what is presented by the media, why wouldn’t they? 

Even with all of the things already discussed, people will probably still say that it isn’t a majority of our country. So for those people let’s look at the gender pay-scale. A study done by the U.S. Census Bureau stated:

The changes in the real median earnings of men and women who worked full time, year- round between 2011 and 2012 were not statistically significant. In 2012, the median earnings of women who worked full time, year-round ($37,791) was 77 percent of that for men working full time, year-round ($49,398) ─ not statistically different from the 2011 ratio. The female-to-male earnings ratio has not experienced a statistically significant annual increase since 2007.”

77 cents to every dollar that a man makes… Do you think it would be fair if you were making 23% less than another person that has the same experience and tenure simply because you weren’t the “right” gender? I don’t know about you, but I would be seriously pissed off. There is absolutely no reason for this pay inequality except for a long instilled sense in our culture that men are somehow better than women.  

If we still have some people that would doubt the severe gender inequality in our country, we need look only to our Congress. Surely… Surely, if a majority of the American people believe in gender equality there would be some sort of mirroring in the representatives that we vote for… Sadly, it simply isn’t so. According to thisnation.com:

While the partisan composition of the Congress is fairly close to that of the electorate, there are larger disparities between the Congress and the general citizenry in term of sex and race. In the House, there are currently 362 men and 76 women. In the Senate, there are 17 women and 83 men.”

HC ButtonsThis means that only 17% of our elected Congressional representatives are female. Considering women outnumber men in this country, that number is sad indeed. Then we have incidents like the one concerning the Hillary Clinton buttons at a Republican convention (shown to the side) that attacked her not because of her political choices, but because the size of her breasts and her “fat thighs.”

This is the type of culture that we currently live in, and it deeply saddens me. When I think of the future, I hate the thought of my niece not having the same opportunities that my nephew will, simply because our society holds this attitude that men are better because they’re men. People like my mother, who is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known, and my sister who is one of the most passionate when it comes to politics, have proven to me that women can work just as hard as men, that they are just as smart (if not smarter in many cases) than men, and they should have an equal place in our society and in our culture. I think that our nation is in drastic need of change when it comes to gender views, but it isn’t going to happen unless we all reject this misogynistic attitude for what it is, and throw it in the garbage where it belongs.

Written By: James Garcia (10/29/13)

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/10/25/2835631/womens-equality-23/ (Think Progress’s article on gender equality)

http://www.weforum.org/reports/global-gender-gap-report-2013 (the gender gap report)

http://disciplesperspective.com/ (a link to the blog discussed, so you can read it for yourself)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/gender-wage-gap_n_3941180.html

http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/income_wealth/cb13-165.html

http://thisnation.com/congress-facts.html

5 thoughts on “The U.S., Women, and the Glorification of Men: Are We All Truly Created Equal?

  1. chialphagirl

    This is a weird topic for me because, in my day to day life, I never feel or see this behavior. But I do read a lot of it on the internet. I suspect it is because we use the internet to say things that we really think but don’t feel we can say in real life.

    I used to work in aircraft with 300 guys and 4 women. I never had a incident except for once when a co-worker told me that he thought that women liked to be sexually harassed. In the ensuing conversation he told me that he thought that women just wanted attention and so they made stuff up.

    It just blew my mind that people still thought that way.

    1. I’ve seen various instances of this sort of talk throughout my life, most coming from family members. I’ve heard some say things like “a woman can’t be president because women are too emotional,” as well as the “normal” “women are supposed to serve their husband” talk, all of which came from women, which I found odd… It blows my mind as well that there are still people that cling to that sort of thing, especially when it comes from women. Why would any woman want to condemn her entire gender to forced servitude? I can see if a woman (or a man) WANTS to stay home with the kids and be the stay-at-home type, but saying that is the only role to “allow” them is just ridiculous any way it is phrased. Everyone should have the right to make the choices they want in their lives, and we should all have equal access to the same opportunities. I was just shocked that the statistics still show that there is such an imbalance in our society. It seems like America should be the leader in equality, but sadly in so many areas we are not.

  2. Got onto your blog when I got followed by the guy who wrote the anti-female police officer post. Which I didn’t expect… I mainly write book reviews and pop culture stuff, although I have never hidden my feminist leanings!
    Anyway just to say, thanks for this piece, it’s helped me wash my brain out.

    1. Oh good! Yeah that blog upset me as well, to say the least. Whenever I come across something so…. 50’s… It shocks me to see that there are still people that believe that way…. It’s really hard to believe….

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