The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Gender inequality is a hot-button issue today. Even though we’re living in a so-called enlightened age, women aren’t typically afforded the same status as men. On paper, they have the same rights and privileges. In reality, however, we live in a world with child marriages, increasing gender-based violence, and where women typically earn less than their male counterparts.
Few of us will see real equality in our lifetimes. According to estimates, we’re 108 years from that point.
That said, we’ve made great strides in the last century alone. It’s just over 100 years ago that women in the United Kingdom and the United States were first allowed to vote.
Our grandmothers had very different prospects to modern women. They could attend college and work, but the focus was on them being the caretakers for the family. Women from that era were supposed to marry, have children, and take care of the house.
Our lives today are extremely different. Women are marrying later in life, and it’s not a given that they’ll have children. It’s not unusual for a woman today to remain single and focus on her career.
Attitudes Are Changing
Attitudes are changing—it may be a slow change but it’s there. A few years ago, we posted an infographic about gender inequality in films. In 2013, 35 women were nominated for an Academy Award. By 2019, that figure rose to 53.
What’s more interesting, however, is the change in how Hollywood portrays women. If we think back to classics such as the Indiana Jones series, there was always a damsel in distress. Our hero naturally rescued her.
Fast-forward until today, and we see some fierce ladies on our screen. How many people, men or women, would want to tangle with Dutch from Killjoys, or Andy in the Old Guard? Do women still appear naked more often than men?
Sure, we’ve yet to see the full-frontal male nude scene come into vogue, but we’re moving in the right direction.
What Work Must We Still Do?
Changing the attitudes built through centuries of conditioning is tough. The best that we can do is to acknowledge that there’s a problem and work toward creating positive role models for men and women to emulate.
We have to teach our children that both sexes deserve fair and equal treatment. To do so, we’ll have to set the example in the way that we deal with our partners, spouses, and significant others.
We’ll need another crop of strong women playing big and bold in the cinemas. And, while we’re at it, why not shake up the stereotypes again with documentaries about courageous women who beat the system?
Society today is laser-focused on being politically correct. Perhaps it’s time instead to acknowledge that there are differences between the sexes. Men and women aren’t the same, and neither is better than the other.
In celebrating these differences, we honor both sexes and work toward fostering a greater understanding. Only then will we be able to work toward true equality.