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Today's Woman

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Every woman deserves a certain amount of respect. Situations have been made difficult by those who do not agree. To find examples of how life can be hard, look into the life of a woman. Women, from the beginning of civilization, have been looked down upon by men. Some men today believe a woman has no right to pursue a career other than being a housewife and mother. Women are strong beings who have earned their rights to equality and respect. Women have and continue to be strong individuals and work towards equality and a better future by creating groups and social awareness.

A great woman, Eleanor Roosevelt, once said, “A woman is like a tea bag - you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” Eleanor was a leader and helped her husband make decisions when he was President of the United States. She is known as one of the greatest women of the 20th century for her actions as a humanitarian and civic leader. Roosevelt was an active member of the women’s suffrage movement.

Joan of Arc set a good example as she was an intelligent and incredibly courageous young woman not only for her time, but for our time as well. In the year 1412, the “Maid of Orléans” led the French army to victory against the British at the battle of Orléans. Joan was captured a year after the battle and burned at the stake by the British who labeled her as a heretic. She is one of many who have influenced the lives of women past, present, and future.

Another excellent example of a strong and able woman is Lindsay Hyde, the founder of Strong Women, Strong Girls. Her program started at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has grown immensely. Hyde continues to work with the program today to set examples for girls and women in the world. She has helped so many females gain confidence and life skills through her program, yet some grown males still make demeening jokes. Young boys take into mind the examples set by their male role models. So, boys of all ages may look down upon and make fun of girls’ programs such as Strong Women, Strong Girls by saying that girls are not good or smart enough. Sadly, I myself have seen this happen.

As I have grown these past years I have also discovered the disappointing aspects of the “real world” and its jobs. Almost one hundred years ago in America, women saved our nation. Women were strong and supported their children and country when the men were by working in factories, building planes, and maintaining victory gardens. Once World War II ended, women had their jobs taken away, were pushed to the side, and disregarded by the men returning from the war to their jobs.

Things are a bit easier on the working woman today. Something that shocked me when I first learned of it as a middle schooler was women’s wages versus men’s. Although the same work is being done, maybe even better by the woman, a man still gets a higher salary and paycheck than a woman. One of my female cousins, Krista, is an important asset to her company. She works in management and human resources, yet a man in her position receives a higher pay. She may work harder than any man in her department, but that means almost nothing, in some cases, to a male boss who is friends with her male coworker.

The only possible shred of good that women have gained from these prejudiced views has been the exemption from drafts in the past and today. The problem with this exemption is that it stemmed from sexual prejudice and women being viewed as weak. The military today is fairer to women. I know of a number of women that have served our country just the same as men. Differences such as gender can make things more difficult in a profession dominated by men, but women that earn respect from their fellow male servicemen help pave the way to equality. Consider the Marines; less than one percent of the American population can say that they have served as a Marine . Less than 15 percent of these Marines have been and are women. Even with the low percentage of participating women the Marine Corps is making a difference and giving women more opportunities. Recently the Marine Corps has allowed women to move closer to the front line. Some object to this change, and I understand the complaints. Many of the military’s physical requirements for males are unlikely to be obtained by women. Still, women should be given opportunities to receive the training to be able to engage in hand-to-hand combat if the situation requires. Doors are being opened in the military thanks to a growing understanding of women.

Overall, women have proved themselves in the past, in the present, and have the mindset to do so in the future. Whether or not change is in our future as a people, I know women can handle it. Our fight is one full of difficulty, but one worth fighting. If women of all ages could help our country win a war, we can push for success in everything we do. Women are thankful we have made the amount of progress we have made, and they look forward to working with the men they respect in the future.




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