The reality of my gender manifests itself on a daily basis. There is this feeling of defeat that comes with being born a female, and no matter what I do I will never reach my full potential. There is a glass ceiling that will not crack regardless of my efforts.
According to the United States Census, women make up 50 percent of the population, therefore we also make up 50 percent of the voter population. Women are becoming more and more prevalent in the workforce, but if those numbers reflect reality, then why are women earning roughly $10,000 less annually than men, according to the U.S. Census? Women work just as hard as men and deserve equal pay.
My years in school have taught me gender is a product of socialization. I have been taught to be deferential, presentable and voiceless by the media and social interactions. I have been told this is a man’s world, and all I can do is play along with their rules or I do not get to play, period. How can I be OK or even content with being a mere participant in my own life? What has to happen for women to be equally viewed by society? I am so tired of always feeling this Western pressure of beauty, of what the media depicts as the “perfect” woman. I am so tired of being called crazy or abrasive every time I voice my opinion on a subject. These issues are still around and need to be addressed again and again until a difference has been made.
I will continue to express my thoughts until I see women are no longer targets of negative labeling and unfair treatment. Women all over the world are facing indifferent attitudes from their counterparts when it comes to equality. It seems every time I read the news or catch a headline on TV as I walk past my living room, all I hear is a recount of a woman who has been raped or a woman who has been kidnapped or murdered, and no one observing or reporting this news seem to flinch. It is almost as if it has now become commonplace.
The World Economic Forum reports that Iceland was the number one country for gender equality, while the U.S. ranked 23rd out of 136 countries observed, and Yemen was the last on the board. According to USA Today, the literacy gap between women and men in Yemen is 49/82 percent, respectively. It seems lack of education might play a major role in most other countries in gender inequality, but many or relatively more women in the U.S. have access to education, which does not excuse the unequal way women are being treated.
Many of us contribute to this problem without realizing it when men expect women to act subservient and when women expect men to be breadwinners. None of this is fair. When we support expectations, all we are doing is setting ourselves up for failure. In order to make a difference, men need to recognize women as equals, and women need to stop accepting society’s unfair treatment.