Road to Equality

Road+to+Equality

[ot-caption title=”Pine Crest girls stand up against gender inequality. (via Camila Piza, freshman)”]

According to the 2010 US census, there are about five million more women in this country than there are men, so why is it that women are still treated as inferior to men? And, of course, there are arguments for progress, because after all, it was less than one hundred years ago that women could not even vote. But the problem of gender inequality is far from over. On the Internet and even around Pine Crest, it’s not difficult to come by those who preach the gospel of “debunking the gender pay gap myth,” or expressing their disdain for “those crazy feminists.” This issue may not be new, but in light of recent events, the issue of gender equality seems extremely relevant.

A couple weeks ago, the US Women’s Soccer team spoke out against The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission with a lawsuit, arguing the claim that the female players get paid less than men. Now, there are several arguments about the validity of equal pay in sports. Athletics make a large sum of their money through advertisement and fan support. It is a fact that many male sports are more popular than female sports, and therefore bring in more revenue. However, what becomes the excuse when the Women’s Soccer team is not only more popular than the men, but also better? Coming off of their World Cup Victory tour, the US Women’s Soccer team definitely pulled in a huge source of revenue, but only some of that revenue ended up in their pockets. It seems like now is the perfect time to make their case. The women’s evidence includes a detailed report of the several ways in which they face wage discrimination. For example, a report from the New York Times reveals that if both the male and female teams lost all twenty exhibition games (also called friendlies), the women would get paid 72,000 dollars while the men would get paid 100,000 dollars. Now, if both teams won every game, the women would be paid 99,000 dollars compared to the men’s 263,320 dollars.  This difference is credited to the bonus each team receives per win. Consequently, the team has chosen to go on strike until they get what they deserve, putting their careers on hold for the powerful issue of gender inequality.

This issue also extends beyond the sphere of sports. In his State of the Union address in 2014, President Obama stated, “Today women make up about half our workforce, but they still make seventy-seven cents for every dollar a man earns.” In developing nations, these statistics are even more startling being that women are not allowed to grow independently. They have had to take a step back in order for their fathers, husbands, and/or brothers to become successful while they just remain an accessory to their prosperity. Sophomore Rachel Auslander works with the Gender Equality Club to show the school how disparaging the gender gap in developing countries is, especially without female education. Rachel shares, “Girls living in developing countries who do not have the chance to go to school often become child brides, have early pregnancies, and are unable to obtain a high-paying job when they are older. An education allows a girl to escape the cycle of poverty and benefits her community’s economy. Girls’ education benefits everyone.”

Here at Pine Crest, the Gender Equality Club has been trying to raise awareness on issues both in school and globally. Senior president of the GEC, Ginger Hollander, states that at the club’s monthly meetings students discuss “double standards between genders, the wage gap, abortion rights and legislation, the stigma behind the word ‘feminist,’ and any relevant stories in the media.” Ginger hopes to spread her message across the school; she states, “Regardless of your gender or sexual identity, you should educate yourself on the matter and fight for equality for everyone.”

Sources: Census, Whitehouse, The Nation, The New York Times, Bustle, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Day of the Girl