Throughout the years, there have been many stereotypes against women. Some based on occupation, looks, and personality, the list is endless. These stereotypes are still a constant struggle, which women are often, if not always, subject to.
The topic of feminism came to me during a lecture that I had gone through at my school and it made me realize how severely women are treated even to this day. For many women, harassment begins at an early age. According to the Telegraph and many other news outlets, the most rational age, if there even had to be one, would be adults as the main target of being cat-called or harassed by men, but the average age is 11 years old.
At an age where children are learning how to multiply and divide fractions, an age where they are not even close to living a quarter of their lives, girls are being exposed to this toxic culture. This, to me is appalling. As a class experiment to see if this was true, my teacher respectfully asked us to raise our hands if we had gotten catcalled before. Most of the girls in the class raised their hands while none of the boys raised their hands.
The age when they were catcalled or harassed? You guessed it, either around or at 11 years old, and these girls were harassed by adult men. According to research, the majority of women who are catcalled are not catcalled while they are with their significant other or another male. Interestingly enough, many argue that the problem is not with gender, but with how many women dress.
But on the topic of proper dressing, we, as a class also discussed the bias against girls and women and dress codes. The dress code is often inconsistent, focused on girls, and unfair. Various schools have argued that the dress code is for others to focus solely on their schoolwork and not for others to get distracted.
To the male gender, this is slightly degrading that schools degrade their self-control and think that a girl’s shoulder will completely distract them from their schoolwork. It has become normalized for a boy to be distracted by a girl’s body. This helped me realize how important it is to address issues that are beyond the mistreatment of women.
With all the controversy happening today, many have spoken up about the fight for feminism. Women have made many gains with regards to their rights and respect, but there is still a long way to go. Especially because it’s not just about equality for women, it’s about equality for all.
Esther Jung, Grade 10
Grover Cleveland Charter High School