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By Franny Wall, Dyersville Beckman H.S.
Throughout the history of the United States, women have made many great leaps in society. From gaining the right to vote to being able to hold the same positions as men in the workplace, the path to equality has been a long and rocky one for women.
From the very beginning of the United States, women haven’t been held on the same level as men. We couldn’t own property, receive an education or do much of anything independently. So much effort has been put forth by women from all time periods to push us up to the same level as men. Women like Sojourner Truth and Susan B. Anthony fought to be seen equally and made sacrifices to help make immense improvements in how women are treated, and it still wasn’t enough to completely even out the playing field today.
Today, though not as extreme, this still holds true. Women aren’t thought of the same as men, and in many situations, men are still seen as superior – this shouldn’t be. Even though we have come all this way, is it far enough? How much further do we need to go?
In addition to the initial stress that comes with working any job, women feel it even more knowing that they have to compete twice as hard just to make a name for themselves and to be viewed as an accomplished person in comparison to a man. Even in commonly female-dominated professions – such as cosmetology – women still only make an average of 75 cents on the dollar compared to men. In the performing industry, male singers, dancers, actors, etc., are more likely to make it and be successful in the business simply based on the fact that they are male, and having men in those industries is “rare.”
Success should be earned with hard work, talent and dedication – not because of gender. We have shown we can be at least equally talented in all fields of work, including the mainly male-dominated ones. In fact, according to “Women in the U.S. Army,” 91 percent of all Army occupations are occupied by women. In addition to this, an article published in Forbes magazine, “20 Jobs Women Are Taking Over,” stated that 50 to 80 percent of women succeed in chemical and computer engineering, female medical scientists make up 56.9 percent, and veterinarians 61.2 percent.
So why are men still set on a pedestal above women?
Plenty of women have overcome the stereotype of needing to marry and spending the rest of the marriage taking care of the house, cooking, and catering to her husband’s needs. Though this is an admirable feat to accomplish, not all women are called to that lifestyle and shouldn’t be looked down on for breaking that mold and making their own choices. For example, celebrities like Leighton Meester and Jennifer Aniston have very successful careers and do very well for themselves without the help of a man.
With all of these efforts women have put forth to advance in society, they have more than proved that we are worthy of being treated as equals to men, yet we are still waiting for this to happen.
We can’t just wait. We can’t just accept the stereotypes thrown at us and comply with society’s definition of a woman. If we want change, action must be taken. Embrace your femininity proudly and stand up for the rights that you have – because they’re ours as much as any man’s.