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The perplexity of such gender discrimination has plagued many individuals whether itnalludes to equal rights, double standards, or chivalry. The whole debacle over equal rights for women have been debated for an indefinite amount of time since their existence. As of till this day, women continue to combat such issues with gender discrimination regarding to cultural and political aspects as well as gender roles. In relation to equal rights, where does this leave double standards as well as chivalry? Will they continue to withstand due to the upheaval of such equal rights movements and feminist activists?
There have been numerous demonstrations of protests for the transmutation of gender discrimination such as the Women’s March.
This march had brought equal rights under scrutiny as well as bringing upon insight to those who are ignorant and oblivious to the oppression of the female gender. Has there been any type of initiative to change such setbacks for women? There may have been a few slight changes, but women still endure inequitable treatment especially in the workplace involving salaries compared to their male counterparts.
Gender discrimination affects women all over the world, whether or not it is seen, women remain in such a quandary and it still persists as a problem that their male counterparts tend to ignore.
In today’s society, women have the ability to be independent and are able to enter the workforce. In previous centuries, women were homebound and their duties were to take care of the home, cook clean, take care of the children as well as serve and be submissive to their husband.
Progression began and women were able to enter the workforce, but the hours they were able to work were limited. The limitation was soon lifted and women were able to work full time as well as being able to make their own hours and schedule. Without activists, people would not be aware of such a predicament, including both men and women. Women may have not even noticed such unequal treatment. Although there has been some reasonably advancements, the dilemma still continues to linger and more work should be ensued.
In recent studies, it has been shown that there is an evident pay gap between females and their male counterparts. (Kevin Miller The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2017)) In the image above, it illustrates the difference between women’s salaries compared to men’s salaries. So how much money do men make in comparison to women? It is clear that there is a significant pay gap difference. But why? One reason to the significant pay difference may be due to the fact that the education level of women differed compared to men.
Another reason that this chart may reflect a pay difference is due to the fact that a woman’s work experience alters when taking maternity leave. (What Causes the Gender Wage Gap? by Jane Farrell and Sarah Jane Glynn). Because of maternity leave, it may leave gaps in a woman’s resume and she may not be guaranteed her job back after going on maternity leave as well. Now that women have access to all educational institutions, there should be no reason for such inexplicable causes of what is causing such a pay gap between men and women.
Men have exploited the loopholes that have been discovered in order to undermine women and take advantage of their rights. For instance, in 1964, The Federal Civil Rights Act was passed, including Title VII, which guaranteed equal opportunities for employment. The image above does not demonstrate equal opportunities. Instead, it does not abide by those rules that were implemented to solve a predicament, but alternatively created another one. Although partially legal, adjustments are necessary in order to establish equality in the workplace.
Not only do women face salary gaps, but they experience obstacles of power distribution while in the workplace. In many corporations, men tend to hold the most higher level power positions opposed to women. Rankings such as CEO’s, CFO’s, and COO’s are all usually dominated by men. This is another form of discrimination. Women are adequately or as equally capable of working in the same positions as their male counterparts. Such gender discrimination may not be discussed due to ingrained cultural and societal beliefs according to gender roles.
It is stated that, “the unequal power relationships within workplace create an environment in which those with less power are susceptible to mistreatment by those with more power” (Reyes, Maritza professional women silenced by men-made norms). Because women don’t acquire as much power as their male counterparts, when they find it necessary to speak out against such discriminatory behavior they often experience retaliatory harassment by their fellow coworkers.
Therefore, many women are in fear of the repercussions of speaking against such behavior. In reference to retaliatory harassment is when one goes against what the majority believes in such as the atmosphere and office norms of the workplace and because this individual does not agree with this environment, other coworkers around them begin to make the individual uncomfortable as well as forcing them to conform to the office norms regardless if they are morally wrong.
These behaviors are often practiced and go unheard of within the workplace due to the placement of hierarchy within a the workplace. Situations such as sexual harassment may stem from retaliatory harassment and such behaviors are thrown under the rug in order to save face. “If women don’t accept this they may lose their jobs, or not even get the job at all” (Reyes, Maritza). It is clear that in many workplace environments, women are not thought of as a valuable asset as they should be as well as being respected as an equally working individual by their male coworkers.
“The effects of LMX on gender discrimination and subjective career success”, that “studies show that most female hospitality industry managers feel that they receive different treatment in promotion and salaries from male employees in the U.S.”. Not only are women receiving a lower salary compared to men, but they are being treated differently when it comes to incentives such as promotions and benefits. This why the fight for equality still prevails. Receiving help from male figures who believe that there should be a change and openly talking about enforcing such matters still has not aided in the elevations of any advancements of such perplexities.
As stated earlier, one of the reasons why the pay gap has persisted was due to the difference in education between men and women. In the 19th century, women were not excepted equally and could not pursue higher education until the 1980’s (National women’s history museum). Of course an individual with a higher education level would more likely get the job and higher pay, but not that women have access to all educational institutions this problem should no longer prevail. It should no longer an excuse. Why do women still get paid less than men? As of currently, women are dominating men as more of them are pursuing and seeking higher levels of education. Many more women are enrolling into college compared to their male counterparts.
But if equality is what is wanted, will this eliminate double standards as well as chivalry and gender roles? I firmly believe no. Equality is wanted in certain areas as well as discriminatory behavior against women needs to come to a halt. Equality is defined more as having the same equal opportunities as men specifically dealing with educational rights, workplace rights, as well as women reproductive rights and better maternity leave benefits. Double standards will always exist due to cultural beliefs regardless if these double standards apply to men or women. As with gender roles, this will continue to exist in some cultural aspects depending on what society you belong to.
People may claim that chivalry is dead, but on the contrary, it is not completely dead in a sense. There are many individuals out there that continue to be chivalrous due to cultural and moral beliefs. Many individuals claim that in order to have full and pure equality double standards and chivalry should die as well as obliging to standards that are thought to only be “for men”. On the contrary, none of these things relate to the issues that women endure regarding having control over their work and personal life. Such inequalities make it harder for women to compete with their male counterparts.
Solutions to such a highly debated controversial topic is yet to still be determined. Changes will only occur if we come with approaches to known factors with understanding as well as an understanding of gender discrimination. Because it is so complex the solutions tend to be challenging, but there have been some speculations on what to do in order to help minimize the debacle. In order to close the pay gap, Wagner suggests the following, “Centralized pay determinations that remove the perception of individual managers can help.
Instead, researchers suggest transparent pay determinations, which openly discuss the methods that are used to determine pay, and which use measurable criteria like education, years of experience, and quantitative performance measures” (Wagner, 4). What this means is that with transparent pay, a salary range would be provided with the job and then women are encouraged to negotiate their starting salaries and benefits without the fear of reprisal.
Addressing the issue with paid maternity leave, is that considered inequality towards men as well? Here’s what employers can do in order to fix this. Another solution is to provide a benefit to where both women and men are provided with paid maternity and paternity leave. “Finally, providing paid parental leave for both men and women has been effective in other countries in spreading family care duties among both parents, plus women receiving paid maternity leave are more likely to return to their employers post-childbirth, retaining more women in the workforce and eliminating long periods of time off work” (Wagner, 4). With this option, not only will it be equal, but it has shown to be effective in other countries as well as a likely higher rate of return for a woman to come back to their employer after giving birth.
As mentioned earlier, retaliatory harassment happens throughout the workplace and tends to go unnoticed, which is a form of subtle discrimination. This solution involves individuals associated with a particular work environment to partake in the initiation of changing the culture of the workplace environment. “Recognizing subtle differences in gender treatment at work, giving public recognition for female coworkers’ accomplishments, and encouraging women to negotiate for raises and promotions are all actions individuals can take to address the gender wage gap” (Wagner, 4). By initiating such behavior, it will make women feel more welcomed and appreciated at their job. Not only will this behavior become infectious, but other workplaces may consider conforming to new office norms and values to uplift their female counterparts.
Hypothetically speaking, with the implementation of such solutions, It could potentially bring greater equality and reduce gender discrimination.
In conclusion, the perplexity of gender discrimination still continues women across world. Yes, society knows and understands the circumstances of such a predicament that women endure, but no action is taking place in order to fix such a dilemma. Feminists, activists, and demonstrations and movements may bring awareness to the problem, but nothing beyond that for that matter. By applying the solutions provided it may help minimize gender discrimination. Referring back to the question, Has there been any type of initiative to change such setbacks for women? Not quite.
Maybe some here and there, but not enough to make an impact. How long will women endure such inequitable treatment that has been thrown at them by their male counterparts? It is time to make a change. Gender discrimination affects women all over the world, whether or not it is seen, women remain in such a quandary and it still persists as a problem that their male counterparts tend to ignore. Will there ever be an end to such gender discrimination?
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