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Women are not equal to men. Yes, we can vote. Yes, we can get an education. Yes, we can work. No, that does not mean we are equal to men. Also, to just clear this up as well, feminism does not mean women should be treated better than men. The Oxford Dictionary definition of feminism is “the advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” There are numerous ways that equality is violated towards women, and although the oppression of women is greater in some other countries, it does not mean that we should not fight for equality in the United States and set an example for the world. Here are a few lesser known ways women are treated differently.
Women’s hygiene products cost more than men’s. Compare the prices of men’s deodorant, shampoos, or razors to women’s and you will find a significant difference. I could not care less about my razors being different colors, I just want them to work. Teen Vogue shed light on the most frustrating and expensive hygiene product, tampons, have what is called the “tampon tax” that classifies tampons as a “luxury” and a lot of states still charge it. How are tampons a luxury rather than a necessity? Did I mention men do not get taxed for Viagra or Rogaine?
Women are severely underrepresented in many aspects of our society. According to the Washington Post, about 20 percent of congress is made up of women even though we make up over half the population of the United States. Business Insider says women only make up five percent of CEOs and that is proof of the “glass ceiling.” The media even favors men over women. According to The Status of Women in the U.S. Media, women are on camera only about 32 percent of the time even though people think that journalism is a largely female industry.
Women are more likely to be sexually trafficked than men. Since this has been a circulated topic in Radford lately, this fact is hitting close to home. According to a journal called Obstetrics & Gynecology, more than 800,000 people are sexually trafficked each year and 80 percent of them are women. This is extremely unsettling, especially since the school systems never really warned us about sex trafficking. I did not know how common sex trafficking really was until a year ago. Women are also more likely to be the victims of rape and domestic violence. Around 70 percent of women will experience some sort of violence or sexual abuse in their lifetime. This is even more common for women in the military because just under a half of female veterans were sexually assaulted or harassed while on active duty according to the New York Times. When a female veteran is more likely to come home with PTSD from rape rather than actual warfare, there is a problem.
I hope this has shed light on the issue of gender inequality. Most people know the basics like unequal pay, school dress code discrimination, and reproductive oppression, but there is so much more to the problem here. Educate yourself and be prepared to stand up for equality because we really are not that different. Our physical bodies do not change the fact we are all human and we all deserve to have the same rights. It is 2017 and women are still not equal to men.