We have been fighting for gender equality for several decades. In our country and in some places around the world, we try to present both males and females as equal. We have come very far, but still, we are unequal. There are many things that women can’t do without being judged, and there are many things men can’t do without being judged. Let’s take a look.

The first topic: clothing. Males and females have quite different styles of clothing. Men have a very narrow choice of clothing: shirt and tie, dress pants, and shoes, usually for the work environment. Men are subject to very basic clothing, from patterns to colors. Women, on the other hand, have a wider variety of options in the clothing realm, both in and out of the work environment. Dresses, skirts, yoga pants, sandals and high heels are just a few examples. This is a major difference in appearance of the two genders. And this is just in the workplace. 

In the general public, both have freedom to dress more comfortably and freely, but there are rules, written and unwritten, in place. Men have the ability to throw on a shirt and a pair of pants, and run out the door, while women have to struggle to find an outfit that matches, and that they feel will please others. They are also subject to sexual harassment based on what they are wearing. Women wearing a short dress or a low-cut shirt are subject to be “checked out” and may even be sexually attacked. This fear may lead to a lack of freedom of expression. In addition, men have the freedom to walk around without a shirt, exposing their chest. Even if women felt comfortable walking around topless, they could face legal issues in some places. Women have the privilege to be able to wear a purse without being judged, allowing them the ability to carry multiple objects that may not be able to fit in one’s pockets. Women also have the ability to wear, or own, objects of virtually any color, without fear of being judged. But, if a man was to purchase a piece of clothing or an object in a color such as pink or purple, he may face ridicule of being too feminine.

The second topic: drinking. Men have the freedom to leave work and head straight to the bar on Friday nights. Whether it’s to hang out with friends, bring a date, find a date, or even meet new people, men can have a great time. However, women feel the need to be more careful. Women may fear going to the bar alone, due to the potential of being sexually harassed or assaulted. Women usually tend to go to the bar in groups, or with a male as a “body guard.” This is very indicative of the “rape culture” mentality we have in the United States. Women do not have the freedom to go out alone, especially at night, due to the fear of being attacked by a man, especially when drinking is involved. There are hundreds of reported cases of molestation and rape with alcohol involved, that have occurred at a bar, or the ride home afterwards. On the other hand, women have more freedom into the type of alcohol they can drink. Want a beer? Sure. A Margarita, Mai Tai, cocktail? Sure, go right ahead. But wait, men are in fear of purchasing beverages such as a margarita due to the possibility they might be seen as feminine.

And onto feelings. Women have a tremendous amount of freedom to be able to express any type of emotion they have. They can be happy, angry, sad, miserable, and they are almost always comforted to help them stay at peace. When a man shows signs he is upset, he is seen as weak and a “girl.” This is shaming men’s emotions, preventing men from being able to showcase their emotions. Men also can’t get away with constantly complaining about how they feel, without also being seen as weak.

Do you like to work? Let’s see if it fits your gender. Due to the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) act, job seekers are free from discrimination when applying for jobs. But still, we have certain job fields stereotyped by gender. Positions seen heavily dominated by men include the skilled trades, police officers, political office, etc. Positions seen heavily dominated by women include teaching, nursing, homemaking, etc. When we see women working in male-dominated fields, we praise them for breaking the gender stereotype barrier that society had been set in place for so long. On the other hand, we judge men for working in female-dominated fields, which isn’t equal treatment. In some situations, we have couples who operate as having a stay-at-home father, while the mother goes to work, as opposed to the mother staying home, and the father going to work. This may seem like an odd reality, but it is becoming increasingly popular. But even in the workforce, women are still paid less than men for the same job. This shows an example of gender inequality in the workplace, as the same work is not earning the same wage.

Women also experience the ability to be able to talk to a wide array of people. They can talk to other women, men, children and the elderly, without any major repercussions. But men can’t. If a man were to approach a woman in public to start a conversation, they could be seen as a “creep,” or trying to make sexual advances toward the woman, which could lead to major issues. Similarly, if a man were to approach or talk to a child, they could be viewed as a “creep.” A woman would most likely not face that issue. Men have to be careful to whom they talk, whereas women don’t necessarily have to be.

As the saying goes, women are always right. And this works very well to a woman’s advantage. A woman could make a false accusation of an instance of rape and or sexual assault and have it deemed as truthful, whether or not the incident actually happened. This can put innocent men at a major disadvantage. What if the woman is found to be lying about a rape accusation? They can use crying and sadness to get out of a situation and win their argument.

And of course, we need to discuss body image. Men have the freedom not to worry about their body image. They can keep on extra weight, skip shaving, and most likely not feel any insecurity about it. However, women are constantly thinking about what they look like. They live in fear of being even up to five pounds overweight, and are encouraged not to eat as much as a man would. They are also constantly shaving their arms and legs in fear of being judged by society. Women live in a higher fear than men do of body image. However, women have the freedom to call a man fat or obese, and just expect men to laugh it off. But if a man were to call a woman fat or obese, there are major emotional repercussions to that.

Housing discrimination can also be a battle against men. In many situations, when looking for an apartment or a house to rent, preference is given to females. Many advertisements on Craigslist’s state “female only” or “female preferred.” This can put male tenants at a great loss and a greater risk of homelessness.

There are many other topics that we could go into. From child support and abortion, to crime and careers, the playing field for male and females is still not equal. If we are all equal, why can’t we act equal? Why aren’t we treated equal? Could we progress our society in a way that would change all of these stereotypical behaviors?

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