Social Question

punkrockworld's avatar

Do you think there is still inequality for women in this day and age?

Asked by punkrockworld (944 points ) February 9th, 2012

If so, in what way? Do women get less opportunities? Elaborate, I would love your opinions on this. Will the inequality gap become smaller and smaller?

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32 Answers

mangeons's avatar

Yes. Along with offensive stereotypes and sexism, women still don’t even get equal pay. Women only make 70 some percent of what men do for working the same job. I believe the inequality gap will continue to get smaller over time, but it will not disappear any time in the near future.

Blackberry's avatar

Yep. Off the top of my head there’s unequal pay and sexism.

YARNLADY's avatar

Yes, and with the depression we are now in, employers can get away with making it worse, since there are 100 people for every job opening. Workers either put up with it, or take unemployment.

submariner's avatar

Are you sure about that, mangeons? I thought the $0.70 to the dollar thing meant that, in the US, working women, in aggregate, earned 70% of what what working men earned, not that, e.g., a female cop earns 70% of what a male cop with the same rank and seniority earns.

Whatever that figure means, it is not the clincher that feminists like to think it is. It has to be placed in context.

Offensive stereotypes go both ways. There are negative stereotypes of men, and positive stereotypes of women.

“Sexism”—second-wave feminists borrowed a lot of tactics and rhetoric from the civil rights movement. While it is clear that the prevailing sex roles and attitudes of their generation had to be updated, the idea that the experience of middle class American women like Betty Friedan was analogous to the experience of American blacks seems ridiculous to me.

I’m not saying that gender discrimination has completely disappeared in the US, but I grew up in the 70s, and I’ve been hearing this stuff all my my life, and a lot of it doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. And some of the stuff that was true when I was a kid is no longer true today.

digitalimpression's avatar

In the civilian world? Probably. I haven’t seen it, but I’m sure it exists.

In the military women are held to lower physical standards which I think is messed up too. It should be one standard across the board.

babybadger's avatar

Of course. It’s decreasing, but it’s still there.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Yes, Shirley Chisholm said it succinctly:

“Of my two handicaps, being female put many more obstacles in my path than being black.”

DaphneT's avatar

There is still inequality for women. The number of men being stay-at-home dads is still not equal to the number of women being stay-at-home moms. Both suffer penalties for being stay-at-home, and since the numbers aren’t equal, the penalty lands on the women more frequently. I still don’t see an equal number of men shopping for groceries, fewer men take care of their elders by staying at home with them, men chose laundry services over doing it themselves, they would pick a house-cleaning service, if they could afford it, before women would. Women still can expect to be taken for a ride at the mechanics when they take in their car. They can still expect to get higher quotes for building projects because the men in construction think they can get away with it. Women can still get premium wages in some male-dominate occupations because those occupations are in search of women so they can cut down on the discrimination suits. Men don’t work where I work because they see it as girlie or gay and the men are afraid of their male peers finding out, unless they get the job of ‘manager’, that’s important enough to get past the peer-pressure.
And yes, with the current depressed economy, women are easy targets for broadening the inequality, their resumes simply won’t be looked at.

mangeons's avatar

@submariner That’s what I learned in sociology last semester, that a female working the same job as a male will earn less.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Yes, I believe that discrimination still exists. There is a famous quote that I can’t quite remember that would go perfectly here. It goes something like this: “Those who believe that we have not accomplished anything do not realize how far we have come, and those who believe that we are finished do not realize how far we have yet to go.”

digitalimpression's avatar

@DaphneT
“The number of men being stay-at-home dads is still not equal to the number of women being stay-at-home moms”
Who is at fault? Just curious..and what “penalty” are you talking about?

“I still don’t see an equal number of men shopping for groceries”
Men go in, get the stuff on the list and leave . It seems women like to roam the aisles more… xD Maybe that is why you don’t see them.

I’m sorry.. I don’t mean to try and pick apart what you wrote.. I just disagree with 90% of it.

submariner's avatar

Being a stay-at-home partner is, on balance, a sacrifice? The partner who punches a time clock or sits in a cubicle all day has the better end of the deal? This reminds me of Tom Sawyer getting his friends to pay for the privilege of painting his aunt’s fence.

But the key word here is partner. The way these questions have typically been framed is misguided. Men and women are not interchangeable. They are complementary.

Aethelflaed's avatar

Yes, obviously.

This will not be in any way, shape, or form, a comprehensive view of every way sexism against women comes up. If you have a huge interest, I can recommend some books.

Gender wage gap: Women still get paid less than men, even when accounting for hours worked, level of education, and occupation, and have a harder time finding a job in the first place. The exact amount is somewhat debated, but there’s still always a good amount of discrimination. When given equivalent resumes (education, job experience, hours worked and to be worked, etc), people will hire mothers 44% less than fathers or non-mothers, and single mothers even less, while fathers will get more flexibility with their schedule and more money than non-fathers. Women spend twice as much time as men doing chores and childrearing. Women are overall more likely to be poor than men.

Reproductive rights: Not so good. In the past year, there has been a War on Women, in which over 1,100 various laws (both at the federal and state level) have been introduced, passed, and sometimes upheld in court restricting a woman’s access to contraception, abortion, and other sex-related health care (like breast-cancer screenings). They have included outright bans (defining personhood as starting at the moment of conception, thus banning both abortion and some birth control), waiting periods (especially hard on working women, poor women, and rurally-located women), prohibiting insurances from covering abortion except to save the mother’s life, clinic regulations that would shut down many clinics unfairly, forcing women to get an ultrasound of the fetus and hear a description of it before the abortion, forcing women to hear the fetal heartbeat before getting an abortion (if you can; it’s usually too early in the pregnancy to hear one), forcing women to attend a Crisis Pregnancy Center that will give her false information and try to convince her that she shouldn’t get an abortion before letting her have an abortion, and legalizing the murder of abortion doctors (aka, domestic terrorism). It has also included some racist legislation attempting to make it illegal to abort a baby due to the sex or race of the baby. Because so often black women wake up one morning and think “Oh no! My baby will be black!” A new one from just this week will make it so that if a doctor withholds or lies about medical information so that a woman won’t get an abortion, she can’t sue that doctor for malpractice. Many of the attacks have come on Planned Parenthood, including the recent Komen debacle.

Rape culture, slut-shaming, and the myth of purity: This is a great description of rape culture, a way to understand what that buzzword means. Rape and sexual assault are at really high levels. Most statistics say it’s around 20–30% of women that end up getting raped in America. 1 in 12 college men admitted to committing acts that met the legal definitions of rape, and 84% of men who committed rape did not label it as rape. 43% of college-aged men admitted to using coercive behavior to have sex, including ignoring a woman’s protest, using physical aggression, and forcing intercourse. Slut-shaming and an obsession with purity pops up in so, so many ways. Like how if a woman was raped, it’s ok to ask what she was wearing, or if she was drinking or had drank before, or if she’d had sex before, or if she’s said yes to this particular partner before, because only bad girls get raped. Or how the police and legal system make it so hard, so humiliating for rape victims to come forward that many stay silent to prevent getting “raped twice”. This recreates the virgin/whore dichotomy with the new phrase “respectable”, and makes it ok to rape sluts, harder for women who considered themselves or were considered by others to be respectable to recognize what happened to them as rape or sexual assault, and is based in a ton of racism, because only white women even get the (illusory) option of being respectable. (A video of an awesome 13 year old girl on why slut-shaming is wrong). This is my personal favorite book on rape culture/slut-shaming/enthusiastic consent, because it’s not just about the horrible things that happen to women, but the way it could and should be, and what we can do to get there.

There’s so much more (obviously, that’s why entire departments in most universities are devoted just to dealing with this type of shit!), but it’s a start.

Aethelflaed's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake I’ve heard so, so, so many women of color (especially black) say to me that racism has been a bigger impediment in their lives, that society defines them first as black and second as a woman, that I do not think we can take that for granted. Intersectionality is the shit.

jonsblond's avatar

I don’t see it where I live. Women can do what they want and they are paid equally. There are many factories around here that don’t discriminate. If you can do the work, you are hired. Men can stay home with the kids when the wife goes off to work.

Linda_Owl's avatar

Inequality in the work-place abounds in the US, but inequality is not limited to the work-place. At present the fundamentalist christians are doing their best to strip away women’s rights to make their own decisions about their own bodies by trying to legislate out of existence the right to abortions & birth control. And in a lot of the fundamentalist churches, women are actively discouraged from speaking out in church – they are being held to the biblical verse that says that a woman who has a question must not ask it in church, they must wait until they get home & ask their husbands. If the right-wing religious groups have their way, women will not even be able to dress the way they want to dress. Conditions are better now than they used to be, but a great many women do not realize just how easily our rights could be made to disappear under the guise of laws that state that they are “protecting” women.

DaphneT's avatar

@digitalimpression, I wasn’t concerned with fault, since in most of my examples both sexes are ‘at fault’, if you must assign ‘fault’. Inequality stems from life choices. Men make choices that foster the sense of inequality. Women make choices that foster the sense of inequality.

And please, don’t lie to me. You’re not sorry. You most certainly did mean to pick apart my answer, you disagreed with “90%” of it.

auhsojsa's avatar

Too be honest I think it’s easier for a female to get a non college degree required job than it is for a male with out any hook ups.
Business 101. Sex sells.

digitalimpression's avatar

@DaphneT Hmm.. what’s wrong with this thing? It just won’t seem to fit! No matter how hard I try it just won’t go on! What the heck? Ahhhhhhh this shoe don’t fit.

@Aethelflaed Can’t compete w/ that answer. Well done. Especially the part where you put that much time into building the answer.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Unequal how, doing the same things, working the same job the same way, playing the same sports? Men and women are different, they were never meant to be bookends. People miss equal value with equal action. My hard drive is equally important as the software that runs on it, but they are both entirely different.

digitalimpression's avatar

I don’t think you could stop any driven man or woman from achieving what they want to in America (or any another successful nation).

I am absolutely sick of hearing about sexism, racism, favoritism, and your (in general) tummy hurts… If you live in America you are among approximately 529 million people who have a better shot at making it than the other six and a half billion people on earth! (yes… a smidge facetious with the numbers.. but you get my point)

For Zeus’ sake it seems like half the country is on ritalin, zyloft, and a thousand other medications for depression, anxiety, and other cases of sand in their down beneath areas! (disclaimer: I do believe that some people truly can benefit from these medications.. but not as many as are taking them) See this? I’m having to make a disclaimer because I know some sensitive soul out there is going to shed a tear, become angry, and attack me for calling them out on their bullshit!

Now before the post-police come to arrest me… I do realize that you’re (@op) only making a point… and yes.. women should be paid the same as men. Just don’t be so naive as to think that women don’t have their own advantages; such as the one I named in my first post (just to pick one example)

[Steps off of soap box]

[begin inner monologue]
Ok ok ok… calm down digi… breathe…... they don’t know that they’ve stumbled across a pet peeve that is standing on your last nerve.. they are just innocent jellies who know nothing of the whines you deal with on a day to day basis.. and no.. they can’t all see it the same way as you.. pansies Should you type “toughen up buttercup”? No! You’ve already gone too far. Just end this!

[Ends it]

Keep_on_running's avatar

“If you live in America you are among approximately 529 million people who have a better shot at making it than the other six and a half billion people on earth!

Why are Americans so up themselves? ;-)

auhsojsa's avatar

@Keep_on_running To always better ourselves, its the American way.

digitalimpression's avatar

@Keep_on_running As you’ll see I said “or any other successful nation”. Either way, I challenge you to prove that what I’ve said is false. Bring something to the table.

Zeus, I hate mindless posts that don’t provide anything useful to the conversation but still get lurve.

Keep_on_running's avatar

I think the other jellies here have made many greats points I couldn’t make as succinctly, and since this is social I thought: “hey, why not make a lighthearted joke?”...

…and I don’t bring things to tables, I observe and analyse the things already on the table. Okay, I don’t really know what that means, but I stand by my comment.

mattbrowne's avatar

Equal pay has not yet been reached. But it will.

submariner's avatar

On the pay equity issue, a recent interview with Linda Barrington of Cornell on NPR’s Here and Now program will be of interest. I recommend listening to the whole thing if you have time, and not just reading the summary (click the “listen” button at top left of the text).

She sides with those who say that pay equity is still an issue, but she acknowledges the complexity of the issue. She also recognizes the broader issue of income inequality (the 99% thing) is a far more serious problem.

Besides pay equity, there are other things that should be taken into account, such as life expectancy, incarceration rates, unemployment rates, high school completion, likelihood of completing a postsecondary degree, likelihood of dying on the job, and likelihood of dying violently. Women are better off than men in all these areas.

Paradox25's avatar

I’m not sure what you mean by the ‘inequality’ gap. There are many areas in life today where women have major advantages over men, but these are rarely brought up. Penalties for various criminal acts are much less severe for women then they are for men, women are not required to sign up for selective service but yet are allowed to vote, women are doing much better in schools, men usually get the bum rap after a divorce, mens issues rarely recieve as much attention as womens, there are far more support groups for women than there are for men, men are much more likely to be the victim of violence, and so many more I havn’t mentioned.

Also, on cultural levels men are still expected be men or gentlemen, but yet women can be whatever they want to be and are not held to the same rigid gender standards as men. Women still reap in the benefits of modern day chivalry from the old days of traditionalism while reaping in the ‘benefits’ of progressivism. There is yet another thing you’ve never conveniently brought up, when it comes to many hourly wage jobs men get the short end of the stick from my experiences, because most women are usually given the easier jobs over the men while getting the same pay.

Many self-proclaimed progressives loose me on these issues relating to gender role theories, because they seem to be open to lifting gender role expectations on women while having little problem holding men to them. Do you want ‘inequality’ to disappear: then start considering the feelings of men as well who are being held hostage to being ‘real’ men. When everybody gets treated with equal respect and consideration regardless of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, etc then everybody, including women will benefit.

mattbrowne's avatar

Best strategy is making men’s bonus depend on implementation of equal pay

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