Combating Gender Stereotypes: The Dark Side

By Margarita Williamson, Trending Writer

It’s been 96 years since the 19th amendment granted American women the right to vote. The traditional roles and expectation of women have changed in a number of ways. This year, Hillary Clinton became the first woman to receive the presidential nominee from a major political party. According to Washington Post, “women today get the majority of college degrees in America.” Women raise families and build successful careers outside of their homes. All combat jobs in the military are now open to women.

In the last several decades, women have made great strides toward equality, but there is still work to be done. Institutionalized sexism continues to plague our nation. Women and girls across the country are faced with gender-based obstacles on a daily basis in all aspects of life. There has not been much progress in the representation of women in the media. Women are too often sexualized and objectified. The 2011 documentary “Misrepresentation” revealed the ways in which women are commonly negatively attacked and disrespected. Even as world champions, the U.S. women’s national soccer team was compensated significantly less than past men’s teams. Women make up half of the U.S. population yet they are underrepresented in major political roles.

The Women’s Rights Movement did not set out to destroy men but to lift the barriers that prevented women from gaining the basic rights that men were granted. Feminism is defined by the Oxford dictionary as the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of equality of the sexes, but the term ‘feminist’ is often associated with negative connotations. It may seem difficult to believe that anybody would be against women having equal pay and equal access to educational opportunities. The concept that feminists hate men has corrupted what it means to be a feminist.

Women are now more likely to have a “seat at the table”, but they do not earn as much as their male colleagues. Nationally there has been an ongoing debate centered on why and how the wage gap has come to exist. The wage gap is prevalent throughout the U.S. According to PolitiFact Georgia, the gap was a low of 66.6 cents in Wyoming to a high of 90 cents in Washington, D.C., in 2010.

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

Contact Margarita at

margarita.williamson@student.shu.edu

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