Category Archives: Second Shift

Feminism

When somebody says, “You fight like a girl” it is supposed to be an insult, but I and many other women find no reason for that to be degrading. Women may be known for the stereotypes of being small, weak, and fragile, but these labels are hopefully soon to be forgotten. Everyday women are fighting their boundaries and growing stronger in their mental and physical ability. The distinction between men and women is prominent, but altogether for the wrong reasons. Women need to be known for what they really do rather than what is expected of them. Females are strong, compassionate, motivated, beautiful human beings that are just as qualified for any position as a male.

The feminine hygiene product brand Always ran a recent campaign to ask what it means to run, fight, and act like a girl. The real test was to prove that our image of what girls are is weak and slow when that is not in fact true. We tell girls when they are growing up that it is important to be smart and tough and to be who they want to be, but as they mature they are pressured to act against their upbringing and pretend to be less athletic than a male to attract them. Seems silly right? Maybe socialization is to blame, but people fail to promote girls as equal to men in in all abilities. Women can run, fight, and speak generally as equivalent to a man without losing her femininity.

Women should not be portrayed as weak just because they are supposed to be pretty and lady-like. It should be grounds to show that women can do all things equal and be lovely all at the same time. It is time that we begin to teach girls that “like a girl” just means “not like a man,” and nothing more and nothing less. Equality between genders is the goal and a fair fight to this conclusion is needed.

There are many different actions to support feminism, some being much more extreme than others. A new movement called “Free Bleeding” is on the rise among women who are fighting the “man” made world. It is an act of defiance towards feminine hygiene products that shame a woman from her natural monthly cycle. The women will avoid all sanitary products to hold in the bleeding and release their menstrual blood in between her thighs and onto her clothes naturally. They are making a clear statement to fight against the idea that women’s monthly cycle is something that is gross or disgraceful and making it something that should be acknowledged as a gift. It is a gift that reminds humans where children come from and just how important a woman is to the miracle of life.

Sexism plays such an unfair role in our society and women are seen as weak because of their cycle. It is completely discriminatory to claim that women are less qualified for a position because she could be unstable during their menstrual cycle. The idea that a woman cannot emotionally stabilize herself is narrow-minded for any person to think.

It is also now time that we begin to give women fair opportunity for employment and rid of the unequal pay gap that we allow today. Any person working up to the standards of the position should not be paid less for it because of their gender. Women should not face glass ceilings. Women should not face second shifts. Women should not be divided out from men, but sadly, we are.

If women learned to really fight like a girl can and not like their stereotypes say and if all men showed more respect for the women who are the breadwinners, then maybe society could reach equality between genders. Just maybe we all could work a little harder to show that fighting like a girl means fighting like a human being.

— Amy

 

Feminism

With the start of suffrage at Seneca Falls in the mid-19th century, feminism has continued to be a main topic in society. Feminism is the belief that men and should have equal rights (Merriam-Webster). Thanks to the women who worked hard and spoke out when it wasn’t the thing to do, women have the right to vote, have the right to hold different roles in society, have “equal” rights in the work place and are seen as equal to men, in general. Even with their efforts, society has not come full swing.

I know for a fact that women still get paid less than men when doing the same job. I wonder what makes people think women deserve to earn less money when we do the same job and can do it just as well or better? This is known as the gender pay gap. Also, the role of the women in society has evolved quite a bit, but women are generally treated in a way that implies that they should be the caregiver or taking care of the house AS WELL as working.  This is known as second shift. As women, we know we have the ability to do both, but as a feminist we believe that the idea of just women having that role should transform into the thinking that both men and women could do this.

Feminism is a hot topic for media figures. Celebrities like Lena Dunham, one of the leading characters on the hit HBO series Girls, declares herself a feminist; it’s a part of her identity. Is labeling yourself as a feminism just the cool thing to do these days; is it a bandwagon idea? Many people tie feminism with being anti-male. That could not be further from the truth. Being a feminist does not put down or belittle men. Feminism is about believing that men and women should be equal. In other words, people would believe that being a feminist is being sexist because you believe that women are better than men. This is why there’s a need for people to become educated on the topic because it is so important for our society to achieve full equality between men and women. Below is a graph showing the growth of women in the work force from 1890 to 2012.

–Natalie