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