Gender Causes Unrealized Problems


H. Stanten

Senior Haley Stanten strikes a pose with her few fellow girls in an AP Computer Science.

Meghan Rogers, Opinion Editor

The topic of feminism has been highly publicized and debated in recent media and pop culture. The word itself has been confused and misportrayed, to the point where the topic has frequently earned a negative connotation in conversation. So what is necessary to continue the relevance, but end the misdirected hatred? Everyone is allowed to have their own opinion, but with the constant argument over feminism or whether “feminist traits” are looked down upon, people disregard the fact that everyone is human. Miramonte is thought to be an environment that allows for controversial discussion. The issue with discussion, however, is that we have to learn to embrace it. Feminism has and will continue to be a notorious topic until it is confronted as an actual equal rights issue by all humans.
Many people feel that sexism is not a problem in the United States or that sexism isn’t real anymore. And yet we live in a world where women make 77 cents to every man’s dollar and every two minutes an American is sexually assaulted. This makes for an average of 237,868 victims 12 or older annually. Boys and girls alike are taught that the way they dress or their sexual behavior has more of a say in whether or not rape is warranted, instead of teaching that it is not okay to rape. Victim shaming is prevalent in that 97 percent of rapists will receive no punishment for their actions. Despite the physical and emotional harm inflicted on victims, it is easier to brush it off than to advocate for the oppressed.
What is often forgotten is that feminism encompasses all genders and sexualities.The youth of America is being taught to be ashamed of sexuality, natural desire, but most of all, gender identity. For change to occur, people must address the issue at hand. Gender is not black and white. Gender is a spectrum, just like the one you learned about in your high school chemistry class. The spectrum of infinite colors is the same as gender.
People come in all different shapes and sizes. But what if you identify as strictly male or female? This is where the word “feminism” gets the most foul play. The gender roles of “male” versus “female” are often targeted against one another. If he’s acting assertive, he is seen as a strong leader. If she’s acting assertive, she is seen as bossy and entitled. If he is expressing his emotions in any way, he is seen as womanly and weak. If she does not express her emotions, she is seen as manly and disconnected. This is where we have an issue. We are using gender pronouns as insults in everyday conversation. Luckily, this is one of the easier problems to fix.    We watch what we say around certain people: teachers, parents, often our elders or people of authority. This hopefully stems from a respect that we hold for them. So why is it that we have such a hard time respecting our peers in the same way?
Miramonte is unfortunately no different. We as people have become so numb to it that we often don’t even realize the limitations that are being placed on us. The scarce amount of girls in Engineering Drawing or Computer Programming displays these limitations. This is simply because these career paths are seen as masculine and girls are discouraged from an early age to pursue them. Boys often stray from art so that they aren’t perceieved as weak. It is easily solvable situations such as this that we can start with, and it can start as close to home as Miramonte. It is time to cast gender prejudices aside and treat men and women the same.

The Editorial Board votes 10-0 that people should not be treated differently because of their gender.