Is Feminism Still Alive?

“Men underestimate women,” claims high school senior Jessica Gallardo. “Some women are mentally strong. We can overpower anyone,” she adds.

Gallardo is one of many teens that believe that women are capable of doing anything they set their mind to.

It’s been almost 40 years since the Women’s Liberation Movement occurred in the 1960’s and 70’s in the U.S. It was a time when women fought for gender equality and to break the common stereotypes of a women’s role in society . The changed views such as women are in charge of cooking, cleaning and taking care of the children while men work and provide for the family.

Still many teens and young adults believe that women and men are not equal. “I think things have gotten much better since the 50’s, but women still aren’t on the same level as men,” states Ytzel McDaniel, high school senior. “There are lots of double standards. And when Hilary Clinton wanted to run for president there were many comments of her not being capable because she is a woman.”

Since the feminist movement, women have made great accomplishments. Today, there have been a number of successful women that have had careers typically reserved for men including businesswomen, lawyers, doctors, engineers, mathematicians, scientists, and much more. In 1981, the first woman was appointed to be a Supreme Court Justice. In 2008, Clinton was a serious contender to the presidential nomination. In 2009, Sonia Maria Sotomayor because the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. In various countries including Chile, Brazil and India, female presidents have been elected.

Unfortunately, we have not reach complete equality in society. Men still earn more than women for the same job. Men still hold more political positions in the U.S. and we have yet to vote for a female President. While men are still the dominant figure in this society, not all men think it should be that way.

Justin Nelson, a male high school graduate and culinary art student believes that men and women should be paid the same. “They [some men] live off of fear and they know how strong and smart people are, black, Latino, women of all colors. They are scared to let women lead. It’s a shame.”

While some teens and young adults believe that men and women should be equal, some think that they aren’t and shouldn’t be.

Freshman college student, Arlene Alvarez believes that men and women shouldn’t be equal. She explains, “If we were equal to men, we would be eligible for drafts and all the other stuff that’s best to be done by men. It’s not that women can’t do it, but we were given child bearing parts for a reason. It has its advantages and disadvantages but ultimately things are the way they are for a reason.”

Yet, Alvarez does believe that women can hold professional jobs not typical for women such as engineering and thinks that we do not necessarily belong in the kitchen or as housewives.

It seems that there is common ground in the way teens and young adults view feminism. Everyone agreed that men and women should be paid the same for equal work, but the lines become murky when equality threatens to change men and women’s role in society.

By Sonia Rangel

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