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The Viiith Constitutional Article This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   American women have been oppressed by men since the earliest years of this country. Some ignore the injustices and accept their situations as permanent. Others, like Abigail Adams who asked her husband to include in the Constitution a section dealing with equality of the sexes, struggle against male dominance. In spite of many attempts at resolving the battle of the sexes, however, our society still considers women inferior. In employment, domestic situations, medical studies, sports, advertisements, and rape cases, males usually have the upper hand.

For one thing, women generally are paid less than men. The reason for this is probably linked to the fact that in many jobs, such as the highest executive positions, women are not present. Not that they do not want these jobs, but they either don't have the opportunity to apply for them, or men are promoted over women who are just as qualified.

In many domestic situations, even where both husband and wife are business executives, the wife does 90% of the cleaning, cooking, and other "feminine" chores. True, this is changing in today's society, but not fast enough.

Also, in most medical studies and scientific experiments, the subjects of the tests are all male, whether the subjects are humans or other animals. This tradition not only is prejudiced, but leads to incomplete test results since females have different hormones and different bodies than males.

Most national sports teams, such as baseball, hockey, and basketball have few female members, if any. Although one could argue this is because women don't want to participate, perhaps because our society does not encourage female participants in traditionally male-dominated sports. Technically, why couldn't a woman play on the Boston Red Sox if she wanted to? And what would be wrong with a female Bruin?

Almost all advertisements sell products by using the sex appeal of women's bodies. Hardly ever does one see a scantily-clad male model in a commercial, rather than the usual barely-dressed female. Next time you watch television, try counting how many commercials use all or nearly all female models versus commercials that portray all (or mostly) men.

Also, in many instances of rape, the victim is punished in one of several ways, other than the original rape. First, when she goes to a medical facility to be examined, after the rape, the attitudes and actions of her examiner may virtually re-rape the victim. Then, if she decides to bring her case to court, the attitude of much of the court system favors the man. In the cases of several college fraternity "gang-bangs," or the rape of one woman by several men in collusion, the rapists were dealt weak sentences such as performing community service, writing an essay about rape, or being charged only with violating the school's conduct code. Acquaintance and date rape victims are especially vulnerable in court, since even today many people do not realize that a man forcing his unwilling date to have sex with him constitutes rape.

Unfortunately, this evidence proves that women are still severely oppressed in American society. Though many improvements have occurred, it seems doubtful that women and men will ever be on equal terms in all things. Perhaps in honor of Abigail Adams, we should add an eighth article to the Constitution, such as the following:

Article VIII. Female rights

Section 1. Relations between women and men.

A. Husbands shall not be supreme masters of their wives; rather, husband and wife shall have equal rights within their marriage.

B. A man shall not force a woman to have sex against her will in any instance and under any circumstances, within or outside marriage.

C. Upon marriage, a woman's money, wages, and property do not automatically become sole possession of her husband.

D. Within a marriage, the wife and husband shall play an equal roles in matters concerning their children.

Section 2. Female equality

A. Women shall be judged, sentenced, and punished on the same terms as men.

B. Equal education opportunities shall be provided for women and men alike.

C. Women shall be considered for employment and promotion on terms equal to those on which men are considered. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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