Women should not put up with discrimination
“A women’s place is at home taking care of children and cooking dinner for the husband,” my friend Zach had told me once in the third grade. Even then, I knew his ideas were wrong. In my eyes there was no real difference between men and women; I thought they were all equals. As the years went by, this continued to be my credo even though the boys in my classes started getting more and more bent on the idea of the kitchen being a women’s place and using women’s rights as the butt of a joke. The truth is, not much has changed for women since the 1900s. In fact, many women put up with this discrimination because they don’t know what else they can do. Women are constantly bullied into thinking that their rights do not matter and perhaps the most concentrated place of discrimination against women is the workplace. Many smart, confident, women in the workplace have had to put up with sexual harassment, sexist jokes, and are earning less than a man for the same job. Men and women are created equal; therefore, they both should receive equal treatment in the workforce.
Women weren’t always allowed to go off to work, and when they were permitted, they could not work alongside men. Nowadays, women can work with men, but is this necessarily a good thing? A large dilemma for women in the workplace today is sexual harassment because a lot of men think it’s fun to prey on innocent women. Actually, according to a recent study conducted by the Sexual Harassment Support website, “Verbal and physical harassment begins in elementary school, and 4 out of 5 children experience some form of sexual harassment or bullying” (“Sexual Harassment in Education” 1). And this type of bullying only escalates with time; boys do not grow out of it. Women are still discriminated against, and if this problem is not tackled early on, it turns into sexual harassment. “Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination, in the United States, that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964” (Heathfield 1). Many companies do not take action because they feel it’s just harmless banter between co-workers. “Studies suggest anywhere between 40-70% of women and 10-20% of men have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace” (“Sexual Harassment Statistics in the Workplace” 1).
Not only do women suffer from sexual harassment in the workplace, but they also find themselves to be the butt of many jokes. At least 20 times in their life, women will hear, “Do you want to hear a joke? Women’s rights,” or many other references to the kitchen being a women’s place. These jokes swarm the offices and fill women with dread. In fact, according to the Sexual Harassment Support website, the main type of harassment is “sexual comments, jokes, gestures, or looks” (“Sexual Harassment in Education” 1). And many women do not want to tell their supervisors because they feel they will get fired for filing a false report. In reality, “Thirty-two per cent of those polled said they had been the subject of an inappropriate remark or suggestion, with one in four saying that it came from their immediate manager” (“One In Three Women Has Been Sexually Harassed At Work” 1). Men and women are created equally but with jokes like these, women are left at the bottom of the heap because they are thought to be inferior.
Perhaps the main problem women face in the workplace is equal compensation. “In 2007, women’s median annual paychecks reflected only 78 cents for every $1.00 earned by men” (“Women Deserve Equal Pay” 1). Women do the same jobs that men do, and they still get paid less than a man; even if a woman does a better job than the man. “Women have historically borne the lion’s share of childcare responsibilities, and some employers have therefore been more likely to hire a man than a woman, assuming that a man, whether or not he is a father, will have fewer such responsibilities that might detract from his devotion to the job.” (Mizel 2). This illustrates that men show a male preference when it comes to hiring a new employee, no matter if one candidate is better suited for the job or not. According to a recent report on the Sexual Harassment Support website, “Six out of ten women workers will experience some form of workplace discrimination” (“Sexual Harassment” 4). So it does not matter if you are extremely qualified for a job; if you are a woman interviewing for a man’s job, you might as well not take the chance.
As much as I want women to be thought of as equals, I know it probably will not happen. As long as there are men in this world that make it their job to put down women, we will never be truly equal. I mean what would the world come to if a woman got paid the same as a man? If a woman did not get slapped on the butt at work? If men did not make unethical jokes about women’s rights? Could it be that men are just like bullies? They are so insecure with their own self that they take it out on others.