Wednesday, March 5, 2008

PROVING Equality

Megan Looby

In 1960, a child, named Kim, was born in Atlanta Georgia to a very
southern old-fashionedwomen and a prominent business man. Kim’s
mother worked as a homemaker when she was young, but when she
went to school her mother went back to work as a secretary. Kim’s
mother was very conservative but did not accept inequality. Her
mother was perfectly okay with doing most things around the house,
but would not stand for being treated unequally by any man, like her
mother was. They raised Kim to do whatever it takes to achieve her
goals, and that is exactly what she did. She grew up to be astrong and
independent woman. She was a Junior Olympic swimmer, with the
support f her parents, and succeeded in school. She also grew up to be
a very successful business woman. She was the director of a YMCA
branch, a consultant for the YMCA of the USA, and is now a Vice
President of People ManagementInternational, an international
consulting firm. This woman is my Mother. She is very respected by
all of her co-workers because she has earned it, however she had to
work extra hard to earn that respect. That just proves that no matter
how talented a woman is they still have to work twice as hard to be
considered equal to men. I remember when I was a child my Mom
always made sure that Iwas aware of the inequality between the
sexes.She always reminded me that I would have to work harder to
achieve the same thing as men. It helped me growas not only a person,
but as a woman. In all of her work places, she has tried to create an
atmosphere of equality between both sexes. This is a goal that she tries
to achieve in each new job she gets. Her first job was challenging because
she was the only female. She was a lifeguard and worked only with men.
She felt like she was treated unequally so she promised herself that she
would never settle for inequality again. She is the reason that I feel so
strongly about equality and want to end sexism in the world. She is the
reason that I applied to an all male staff of head guards instead of settling
for a regular guard position. She is myrole model; she never gives up and
she achieves every goal she sets for herself.
Although I am aware that there is still inequality towards women in our
world, my Mom has proved to me that you do what you can and push
through it. I do believe that there should be equality among sexes but I
also believe that the way to correct that wrong is to succeed in everything
we do and prove those skeptical men wrong. In addition, when I asked my
Mom about this issue she responded bysaying, “Although protesting and
bringing the issue into the media is important, nobody is going to take it
seriously until you prove that you are equal to them. It is something I
would rather not have to do, but until there is equality it is up to us, as
women, to prove that we deserve equality.” We can not just assume that
they will believe that we are worthy of the equality, even though we are
born equal, we have to show them that we can do things as well or even
better than they can. Feministshave been writing and protesting about
equality between sexes for over a century, and there have been many
improvements, but I believe that the protesting and writing of articles
have taken the movement as far as it can. I believe it is time to take it to
the next level and prove that women can do everything we say we can.
We each have to succeed in what we do, we must work harder and prove
that no matter what obstacles are put in front of us that we can work
through them and be as good as or better than men are.
In my interview, I asked my mom what roles women played when
she was a child. She responded by saying, “although many things
had changed from the beginning of the feminist movement, it still
was not at the level it is is today. Many women were still confined
to being a homemaker or having a low-level job, like a secretary,
there were very few women who held an xecutive position and I
never knew any of them personally.” She went on to say that, “it
was not until I was in my twenties that I saw more women taking
those positions n a more regular basis.” This shows us how much
we have achieved in the last thirty years, and that our effortsare
not going unanswered. However, there are still many obstacles
that women have to overcome in the near future.
I have thought about how we, as a new generation of women, can
help change the way that we are treated and how our future
generations of women will be treated;we have to work harder in
order to achieve the same things as men. This is unfortunate
because it is almost as if we are giving up our cause, but we must
do this to show men that we are equal to them. We deserve
executive positions as much as they and we deserve to be treated
as equals to them. My mom said, “In order to be considered equal,
we must take it upon ourselves to prove to men that we are just as
strong and smart as they are. They are not just going to change
their ideas of women because we say we are equal, we are going to
have to change their minds for them”, this statement made me
realize that the future of feminism and equality for all is relying on
the youth of today, my generation and the generations that follow
me. It is our job to use our skills to bring ourselves to the exact
same level as men. We have to do this if we want to obtain
equality for all women! Nobody is going to hand equality to
us; we are going to have to earn it.
The Feminist movement is unfortunatly going to be around for a
while. I say unfortunately because it is unlikely that men are just
going to give up the fight. We as women must “put down the picket
signs (meaning go into the workforce and use that to prove
equality) and not take ‘no’ for an answer when applying for jobs.
We must strive to be CEO’s or any other higher-level positions and
prove to men that we are equal and deserve their respect. We must
change the minds of men to see that there should be no sexism in
the business world, as well as in our regular lives. We have to do the
‘dirty work’ just so that we can be considered equal to men.” When
my Mom said this, I realized hat I could not rely on protesting or the
media to obtain equality for women; I have to go out and get a great
education and apply for the high-level positions in big corporations in
order to prove that I am equal to every man working in the business
world. I have to do it for myself; this also applies to every other
woman in the world. Each woman must prove herself in the work
place as men do; however, I do realize that men have a much easier
time proving themselves. It is up to every woman to prove to everyone
else in the world that they deserve the equality that is given to men.
However, I do believe it should be a “no brainer” giving equality to
women like it is given to men. We have been studying all different
feminist writers and issues and every time we read a new piece it
brought up things, for example abortion issues, that my Mom has taught
me. When we read the pieces on abortion, it brought back my memory
of when I asked her what abortion was. I was twelve when I heard the
word abortions while I was watching the news; she explained to me that
abortion was a choice that women have on whether to end a pregnancy
if she decided it was in her and her potential baby’s best interest. While
interviewing my Mom Iasked her if she remembered me asking her
about abortion when I was a child. She said that she did and that, even
at twelve, I believed that women should have the right to choose. I was
very curious to see exactly what her definition and views on the subject
were. When I asked her about this she responded by saying that her
definition of abortion as “the right that women have to make their own
decision on whether or not to end a pregnancy based on their moral
beliefs, their financial abilities, and the best interests of themselves and
the potential child.” I felt that this definition fit right in with our
discussion that we had on the piece in class. It was as if she was in my
class discussingit with my classmates and me. I also asked if she
was “pro-choice” or “pro-life,” and she said, “I believe that women
should have the right to choose. If they are not capable of taking care
of a child then they should have the right to end their pregnancy. It is
their body and therefore their choice. However, I do not believe it is a
form of birth control.” I believe that if my Mom had had the
opportunity to take a Women’s Studies class she would have ended up
majoring in it. Equality is very important to herand I believe that it
shows in how she raised my sisters and me. She has shown me how
important it is to stand up for what we believe in and defend ourselves
against sexism and inequality.
The history of feminism can be seen in each of the past generations
of women. Each generation has received more benefits from the
feminists of the previous generation. My Mother is able to have an
executive level job because her Mother fought for her to have more
women’s rights. In addition, I will now have all the opportunities in
he world because my Mother fought for me to have choices of what
I want to do with the rest of my life. We are only going to make the
lives of women better with each generation. Feminism is a part of
every woman’s history and it is what will give our future
generations of women equality to men.

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