MON.| 3-6-23 | OPINION
Women around the world do not receive the same amount of respect that men do. The treatment that men and women are given in their everyday lives is vastly different. It is an issue that is discussed by millions of women constantly, and it should be! Without a solution to the problem, or some progression towards more change, it becomes a cycle that will continue until the end of time. Even though this issue is nothing new, its frequent occurrences can not and should not be justified.
Whether it is in pay, dress or education, men and women do not receive the same treatment. Often women are not held to the same standards as their male counterparts, and are seen as lesser than. It results in a feeling of unworthiness or inferiority. Society places men and women on two different sides of a scale, with the scale tips unfairly in men’s favor. But with all that being said, where does this mistreatment start? Does it start at birth, or occur later in life?
Graphic by Jordyn Godwin
My own personal belief is that it occurs later in life. When everyone starts out in this world, it is an equal playing field. As infants and toddlers, we receive no difference in treatment or care based solely on gender. However, it does not always stay that way. Somewhere in early childhood things begin to change. It is a subtle change and one that you do not pick up on as a child.
Although, perhaps the biggest change in treatment starts in high school. When I reflect on what I have experienced in regards to being treated differently, it all started in high school. Of course, the obvious difference in treatment female students face is the good old dress code. Dress codes in American public high schools have been complained about across the country. They are perhaps some of the most sexist and unfair sets of rules in school. While some dress code rules are understandable, they often target female students rather than male students.
The point of all this is not to just complain about the dress code. As a matter of fact, it goes beyond dress codes. The amount of memories I have of being disrespected by male classmates is disgusting. Some of the most degrading comments I have received in my life have come from total strangers who feel that their comments are okay to say. Most of the time they revolve around sexual comments that make me feel heavily uncomfortable in my environment. Whether it is talking about my appearance, body or making blatantly sexist comments, it is always infuriating. It is even more infuriating when I see it happening to my own friends who have male classmates come up and say the most wildly inappropriate comments.
Some male classmates think that actions like these are okay and this is a problem. In addition, their unjust actions are justified by adults who say, “oh he is just a teenage boy,” or “that is how men are.” It is not okay and calls for serious change. Why explain away why situations like these happen when we can fix this problem? Respect is taught. Students should be taught from a very early age to respect their peers regardless of what gender they are. Unfair actions should not be allowed to be justified by saying, “that is just how it is.” Both men and women deserve equal treatment, and with that, equal respect. The only way to fix this problem is to talk about it and teach respect.