My name is Shekinah and I am a sophomore in Baltimore County. If you might not know sexism (or gender discrimination) is prejudice or discrimination based on a person’s sex or gender. Sexism is something that can be affected by anyone. Just mostly in history and in times today it has targeted many women and girls. Although I have never been affected by this personally, I don’t want to experience difficulty and not be eligible for jobs, career or colleges because of my gender. I see many situations going on in the news today that women are going through without getting the same treatment or help as men would. Whether the problem is sexual harassment or discrimination in employment, sexism is a problem no matter what the situation is. Dealing with sexism can help save many people from wrong- doing.
In the Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964 it prohibits employers from discrimination against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin or religion. So why is it that we see this problem in the employment area today? According to the United States Department of Labor the latest annual data shows that 57% of women participate in the labor force. With the average earnings of 78.6% of that men earn. That is a 21.4% wage gap. Why don’t men and women receive equal pay? According to the American Association of University Women, the median annual earnings ratio of year round workers, men receive $51,212 and women $40,742. The earnings ratio for women is 80% of what men have. The United States ranks 20th among other countries in the closing gender gap.
In the article ‘Sexism in the Kitchen’, Jen Agg shares a story about Kate Burnham, who is a chef who claimed that three male chefs had repeatedly harassed her verbally and physically. Jen Agg claims that “-sexual harassment in professional kitchens is ubiquitous.” Jen expresses her feelings on how women are left out because of the male dominance in the kitchen and how this needs to be dealt with. Jen Agg claims, ‘According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the restaurant industry is the largest source of sexual harassment complaints.” Why is it that Kate Burnham is one of the few women who have come forward about her situation? Why is it that many women are afraid to come forward about theirs? The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows the number of sex discrimination charges that happened last year, in 2015, are 26,396 with a percentage of 29.5%. Imagine the number if charges that are happening today.
In history women have been discriminated from not being able to participate in the political process to not being able to have the same freedom of speech in marriage, or having the same education. Even a longer time ago they will have witch hunts where women were accused for being a witch based on what they looked like and they were murdered. Though these things don’t happen like this today or might just not happen in the United States, sexism still exists. What can we do stop this? What can we do to make sure the future great women of this nation receive the same amount of respect and not feel less than a man?
Knowing all of these things stated I want to suggest some solutions to these problems that should take place. Number one for employment, a stricter law should be enforced that each corporate business or public/private owned company should have to give their employees both men and women equal pay. If they don’t abide by these regulations the company should be held accountable whether it is a higher tax or a major fine. Number two with dealing with sexual harassment, the person being charged for the crime should receive a greater sentence. Lets decreased the wage gap and the number of charges on sexual harassment. Lets stop sexism. It starts today.