When people think of the role of women and men in the 1900’s, they wouldn't think of the genders as necessarily equal compared to the 20th century. It is believed that we as people have grown and gender equality is more prevalent in society; but is better enough? The question with the unknown answer: why aren't all genders equal? Some people may think that gender equality already exists and that there is no need for change in the world; but they are wrong. Gender biases and stereotypes have been formed throughout our entire lives through our parents, teachers, bosses, friends, etc. There are so many cultural factors that come into play when discussing gender biases and stereotypes that an essay can provide all the answers to.
When you think of the role that women played in the 1900’s most people would picture a housewife. The stereotype of the house wife was to stay home and take care of the children while her husband was off at work. Although this image isn't as relevant in modern society, many people still form the stereotype, especially when discussing new born babies. When a first time mother has a baby everyone wants to know what her next plans are; aka if she would quit her job to stay with the baby or not. This is sometimes a pressure that women have to deal with because they feel as if they dont take time off of work to be with their newborn; they are less of a mother. Even though this statement is false, many new mothers feel the need to conform with that stereotype of being a stay at home mom. Being a stay at home is definitely a full time job that many mothers do flawlessly but there has been a push towards more mothers becoming stay at home moms and quitting their jobs.
While on the topic of mothers, maternity leave is another huge problem that needs to be fixed. Maternity leave is when an expecting mother is almost at full term carrying her child and gets to have a break from work to deliver her child and rest. Most countries offer a large amount of paid maternity leave such as Estonia, Austria, or Japan. Whereas the US offers absolutely no paid maternity leave. Meaning that when a mother has to take a leave of absence to give life to another human being, they will not be paid in their absence. This causes women to have shorter maternity leaves and become stressed with finance while also trying to provide care for their new child. I believe that women deserve paid maternity leave, because it's simply their natural right. If it takes 9 months to create a human being that's part of the next generation, the least that they could get in return is to get paid while taking an absence of work. It's as simple as that. Women hold an incredible amount of power in their hands, so people should respect it and help provide basic necessities for them.
Another inequality that isn't talked about enough is the fact that men get paid more than women. Specifically women make $0.81 for every $1 a man makes (PayScale). This data makes one wonder; how much does a woman of color make compared to a man, or how much money does a disabled woman make compared to a man, etc. It really makes you think about the inequalities between genders and how they are present in our modern day society. Whether it be from going to work to deal with mansplaining, or being shut down for a promotion, or sexual harassment, etc. Although women are supposedly equal to men, why does their income not match the one of the male? Many problems in gender inequality are rooted from women being paid less than men.
What causes these biases and stereotypes one might ask? Believe it or not, the adult figures in your life have a huge impact on your gender biases stereotypes.
If you are a girl that has been through the public school system, you have heard at least once from a teacher, “I need some strong boys to help me carry these books”. This leaves young girls feeling unworthy and incapable. The gender stereotypes are biases that have been passed down through cultures, especially seen in teachers. Teachers are supposed to be the role models that teach students from preschool all the way to college, and even grad school. They are supposed to teach them not only knowledge about the world but how to take the knowledge and take on the world. A lot of people's gender stereotypes have been formed through teachers. Teachers are the people that you see six hours a day, five times a week, ten months a year, etc until you graduate to the work place where you may have a boss. The interactions they make with you affect who you are as a person and who you become.
In conclusion, gender inequality is still a problem that exists in our modern day life but it is a problem that can be fixed through proper teachings. And to all the young girls out there, I hope the next the next time you hear your teacher ask for strong boys to help carry something you are the first one to volunteer.