Throughout history, women have always been pushed aside for reasons no one seems to be able to explain. Women have been denied the right to vote, join the workforce, and despite the fact that woman can now vote and work, women are still being denied a voice, just like they have been for centuries. Women in the United States have always had to work twice as hard to get as far ahead as men. Women have been demanding equal rights for themselves in all aspects of their lives for almost as far back as history will allow— in the voting system, in the business world, and even in their own homes. Despite their fight, women are still consistently bombarded by stereotypes through the media, which ultimately reflect them as not being intellectually and/or emotionally equal to men.
If I were to say the words, “doctor” or “CEO,” what gender would you associate with those titles? It’s highly likely that you associated those titles with a man. What gender would you associated with the titles, “nurse” or “teacher?” The answer is probably female. The average salary for a doctor is $189,000 a year, while the average salary for a nurse is a fraction of that, at $68,450 a year (Greenhaigh). According to clinicaladvisor.com, female nurse practitioners and physician assistants make 87 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn. There is clearly something wrong with the way women are viewed and compensated in the United States. Women have been fighting for equal rights in every sphere of society for too long now, and women have had enough.
Women were only given the right to vote in 1920 when Congress ratified the nineteenth amendment. Women were only allowed to join the workforce during the Second World War when the extra help was needed. Even today, women are still viewed as the supplement to men. The fact that women have not been able to do the same jobs and follow the same career paths as men is not the woman’s fault. The point that the various positions listed earlier are automatically associated with a particular gender in one’s mind is not the person’s fault— it is society’s fault. Society does not allow women to do the same jobs as men, it is as simple as that. Employers are a lot less likely to hire a woman who is pregnant or recently married because she will almost definitely go on maternity leave. The United States still has not had a woman President (or Vice President, for that matter). In twenty-two US states, there has not been a woman governor. There has never been a female FBI Director. An enormous difference between 2018 and anytime before the twenty-first century, is that women have had enough. Women are risking more and more to protest for equal pay, equal opportunities, and equal rights.
More and more, women show that they are fed up with the misogyny that is weaved into society. 2018 began with more than a million total women and their supporters marching for women’s rights. The Women’s March occurred on January 21, the day after President Donald Trump was inaugurated. More than half a million supporters marched in Washington, and more than 250,000 in Chicago.
According to Facebook, International Women’s Day on March 8th was the number one most talked about moment of the year on the platform. This topped the Super Bowl, all of the award shows during the year, and even the presidential inauguration. Along with this, 500,000 people joined the January 21 Women’s March online event, making it Facebook’s most significant event of 2017.
Despite women being underrepresented in various leadership positions in the country, women aren’t going down without a fight. In fact, women are rising up the social ladder more and more every year. In the November 8 election of 2017, the Virginia legislature quickly became more inclusive of different types of women. As of 2017, there are two Latinas, an open lesbian, a female refugee from Vietnam, and an openly transgender woman. Several of those who were ousted were white men who had held office for years (Jordan, Tumulty, and Chandler).
Thankfully, women are making advancements each and every day to be taken more and more realistically in the minds of those who are still quite backward in their way of thinking. With the motivation and perseverance women are exhibiting now, they are quickly becoming unstoppable. No longer are women simply the housewives and mothers that they were thought of for centuries. Women are done being pushed to the side and overlooked. Feminism is not a dirty word, and men (and some women) need to stop treating it as such.
Greenhaigh, Tom. Gender Wage Gap Facts: What the 2018 Salary Survey Reveals. 17 September 2018. <https://www.clinicaladvisor.com/news/gender-wage-gap-facts-2018-salary-survey/article/796107/>.
Jordan, Mary, Karen Tumulty, and Michael Alison Chandler. A new day for women, Democrats across the nation after Tuesday elections. 8 November 2018. <https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-election-women-democrats-20171108-story.html>.
Kirivkovich, Alexis, et al. Women in the Workplace 2018. October 2018. <https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/gender-equality/women-in-the-workplace-2018>.
She persisted: 17 moments of women’s empowerment in 2017. 28 December 2017. <https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-year-of-the-woman-20171220-story.html>.