2012 Summit Special Section Opinions

With conflicting ideologies and gender inequality, it’s time for America to reflect

Commentary by Sarah Sakha XCP ’14
SPECIAL TO THE ROUNDUP

Ism. Ism. Ism.

Are “isms” good? I’m not talking about socialism, fascism, anarchism, communism. I’m talking about gender issues – feminism and sexism.

Ferris Bueller (high school senior who decides to skip school and take a day off with his best friend and his girlfriend), said, “Isms’ in my opinion are not good. A person should not believe in an ‘ism,’ he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon: ‘I don’t believe in Beatles, I just believe in me.’”

Sorry, Ferris, but I have to disagree with you there. I am a staunch feminist. No, I’m not a crazy, overhyped, radical feminist/sexist/misandrist.  But, women do deserve the same rights as men, with political, social, and economic equality.

At this point, many will bring up the cliché and futile argument that women simply cannot be equal to men—at least, physically. Frankly, though, the inability of most girls to pick something up without whining like a Kardashian is irrelevant to this conversation.

In the United States, women ostensibly have the same legal rights as men, but in reality, according to The New York Times, most women believe that more needs to be done to achieve gender equality. Women’s earnings still lag far behind those of men. In fact, according to Time Magazine, U.S. women still earned only 77 cents for every dollar men earned in 2008. In many cases, the job market still favors men over women. According to the Pew Research Center, from the end of the recession in June 2009 through May 2011, men gained 768,000 jobs, while women lost 218,00 jobs. Women are still scorned and looked down upon in politics – although many can thank Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin for that.

What about some of the Islamic countries? For example, let’s take a look at Iran. Speaking from firsthand experience, women are considered far more inferior to men – all are impelled to wear a hejab, the job market is far more limited for women, and men’s legal rights far outnumber theirs. Unless you are a misogynist and/or sexist, you’ll have to agree with me that this is unacceptable and corrupt. Women are blatantly deemed inferior to men in such societies, but they are far from this in reality.

Let’s turn to the Bible. Woman was made from man’s rib, and thus man and woman were made equal to each other. So shouldn’t both man and woman be equal in today’s society too?

At the same time, the Bible can be used, and misused, in arguing both sides. While some argue men and women are equal in light of Scripture readings, others twist the same passages to justify chauvinistic behavior.

Regardless if you’re a sexist or not, here is a last word to Brophy guys: Chivalry in a gentleman is always appreciated and praised. Open the door for a girl. But don’t be jerks – in other words, don’t be sexists.

We can do anything you guys can do. Hey, I’m a feminist.