The Long Battle: The Never Ending War Against Women

1508 words - 7 pages

There is an ongoing war on women in today’s society, but it has been cleverly disguised and been waged for so long that many people don’t even realize it’s still happening. Women have been fighting for equality for centuries. Though today, we may not be fighting for the right to vote, hold office, or own land, we are still fighting a quieter battle for respectful and fair treatment from the opposite sex. Men have long thought themselves superior to women in intelligence, social position, and physical abilities. In fact, it is such a long-held, ingrained belief that many men never think to question it. These stubbornly-held ways of thinking are far overdue for an upgrade.
Sexism is the belief or mindset that the male sex is superior to the female sex (Byron). Sexism manifests in many ways, subtle or otherwise. Some of the more common ways sexism is displayed is by men disrespecting, disregarding, degrading, and viewing women as sexual objects for their pleasure. As Captain John L. Bryon, retired Navy captain said, “Sexual harassment, fraternization, and other miscreant acts are symptoms of the problem, but they don’t define it: the disease is much deeper than this.” The women of today live in a world where the word “feminist” is an insult. Feminism, by definition, is the belief in the full economic, political, and social equality of males and females (Mankiller). Contrary to popular belief, feminism is not the strive for a female-dominated society, but a society where men and woman are truly equal in every aspect. Feminism is, in fact, the most inclusive social movement. Feminists fight for equality for not only women, but also other minorities, be it class, race, gender, identity, or sexuality (Mankiller). Yet, in the eyes of society, women who are proudly and publically feminists are looked down upon.
The beliefs of sexism have been ingrained since childhood (Bryon). In an extended study by Prix Jeunesse, a company that analyzes children’s television and its impact on the youth of the world, International Head Maya Gotez found that only thirty-two percent of children’s television characters were female, as opposed to the staggering sixty-eight percent of male characters. Most protagonists of kid’s programs are male, while roughly half of the villains are female. Many of the non-villain female characters often act as “damsels in distress” for the male hero to save. Female characters will often be portrayed as a stereotypical “girly-girl,” and are the butt of many jokes. In addition, female characters (especially animated females) appear skimpily dressed and with unrealistic body types. In many cases, if an animated television program has more than one female character, all or most of the female characters will have identical body types, with impossible hourglass figures being the most common. The message these types of characters promote is that girls are weaker, less intelligent, less useful than boys, and most of their worth can be found in...

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