Discrimination Essay Example

Women Discrimination Essay

Women play an integral role in today’s society by utilizing their intelligence, innovative, and leadership capabilities in an influential way. Since the beginning of time, a multitude of women have made an exceedingly great impact on the world’s economical, social, and political spectrum. However, women are still deemed inferior to men in past and present cultures. The inferiority of women has been portrayed through various avenues such as literature and written works. The Virgil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses’ women characters are three perfect depictions of how women in today’s society are dominated, disregarded, and discredited.

In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Ovid’s character Daphne is a perfect depiction of women in today’s society being dominated. According to the dictionary, dominated is defined as control, govern, or rule by superior authority or power. The character Daphne in the Metamorphoses is a victim of having her life decisions being controlled by her father. For example, her father Peneus in lines 687-689 states, “You owe it to me, child to provide me with a son-in-law and grandchildren!”. In line 670 Daphne states, “Let me remain a virgin, father most dear”. Daphne respectfully declines her father wishes and explains to him that she would desires to remain a virgin. Daphne is expected to engage in marriage and parental duties that she does not agree with, which represents how women are treated in today’s traditional cultures. According to Statistic Brain, “The number of girls globally who are forced to marry before the age of 18 are 11,250,000”. In addition, the percentage of South Asian girls being forced to marry before 18 are 46.4%”. This shows the overwhelming reality of dominance of family and communities to pressure young women to do things against their will just as Daphne experienced in the Metamorphoses. In addition, The School of Policy Studies at the University of Bristol studied forced marriages in South Asian cultures and reported, “All the women spoke of the way the community, including family members in the country of origin, were pressured by their families to get them married”. Ovid made it clear that women do not have a say over their lives, in regards to marriage and having children, just as many traditional cultures believe around the world today.

The Ovid’s Metamorphoses’ character Lo is a perfect depiction of women in today’s society feelings and moral values being disregarded. According to the dictionary, disregarded is defined as to pay no attention to or to leave out of consideration. The young nymph Lo in the Metamorphoses is an primary example of how Ovid portrayed women’s feelings being disregarded in society when it came to men’s sexual pleasures. For example, Jupiter states in lines 827-828, “I am he who hurls the roaming thunderbolt—don’t run from me!”. According to line 829, the book states “But run she did, through Lerna and Lyreca”, indicating her absolute disapproval of his actions and sayings by running through two different regions. Jupiter sees a young lost nymph and wants to sleep with her however, she rejected him and ran but he seized and defiled her. This depicts to the reader that Lo’s feelings and moral values that she upheld were disregarded when it comes to a man’s sexual desires. The rape scene portrayed in the book still occurs in today’s society. In fact, per the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Criminal Victimization Survey, “about 20 million out of 112 million women (18.0%) in the United States have been raped during their lifetime.” The young nymph was victim of rape and it revealed how Ovid depicted women as nothing more than sexual objects for men’s satisfactions just as many men do in the world today.

In comparison, men have the same mindset as Ovid had, however many men in today’s society exploit women as sexual tools for money. In fact, per Polaris, “Since 2007, the National Human Trafficking Hotline, operated by Polaris, has received reports of 14,588 sex trafficking cases inside the United States”. These types of men use young women’s bodies for economical gain. In addition, per Polaris, “Sex traffickers use violence, threats, lies, debt bondage, and other forms of coercion to compel adults and children to engage in commercial sex acts against their will”. The harsh reality still exist just has it has been in ancient history’s literature, women are shown as sexual tools for men and are dishonored because of men’s dominance.
In Virgil’s Aeneid, Virgil’s character Dido is a perfect depiction of women in today’s society authority being discredited by men. According to the dictionary, discredit is defined as, to harm the good reputation of someone or to cause someone to seem false or unreliable. For example, as the reader examines book four of the Aeneid, the reader is introduced to an intelligent, beloved, and powerful king Queen of Carthage. Line 93-94 states, “… the heart of Carthage displaying Phoenician power”. This displays her city being a mighty and powerful land that has a strong leader in place to keep the city intact. However, Virgil discredited Dido’s image by making her an unreliable leader when he made her character fall in love with Aeneas and neglected her responsibility. According to the book, lines 214-215 states, “Dido care no more for appearances, nor for her reputation”. The lines implyed that she did once care for her reputation and her appearance, but Virgil made her character a driven mad woman by the end. Lines 594 and 595 states, “So, driven by madness, beaten down by anguish, Dido was fixed on dying. A once honorable woman was quickly depicted as unreliable crazed individual. The treatment of the character Dido that Virgil portrayed are his thoughts towards women in the society he lived in. He displayed women as unreliable and discredited their image of leading a group of people.

This treatment of Dido is displayed in society today, for example, the work environment displays women the same way as Virgil did. According to Women in Business, “Qualified women may be passed over for promotions because they become pregnant (pregnancy discrimination) or because they might become pregnant (gender discrimination.) Jobs may be offered to a less qualified male applicant just because he is male”. In addition, “women are not only discriminated against for being "pretty" or "provocative"…”. This shows how men in modern society still tries to discredit women by causing them to be viewed as unreliable because of any reason they can conjure up, whether its future medical reasons or physical appearance. According to John Carrol University Study, “Women’s assumed inferiority in regards to their intelligence and morality, as a result of the fact that they were the weaker sex, was justification for excluding them from holding positions of authority”. These are issues that are prevalent in society today that are stemmed from egoistical mindsets of men who believe that women cannot be leaders because of their traditional roles of housewives and stay at home mothers.
The Virgil’s Aeneid and Ovid’s Metamorphoses’ women characters are three perfect depictions of how women in today’s society are dominated, disregarded, and discredited. The character Daphne in the Metamorphoses is a victim of having her life decisions being controlled by her father. The young nymph Lo in the Metamorphoses is an primary example of how Ovid portrayed women’s feelings being disregarded in society when it came to men’s sexual pleasures. Virgil tries to discredit Dido’s image by making her an unreliable leader when he made her character fall in love with Aeneas and neglect her responsibility. These three characters’ mistreatment that should be condemned and not accepted in society. The women in past and present societies play a vital role and they should be respected and equal as their men counterparts. Women are intelligent, innovative, and leaders, as a result, they should be treated with much respect just as men are.

Gender Discrimination Essay

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“Donald Trump caught making lewd comments about women” “Raped Women not fighting back hard enough” . These are headlines that were made over the last year. Society is a world that fights and strives for equality, but are still stuck in the bias humans hold inside them. Many people know how wronged they are and fight every day to bring about the fairness they deserve. They go to rallies, form campaigns, give speeches, and protest on social media. What they do affects everyone; students discuss it in class, people post about it on their Instagrams, and they frown at the sexist presidential candidate or judge. But to what extent will humans take action against something so detrimental? Will humankind ever be able to overcome gender discrimination?

Gender discrimination is deep within the roots of humankind. For some, it goes back to the very first humans on Earth: Adam and Eve. Christianity is the most widespread around the world, and it’s teachings influence many. One chapter of the Bible tells of the first two humans, and how they came to be. Many believe this story to be rife with female discrimination. Firstly, Adam was created out of dust, while Eve was made out of Adam’s rib cage. To many that symbolizes that women are simply a part of a man, and belong to them. According to the Biblical Archaeology Society, Eve might have not even been Adam’s first companion. There was a third human on Earth named Lilith. She too was created out of dust, but as soon as Adam and Lilith were together they fought because she felt equal to Adam. Lilith refused to become inferior to Adam and left the Garden of Eden as a result. She has also represented ungodliness, seduction, and chaos, in many other religions and even appearing in the story of Gilgamesh. If so many people believe that God created women to be inferior to men, that women are the cause of evil, and that they are nothing but another part of a man, how can society today take a step forward from this backwards thinking?
Halfway across the world in the small country of Kenya, less than a year ago a law was put into place to protect their citizens from domestic violence. Two years ago, men beating and raping their wives was legal and socially accepted. As Adalaide Ndilu puts it, “The dominance of patriarchy in Kenyan society has contributed to acceptance of gender-based and sexual violence as normal behavior. Traditionally, women in some communities even expect to be beaten by their husbands as a sign of love!”. Violence against women is deeply rooted in Kenyan culture and it goes beyond beatings; forced marriage, genital cutting, and forced prostitution are some of the dozens of injustices that happen to women. Women are also not given chances to have an education. Once again, culturally women in Kenya are meant to be caring for their children rather than taking on a job. “Educated women may be viewed by their tribes, family members and greater society as "worldly", a definition that often comes with associated connotations like disrespectful, arrogant, or even promiscuous.” writes Lesorogol, a professor at Washington University.

“Life, Liberty, and The Pursuit of Happiness” - Declaration of Independence, 1776. While the unalienable rights written in the Declaration of Independence seems great on paper, in reality they were only meant for rich, white men. Many look back on that time period and think about the differences of rights that were given based on the color of one’s skin, but back then not only African-American people were suppressed, but also women of any color. “Women were not encouraged to obtain a real education or pursue a professional career… In addition, all women were denied the right to vote. Only after decades of intense political activity did women eventually win the right to vote.” (NWHM). Only after almost two hundred years of fighting, women were- almost- given their chances at equality. In 1972, the ERA (Equality Rights Amendment) was passed by the congress, and yet, only 35 states ratified — three short from the amendment being added to our constitution (Huffington). While women make up 60% of college graduates, there is a wide gender pay gap. Women make 78 cents to a man’s dollar, with African-American and Latina women making 64 cents and 53 cents respectively (Huffington). How can women make 22 cents less than a man, even if they have the same credentials? We are living in a country that prides itself on being a democratic leader for the world, and yet legally women still do not have equal rights as men.

For thousands of years, women have not had equal rights compared to men. Even today, women are still being discriminated against. Sexism is not only ingrained in our cultures, but humans are born with an instinct to hold themselves superior over others. There has never been a time where all humans regarded each other as equals; not 2,000 years ago, not 100 years ago, and not today. There is no changing human instinct with laws or petitions: it will always be there. Bias against women, as it has continued in the past, will most definitely continue in the future. And yet, even though this essay predicts that gender discrimination will never end, or any other discrimination for that matter, it is important to never stop trying and hoping for a world with equality for everyone. In less than a month, the United States will hold its quadrennial election for President. This event and the next four years holds so much impact on gender equality both in America and all around the world. It is this election that could put the first ever woman as the face of our country. We must elect the individual that instills that fact that everyone, not just males can achieve their goals. We must elect someone who can influence girls in other countries to do the same, empowering them and all others that have been oppressed. We must strive for a peaceful an equal world, and if we do, maybe humanity has a chance to overcome what has plagued us since our creation. Time has yet to tell.

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