I was in Walmart the other day. I was walking around with my parents when I saw this family scolding their daughter saying, “That’s a boys bike. It’s not for girls,” while pointing at a black mongoose bike. This makes me really wonder. How does our gender determine our likes and dislikes? How do our chromosomes relate to blue or pink? Commercialization has supported typical gender stereotypes in many ways. How many times have you seen a Barbie commercial with a boy playing with dolls? Or commercials with girls playing with remote control cars? Never. Our society has been feeding us and manipulating us into these stereotypes that girls are fragile, and delicate. That we should wait for our prince to come for us, instead of working on our own. And even if we do work, we barely are treated equal to male coworkers. According to AAUW, women are paid 20% less than men, for the exact same job. Just because we have an X chromosome instead of a Y, we have a wage difference of 20%? Just because we are women, we have to take less pay for the job we work equal to or even harder as compared to our male colleagues.
Not only this, but women are being objectified every day. Male soldiers exposed nude pictures of their female coworkers for the world to see. Not only did they shamed the women, but has caused many women to not consider joining the military. Statistics from 2014 find that, “4.9% of women in the US military reported having experienced sexual assault in the past year. Among Marines it was 7.9%. Nearly 15% of women overall and more than 19% of Marine women have experienced sexual assault since enlistment.” Men are treating women like toys that they can pick up and use to their own pleasure which is disgusting.
Now, there is more awareness. Movies like Mary Kom, Dangal, and Mardani all are stepping stones towards women empowerment by showing what women have to deal with. Laws are being made to stop dowry, which can also help women to not feel like price tags. But more must be done. To make women to be equal. Not the equal that gives women less pay. But the equal that lets women to be able to be treated and paid equally, the type of equal that decreases the rate of sexual assault. The type of equality that shows commercials with girls and black bikes.
Post written by guest writer Garima Sharma
In October of 2015, hundreds of people showed up in front of a mosque in Arizona, armed and yelling racial slurs at the mosque. With their guns in their pockets, they held up signs cursing Islam. Inside the mosque was families with young children scared to come out in fear that their lives would be taken. This is a clear example of Islamophobia. Islamophobia is the prejudice and hatred to the Islamic faith. Even though some people refuse to believe that Islamophobia exists in America, it is a pressing matter that needs to be discussed.
Muslims in this modern-day America are faced with bigotry on a daily basis. Especially with our current President in office, it is hard for us Muslims to live a normal day to day life. Our president’s rhetoric against Muslims has been engraved in Americans brains. That Muslims are a dangerous threat against peaceful civilization. That Muslims cause terror in the United States. Well the ironic thing is that according to FBI data, 94% percent on terrorist attacks in America are done by non-Muslims, but the media and the rest of America focuses on that small 6 percent done by ‘Islamic’ Extremists. Now why is it that people don’t talk about the 94 percent of Americans who do commit terror attacks? It is because of Islamophobia. Islamophobia has made people focus so much on hating Muslims and making us the number one enemy.
Islamophobia has gone to the extent of executive orders. The current President created an executive order which banned people from coming into the United States from Muslim majority countries. Not only is this executive order a clear violation of the constitution, it won’t help keep America safe from foreign terrorists. Majority of foreign terrorist come from Saudi Arabia, where there is no ban. Americas rhetoric and Islamophobia is now making it harder for people to come into the United States and escape their war-torn countries. Islamophobia is letting young children die from war because America won’t let them in.
Now that we know a little more about Islamophobia and what it has caused, what can we do about it? Let’s start small. Support or donate to local mosques. Show them they aren’t alone; the littlest amount of support goes along way. Inform your mayor, congressman or congresswoman about Islamophobia and what you want them to do about it. Islamophobia is a big problem now, but if people talk more to each other and educate ourselves, we can get rid of a terrible problem.
Post written by guest writer Anisa Chaudhry
Feminism is unfortunately one of the most commonly misinterpreted and misconstrued words out there. Before I continue with this post, let's take a quick look at the definition:
the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
When I read this definition, I personally can't think of a single reason not to support the very basis of the word. Equality is something that every person deserves, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, or any other label that we place on each other, despite the fact that none of these labels can be changed or chosen. This strive for equality stems from issues like the lack of female suffrage in the 19th century to the lack of legal education for women in many countries today. Feminism has evolved and is still evolving into new and improved forms as time goes on. Currently, women are championing intersectional feminism, an all-inclusive "update" of the movement, that reflects the views and struggles of all types of people. However, no matter how many updates we go through, some people are still stuck on iOS 2.4.1, or as they like to call it, "supporting traditional values" or "doing things the good, old-fashioned way." Don't get me wrong, it is okay to believe in both of those prior statements, but the problem arises when they are applied to something as straight-forward as wanting equal rights.
Recently, I've been coming across headlines such as "I Am Not a Feminist, And That is Okay" or "Kellyanne Conway: Feminism associated with being ‘anti-male’ and ‘pro-abortion’." Not only do both of the women in these articles deface feminism, but they do so through falsehoods. Feminism isn't about being man-hating, anti-family, or anything else that isn't simply wanting equality. Sorry to break it to you, but without all of the work feminists have done for us so far, we wouldn't have a lot of the rights we take for granted today, This caricature of the "angry feminist" needs to go. Because in reality we're not just angry, we're infuriated. It's time to stop making assumptions off of stereotypes and preventing society from moving forward, simply because of misconceptions. The sooner we appreciate feminism for what it is, the sooner we can make progress. After all, the future is female.
Happy International Women's Day!