BRM 2017 July 2017 - Page 82

Women’s Equality Day: Are We Truly Equal?

In 1971, the US designated August 26th as Women’s Equality Day, this date selected to commemorate the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates this 19th Amendment observance, but also continuously calls attention to women’s continuing efforts towards full equality. The battle was won in 1920, but there are wars still being fought. Are women in America truly equal to man in every possible way?

Iceland, in 2017, will be the very first country to pay their women and their men equally. According to the World Economic Forum, Iceland has had the smallest gender gap running for almost eight years now, despite this, the women in Iceland still make between 14% and 18% less pay than men in the workplace. Consequently, a new law will now require that women and men get equal pay in the workplace, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality or nationality. If Iceland is the first country in the world to demand equal pay for ALL working citizens, doesn’t that tell you

that other countries, including America, do NOT demand equal pay?

American advertisements in the 1940’s and 1950’s promoted the woman as a “stay at home mom”, doing all things that everyone thought women should be doing in that time period. Stay at home, raise the kids, clean the house, cook supper for your man for when he comes home from work. These are not bad things, in and of itself, however American society TOLD women what they SHOULD be doing, to be a good woman. How does our American society depict the woman in today’s advertisements? Always super slim, super sexy, super curvaceous, promoting diet foods to “stay skinny”, promoting beers with their ample bosoms, promoting hamburgers with their luscious and sexy lips, annnnd where would you like those lips to be when you are watching this promotion? Exactly! The advertisements have changed; however, the sexual portrayal of the woman has not.

This could be turned into a huge 10 page essay on everything that woman has to face in this day and age; however, I won’t do that, I will simply remind each and every person reading this article, that women ARE equal, in every way, shape and form that exists. We all need to remember this when watching advertisements and reading promotional material about the “woman”.

Now, how can a woman or even a man celebrate Women’s Equality Day? One can find out more about women’s rights struggles around the world. I’ve always said, knowledge is power. Support organization’s promoting women’s rights and equality. Hold an event to raise awareness to women’s equal rights, and DON’T be a feminazi about it. Learn about your sisters; Marty Wollstonecraft, Victoria Woodhull, Lillian Wald, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Mead, and many many many more. Another good way to celebrate this day is register to vote. I won’t go into politics on this one, but I believe if many more women were registered, and used their right to vote, America wouldn’t have what they have in political office right now.

Women, our day of fighting ended a long time ago, it’s no longer a time to fight, but a time to step up, stand up and TAKE what is rightfully ours. Knowledge and power! Do your research, and step up, STAND UP!