How come if a man attracts a lot of women, he’s awesome, everyone looks up to him, but if a woman attracts a lot of men she’s labeled as a slut? Misogyny. Dictionary.com defines misogyny as hatred, dislike, or mistrust of women. Prejudice against women is extremely common around the world today, even in America in which it claims, “everyone is equal.” Though women currently have more rights than ever, a new way of unbalance is coming into the world.
Now, women are being misused and treated as possessions. Overall, misogyny is swaying the equilibrium of gender equality throughout the world because of social standards, society, and the media. Although social standards have improved greatly since women were only expected to clean around the house, they still influence gender equality greatly. This is clearly proven since as of 2013, there is a 22 percent pay gap. That means a woman gets 78 cents to a man’s dollar (Institute for Women’s Policy Research 1).
A survey showed that 18 percent of women have been extremely discriminated in the work room, simply because they’re a woman (Patten 7). Women are now allowed to work and legally do everything a man can do, but it’s isn’t always so simple. It is still the norm that a woman cleans, cooks, and takes care of the kids. Why is this? Perhaps it is because women are seen as weak or less than a man. In a video called Always #likeagirl, men, women, young boys, and young girls were all asked to explain what it meant to do something like a girl. Everyone bounced and flounced around pathetically, except for the young girls.
A woman in reaction to being asked what girls should do when someone tells them they do something like a girl said, “Keep doing it, because it’s working… Yes [she] kicks like a girl, and [she] walks like a girl, and [she] swims like a girl, and [she] wakes up in the morning like a girl, because [she] is a girl, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of” (Always #likeagirl). This woman explains that being a girl is something to embrace, not be depressed about. Some may argue that men have standards to live up to as well, however that is unreasonable. Forty percent of men said that physical attraction is the most important thing in a relationship, while only six percent of women said it was the most important thing (USA Today). Clearly, this shows that women are not looking for a handsome man, but men may have different needs of a woman. Social standards have always put women at the bottom, and they shouldn’t be.
Women should not have to put up with countless abuse from social standards because of misogyny. In addition to women being mistreated because of social standards, they are being viewed poorly by society. Rape culture is teaching women to be frightened of men. If a woman wears a revealing top or short shorts, they’re “asking to be raped” (How Society Teaches a Man). Women always have to be responsible when a man is abusive towards her, which is an example of how society has twisted views of women.When people are taught about teen pregnancy in school health class, the message is most often directed towards girls (Think Progress).
Girls are often taught to stay pure until marriage, however, this message never appears to be as inflicted towards men. Men generally see women as sex icons in today’s society, not a person to love (How Society Teaches a Man to Abuse Women- A Man’s Perspective). Finally, society is changing how girls feel about themselves and making them feel inadequate because of the effects of misogynists. A study of 3000 girls at age nine was proven that many or most were positive and confident. Seven years later the girls were asked the same question and only less than one third of them felt good about themselves (Culp-Ressler). Many of these girls lost their self-confidence due to the way they were treated by men and boys.
Lots of people claim that boys struggle with self worth just as much as females do. This has been proven wrong by the same survey taken on 3000 girls, but boys instead. This time, 46 percent of boys were wholeheartedly confident, rather than the sad 29 percent of girls (Culp-Ressler). Women are being mistreated because of they way society views them and the way the media portrays them. Many young girls worship magazines and tell their moms that they want to look just like that model. However, they are setting unrealistic goals for themselves.
Model, Brittany Vaughn was very smart and athletic as a child, but people always told her how pretty she was. She was told to focus on clothes and make-up more than her grades, eventually she did just that. As she grew up, she realized she should’ve listened to herself rather than others. In the end, she became a model rather than a doctor or scientist like she had wanted to be (Vaughn). Constant talk from family and friends about focusing on unimportant things for her swayed her thoughts.
This happens to many girls because numerous people think that looks are all that matter for women. This thought that women need to be perfect and beautiful is coming from the media, mainly models. When a magazine is opened, instantly there are tons of images portraying women as skinny, tall, porcelain skinned Barbie dolls. Unrealistic standards are being set for women because of the editing software used on all of modeled photos. The Victoria’s Secret website accidentally published 12 untouched photos of models on their website.
They immediately removed them and websites were forced to remove them or else they would be sued (Sauers). This shows how no one is really perfect. Although the clean photos were beautiful, they were not perfect, because no one really is. Therefore, no one should have these false envisions of women. In addition, the definition of beauty has changed completely over the years.
Nowadays, girls are expected to be skinny and have flawless skin and hair. In the 1800’s, if a woman was seen wearing lipstick, she would be assumed as either a prostitute or an actress (Edmonds). Over time, women have gained more and more things that they are expected to do that are just unnecessary, mainly because of the way people wish to envision women. Some may say that males are expected to look a certain way as well. However, that point is invalid.It has been proven that most women would rather marry a less attractive man because they feel more secure (Martin).
In conclusion, the media is changing today’s expectations of women greatly. Finally, women every day are suffering from countless name calling, expectations, and abuse. Someone must stand up for natural born rights of every human being, including the “weaker” women, and everyone must cooperate in order for equality to take it’s toll. Today, misogynists are tampering with the balance of gender equality because of social standards, society, and the media. Though there are many issues with gender equality being resolved, this is not the end.
Many more issues will arise and fall, but in the end, it is society who will decide it all.