Women Don’t Have Equal Rights


Someone asked me why I am so worried about gender equality. He continued to tell me that I am just another “feminist” fighting for rights that women “already have.” I tried to explain to him that rights are not only the ability to vote and participate in Congress, but also the entitlement to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This being something that women do not possess, to this day. Many people persist to think that just because it is 2020, women are finally equivalent to men, but this is extremely invalid. Women go through a number of things in their day to day life. These could be things like sexual assault, stereotypes, anti-abortion laws, political inequality, unequal pay, and much more. In this opinion, I will try and help the reader get a better grasp of what women are currently going through and to be more aware of how impactful and devastating these things can be.

Sexual assault and rape are two of the greatest problems women face in today’s world. One in five women will experience some form of rape or sexual assault within their lifetime, and 13% of these women that survive rape will commit or attempt suicide. This is something that needs to be changed now. Sexual harassment can be both physical and mental. Even talking about something inappropriate with someone else can make a person uncomfortable and/or scar them for life. Rape, sexual assault, and human trafficking are a constant battle that women have to fight, not only in the U.S. but all over the world. America, alongside South Africa, has the second-highest number of rapes and sexual assaults. And we all have to realize, whether we like it or not, that this is a real problem that is going on at this very moment. It’s happening all around us but we never notice. Don’t wait for it to happen to you to believe it.

Although stereotypes may seem to some as insignificant, they are actually very impactful on the people that are victims of them. Women are stereotyped as many things. These may be things like stay at home moms, obedient wives, having certain manners, cooking, cleaning, etc. It’s discrimination on the basis of sex, typically used towards women (not that it doesn’t happen to anyone else). Stereotypes exist everywhere, and everyone is exposed to them. I can say from personal experience that stereotypes are commonly used towards teen girls in high school. Being exposed to these gender norms at a young age might make her feel like she has to act or look a certain way. It’s creating an image for her to work up to, which is not good. Young girls should be able to make their own decisions on who they want to be, and stereotypes can hold them back from doing this.

Abortion is a human right, and that is unquestionable. Many states in the US are against the idea of abortion. States including North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana have all tried to ban women’s rights to abortion. Truth is, we really don’t know everyone’s situation, so it would be wrong for anyone to assume that they know what is right for someone else. For instance, there could be a young girl living in one of these states that got raped and doesn’t have the money or the time to keep a baby. But she has no choice but to keep the child if abortion is illegal. This could affect her school and home life. Abortion is freedom of choice and America is supposed to be a “free” country. Banning things like access to abortion is not living up to that statement. Women’s rights to abortion need to be protected.

Have you ever seen a female president? No, right? There are only three female U.S. Supreme Court members and seven cabinet positions. These numbers are lower than they should be. They are low because men are thought of as “smarter” and “more intelligent.” Women aren’t taken seriously in politics.

These are just a few of the issues that women have to bear all the time. Why? Simply just because we are women. Rights are something that we are supposed to be born with. America is supposed to be a place of freedom and equality for all. Yet we aren’t equal at all. We continue to be mistreated, misled, and misinterpreted. Our capability to do certain things is denied by many. And we are normalized by society as many things. Of course everyone, women and men, all suffer in our own ways, but women go through quite a few things that men will never compare to. Being a woman in 2020 is difficult. But there is a solution. And that is to be you with no boundaries. Take action when necessary, and don’t let anyone tell you who you can and cannot be in life. You create your own image, and everyone else can create their own.

“Feminism isn’t about making women strong. Women are already strong. It’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength.” – G.D. Anderson