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Do you think women are treated as equals? What changes would you like to see?


Short answer: no.

Long answer:

In the eyes of the law, technically, women are our equals in virtually every aspect of life (meaning, American life; once you start heading into more primitive cultures, where they are either required or heavily hinted towards wearing burkas, everything changes). However, women are equal in much the same way blacks and Latinos are equal, meaning there's more to it than meets the eye.

For one, even in areas where women were integrated as being equal, they're truly not. I use the military as an example, where women have different (easier) physical standards than men, are often given clerical or otherwise non-physical duties, and whose mere presence has altered the social dynamic on ships and other bases, often in ways that affect morale.

But even excluding that, there are social and real ways in which women are not the equals of men. For one, women overall make 80% (PDF) of the median salary that men make, and there is no form of regulation that will change that fact. Things have improved, but effectively, women are still being punished for daring to have a career and children by the marketplace, which leads to another issue: social problems. No matter how many advancements feminists (the good kind, not the man-hating kind I tend to see) make, there will still be a heavy portion of the world who are in power that will keep women down by any means they deem worthy, purely out of self-interest, and partially out of a weird reading of certain religious texts. Let's not even get into the whole abortion debate, and the fact that a bunch of old white men have the means to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies.

Of course, that abortion could have come from rape, still a criminally under-reported crime, and one that is still, even today, regarded with scepticism. One of the most disturbing things to come out of my coming out as a rape victim was the amount of women who came out and said that they themselves were raped, and even worse, when it happened, people treated them like shit, as if they were a scourge that had to be purged for the greater good, the way someone with a virus would be put into involuntary quarantine. This is a problem for men as well - after all, it took me 19 years to come out to the general public - but it's especially problematic for women since they get raped at a much higher clip. There's still that mindset that women are trophies.

Full equality, I don't feel, is possible in my lifetime. In a way, black men have it more "equal" than women do, which is considerable considering this country's history.

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