Editors: Brenda and Jesus
We live in the 21st century. As a result, some may believe that our society has evolved to the extent where both men and women are treated equally and have the same rights—but they are incorrect. Today women are still being deprived of their right to undertake challenges, there are restrictions on their bodies, and they are subjected to misogynistic ideology since birth. This sexism is a serious form of oppression that not enough people are aware of. The following newsletter will cover how parenting can have a profound effect on sexist stereotypes, how women will face discrimination whether they have a baby or not, and what it means to be a feminist. Welcome to our newsletter on women’s rights.
Parenting Shapes Sexist Stereotypes
Sexist parenting is a big reason why we live in a sexist world. It shows the future generation their gender roles and where they belong, instead of being raised by gender neutral parenting so they can embrace his or her own true identity.
According to The Conservation website, In Ghana between 6 to 10 girls and boy are raised equally by their mothers. Once they start moving toward adulthood, the boy is raised differently. The girl would have to be indoors with their mother and the boy would be outside with their father. Boys helping out around the house in what people call “female activities” was considered acceptable in Ghana when they are young boys. However, once they move towards adulthood, it is highly discouraged. They are taught to shoulder the responsibility of looking after and protecting the females, or his children, in the family. Girls are taught to be passive and serve men, such as their brothers, father, or any other man. Girls are considered a minority no matter what age they are until they prove their maturity by getting married. Girls spent their teenage years learning sets of skills in order to be a good wife and mother. This tells us that males have the dominant roles and continue to have a higher status than women. Sexist parenting not only happens in Ghana, it happens all of over the world. And yes, the United States is one of those places.
An article by The Telegraph, tell us that the United States is so biased it engages in “strict gender segregation” in clothing, toys, and activities. In America’s culture, we raise children depending on gender; we want boys to be active and we want girls to be patient and quiet. We sell toys that are sexist as well. They make the boy’s toy a doctor and make the girl’s toy a nurse. This show a subliminal message saying that girls can’t be doctors and boys can’t be nurses. Many people disagree on neutral parenting because they say “it confuses the kid”, when in reality, it embraces the kid’s true identity. Telling children what they can and can’t like, wear or do, based on whether they are boys or girls, is wrong because they should be able to make their own choices.
Reading this article about Ghana’s sexist parenting opened my eyes, and I can see now that this not only happens in Africa—it happens all over the world. I’ve seen it in my own neighborhood and even at home. My mom tried raising my oldest sister, Dunia, to serve and clean while my dad had my brother, Jorge, build sheds and fix cars outside the house. My brother turned out to be a hard-working person who works to support his daughter. He works at a low paying job because he dropped out of college. My sister took on the gender role of being a housewife; she stays home and cleans, cooks, and takes care of her children while her husband works to pay the bills. Instead of her having her own job, she relies on her husband to take care of her and buy her things. Her husband has the dominant role in her family.
Breastfeeding In Public
Breastfeeding in public has been a huge controversial topic for the last couple of years. Some argue that breastfeeding in public should not be allowed; others argue that it should be allowed; and others say that mothers should be allowed to breastfeed in public as long as they cover up. There have been many cases in which women are asked to leave or to cover up in restaurants and stores.
Take a breastfeeding mom in Beverly Hills for example: “she was escorted to the bathroom at an Anthropologie store when she was breastfeeding her six-week-old baby.” However, California, along with forty-eight other states, “have laws that specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or private location”, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).
The map below shows what states have laws to allow women to breastfeed in public.
What is abortion? Abortion is the deliberate termination of a human pregnancy, most often performed during the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Why is abortion still constructed as something that is morally wrong, inappropriate, or malicious? Why do we think of this decision to be mean, sinful, and cruel when we think of abortion? Why do we dehumanize women for choosing or needing to terminate pregnancies?
(Illustration by Kevin Kidwell )
Women should have the power and the right to make their own decisions and to not be judged by society, by their communities, by families, by the health system, nor by us. By talking about abortion stigma we can recognize how it is created and perpetuated.
We’re all guilty of stigmatizing women who seek abortions. While asking classmates, some say, “Why would you kill a defenseless baby? It’s a gift from God.” Many women face stigma despite the circumstances of why she got pregnant. According to RAINN, it is estimated that there were 17,342 pregnancies due to rape in 2012. Some religions who are against abortion are Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. Religion believes, “Exodus 20-Thou Shall Not Kill,” meaning that it is considered sinful to kill an innocent baby and the person will, for no doubt, be punished. There are many anti-abortion movements that are mostly organized and led by religious groups.
According to Our Bodies Ourselves, before Roe v. Wade as many as 5,000 American women died annually as a direct result of unsafe abortions. Whether abortion is legal or not, women around the world have tried to end their pregnancies, often jeopardizing their safety and health by causing harm to themselves or seeking a dangerous illegal procedure.. Why do we legally deprive women of a health care service that could save their lives? Today, abortion is one of the most commonly performed clinical procedures in the United States. Some women chose to do unsafe abortions, knowing that it is dangerous without a proper procedure, because it is a cheap performance.
Every woman should have the confidence and ability to go to a clinic and choose abortion. I strongly believe that we, as women, should have the right to decide what to do with our bodies. It shouldn’t be anyone else’s decision whether we should or should not keep a baby. It is time to abort the stigma.
What is A Feminist? Are You A Feminist?
According to Urban Dictionary, a feminist is a person who believes that men and women are equal (though not necessarily the same), and should be entitled to equal rights, equal treatment , and equal opportunities. It is not easy to call yourself a feminist. Times have changed so much. For example, young women don’t see Hillary Clinton as a feminist, but older women past the age of 60 do see her as one. It is not because young women don’t like her, it is because they haven’t seen a lot of discrimination to understand that there is still inequality happening in the world today. On the other hand, older women do see Hillary as a feminist because they have lived long enough to see a lot of discrimination in the workplace and everywhere else.
Overall, what a feminist is to me, is someone who fights for gender equality. Now the question is, are you a feminist? Do you believe that women and men should be treated equally? If so, then you are a feminist. At this point, you may be wondering: are there enough feminists in the world? And I’m here to say no, there isn’t.We need more feminists in this world because there could never be enough.
Woman Of The Day: Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe)
Today’s woman of the day goes to Norma McCorvey, or as many may know her, Jane Roe.
McCorvey was one of many feminists fighting for reproductive rights. When she got pregnant, Roe wanted to terminate her pregnancy by abortion. However, she was not allowed to do so because abortions were not allowed in Texas unless it was needed to save a pregnant woman’s life. In 1973, she was heard by the Supreme Court. She asserted that not having the right to abortion was a violation in her constitutional rights. With a 7-2 vote, the Texas law that banned abortion was invalidated; the battle was won.
As you can see, there is still discrimination against women happening in the world today, and things should not be this way. Women should not be judged because of typical parenting roles, for aborting a baby, or for breastfeeding in public. We want you, as readers, to break these stereotypes that society has imposed against women. By working as a whole, we can accomplish these goals and, ultimately, create a better society.