Work/School/Poverty and Law/Violence

Work/School

I honestly believe that there will always be a separation of gender, class, and ethnicity in the work place and in school. In high school the sports teams are treated completely differently, and the same for college. It isn’t always women’s sports either, at WKU 3 years ago, the men’s soccer team was cut due to lack of funds. There always is an emphasis on one gender in every sport. In most sports it tends to be males. There is always that joke, watching women’s sports is like watching paint dry, and I will admit that as a women I tend to enjoy watching men’s sports more than women’s.

In this article it is explained that in the classroom girls and boys are treated differently. Men are often praised more and receive special attention than girls. It is expected that girls are more talented in school because the emphasis for boys is sports. Therefore the teachers focus on the boys. It is also suggested that curricula should be re evaluated and should be cleansed of gender bias. Even though the problem has greatly been diminished, the problem is not gone.

As far as the enrollment in science and math classes, I believe that the reason for the different interests in this is because of what girls see everyday, what they hear. When I visit the doctor, more often than not its a male. Each time I have had surgery, it has been a male who has performed the surgery. I don’t think it is necessarily that women don’t have the interest in these fields, I would say that it is just something that they pick up from society. In the article “Gender Inequity in School: Not a Thing of the Past”, it reads “They(women) perceive these subjects as cold, impersonal, and with little clear application to their lives or society,” (Karen Zittleman and David Sadker. pg 78). This quote just represents that women have in their minds that perhaps these fields aren’t for them based on how they feel, or maybe how they have been forced to feel. Even in their textbooks the experiences and photos depict white males as doctors, and white females as nurses. So in their learning journey they are quickly taught what they should pursue as a career.

The topic of pay equity, and women not making the same salary as a male for the same position with the same qualifications, really gets my fire burning. Not just women but for people who aren’t a white male. A women or a person of color can graduate from say Yale and apply for the same job right out of college and make nearly 61-26 percent of what a white male will make in the same position. There are laws against the difference in pay, but they are poorly enforced. But another national law prohibits any pay cuts to remedy discrimination, hey what about enforcing the law in the first place and not having the gap. According to the article “Questions and Answers on Pay Equity” it will take until 2057 to close the wage gap(National Committee for Pay Equity. pg 183), that is 45 years from now. There is no excuse for this now that women are single mothers, or are taking off work to raise their children, women are sometimes the main breadwinner for their family. It just doesn’t make any sense anymore. Companies should definitely have a set salary for each position and no employee can make any more or any less. The salary should be based on what is required for the position and not the person in the position. After reading the article my impression on welfare has changed. I worked at a gas station for a summer so I saw people everyday paying for tons of candy and junk food with their food stamps, and then in the same breath ordering cigarettes and paying cash for them. This is the stereotype and I was witnessing it first hand so I tend to have a bad outlook on the recipients of welfare. After reading the article I realized that there are women who need this help, they have escaped from an abusive relationship and suddenly have children to take care of and they have no way to do so. Welfare should be used as an aide to get back on your feet, as this woman used it as. She was strong, escaped an abusive relationship, graduated from college, and is not educating people on the correct use of welfare, and extinguishing the stereotypes.

Law/Violence

For my discussion I chose to focus on the idea of rape and sexual harassment, the articles that I will focus on are “Catcalls, Groping, Stalking in Public Places” and “Rape the All American Crime”. What stands out to me is that women are constantly living in fear of men. The fact that they can’t walk at night by themselves, or even walk down the street without a comment being made. Sexual harassment is hard to pinpoint because there are so many things that can fall into that category. It can be something like a comment that makes a women feel uncomfortable ranging all the way to being raped. I can admit that I have had guys yell at me out of cars or whistle at me or make uncalled for comments, and I just brush it off my shoulder and continue. Women should not blame themselves or their lifestyles for these actions. Women should be able to walk down the street at night and not be worried about being attacked by a male.In reading the article ” Rape: the All American Crime” it points out that rapists are ordinary people, they don’t tend to have any unique characteristics as a group, which makes it even scarier. Rape is something that is brushed off in our culture, almost encouraged. In a relationship men are seen as the dominant, more sexual being. Certain men take this into account and think that by raping a woman they are exerting their male tendencies of dominance over the woman, and that she typically enjoys this act. What is still more shocking is that fact that in some other cultures there aren’t even laws against rape, in fact it is part of their normal lives. In most middle eastern countries women are raped daily because the men have complete control. It is just unnerving that sexual harassment has become such a part of life that comments and actions that should fall into that category are often ignored. Women should feel comfortable in their own surroundings, the public place shouldn’t be dominated by men. Women should be respected, not objectified.

This article talks more about sexual harassment in the work place. It talks about how women feel threatened by men and fear that if they speak out about the abuse that they will lose their jobs. The abuse can often mentally affect the woman, including depression. The abuse can also demoralize her and make her feel less important and take away her authority as a working woman. It matches my discussion because it shows the effects of sexual harassment on women, and how most women think there is no way out, and ignore the abuse because of fear.

 

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