What is Gender Equality?

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Hi! I turned this in as a college English paper. The question? “Does gender equality exist in America today?” I responded yes and no one but me responded yes-welcome to the open- minded American college system.

Enjoy and don’t  forget to tell us your answer to the question in the comments!

The question of whether men and women are treated as “equal” is almost as old as the human race itself. It is a question that is asked in America today and that has prompted Women’s Rights marches even this year, filled with men and women concerned about the answer to the problem of gender equality. But what fewer people ask themselves is what does gender equality mean? If it means that, like two equal sums in math, women and men can be used interchangeably, this means that the terms “woman” and “man” are worthless. This notion degrades both men and woman by stripping them of any individuality. A more compelling position might be seeing the genders as two different ways of coming to an equal value. Perhaps seeing gender equality through this definition, one can come to a better understanding of whether life in modern America is really as discriminatory as some say.

While it is unjust to discriminate against an individual because of his or her gender, it is also unfair that one’s gender be overlooked and ignored. Each person owes some part of himself to his or her gender and, if he were another gender, he would be different. If one accepts that there is no difference between the genders, one would accept that complete extermination of one gender would not affect the world in any way. This is nonsense and “gender sameness” . A man can replace a woman as the keeper of the home; a woman can replace a man on the battlefield. These assumptions are logical when one accepts that the words “man” and “woman” are two ways of saying the same thing. Except that history and every man and woman alive shows us they are not: to be a man is to have a mindset which is unique and slightly unfathomable to a woman. The same could be said about the detail-oriented, curious minds of woman. In his book, Dave Berry’s Complete Guide to Guys, Dave Berry points out one result of these two different ways of looking at the world by humorously comparing the way men need to have “stuff” to women’s need to arrange furniture (942). For better or for worse, to say a man is a woman and a woman is a man is to degrade both genders by saying each is useless. A true gender equality recognizes these differences and so gives each gender value.

In modern America, men and woman are recognized for their differences much more than in many other countries of the world. As a result, again, unlike many countries, the United States see men and women as equal values. This modern mindset is shown in the fact that more American women graduate from college than men, a statistic women in Iran or India can only dream about. It is because women and men are not equal but different that they can contribute different points of view to a college discussion. This country is blessed in the fact is recognizes the equal value of both men and women, while realizing they are not the same.

With their value recognized, American men and women are given the tools and means to fully utilize their value in society. Even examples of “gender discrimination” prove how fortunate this county is in that domain. One example is in James Fallows’ Throwing Like a Girl. This article describes how the phrase “throwing like a girl” is seen as offensive, since it puts a feminine attribute in a negative light . But, in this case, it is still the woman throwing the ball; in other countries, it is her husband, father, and male relatives throwing stones at her because she dared to leave the house without their permission. Silly phrases like the one Fallows do not keep women from succeeding in life, unlike too often around the world, where real gender discrimination keeps a woman from waking up alive in the morning. The women of America should not use lightly the term since it shows disrespect towards those women who suffer from a lack of true gender equality in a land where their value is not recognized. American women, whether or not they throw like girls, have succeeded in using their value to live complete lives.

In America, women are valued and pushed to succeed not because they lie on the other side of the equal sign from men, but because they complete the equation. Together the genders provide the answer to the real injustice of gender sameness. If the question is whether America is a haven of gender sameness, the answer is happily not yet; however, if gender equality refers to seeing the two genders produce the same weight on the scale, then yes, the country has been blessed in this way

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