*This post is a work in progress because my understanding of gender equality evolves and grows everyday. I would love for you to contact me with questions and comments.
Gender inequality in our society is something that I have paid a lot of attention to in the last couple years. This semester I am taking a Women's Studies/ Sociology course titled "Gender and the Law." I also have a first year seminar about social identity, justice, and community. One of the main social identities we analyze and discuss is sex.
There really isn't any disputing the fact that sexism is alive and well. Men are praised or overlooked for their promiscuity while women are disrespected and gossiped about for theirs. What can be done about the double standards that exist for women in American (and many other) societies?
The other day we studied an employment discrimination case that involved a woman not being promoted because she was not "feminine" enough. She would have been promoted to partner in an accounting firm. My professor said that "One of the criticism's her employer brought up was that she cursed and that 'professional women do not curse.' Fuck that." My professor's language made the whole class crack up but it caught my attention in a different way. I did not like that she cursed. I asked myself why. Cursing is such a double standard when it comes to sex. A man is just a man when he curses but a woman becomes trashy and foul-mouthed. Do I perpetuate this inequality by not swearing?
What about the fact that I dress modestly? It is recognized that a girl who covers up her body is usually more respected by men than those who keep their bodies on display. Is this not a double standard? Why can't I walk around in a tank top and short-shorts and be judged for what I say and do? Why do I have to hide my body to gain respect from men and women alike? Why is there a connection with clothing choices and honor only when judging a woman? Shouldn't we be judging women on their character and not what they do or don't wear? The girls that choose to cover up aren't even judged for their words and actions. They are just judged positively based on their choice to dress modestly.
Is gaining gender equality a game that needs to be played by men's standards, i.e. not cursing, covering up, etc. or is it rebelling: dressing how we want, and cursing if we please, until it is the norm?