McGarvey: Gender standards, stereotypes need to stop with current generation


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Gender equality

Sean Mcgarvey

The issue of gender inequality is bigger than each of us. Our own beliefs need to be put aside for the greater good. This means that despite what we feel feminism means, we need to take action and attempt to unite all people, no matter their gender.

In my current diversity class, we just finished studying stereotypes in the media. Both men and women have specific roles they fit into. Many television shows portray men as dumb and obsessed with females. In “Two and a Half Men,” Charlie Sheen’s character is a playboy. He is a man with the desire to use women for sex. Sure, the show is fictional and can have its comical moments, but there are societal effects as well.

The same goes for the female side of the media. Their Hollywood roles used to be a femme fatale in desperate need of a man. They were simply not able to function without a man to guide them or save them. Today’s television programs focus more on women upstaging or talking down to men. Using the sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” we can see Debra treating Ray as a child. She bosses him around and seems to control his every action.

This is how our society views genders. Men and women have to fit the mold of society.

On Sept. 20, Emma Watson invited all men and boys to join their female counterparts in an effort to stop gender inequality. The reason for this invitation being that, “Feminism, by definition, is that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities,” Watson said.

Being a part of the next generation, I feel like this movement should start with us. If we abide by the standards and stereotypes that have preceded us, how will the future be any different? We shouldn’t have to fight inequality throughout our lives as well. There is no reason for a woman to be paid any less than a man because of her gender. There’s no reason to give an opportunity to a man that wouldn’t be given to a woman. Equality and unity was something this nation was built upon.

“It is not the word that is important. It’s the idea and the ambition behind it.”  Watson said. She continued to argue the rights of humans should be the rights of women. This should not be something the government needs to interfere with. The problem lies with the people’s beliefs. This means the solution needs to be from the people. 

Since Watson’s speech, HeForShe has reached over 160,000 people worldwide according to their website, This idea has caused many men to pledge their actions to helping stop gender inequality and promote a more united human race.

If you’re one who thinks there isn’t a problem and we need to keep our society the way it is, look past our country. The book, “Leftover Women,” written by Leta Hong Fincher, observes the reality of gender inequality in China. It tells the story of how single women are seen as “worthless and unessential” to society. In Bahrain, the court can take away children from their mothers. In many African countries, if a woman has a child outside of wedlock, she is subjected to examination. Most countries in the Middle East refuse married women access to leave the country without permission from their husbands. Many of these same countries do not allow women to get behind the wheel of a car. Driving is considered a man’s work.

These are only a few examples of gender inequalities around the world. Not to mention Afghanistan prohibiting the education of women.

This is a silent battle we have chosen to ignore for decades. It doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman, your actions can help fight for gender equality. In order for our world to advance, we must start close to home. Women have fought alone for too long, and it’s time for men to step up and join them. We must bring unity and equality to the foreground of the human world.