Men and Women
Whoever said men and women are equal must be blind. Women have always taken a back seat to men in American society. This occurrence is not only found in the United States, but in other countries as well. It’s safe to say that the Declaration of Independence started it and it has continued to the present. There is one set of standards that apply to men, and another set of standards that apply to women. This is evident in the home, workplace, and society in general.
The problem of men and women not being equal can be traced back to the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that all men are created equal. There was no mention of women being equal, only men. At the time of the drafting of the document, the men had all the power. The document was even drafted by a man. Women were confined to the home to take care of the domestic housekeeping duties.
Look no further than the home to see the first sign that men and women are not equal. The traditional role of the man was to work and the money he made would be used by all in the household. The traditional role of the woman was to stay home, take care of the children, clean the house, and cook. Because society has always associated money with power, the person bringing home the money had the power. The man often makes the final decision on all household matters because he has the money.
The workplace is another place where men and women are not equal. The most obvious sign starts at the top. Look at the CEO of the corporation. The majority of CEOs are men. Women serving as CEOs are a rare sight. Another sign of the unfairness can also be found in the lower ranks. Men are often applauded for being assertive and giving orders. By giving orders, men are taking a leadership role. Demonstrating leadership ability is a quality that employers often look for. On the other hand, women who are assertive and give orders are not well liked in the work place. They are considered as bitches by men. For women to be well liked in the work place, they have to be subordinate to the men. The salary of men and women who do the exact same work differ. Women often make less than men even though they do the exact same thing. In 1990, the median income was $29,172 for men and $20,586 for women. The fact that women often hold lower ranking positions contribute to the !
problem. There are many gender stereotypes associated with certain jobs. Secretaries, nurses, and maids are associated with women. Corporate executives, lawyers, doctors, politicians, and construction workers are associated with men.
Society as a whole has also contributed to the problem. It starts at the hospital when a baby is born. Boys get blue blankets while girls get pink blankets. Toys are targeted at either boys or girls. Toys that are targeted at boys include trucks, blocks, guns, and soldiers. Toys that are targeted at girls include dolls, kitchen utensils, and doll houses. Boys are raised to be aggressive, tough, dominant, and daring. Girls are raised to be passive, emotional, sweet, and subordinate. The pattern continues on through marriage and beyond. A clear example of male dominance can be seen when a woman gets married. The woman would change her last name to that of the man’s. She also loses her first name in some instances too. When a piece of mail is addressed to both parties, the name reads Mr. and Mrs. John Doe. The woman’s name is not mentioned.
Another example that men and women are not equal are the terms used to described the sexual habits of men and women. Men who are promiscuous are considered studs, macho, and manly. Men often boast about the many partners they have had. Women who are promiscuous are considered sluts, whores, and prostitutes. Women tend to hide the number of partners they have had. If a man has sex before marriage, he is getting experience and exploring his options. If a woman has sex before marriage, she is not considered pure, a quality often desired by men. There is clearly a double standard for men and woman for the same type of behavior.
The problem of inequality between men and women started with the Declaration of Independence. Society has lived with this inequality for many years. It’s impossible for society to change overnight. The problem will not and cannot disappear overnight. A lot of progress has been made over time but, more time is needed to finish what was started.