Women In Society Essay

Women In Society Term paper

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In our society today many issues have brought about great debate and many more still need to be debated. "Why do women feel oppressed?" "Why do men make more money?" "How are women portrayed in media?" Questions like these consistently spark arguments on an extremely sore subject, Gender Equity and Justice. Gender Equity and Justice is an issue that has been debated and has opened the door into many problems in this country as well as the world as a whole. At Springfield College issues of gender equity and justice are issues that are seldom dealt with. Maybe it is because people are afraid of the issue or maybe it is because they feel like there is no problem to speak of, but we have a different opinion. In a group of our peers, who were picked at random, and who had no prior knowledge of what was to be spoken of, voiced their opinion in a focus group centered on the idea of gender equity and justice. This group showed the opinions of various types of people coming from various backgrounds and ethnicities as well as both sexes being represented equally. In a world of such struggle and controversy voices such as these need to be heard in attempts to change things for the better."Springfield College- where the men are men and the women are too." All to often a statement such as this can lead to anger. When asked how this made the women in the group feel most of them said that it was just a stupid saying. But is it? Is this something that people just say? When we looked at the way things were here at Springfield College we found many things very interesting. Are things here really that good? Many women who are here still feel like they have to fit a certain image to fit in here. But do these feelings only go one way? Nearly all of the men in the group said that they felt like they also had an image to live up to. Women at SC see themselves as having to fulfill the image of tall, skinny, and athletic. An over lying theme in the focus group seemed to be stereotypes. I sat back a listened to all of the women talk about what the stereotypical SC girl looks like. I watched as they all compared themselves to that image. However many of them said that there isn't really a big problem with gender on campus. They all told their stories of things that had happened to them and things that they had individually felt. Many girls told of the lack of support from campus police in the escort service. That they were told that they were abusing the power and that they just wanted a "free ride," unless I am mistaken, I thought that is what an escort service was designed for a free ride across campus. A ride to replace a long walk across campus at night. Other stereotypes that are conveyed on this campus have to do with gay/lesbian issues. The specific issue with which I am sure we all know about is with the softball team. The general assumption that goes around this campus is that if you play softball then you must be lesbian. These are the stereotypes that must be broken if we are ever to have a truly equal campus. Men on the other hand have completely different issues with gender equity and justice. On this campus the consensus is that men, particularly athletes, get whatever it is that they so desire. It is that men have it so easy and get all the breaks. We have found through our group that this is not the case. One statistic that was given to us by a football player in our group was that 40, what are now seniors, came in as freshman and there are only 10 left on the team, 25 of which have been kicked out for academic reasons. On a campus where it is believed to be so heavily favoring in male favor, it seems to us that they get it just as bad. We were also told that they feel like they have to fit the stereotype of being big, strong, athletic, muscular, and drink a lot. This stereotype of the typical SC man is a sad distortion of the truth. Once again stereotypes of what people think seem to be a problem in the society that we call SC. In society the problem of gender equity and justice is one that will not be fixed quickly. In a world where privilege is the most desired thing, the struggle to obtain that privilege can start in many areas and gender is one of them. As hard as it may be to accept, the fact of the matter is that males run the world. In society males have the majority of power by a large margin. I think to look to see how this all came about you must go back to the very early days when the bible, as we know it today was written. Females were portrayed as evil and insignificant beings. We only bring up the bible because this society is also run by a majority of white Anglo-Saxon males. It is these beliefs that our society is based upon and what lead us to the differences that we have now. These feelings are carried out today in numerous ways. We can look at the media and see just how women are portrayed. All to often they are seen doing things that puts them down and degrades them. It also gives us a false sense of what is real. We see models that are size zeros and every feature you can possibly imagine has been enhanced, or sucked out. To look and see gender equality as a goal would be the correct statement because of the way society is still dwelling on the privilege that they have. Men, at present, have a great majority of the privilege in this land. They are not willing to give up any of it and therefore try to keep the women of this world down and out of the light of the world. Our society, being run by a huge number of men, is definitely a proponent for inequality among genders. And until a time comes when the amount of men in power starts to decrease, the struggle for women will never subside. The overwhelmingly large issue that seems to prevail at SC is stereotypes. These are the things that are keeping SC back away from gender equality. We have seen many instances in which stereotypes play a role in how we think about certain issues and how they govern our actions and thoughts. We have seen that at SC, people are to worried about who they think they have to be that they forget that just being themselves should be enough. We here have let stereotypes run our lives and determine our actions. Out in the real world, things aren't very much different. People are afraid of what they don't understand and therefore they come up with stereotypes for what they don't understand. These stereotypes lead to inequality among people in general, not only male vs. female. As a society we need look past all these stereotypes and see what is true and meaningful about people. We need not fight about petty differences, but we must stand up for ourselves. Men can no longer degrade women in the media and on TV. Women must give things time to change and realize how much better things have already gotten. As a whole we must all learn a little understanding and compassion for each other. The key to change in our society is to get to the children and teach them to be more understanding and accepting of others. This start in the right direction will lead to a worldwide change in thought. The Potter Center is an on campus resource. Until our group session no one in the group had ever heard about it. The first thing that is needed by the Potter Center is better awareness. They need to publicize their causes and to make themselves know as a place that students on campus can go to get help. They also need to deal with issues that effect the students' everyday lives. The group conveyed to us, that students don't see a need for things that don't effect them on a day to day basis. If the Potter Center was to make an impact on campus it needs to deal with issues that students find interesting and important in their lives. We also found that a center with the name "Women's Center" does not open itself to the males on campus. Students feel like they are not welcome there if they are males because it is a Women's Center. In a world as cynical as ours, being different is a hard thing to do. Speaking out against issues of great debate is a hard thing to do. On the campus of Springfield College these things become even harder. To be different here in culture of people with generally all the same type of background is very hard. We must all work to find the understanding that is needed in this world to make changes. Why is that we must not accept what we don't understand. Through this group we have found many things that needed to be changed but the entire process can be hurried along if we could all just begin to understand and care for each other and not so much about ourselves.

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