Summer has started, and the first summer camp week lies behind me. 10 more weeks to go! Remember my blog post about the financial and organizational challenge of summer camps? Here I am. So, how to manage two blog posts a week with less time and more children at home?
Easy! Let others write for me! Let me introduce you today to my 15-year old daughter, Jasmine. She arrived in the United States 18 months ago, spoke a basic school English, and was a desperate teenager leaving her friends back in Germany. Here is her last English essay. Please apologize all mistakes but I am very proud of her and how she achieved to catch up so much in English. Her essay is about feminism and why she thinks our society needs feminism.
As usual, I would appreciate any comments!
Why I think our society needs feminism
Do you think of yourself as a feminist? Probably not, since after all you are not an angry woman, that is not shaving her legs and hates men, are you? At least that is the image of feminists that pops in the head of most people. That is a misconception about feminism: feminism is not about hating men or fighting to make women superior to men. Now, some will wonder what then feminists are still fighting for, since women have the same rights as men and are equal to men in general. Only they are not, in a lot of cases women are still disadvantaged in comparison to men. So therefor I think, we all should be feminists.
First of all according to the website from the Rape, Assault and Incest National Network, RAINN (1), 9 out of 10 rape-victims are women. What does that have to do with women being equal to men? In a lot of cases women get blamed for it and told that they asked for it, because of their behavior or the clothes they wore. In fact a study from the Daily Mail (2) has shown, that 50 percent of women think that rape victims are responsible for the rape, for example by dancing in certain way, dressing certain way or drinking too much, when being out alone.
Another problem is that in consequence of being judged and blamed for being raped only 32 in a 100 of rapes get reported. Out of these 32, 7 will be arrested and only 2 will spend a day or more in jail (3). One of the reasons why the report number is so low is that 80% of the victims knew the person raping them (4), so often they are scared, that their entourage will turn against them if they report the rape. A reason why there are so few offenders staying is that a natural reaction after a rape is, that victims feel dirty and take a shower, washing away the prove for the rape. In court it is the word of the victim against the offender and if the judge has no evidence, the offender walks free. If now someone does the math, there are about 293,066 rapes every year in the US. 2% of 293,066 are 5.862, which means that approximately 287.205 sexual offender (5) walk around without anyone knowing who they are and only because women get judged if they report a rape.
The last example for this point is what happens outside the States. Other cultures have other rules and accepting that is important, but in some cultures having the consent of the women is not needed in a marriage, since it is considered the right of the husband. The problem with this moral is that in these cultures it is not unusual to marry little girls to men, 5 times their age. In the case of the 8-year old Yemeni girl married to 40-year old men, it meant death. She was forced to intercourse on the wedding night, which caused internal bleeding from which she died later that night in the hospital (6).
Not only do some of these cultures have a distorted image on the definition on rape but also their policemen are not helpful either. In Turkey for example 33% of the police officer say that women deserve to be raped (7).
Another problem in this society are the dress codes in schools, especially in high schools.
The dress codes are mainly against girls. Most of the things an average girl nowadays wears outside of school are banned at school. Tank tops, exposing the shoulders, skirts can not be shorter than the knee, or really popular right now crop tops exposing, when worn with high-waisted shorts, only a small strip of skin, maybe an 1 inch and a half wide, all of these are banned at high schools. Even a bra strap showing can be a reason to be send home and why?
Boys are getting distracted by a shoulder, a thigh or a belly button, but instead of teaching them to behave and not go crazy when they see a bra strap, the schools make girls feel bad about themselves.
In some cases girls get sent back for outfits that are according to the dress code! In one case a girl got send back home for an outfit she had worn to church and school before. In PE, the boys run around shirtless while girls in sports bra are not allowed. The apparent distraction of the boys is put over the education of the girls.
To make that clearer, read about the story of the 5-year old wearing a sundress with spaghetti straps to school. Her teacher made her put a shirt over the dress and jeans underneath the dress covering her whole legs. When her father asked why she had the extra clothes on, she answered: ”spaghetti straps are against the rules and that is just how it is!” Her father was surprised how brainwashed already a five-year old could sound. (8)
When even a little child, one of the most innocent things on earth, is so over sexualized that wearing a dress is to exposing, how can one say that men and women are completely equal?
If not convinced by now, the last point should help.
The Wage Gap is the name for the comparison of men’s and women’s hourly earnings. Alone the fact that there is such thing is a reason for feminism, but also that the Wage Gap is about 25%, meaning that for every dollar a men makes a women gets only 75ct (9).
Some say that is because of the choices of the job. For example there are male physicians but more female nurses (10). Whatsoever when comparing the salaries of teacher even though only 30% of elementary and middle school teachers are male, they earn on average $1,096 a week compared to $956 for the female teacher. That makes the wage gap 22%, for retail seller it is 30% (11).
So women make less money, but they pay more for nearly everything. Deodorant for example, same brand, the women’s one is $3.79 opposed to the men’s one for $1.99 (13), a plain white t-shirt costs $9.00 for women and $4.00 for men (14). Even dry-cleaning costs more for women, even though men’s shirts are bigger and have more fabric. In California, where gendered pricing was banned in 1996, a woman spends on average $1,351 more in a year than men (15).
This society needs feminism as long as women are scared to report rape, have to think twice about what they will wear to school or they work the same as men, but get paid less, to pay higher prices for the same things.
Foto credit by vladimirfloyd