6 February 2019
Experiencing Gender Inequality
I was born into a culture where men go out and work while women stay home and take care of the house. After girls graduate from high school, they either choose to go to college or get married. Most of them, however, choose to get married and leave it to their husband to make a living for them. This is something I heard about but saw with my eyes when I went and visited my country in 2017. Fortunately for my sisters and I, our father, who believed we could do something bigger with our lives, brought us to America. He wanted us to become strong, independent women who can take care of themselves. I am very grateful to have come to America to see all the opportunities that are available for me as a young woman.
While living in America, I have noticed that although it provides great opportunities for women, they do experience the most problems associating the female figure. The main problem involving sexism revolves around the female body and how it should look. While watching television, I came across many advertisements that I thought of as provatotive because I have never seen women portrayed in such a manner . Barely clothed women with thin waists, long legs, and large breasts are used to sell things from men’s bodywash to food to electronics. Such advertisements stereotype women and degrade the average female body. I often found myself comparing how I look to how the women on advertisements look. Growing up in America, I acquired many opinions that opposed to those of my parents. We often argued about what I should and should not wear, where I should and should not go and with whom I become friends with.
Two years ago, my sister and I the pleasure of visiting our home country, Sudan, over the summer. While there, we went out to many amusement parks, malls, and beaches with our cousins. However, we always had to take at least one male relative with us even if he was younger. Once while at an amusement park, I made the mistake of going off by myself to look for a restroom without telling anyone. I was getting a lot of attention from guys because while most of the girls were covered up in dresses, long shirts, and skirts, I was wearing a pair of jeans and a blouse with a scarf hanging around my neck. After I found the restroom and was heading back to my family, I was stopped by an older man who asked me why I didnt have my headscarf on. I was outraged because I did not know this man and he had no right to tell me what I can and cannot wear. However, I was also scared because I did not see anyone familiar around. I quickly wrapped my scarf around my head and walked away looking for my family.
When I saw my cousin from a distance, I paced over to him and told him what had happened. He immediately demanded I show him who and when I did he approached the man. They quickly got to arguing and shouting, the man saying that I was being disrespectful by not covering up and my cousin saying that he had no business approaching me. My sister and I pulled our cousin away and headed to a different part of the park laughing off the whole situation. We went on about our day but the entire time I was thinking about the incident and livid at myself for not speaking up and criticizing the man for approaching me. I thought to myself that this never would have happened to me in America but only because they have different customs. I compared America and Sudan and saw how each county degrades women in their own ways. If I could solve one major problem, it would be sexism and inequality towards women. God created both men and women the same way. I think America should set an example for the rest of the world by restricting the media industry, advocating education for all, and promoting equality. We all need to support each other not as women or men, but as human beings.
Still to this day, I still come across small situations that slowly add to my growing outrage of inequality against women. Me personally, being born into one culture and growing up in a completely different one, I would often have arguments with my mother and father over little things because of our different beliefs. Even when they tell me little things like, take your brother with you, when I am grocery shopping I would heat up. On one hand, I understand that they just want to make sure I am ok but on the other hand it tells me that I, being a women, am incapable of taking care of myself. No one should assume that women are any less than men; or vice versa. Like one of my favorite quotes by Susan B. Anthony says "Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less."