Against gender devaluation

Promoting equality by removing disparities between genders

Lucy Pierro , Staff Reporter

Growing up as the only girl living in a house full of boys, I found myself being handed a cape more often than a Barbie doll, and frankly, that’s something I’m grateful for.

Because my mother lived in Mexico from the time I was just four years old until she passed away almost two years ago, I realized at a significantly young age that I would have to fend for myself as a girl trying to find my identity as a woman.

Females enter the world labeled as a dependent. Yet, women give life while men are allowed the advantages. If a female challenges this label, it’s regarded as absurd that she even put forth the effort.

The only significant change that has been made in this situation since women were given the right to vote in 1920 was when the U.S. Supreme Court had a spark of realization that sexual harassment should probably be illegal within the workplace just because a woman finally decided to form a case against it.

Too often, we forget that we are solely human. Since we all have the right to vote, it sounds funny to say: ‘You’re a human and so are you, but only one of you are allowed to vote until another human challenges this decision.’ Still today, though, two humans can perform the same job, and as soon as the human’s gender is revealed, it is considered reasonable to pay a female less.

According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2012 women 35 years and older were paid 75 to 78 percent of the earnings of their male counterparts. However, I have yet to meet a man who is uncomfortable being paid equal to his female counterparts.

As a child, I viewed gender discrimination as a sort of inevitable consequence that came with life, something I was obligated to deal with. I never anticipated that this discrimination would become more frequent and more visible until I entered the workforce at 16 years old.

This summer, I overheard my co-worker at Interlachen Country Club complaining about working with me because I was “too boring” and “not as fun.”

Amazed that this came from my 30-year-old superior, I laughed, sarcastically said thanks and walked away while my manager defended me. What shocked me even more, though, was after work that day when I told my brother, who also works with the captain server, about this, he paused and said; “It’s just because you’re a girl.”

This sparked a realization in me: as a woman in the workforce, I have found more people who doubt my abilities due to my gender than those who doubt my work ethic.

Emma Watson, actress and United Nations (UN) Goodwill Ambassador, helped launch a new campaign on Saturday, Sept. 20th called HeForShe. The movement intends to involve as many men as possible to aid in finding a solution for the long-standing issue of gender inequality.

Watson introduced HeForShe with a speech that went viral just minutes after. This movement is certainly a step in the right direction, demonstrating how gender equality affects all people, whether it’s socially, economically or politically.

Being the first world-wide organization to engage in the fight for equality within each sex, the UN has gained approximately 183,848 males who have submitted an online agreement to uphold the integrity of this campaign.

The HeForShe website addresses that this is a problem within humans, not gender: “The movement for gender equality was originally conceived as a struggle led only by women, for women. Now it’s time to unify our efforts.”