Battle of the Sexes: The Women are Catching up

“In today’s society, money means power, and power means everything. Women deserve just as much of that everything as a man does.”

On my journey of searching through which articles I wanted to learn more about and annotate, I decided to let the theme of my stories choose me. Over the course of these past couple of weeks, I have realized just how passionate I am about ending the sexism that women face on a daily, and sometimes hourly, basis. So with that, I have chosen my theme to be Sexism within Business and the Workplace. Learning just how difficult it would be to change the way women who are in charge are viewed has just made my feelings grow stronger about the controversial issue. Growing up in a very Christian household with strict views of where women are placed in society was set into me from an early age; as I am becoming older and seeing how the world treats young women, I have decided to base a lot of who I am on how I want to be treated. My goal is that through seeing the basics of these articles I have annotated, you too will believe that women deserve equality, just as any other.

Annotation #1: City of Women

Rebecca Solnit

“”It’s a Man’s Man’s World” is a song James Brown recorded in a New York City stu­dio in 1966, and, whether you like it or not, you can make the case that he’s right. Walking down the city streets, young women get harassed in ways that tell them that this is not their world, their city, their street; that their freedom of movement and association is liable to be undermined at any time; and that a lot of strangers expect obedience and attention from them. “Smile,” a man orders you, and that’s a concise way to say that he owns you; he’s the boss; you do as you’re told; your face is there to serve his life, not express your own. He’s someone; you’re no one.” Rebecca Solnit, the author of the article called City of Women, proposes an extremely valid point to the woman of today’s society. The article tells of how the average woman is constantly degraded through things as simple as even street signs and statues. From watching the newest films in movie theatres, to walking through a park in today’s western world, you are constantly bombarded with powerful men, dead or alive. Where are the women you may ask? They are usually unnamed and unknown. This is extremely relevant walking through streets of New York, where literally every single sign is an homage to “men” that created this world. The author’s technique gives rise to important issues by giving an abundance of examples and facts needed to prove her point. This article, as simple as it may sound, proves that women deserve more than unknown statues that never get recognition. We are powerful. We are brave. And we will not allow for ourselves to get shushed out of history any longer.

Annotation #2: Lean Out: The Dangers of Women Who Negotiate

Maria Konnikova

In the article, the audience learns about the struggles that women must face in order to receive fair treatment when discussing what they want in a potential job. Konnikova states that in a recent study, only seven per cent of all women negotiate initial offers when offered a job, while fifty-seven per cent of men do so. Seeing those statistics is drastically different, and because so few women ask for the same benefits, little ever receive what they ask for. In other studies, it was found that women were more likely to be put at a disadvantage in the application process when negotiating higher pay than if a man asks for the same compensation. Konnikova relates this large amount of information to a woman who has gone through this inequality, giving the reader an easier understanding of how often this happens in today’s society. Hannah Riley Bowles, the director of the Women and Power Program, states that “ She’s repeatedly found evidence that our implicit gender perceptions mean that the advice that women stand up for themselves and assert their position strongly in negotiations may not have the intended effect. It may even backfire”. Many gender equality researchers believe women are more inclined to be seen as unlikable when they choose to make tough demands, while men who do so are seen as driven and determined. One reason this occurs so often is because when the person who is in charge of evaluating the woman, their focus seems to shift from the potential employee’s skills in the workplace, to how they look and their social skills instead. While he or she may not know this is happening, it seems to be an instinctual process. In result to this sexiest biaism, the majority of highly educated women competing against men for specific jobs refuse to negotiate; this is not because they are shy or embarrassed to take what is theirs, they are just expecting real results from our difficult and sometimes unfair world.

Annotation #3: Wall Street Women: Harassed and Power-Hungry

Sheelah Kolthatkar

The article, authored by Sheelah Kolhatkar, speaks out about the power-hungry and ambitious woman, something unheard of in 19th century and severely limited in today’s society. A new movie called “Equity”, which I have personally seen multiple times, tells the story of women investors and bankers, who are the stars of the show for once. In one of the opening scenes, Naomi Bishop, the leading actress states: “I am so glad that it’s finally acceptable for women to sit and talk about ambition openly. But don’t let money be a dirty word. We can like that, too”. Watching this far from the mainstream movie shows women in a completely different perspective, as any movie about making money is usually around strong and cunning men, such as “The Wolf of Wall Street”. Most of the women in these movies are either very attractive secretaries bearing long legs and little clothing, or straight up just prostitutes. They are only in the scene to please to actors, and the men watching from the audience. But the women starring in “Equity” are doing anything but attempting to make the men in their lives happy. Ranging from complete sexism to unapologetic bullying, the men in the movie are, for once, given a bad rap. Many of the film’s backers were actually women investment bankers themselves, and stated multiple times that they only wanted people to treat them like they were powerful, just like the males they were the employers of. They also wanted to show that a women in the business industry does not have to be one-dimensional, cold hearted, and cruel. They are products of their environments, whether that be from pushing their way to the top honestly, or stepping on others to get to where they long to be at.

Annotation #4: The Model American

Lauren Collins

The Trumps’ marriage, in business terms, might be thought of as a limited partnership, with Donald as the managing partner. His woman view is his world view: no reciprocity, no exchange, a one-way flight” states Lauren Collins, a writer for the New Yorker Magazine.

This article talks about the Republican candidate for the presidency, Donald Trump, and his hypocritical views towards immigrants. The article begins by speaking of how Trump and his third and most recent wife met. They were first introduced at an American club in 1998, where Trump insisted on getting her number and taking her out, but Melania refused, as he already had a date with him. Just a few short years later, the couple is now in the running to be the most powerful duo in the world. To give some background on the potential new first lady, Melania was born in Novo Mesto, a small town in what used to be Yugoslavia. She was raised in a communist area of her country, Sevnica, where drugs and drug dealers with extremely common. She then moved to New York to work as a model, recieving an H1-B visa in order to stay in America (something Trump states is overused and dramatically manipulated. Soon after, the two met and became engaged, turning Melania into Mrs. Donald Trump.

With all this information out in the open, the author of this article begins to speak about how much of a hypocrit this potential president is. By stating over and over about how he plans to kick out all illegal and undocumented immigrants, he is forgetting that his mother and two of his three wives were once not supposed to be in the country he constantly says he will “Make Great Again”. Ms. Collins uses quotes to show that Trump goes back on his word multiple times about his proposed immigration policy, and also proves that the women in his life are nothing more than something he is forced to tolerate discussing.

Annotation #5: The Little Tramp

Emily Nussbaum

“Comedy with a message can also easily turn didactic — or, worse, smug. Luckily, Schumer’s show feels built to withstand this pressure, even as it expands its reach, touching on subjects like reproductive rights and equal pay”, says Emily Nussbaum.

A new show, called Inside Amy Schumer, is Schumer’s new way to get her points across to all audiences. To me, the best way to reach a large audience and tell them your beliefs on current issues is to make a comedy out of them, which is exactly what she has done. The show began in 2013, but has just recently really began to take off, with Schumer becoming more and more popular with young women. With it’s raunchy and blunt honesty, Schumer is able to get people to laugh at the realities of life, while also taking the words she’s saying to heart. By making herself the blunt of almost all of the show’s jokes, she is able to pick on herself without affecting anyone else’s views of her. No one can call her “racist” or “insensitive” if she is being cruel to herself. The article, by Emily Nussbaum, really goes in depths on why the double standard for women and men in comedy is ridiculous, as well as creating a show that parodies off of misogyny and anti-feminism. The author gives a lot of insight into how Schumer uses her show to help her by creating overly dramatic skits and talks about how the series, and talks about some examples within the show that are most relevant to Schumer’s views.

Annotation #6: The Woman Card

Jill Lepore

This article, published on June 27th, 2016, speaks about how Clinton and Trump aren’t just representing their parties, but their own sexes as well. A quote by Lepore states:”If elected, Clinton will become the first female President in the nation’s history. She will also join John Quincy Adams, James Monroe, Martin Van Buren, and James Buchanan as the only Presidents to have served both in the Senate and as Secretary of State. If she loses the election to Donald Trump, he will be the first man elected President who has never served the public either in government or in the military. Trump wants to make America great again; Clinton wants to make history.”

The article goes into detail about how women first came into power within the government of the United States, which truthfully wasn’t really that long ago. From women helping to create the Republican party in the 1800’s, to getting arrested for trying to vote in the 1900’s, the American woman has always had to battle man and government to let her voice be heard. The article gives a lot of background and history into women’s suffrage and the fight that they made to get it. The author gives many examples of what women had to do to fight for their freedom, such as telling the reader about how Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony gathered over four hundred thousand signatures to create the Thirteenth Amendment, then how they went on to fight for the Fourteenth Amendment as well. She also uses a lot of detail throughout the work and basically creates a timeline for the readers to follow.

Annotation #7: Hillary Clinton and the Populist Revolt

George Packer

“Clinton has been in politics throughout these decades of economic stagnation and inequality, of political Balkanization, of weakening faith in American institutions and leaders. During this period, her party lost its working-class base. It’s one of history’s anomalies that she could soon be in a position to prove that politics still works — that it can better the lives of Americans, including those who despise Clinton and her kind.” George Packer, a writer for the New Yorker since 2003, discusses how Hillary Clinton, the democratic candidate for the presidency, plans on getting back the average working class american. Packer talks of how the presidential candidate wants to focus on creating economic stability for the average family, and while doing so, she plans on creating more jobs and better healthcare, a large task for anyone to take on.

Seeing how the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, is completely opposite in every way from Hilary, Packer speaks to an average middle aged white man to get his preference on who he will be voting for. Frisbie, the potential voter, states “ Do they have a line for None of the Above?”. Many average american households are afraid of having another Clinton in the whitehouse, knowing what happened the last time one sat in the oval office. Packer’s conversation with Hillary allows for us, the readers, to see exactly how she answers Packer’s questions, instead of just using random quotes to support his thesis. This article is relevant today, as the national election is just days away, and Clinton’s goals may soon become tangible if she is able to win over voters like Frisbie.

Annotation #8: The Hole in the Glass Ceiling is Getting Bigger

John Cassidy

“…How general is the phenomenon of females rising to the top? Despite the progress that has been made in promoting gender equality in the workplace, it sometimes seems like only superwomen break through the glass ceiling. In some sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing and finance, male-dominated executive suites are still very much the norm.”

In the article, readers learn just how often women are able to control large companies, such as eBay and General Motors. The author gives many statistics and examples of the wage gap and differences in the workforce. Justin Wolfers states that only 1.3 per cent of women were C.E.O.s of America in the early nineteen-nineties, an extremely low number for a country that was founded on the belief of equality for all. In more recent years, the figure has increased to around eighteen per cent. Women have steadily been crawling through that tiny opening in the ceiling, and with every new female that rises above, the opening seems to grow a little bit bigger for the rest of us to go through.

However, it seems as though most of the women that caused the spike in percentages gained their titles within the nineties, meaning that women right now are not increasing their potential and financial gains. This also implies that the wage gap between the two genders is still prevalent, as not many other women have come in to fight against it. ”While females make up about half the working population, their representation in the one per cent still lags way behind that of men, and that’s even more true for the 0.1 per cent, where progress appears to have stalled”. Hopefully, a multitude of young women will be joining the workforce, and will plan on receiving fair and equal treatment to those they compete against.

Conclusion

While these articles are only the tip of the sexist iceberg, learning more about how many influential women are slowly but surely changing the world can give many young souls hope for the near and ever-present future. Researching more facts and understanding the meaning of equality can truly change how a person views their life, as it has drastically altered mine for the better. Through these articles, I, along with my parents who have read along with me, have changed the way we will treat the determined and courageous women we see everyday.