The Cougar Chronicle

Part one of a series on feminism, an unfinished marathon

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Part one of a series on feminism, an unfinished marathon

Just as a marathon runner would not quit after 25 miles, we should not give up before gender equity is reached.

Just as a marathon runner would not quit after 25 miles, we should not give up before gender equity is reached.

Courtesy of Pixabay

Just as a marathon runner would not quit after 25 miles, we should not give up before gender equity is reached.

Courtesy of Pixabay

Courtesy of Pixabay

Just as a marathon runner would not quit after 25 miles, we should not give up before gender equity is reached.

Sara Freitag, Opinion Editor

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What marathon runner reaches 25 miles and gives up, saying “that’s good enough”?  In the same way, how can we — educated constituents — give up and say, “society is good enough”?

There are misconceptions about a particular eight-letter “ism,” otherwise known as feminism.  When talking about my views as a feminist, I often find that I haven’t even finished my first sentence before I am met with a disapproving look.  I can’t count the number of times someone has inaccurately pre-supposed my intent and interrupted or stopped listening in order to prepare their rebuttal, as it were.  My goal through the following series of articles is to address misconceptions and humbly propose a spirit of understanding.

The most frequent misconception I encounter is that gender equity has been reached and/or inequity is not applicable to my conversational partner.  Granted, our society has experienced incredible advancement, and in less than three years, American women will have held the right to vote for one century.  Because of countless individuals — Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul, Simone de Beauvoir, Rosa Parks, and the list goes on — society has altered drastically.

That said, I am not of the vein to view life through a glass that is half empty.  Nonetheless, the marathon is not over.  If gender equity had been reached, the concept of a female president would not be foreign, and the U.S. would have more than 22 female senators currently serving in Congress.  I understand that someone may rebut this due to a subjective belief that fewer women desire high leadership positions in comparison with men.  Even if that is true, a 2017 Business Insider article tells us that women are paid only 79 cents for every dollar that a man is paid.

I understand that some have not personally experienced such pay discrimination; neither have I, and I’ve been working for close to ten years.  However, remember the movie, Santa Claus?  Referring to the existence of one million dollars, Charlie says to Neil, “just because you can’t see something doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.”  Similarly, just because pay discrimination may not be pertinent to your own life does not mean it is not pertinent to the lives of others.

Feminism is not just my  fight.  The ending of gender inequity has been a long, hard and sacrificial ordeal.  To honor those who have gone before us, we must continue, rather than giving up and saying, “that’s good enough.”

Stay tuned for part two of the series!

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1 Comment

One Response to “Part one of a series on feminism, an unfinished marathon”

  1. Liza on March 10th, 2018 2:10 pm

    Thank you for sharing.

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