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Gender Inequality still exists
"Is there any difference between the education acquired by men and women in college?" My answer to that question would be that although the "brick wall" ( Forum 1) in education has been broken, we still have another, invisible barrier called the "glass ceiling." ( Forum 1) Most people would say that education has changed a great deal since women began to attend institutions of higher learning. Is this completely true?
Women have undoubtedly made "Substantial educational progress." ( Women 3) We should not forget that the large gaps between the education levels of women and men in the early 1970’s essentially disappeared for the younger generation. Females on average outperform males in reading and writing, and take more credits in academic subjects. They are more likely than males to attend college after high school, and are as likely to graduate with a post-secondary degree. All of these accomplishments have accumulated with time and effort from women that have made a difference. It has taken years to get to where we are, but how far have we really come?.
. Seventy percent of illiterate people throughout the world are females. That is a shockingly large amount of women that suffer the consequences of social stratification. Why are women given the role of the caretaker and not the scholar? Why are only ten percent of women in the world holding some type of legislative seat? Throughout history women have been brought up to be mothers and have been forced to practice staying home taking care of their children. According to history, women have only begun their battle with sexism.
About one hundred years ago women were still claimed as a man’s property. They had no right to vote, they could not be part of a jury and had no rights to property. Not too long ago in the nineteen fifties women could not even own a credit card in their name. Where are we today? Has it really improved very much? I don’t think it has, women still can’t vote in some Arabic countries. Sexism affected the development and socioeconomic improvement of women in the past. Today it is holding back bright futures for many young women everywhere.
"The first women to enter this male-ordered campus were venturing into unmapped terrain." (Sadker 229) Not only does gender inequality limit a woman’s college education, it also designs the pathway with which this woman will dedicate her time to. Even after acquiring a degree that woman most likely will continue to be a victim of sexism in the workplace. "Female college graduates earn, on average, salaries that are eighty percent of what their male counterparts receive" (232) The glass ceiling does not allow women to reach higher positions in their careers. At the same time this allows males with the same education to have more power and prestige in the same company.
Even if a woman survives through a "male" oriented type of career and achieves the best in this field of study there will always be sexism. In today’s society females are raised to be dainty and lady like, men on the other hand are raised to be strong and to never show weakness. Since the beginning of their lives, children are socialized into playing a certain role in society. Girls are dressed in pink and boys are dressed in blue this acts as a form of identification. Everyone around them automatically assumes the child’s gender, thus affecting the way that people look at the child. Boys play with cars and trucks and girls usually play with dolls. This is an example of something referred to as socialization, which leads girls and boys to be raised with different beliefs. This is the norm in most societies and it follows people throughout their lives.
Women were not considered physiologically equal to men. Male dominance came from a belief that males were genetically predisposed to be aggressive. This is also the case for women, because they were believed to have genes that made them nurturers. There are actual theories that explained how women were drained of energy every month due to their menstrual cycle, therefore making it difficult for them to attend college. If women did enroll at a college or a university the majority would go into feminine fields of study, for example nursing and education.
Studies show that girls and boys share an overwhelming number of characteristics. They have the same capacity to succeed in reading, writing and mathematics. And until puberty begins, they have similar physical development, so that coed teams before puberty would have as many outstanding girl stars as boy stars – assuming of course, that the two had comparable practice and coaching. Contrary to public opinion, parents, rather than peers or the media, have the greatest influence on their daughter’s lives and life choices. Expectations and experiences from family and community members are more likely to influence girls’ decisions than their innate abilities. Differences in achievement come from distinct expectations for success and experiences.
The period in time in which women began to enroll in colleges and universities across America males dominated institutions of higher learning. The majority of the professors and faculty were of the male gender and most of them disagreed with the new urge of women to acquire an education. It was difficult for them to accept because they thought that women were trying to become equal to men. Women only began to choose "masculine" types of careers less than half a decade ago. "As the wave of college women surged into emerging careers, they often abandoned the traditional life-style of marriage and motherhood." ( Forum 2) Men did not welcome women in the universities that had been mostly male institutions, because they were afraid that they would take opportunities that had only existed for them in the past. "At the highest educational level, where the instructors are the most credentialed and the students the most capable, teaching is the most biased." ( Forum 5)
A college education for females in general has proven to involve some type of sexism, due to the dominance that male students have practiced over their educational career. Women are most likely to sit quietly through a class and males mostly blurt out answers or respond by raising their hands. This is a result of the way that teachers have treated these students in the past. "Women’s silence is loudest in college" (Sadker 233) this is very true because since they are intimidated by the more confident, directing male they feel that perhaps it is not their place to answer to certain questions during class discussions. Another reason for this is that there are more male professors in colleges and universities and it is even more difficult to find women professors at the most prestigious universities.
Throughout these silent scenarios of sexism in the classroom, more and more women today are being robbed of "knowledge and self-esteem." ( Sadker 234) These young women slowly lose their confidence to respond to the professors during class discussions. Only because they feel that they are not as intelligent as their male counterparts. Why must a woman answer a question with a phrase like: "This probably isn’t right but" and "I’m not sure if this is what you want, but"? (Sadker 235)
The truth is that not much has changed, although today there are more women than men in college, inequality in educational opportunities still stagnates the growth of intellectual youth. The biggest problem that we face in a college or university is being a woman. Today there are more women that have acquired degrees in the "hard sciences",
( Forum 4) but statistics still show the gap between the sexes has endured until the present time.
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