Combating Gender Stereotypes: Social Impact

By Kayleene Wopershall, Trending Writer

In recent years, women have begun to speak up and demand equal rights to men. The feminist groups, which include men as well as women, have been advocating for more and more justice for women. What has mainly sparked this nationwide outrage are the constant injustices when a woman seeks legal help for being sexually assaulted.

In 2015, the well-known Brock Turner case went viral. In January of the same year, a 19-year-old woman woke up in the hospital, battered and bruised, completely unaware of the disgusting act that had been done to her. The trial ensued and Turner had been sentenced to six months in jail, because, according to the judge, anything more would have a “severe impact on him”. He ended up being released after 3 months for good behavior, which enlisted a nation-wide uproar. A great deal of the backlash from this case was due to the fact that the judge and articles written about the case focused mainly on the fact that Turner was a Stanford swimmer rather than about the actual rape case. This case has brought a lot of attention to the problem of rape culture in this society and the lack of awareness about the issues surrounding rape.

This is only one instance of how rape culture has evolved in recent years and there are plenty more just like it. Women are being blamed for being raped based on how they dress, how much they consume alcohol, etcetera, when, really, the only ones to blame are the people who make the decision to have sex with someone without consent. It is sad to say that cases like these are needed to raise awareness about rape culture and how to prevent further injustices. Hopefully in the coming years there will more understanding about rape culture and how to combat it.

Some current stereotypes about women include but are not limited to how they are soft-spoken, submissive, and subservient. Therefore, when women start to defy these stereotypes, society tries to push them back to keep things the way they are. Society does not do well with change, so when something starts to, a war breaks out to keep the ‘natural order’.  Women cannot back down from this war, though, because the results of the defeat will set them back even further than where they began.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 8th print edition.

Contact Kayleene at

kayleene.wopershall@student.shu.edu

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