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Kat Chandler

Professor Rodrick

English 115 (2:00-3:15)

22 October 2017

We Are Not Weak

Women today have drastically changed from the domestic confinements the early

twentieth century had laid for them. Although many still believe women should remain in the

household, they have continued to prove themselves. Women are now in a society where it is

socially acceptable to work, pay mortgages, and live on your own without a shameful reference

being attached to it. Although there has been a massive improvement, we still find ourselves at a

standstill. Words such as dependent, inferior, and lower-status have all invaded the definition of

what a woman is. Despite their efforts to prove otherwise, women are viewed as less than a man.

Why are they still fighting to prove their worth? Some argue women are supposed to be

dependent on their husbands so they could take care of their children, yet there are single

mothers raising their children better than anyone else. Women deserve more credit. They are not

objects people can feat their eyes upon, but role models of our society. It saddens me to learn

how they are taught to conform to the society instead of simply embracing who they are.

Unfortunately, in todays society the cycle never ends. Women are constantly forced to conform

to society when they are really the victims, viewed as inferior in the male-dominated society, and

becoming tolerant of the fact that earning lower wages in the workplace is normal.

Public display of affection has never been a crime, but when it becomes unwanted

affection it is clearly unwelcomed. Women are typically viewed less as a person and more of an

object. Most, if not all women are taught at a young age to alter their appearance to avoid

harassment. Why is it that men are not taught at a young age to show respect? The idea of if you

wore a longer skirt or longer shorts should never even apply if a woman is being harassed on

the street. Putting women at fault for such a horrendous act is insane. People should be taught to

respect people, regardless of their race, gender, or sexual orientation because acts like cat-

calling can lead to an avoidable sex-crimes. Many may argue how outlawing cat-calling is

like outlawing women from dressing in skirts above the knee, however there needs to be some

way to halt these actions in a legal manner. Verbal assault can always lead to much worse than a

slap to the face. In recent news, a woman in Detroit was shot and killed because she refused to

exchange numbers with a stranger on the street. It all started with a cat-call. According to

Hafeezah Nazim, author of the article No More Cat-Calling, she discusses what a harassment

street calling is stating that it is offensive, invasive, and makes [women] feel uncomfortable.

[Women] should not and will not just "accept" your "compliments", we just want to be left alone

and to be treated like human beings. Even though this is one persons opinion, no one should

have to overcome events like these, male or female. Cat-calling is degrading, frustrating, and

rude. People deserve to be treated like human beings not objects of the eye. We are all educated

humans that have feelings, personalities, and minds that function better than any other species.

We deserve to be treated like it. Women should not be told to conform to a society that should

have changed long ago. One key element to start change is through pop culture because it has

such a heavy influence on our societys public space. Music about respect instead of the latest

hook-up can help tremendously. Another way to start change is to begin showing modern-day

films and novels with women as the lead roles instead of the damsel in distress. Changing the

approach in things we see every day can both empower women and start a change in our society.

Shift from their stereotypical viewpoints like weak women and strong men because everyone

should be described as strong people who are not to be messed with. This is the way to end the

reign of putting women at fault for the vicious outbursts people project. It all starts with what

you see and what you see is what you get.

Being told that you are not good enough can take a toll on anyone. Especially if it is over

something you have no control over, like your biological gender. The glass-ceiling effect is

taking over once again. Females are inferior to males, at least that is what society claims. Again,

the media causes this idea. It makes people feel, shift, and challenge ideas like gender norms.

According to Stephanie Webb, author of Do we think Children need a mom or dad? she

discusses how gender stereotypes are created and maintained due to the roles that men and

women (in particular heterosexual, men and women) are expected to fill based on norms and

practices that are determined by biological sex and power differentials. The idea that these

norms have affected us so greatly over time and are still challenging us today is absurd. In the

workplace, there is a gender norm. Even titles given in the workplace has a gender-specific

notation. For example, the word secretary has a more male-dominant symbolization and

receptionist has a more female-dominant symbolization. Even words involving the medical field

like doctor (male) versus nurse (female). Regardless if the person is a female doctor or a male

nurse, the notations will always be there. With this comes hierarchy and expectations. The doctor

who is higher than the nurse on the educational/intelligence status is a male. The nurse who is

high, but lower than the doctor on the educational/intelligence status is a female. It is more than

titles, it is a class system that weaves its way through mindsets of both genders. When it comes

to expectations in the workplace, appearance is a key factor. It greatly contributes to the idea of

women being inferior to men. It is viewed as socially acceptable for a man to walk into his office

with a five oclock shadow, however, a woman even slightly untidy can be viewed as

unpresentable. This originates from women being viewed as inferior and must always look their

best, but men because they dominate the society can mostly look as they please. Equality is

necessary and no gender should overpower the other.

Although many people view women equal to men and think our attention should shift

toward other social issues, they fail to understand suppressing the problem will never make it go

away. Wage differences between men and women have been debated over for years. Some argue

women do not work as much as men or work fewer days due to maternity leave. Others argue

women are simply incompetent and do not deserve equal pay. It is surprising to see how close-

minded people are. Even if all of this were true, which it is not, people who work the same job

with the same experience level and same work ethic deserve the same pay. This regardless of

gender, race, age, or sexuality. According to Bob Sanders, author of Wage Gap for Women

Persists in New Hampshire, womens median wages were 71 percent of men's wages for the

same work in 2008, said Brown. But women earned 77 percent of comparable men's wages that

year. Lower wages for women have been viewed as an injustice for the past century, yet the

problem still stands. How does this happen? Two people completing the same tasks, doing the

same work, yet receiving different wages. Wage gap also exists between different ethnicities

within the female society. African-American and Hispanic-American women receive the lowest

amount of income when compared to women of the same field and different ethnicities. The is a

world-wide problem. If women were viewed as equal then they would receive equal pay, but

they are not. Time needs to revolutionize.

Even though times are changing there are still chains that need to be broken. Women are

constantly forced to conform to a society where they are the victims. We are viewed as inferior

in the male-dominated society yet have accomplished so much more now than ever. We deserve

equal pay not lower wages. Bringing issues like these to light is what starts successful

movements. There will be a time when women are equal to men, but it is us who determine when

that time is. All genders are to be cherished and respected not forced into a social status. I think

now is the time when we finally prove we are not weak.


Works Cited:

Hafeezah, Nazim. "No More Cat-Calling. Nov 16, 2014, University Wire Global News stream,

ProQuest. Accessed 24 October 2017.

Sanders, Bob. Wage Gap for Women Persists in New Hampshire: In the Most Recent Analysis,

Women Earned 77% Of the Amount Men Took Home in Median Full-Time Pay.

(Equality). New Hampshire Business Review, Vol. 34, No. 26, 2012, P. 12. Accessed 24

October 2017.

Webb, Stephanie N., Et Al. Do We Think Children Need a Mom and Dad? Understanding How

Gender Ideology Impact Attitudes Toward Same-Gender Parent Family Rights. Journal

of Homosexuality, 2017, Pp. 121. Accessed 24 October 2017.

Harrington, Craig. The Gender Pay Gap and Need for Equal Pay. Media Matters for America,

12 April 2016. Accessed 24 October 2017.

Wage, The Project. Who is Affected by the Wage Gap. Women Are Getting Better.

Accessed 24 October 2017.