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Why Women Aren’t ‘Equal’ Yet

Many anti-feminists are fed-up with the modern feminist movement. These people feel that women have fought and earned the equal rights they desired and are now just power-hungry. Being a woman myself, I know that isn't true. There is no doubt that women are still fighting for equality. In 2009, full-time year-round working women earned 19% less than did men. This gender income disparity is only increasing.

While the feminist movement has earned women equal rights and opportunities in our legislative system, it has not yet achieved equality for women. Women are still discriminated against in society. As many rights as women have earned, it is difficult to completely eradicate stereotypes that cause people to look down on them.

I say people and not just men for a reason. The truth is that, whether we realize it or not, we women tend to also believe stereotypes about ourselves that prevent us from achieving certain goals. Women are still, to an extent, seen as the submissive sex and not as strong or as smart as men. Because these stereotypes have existed for so long, women subconsciously believe them. These ingrained biases still prevent women from taking risks in their careers and speaking up for themselves when it comes to sex or relationships.

The sociological term for this is “stereotype threat” and it has been proven to prevent women from being as successful as men in certain areas. According to a study from the University of Michigan, women underperformed on a math exam when they were told that men usually perform better. On that same test, when women were told that men do not have better results, they performed just as well as the men did.

We all know the infamous line from “Sandlot,” “You play ball like a girl!” Well, what if that girl played ball like a pro? We need to stop screwing ourselves over by letting these stereotypes hold us back. What was the first thing your mother told you when you came home from pre-k upset that the boy you wanted to marry called you stupid? Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words may never harm you. Ironically enough, they are harming us the most.

In this day and age, we can do whatever we want as long as we believe we can. Men are still statistically superior to women in their careers because not only do they believe they can do it, but they believe they can do it better than women. After all, that's what they've been told. They have the stereotype on their side.

Think about it this way: living in America, we are lucky enough to have received an equal education to men and the law protects us in our pursuits of happiness and success. In other countries, as sickening as it is, women are still fighting for what we consider basic rights. So let's stop being intimidated and start feeling equal rather than inferior. Fight past the stereotype; something men never had to do.

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