A Look Into Feminism

Gender inequality has been a steady issue for as long as we can remember. It is the most widely talked about topic within the business industry, and it is a national known fact that women are not paid equally to men. In a video on Good4Utah, a reporter brings to our attention the controversy created by a bake sale held by Utah High School. The school’s Young Democrats Club held a bake sale, where they sold cookies to men for one dollar and to women for seventy-seven cents. This controversial difference in price was to represent the fact that for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes only seventy-seven cents. The hegemonic monetary difference among men and women is a growing concern among society, and feminists are working harder than ever to even out the wage difference, and to eliminate this androcentric gaze.

Probably the most frustrating part of the video was when the students who were not a part of this club were given the chance to speak out, and one young man took his claim to fame by saying, “I believe in what they’re doing, I believe in their standing for a cause, but I just don’t believe the statistics they are using are correct. I would love to have a debate with them, about what they believe in.” It is ignorance such as this among young adults today which is furthering the issue of misogyny.

The fight for equal women’s right has been an ongoing process since mid-nineteenth century. First-wave feminists focused their attention on voting rights, second wave feminists focused on sexuality. The second wave took place from 1960-1990s, and the movement’s energy was very much focused on getting the Equal Rights Amendment passed, which would ensure the rights of social equality among the sexes. Following that, the third wave of feminism began in 1990’s and is still ongoing. The wave focuses its attention on the destabilization of terms such as heternormativity (Rampton, M).

Waves of feminism are very important for today’s society, however there are still members of society who believe that being a feminist has a negative connotation, and that men who are feminists are not  ‘manly’. It is important in society for clubs such as the Young Democrat’s Club of Utah High School to continue to get the word out there about the continuous gender polarization that so clearly still exists today. Although there has most definitely been a noticeable decrease in certain polarities among genders, it is not good enough.

Not only is there misogyny among the business world, however it is very present within the media. It can be argued that the media is a very patriarchal system, where too often are women portrayed as objects, rather than subjects. The oversexualisation of women in advertisements and television shows only continues to poison the brains of viewers. With the climbing amount of young children focused on the media, they are growing up believing that women are nothing more than a sexual object. Successful, athletic women are shown on magazine covers with nothing cover their bodies except for their hands over their breasts, and people pass by, glance at the cover and have no understanding of why they are on the cover, they just notice that it is an attractive, naked female. “Sex sells” is a widely used excuse for using nudity to sell beer or Axe. What makes all of this worse is the fact that men, although occasionally nude or topless, are rarely shown in the same sexualized light as females.

I am not saying that men do not have the same issue, just that women face this issue in a greater light than men. Women are paid less because they are more often “interrupted” from their jobs due to children, or because they do not have as high of a degree as a man. These are not reasons, they are excuses. The business world is one that is very patriarchal, and the fact that women are being stripped from their rights to be paid equally is a growing concern, which needs to be put to an end before it can get worse. The world needs more Young Democrat’s Clubs, more awareness, and more people need to admit to and accept this polarity between male and female pay. However, it is easy to say that they will be more awareness, what truly needs to happen is for people to step up and work harder than ever to ensure this issue is evened out once and for all. It is a necessity to ensure that our voices are heard, for the society we live in is slowly progressing, and we need to be the society that changes the world for the better for future generations to come.

Thanks for reading,
gndsgirl11

Works Cited

Carlisle, R. (2015, March 17). Gender equality bake sale causes stir at Utah high school. Retrieved April 8, 2015, from http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/gender-equality-bake-sale-causes-stir-at-utah-high/10246/0gE6cCkPA0mvNkLZEjyO4Q

Rampton, M. (2015, October 23). The Three Waves of Feminism. Retrieved April 8, 2015, from http://www.pacificu.edu/about-us/news-events/three-waves-feminism

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “A Look Into Feminism

  1. Elin

    Hi gndsgirl11,

    I thought you took an interesting stance on this piece, and did a great job at showcasing how the topic of wage inequality is just one of many forms of inequality faced by minorities. Your comment on how one posited qualification for why women are paid less then men is because of expected interruptions to their career, was quite interesting and thought provoking. Do you think there is any evidence in a shift in view points in regards to this – particularly in light of things like paternity leave becoming more prevalent in society? Or is such ideology as prevalent as ever?

    Like

    Reply
    1. gndsgirl11 Post author

      Hi Elin,

      Thank you for your questions! I do believe that as society progresses, people are less likely to assume that women will be having to take time off instead of the husband, or assuming that they will even have children at all. I also think that it is ridiculous for women’s pay to be cut short of their male coworkers simply because we have the ability to create a life and men do not. I am not fully educated on the topic of paternity leave, however I think that it is magnificent that it is becoming more prevalent within society. I think that it is just as important for fathers to be around their child in the early stages as it is for the mothers. I think that it is a very positive thing, however if it is going to become more popular then this ‘reason’ or excuse should no longer be accepted for the difference in female pay.

      Like

      Reply
  2. Moira

    Hi Gndsgirl11! Thank you for your post. I really appreciated your willingness to talk about the general hatred that exists towards feminists and feminism. I also liked that you decided to take a broad overview of feminism as a historical whole, looking at its developments temporally. I was wondering how you might situate the issue of pay differences with respect to third wave (or fourth, whatever floats your boat) feminism? This is the feminism that looks primarily at intersectionality and “the margins”, focusing on power dynamics among races, sexes, sexual orientations, nationalities, geographies etc. and combinations of all of these. I was wondering how you might expand on the statement “women make less than men” through a 3rd wave lens? What other trends do you see? Why do they exist?

    Again, it has been great reading your works throughout the term. I hope that you continue to blog and to write – and good luck with all of you exams! Have a fantastic summer!

    Like

    Reply
  3. Rosa Queen

    Hello Gndsgirl11,
    Firstly I’d like to commend you on the insight you have presented in your blog. It is refreshing to see these matters being brought out into the light without peer based censoring. You are absolutely right when you say that misogyny has seeped into every aspect of our society, the job market, business etc. Although it wasn’t brought up in the article, we can also see this level of misogyny in consumerism, explaining why a pink razor would cost much more than a blue one. How effective do you think these kind of campaigns are in terms of spreading awareness? Do you think this is valuable to our society or just result in feminism being pushed to the sidelines by men like the student who commented on the bake sale? I also like your explanations of the different waves of feminism and their application to the society of the time and in trying to diminish the existing polarity between men and women. How can we work towards diminishing these opposites?
    Once again, thanks for a great post!

    Sincerely,
    Rosa Queen

    Like

    Reply
    1. gndsgirl11 Post author

      Hi Rosa Queen,

      I believe that the kinds of campaigns shown in the video are helpful, however often times young adults tend to dismiss these issues and do not quite realize the true difference there is between the treatment of men and women in the business industry. I think it is very important for high schools to encourage their students to continue fundraisers like these to educate other students who may be less aware or less educated on the topic. However, I believe much more could be done on a more global scale. I find often times people get themselves worked up about issues such as this one, but then never have the energy or passion to go out and make a true difference. Thank you very much for your questions! It has been a pleasure.

      -gndsgirl11

      Like

      Reply
  4. Darkling

    Hi Gndsgirl11!

    Wow! Our last posts! I can’t believe this course is coming to an end. I think you have raised some very interesting points in this blog post. I think it’s important to note that the statistic that women make 77 cents to a man’s dollar only applies to white cis women and men: in the US, black women make about $0.68 to a man’s dollar, and Latina women make $0.58. Men of colour also make less, with black men making $0.71 to a white man’s dollar–less than white women. I can’t find statistics for trans people of any race, but given the extremely high rate of unemployment with which trans people (particularly trans women of colour) face, I would suspect it is an even larger gap. Do you think that the event run by the Young Democrats Club ignores the complexities of wage inequality by not recognizing the impact of race on the wage gap? Also, are the ethics of assuming the gender of strangers faulty? After all, a trans man who is frequently read as cis could still lose his job in most states (as well as in many places in Canada) if his employers discovered he was trans, and so would be impacted differently in the working world even though he is a man, and even if he is white. This bake sale model could result in a nonbinary person being misgendered with a binary gender by the people running the sale, which could cause dysphoric feelings for that person.
    I totally respect what these high school students were trying to do, but I think the issue is more complicated than they may realize. Do you think there are ways to alter the bake sale model to make it more inclusive and more reflective of the complex economic realities of various marginalized groups?

    I’ve enjoyed being in class with you, and I’m glad you had this opportunity to learn about gender, race, and popular culture! 🙂 Good luck with exams!

    -Darkling

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s