As a little girl I would watch my mother get ready. First, she picked out an outfit. Next, she did her makeup and got dressed. Finally, she chose a wig that looked good with the outfit. I was amazed at how much effort she put into looking good, just to wipe it all off as soon as we got home.
When I was younger I thought that my mom worked as a secretary, but in reality she was just one of the front desk workers. My mother worked hard. My dad who was unable to work due to a disability dropped her off at work early in the morning and we picked her up around five p.m.
As a little girl, all I saw on television was the woman of the house staying home all day while the man of the house went to work. I thought that maybe the writers of these shows were confused because all I saw was hard working women providing for their families. It was as if these shows were telling us that this is how it's supposed to be, but looking back on my childhood, that couldn't have been further from my truth. Why were children's shows portraying women as nothing more than housewives ?
One example of this comes from one of my favorite cartoons “The Amazing World of Gumball” which focuses on a cat called Gumball and his best friend. One episode really stood out to me because the mother shares that her boss said females can't be employee of the month because the men will be too distracted by their pictures. She also shared that other employees were receiving promotions for the work she did. She goes on to explain that she isn't given the same amount of respect or credit for the work she does simply because she is a woman. Before she could finish her sentence her husband interjected and said “good job Gumball” as if he was the one that just explained sexism in the workplace.
At some point in our lives, we may lose interest in the typical kid shows and start to watch more mature things, such as reality tv shows or crime shows but those messages stick with us.
“They don’t have to be what they see on tv.” said Silanise Moise the CEO ofBeauty without Borders, a worldwide program that helps women learn to embrace themselves as they are. Moise's program also encourages women to not let anyone stop them from being successful. She mentioned that she didn't watch “reality” shows because she just isn't into those. But we both agreed that some reality shows make women look like “ghetto” or “ratchet” emotional monsters that fight over looks and materialistic things, when in reality the majority of us are very well behaved.
It is 2020 and women are still being stereotyped despite being represented in a lot more areas than we were back in 1848 when we first started fighting for our rights. But we're still lacking representation in areas of power and influence like politics with congress being roughly 24% women according to the Pew Research Center and Rutgers University.
It's upsetting because women all around the world are brilliant, beautiful, talented and have voices. Women have become scientists, astronauts, doctors, CEOs, and so much more. We almost had a female president, but apparently she didn't make the cut because she wore a pantsuit. There will be more on that later but the point is, us females are just as hardworking and amazing as men but we are often shut down when we try to step outside of society's boundaries.
Take Hilary Clinton as an example. I'll admit that I was a little jealous of the fact that she could've been the first female president, but what she did was remarkable. Clinton looked America in its eyes and told us that she was here to make a change, regardless of the outcome of the election. Clinton inspired other women to stand for their rights when she made an appearance in a white pantsuit. Yet, some people were really disgusted by the fact that she wore a pantsuit. It's the 21st century people, women don't just wear skirts or dresses. I bet you if a man had to wear a tight skirt or a suffocating dress, he wouldn't dare question why Clinton wore what she did.
So much has changed since 1848, but we still have such a long way to go before females are not only seen as equals, but treated as equals. Creating more programs that help motivate women to stand up for their rights and be more confident in themselves is a great place to start the long process of creating equal opportunity and treatment for women. I also think that we as humans should try not to focus on women's appearances, but rather what they do, think, and say. We should learn to value what's on the inside more because that's all that counts in the end. So in future years let's encourage women to go make a difference and leave their mark on the world.