Gender Equality: So Close & Yet So Far

Don’t you just love that image?! Ugh, it so hilarious! Lulz. I have never seen anything funnier or more sexist in my life! Yes sexist.

This image preys upon that ever popular idea that women are these immensely complex and insane creatures that are made to confuse the simple and sensible man. Or, as Phillip DeFranco likes to say, “bitches be crazy.”

It’s an idea that has been pervasive throughout our culture for centuries. It’s been blamed on hormones, PMS, baby fever, and a mystery illness called “hysteria.” Regardless of its name or cause, the idea remains the same; women are unstable, overly emotional, flighty, and irresponsible creatures that must be protected from themselves at all cost. That idea is how, in our society, men have justified their systematic discrimination against women.

Because women were seen in this way, it made sense to deny them the right to vote, equal employment opportunities, the ability to own property, sexual agency, etc. The longer this discrimination lasted the more reassured men became in their assumptions. It didn’t help that much of this behavior by men was left unchallenged by women for centuries.

Of course, enlightened men and women of today know that this way of thought is both specious and erroneous. We know that being a woman doesn’t automatically mean that you’re worse at anything, except peeing while standing. At least that’s what I would like to think. Unfortunately, that image isn’t a clever art exhibit from the 1920’s. It is, however, a modern reminder that gender relations have quite a lot of progress that still needs to be made.

It’s important to acknowledge these small signs so that we don’t forget our past. It’s even more important because sometimes the past doesn’t stay in the past.

For instance, we have had 44 presidents in America’s history and none of them have been a woman. In fact, a woman has never even received a nomination by either of the 2 major parties in American government. In the 2008 election Hilary Clinton got the closest any woman has ever come to receiving a nomination, but ultimately lost to Barack Obama.

During her campaign, I was shocked to hear the talking heads on the 24 hour news stations question her abilities as a government official, a woman, and a mother. On several occasions she was publicly mocked for her choice to wear pant suits as opposed to the skirts and jacket combo worn by many other female politicians.

Those sorts of attacks, which are specifically reserved for women, used to be a common occurrence in public but have fallen out a favor. Although, it appears they may not be as uncommon as we believed.

Now, I would be falling down on the job if I left it there. It’s not as if women are still stuck in the proverbial kitchen of society. I did just mention that Hilary Clinton almost became the 44th president of the United States of America. Even though she failed to garner the democratic presidential nomination, she still earned the position of Secretary of State.

Then you have to consider that had the Republican candidate, John McCain, won the 2008 election Sarah Palin would have been one 72 year old’s heartbeat away from becoming the leader of the free world.

We have made a lot of great progress towards equality. In many ways the battle has become less about large societal changes and more about the little victories achieved by women on a macro level. We’ve nearly reached zenith of firsts and now we are moving forward to the second generation of bright talented women to take the torch.

Now that we have women so close to reaching their potential, there’s not much more that we can do to help them. This is a battle that will have to be won by women, and thus far they are doing a good job. I would just like to encourage women not to become complacent because that will only lead to a slow rolling reversal of the progress that has been made.

I would also like to encourage men to take a look at their behavior to see what they can do within themselves to help. Often we forget that the enemy we are fighting is within us.

This little ditty is not meant to do anything but bring awareness to a social issue that seems to have fallen out public eye. I understand that our nation is working on millions of things at once but that doesn’t mean that we should allow ourselves to lose sight of the most important ones. Those of us fighting to correct the injustices inflicted upon people based on moronic and antiquated views of life cannot let us, as a nation, lose sight of them. I’m simply doing my part.

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