Equal Enough?

Adapted from: “Our favorite “f-word”: The misconceptions of feminism in Uni and mainstream culture” By BETH LARSON and LARA ORLANDIC

One popular way of dismissing the present-day feminist movement is the common misconception that men and women are “equal enough” in our society.

“Things have just gotten so much better for women. It’s very easy for women to take feminism for granted, and there are a lot of benefits and privileges that we as women living in 2011 enjoy that came as a result of hard fights.”

Since the Women’s Liberation Movement changed women’s status in society so drastically, people tend to overlook the present-day gender inequalities. Even though men and women are considered to be politically equal, there is a long way to go until both genders are socially and economically equal.

Feminism is commonly associated with choice, and although women have more choice in society today than in previous decades, it is important to note that the political and social contexts in which women make choices are not equal. For example, women are more likely to pursue a career in the humanities or social sciences, while men are encouraged to pursue technical careers, such as engineering or business.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, women earned 81.2% as much as men did, for all professions. Even in nursing, which is a stereotypically female occupation, women are only paid 86.5% of the amount of money that male nurses earn.

The same report also showed that the most popular careers among women are registered nurses and elementary/middle school teachers. The least popular careers are computer programmers and occupational therapists. In general, there is a higher percentage of women doing lower-paying jobs (housekeeping, waiting tables, etc.) than jobs with higher salaries (surgeons, lawyers, computer software engineers).

The idea that men and women are now “equal enough” seems to quite prevalent in my opinion. While women have made huge leaps and bounds for their rights in the past 50 years there is still much that can be accomplished. We should be pleased with equal ENOUGH, we should strive for complete equality and tolerance for all.

-N

 

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