The feminist battle
This week, I read “Off the beat: The feminist conundrum.” I feel that it’s important to talk about the other side of the issue: the long road ahead for feminists. I agree that women shouldn’t pursue superiority, but that doesn’t mean we should give up before gaining equality. In an age where women are more likely to be educated than men, why, according to the Center for American Progress, are women being paid an estimated 23 cents less on the dollar? That’s nearly 25 percent less than their male counterparts.
Is our society devaluing education? Time spent in school is a small fraction of time we could spend in the workforce, and we gain skills necessary to do our jobs. Work experience is valuable — but 25 percent more valuable over someone’s career? Women have children, but this shouldn’t determine our wages. Why is it assumed that I’m less qualified to take on a leadership position because I’ll leave to have children? What if I don’t want children or can’t have children? If children are in a woman’s future, that’s fair, but it shouldn’t make her any less than equal to a man.
Yes, the sexes do function differently, but that doesn’t mean that our separation is excusable as equality. With regards to race, the U.S .Supreme Court declared “separate but equal” to be a naturally exclusive and unequal philosophy in dealing with segregation in the 1954 court case Brown v. Board of Education. Why should gender be any different?
Nicki Minaj isn’t an awful example, but why is she hailed over women like Lisa Ling? Ling is brave, independent and a great role model — and she’s never declared herself superior to men. It’s women like Ling who push themselves and lead other women who should represent the feminist movement.
We can’t forget the issues not mentioned: double standards, rape culture and international rights. We are growing out into a world that doesn’t value us as men’s equals. I don’t want to be robbed of opportunities or endangered because of my gender. This is America, the land of equality, so until I have equality, I’m going to keep fighting.
— Lauren Aguilar,
UC Berkeley student