One Word: Feminism

This article was originally published on September 27, 2020.

Feminism is the advocacy of women’s rights based on the equality of sexes. It is the belief that women and men are equal, and society should reflect this. However, unlike most think, feminism is not the belief that women are better than men.

One of the main reasons it is clear that women and men are not treated equally is the wage gap. In 2019, for every dollar a Caucasian man made, a Caucasian woman made 77 cents, disregarding racial factors. Women consistently earn less than men, and the gap is wider for most women of color. Gender-based pay discrimination has been illegal since 1963, but that has not stopped it from becoming the common practice it is today. Based on the Center for Amerian Progress, the gender wage gap has only closed by four cents in more than a decade. At the current pace, women are not estimated to reach pay parity with men until 2059. In 2014, not one GOP member voted in favor of closing the gender wage gap, showing the little effort that has been made to close the gender wage gap.

Moreover, women make up half of the United States population, however, Congress is made up of 77% men. Based on Daedalus, in 2019, women constituted 23.7 percent of Congress compared with a global average of 24 percent. According to an analysis by Deutsche Bank Securities chief economist Torsten Slok, at the current rate, the US is about 90 years away from seeing equal numbers of men and women in Congress. Furthermore, according to Vox, while in 2018, women brought their total numbers in Congress to 127, much of the data is still grim. For every woman across both chambers, there are roughly three men. And the split along party lines is even starker. Thirty-eight percent of Democratic lawmakers are currently women, while only 8 percent of Republicans are women. As of now, men have more of a role in deciding women’s fates than women themselves.

As for healthcare, 29 states have restricted women from accessing reproductive healthcare while zero states have restricted men from accessing reproductive healthcare. In 2019, President Trump held a meeting with 30 men in the U.S. House of Representatives’ Freedom Caucus to discuss maternity care. Not a single woman was present to discuss women’s healthcare. Now, that’s idiotic.

The average woman is charged an extra $1,351 annually just for being a woman. This is also known as the pink tax. Women are paying more than men 42% of the time. Now to explain the pink tax more clearly, it entails the price difference between gender-specific product alternatives. Based on the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, products for women and girls cost 7% more than comparable products for men and boys. These statistics are purely absurd, considering that the average woman earns less than the average man but has to pay more for certain products.

Gloria Steinem, a feminist icon, once said “a feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.” This statement is the utter definition of a feminist. We must work to change all of the statistics discussed in this article. Thank you for reading!