Fight for Equality between Men and Women
How it works
The fight for equality between men and women has been an ongoing battle for years. While many opt to turn a blind eye and believe there is equality, there are so many situations not only nationally, but globally that prove otherwise. While respect towards women has grown, there is still a lot of tension fueled by the male perception of what a “women’s role” is in society.
In today’s society, women are not strongly represented in executive roles, experience significant wage gaps for equal work, and from a global standpoint have no say pin any aspect of their lives.
To start, it is vital to understand what the term, “gender equality” truly means in order to understand its parameters. Gender equality is defined most simply as men and women have the same rights, responsibilities, and opportunities regardless of their gender. Powerhouse companies have been trying to paint the image that men and women are treated equally in their workplace.
Powerhouse companies paint a facade that men and women are treated equally in their workplace. The video, “The Culture inside Google,” paints the picture of a worker’s dream. The office is filled with restaurants, ping pong tables, massage stations, and more. Nelson Mattos, Vice President of EMEA Product and Engineering stated, “What makes Google different from every other organization in the world is its internal cultures. It’s the freedom that we give to our employees to pursue their own ideas, and it’s the fact that we treat everyone the same.” Sounds like a dream doesn’t it? On the contrary, one simple search of the company name in its own search bar unveils a plethora of dark stories.
In October of 2018 news broke that a group of women are suing Google in regards to pay discrimination. The women involved in this lawsuit held a variety of positions at Google including, “product management, product sales, technical operations, software engineering, research, and technical writing” (Levin). The class action lawsuit also claims that Google was paying women less than men for doing the same work, while also denying promotions and career opportunities to qualified women (Levin). These allegations prove to be quite the opposite from Mr. Mattos’s statement that they treat everyone the same at Google. If that story wasn’t enough to prove the discrimination women face in the workplace, there is an even darker one.
Google’s parent company, Alphabet, the board of director has cost the firm,“ billions of dollars by covering up sexual abuse by senior executives and paying them millions as they were quietly ousted,” (Baron). Android creator, Andy Rubin, was accused of pressuring a female Google employee into oral sex. Curious as to what his punishment was? A $90 million dollar severance package for his actions. Search chief, Amit Singhal, received millions more in severance after being accused of drunkenly groping a female Google employee at an off-site event (Baron).
How are women supposed to feel protected and as if they have a voice in the workplace when men are essentially rewarded for sexual harassment? Furthermore, it takes a great deal of courage for these victims to step forward against their superiors. These are just a few instances, from one company, of discrepancies woman face in the workplace.
Next, the novel Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, shed light on the gender inequality of an Ibo village in Nigeria. The plot of the book highlights the theme of a patriarchal society in which the men hold all of the power in the household. Antagonist Okonkwo does anything to assert dominance, as he believes that weakness is associated with femininity. The idea of dominance was also highlighted symbolically through the men’s fixation of wrestling throughout the village. It was said, “ no matter how prosperous a man was, if he was unable to rule his women and his children (and especially his women) he was not really a man.” (54).
In this village, women were to cook, clean, reproduce, and listen to their husband. Marriages were arranged and men had more than one wife with multiple children from each woman. If a woman did not fear her husband, then he was not a real “man”. The book did a tremendous job of highlighting tribal life from the inside and giving readers a glimpse of how severe the inequality woman face on a global scale. Similarly, the excerpt Oum Idris: A Determined Women from Women in the City of Dead also highlights women’s perceived “purpose” in other countries. Oum Idris started off her tale by painting a picture of her journey from the village into the city. She described her parents as good people who were desperate for one thing, “to find her a husband even though they had little money”(101). This parallels to Things Fall Apart as Okonkwo was trying to find a husband for his daughter.
For the most part, in American culture in today’s society, girls are pushed to go to school, make a career for themselves, pick their own spouse, or choose to stay single. From a cross-cultural standpoint, woman are told whom they will marry, do not have the right to an education, take care of the children, and live in fear of their spouse. This lifestyle of inequality for women in other countries is a continuous cycle which is why there is no room for them to progress as a society. This is evident as Oum kept the cycle going with her own kids stating, “my skill in matchmaking is well known and I don’t mind boasting about it a bit,”(104).
People stick to what they know which is part of the explanation as to why women in other countries have trouble breaking boundaries and acquiring freedom in their lives. Similarly, in America tension is fueled by the male perception of what a “women’s role” is in society. Decades ago, when many of our ancestors were growing up, women stayed home and raised the kids while the men were the sole providers. More presently, there is an increase in stay at home dads.
According to the U.S. Census, “32% of married fathers (approximately 7 million dads) are a regular source of care for their children under age 15.” However, conflict occurs when men who are stuck in a mindset of old fashion morals that they provide and their wives clean. In terms of the workplace, this is seen when a company’s population is a split between older employees and millennials. As with most conflict it arises from opposing perspectives. Finally, gender inequality is recognized but not acted upon. The media has portrayed the horrors of one of the most male-dominated workforces, banking, in the movie, The Wolf of Wall Street. The saga follows Jordan Belfort on his quest for acquiring women and money.
In one scene Belfort’s associate Rugrat can shave the head of any female employee, who, in exchange, will be rewarded with $10,000 (The Wolf of Wall Street). This clip alone shows how women may have to endure public humiliation in the hopes of personal enhancement in the workplace, especially in male-dominated companies. While this was played up by Hollywood, it supports the fact that women are often put in compromising positions in the workplace just to develop their careers, which is simply unjust. When will enough be enough? We like to say we are the generation of change, that everyone is treated equal, and that everyone’s voice is heard.
However, we aren’t, we live in a time where women make less than men, where women are still inferior to males in the workplace, and in some countries, women have no rights; rather their lives are defined for them as seen in Things Fall Apart and Women in the City of Dead. Until women and men are equally represented in executive positions, until women and men have equal pay for equal work, and until women and men have the right to define their own lives gender equality has not been achieved.
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Fight for Equality between Men and Women. (2021, Mar 26). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/fight-for-equality-between-men-and-women/