A reaction to the “Declaration of Sentiments”

A long time ago, centuries even, in 1848 sixty eight women and 32 men signed a declaration of sentiments. This declaration was not unlike the one our founding fathers of America signed in 1776. But unlike that declaration, we women are still struggling for equality. The declaration signed in 1848, nearly a century later, was one for freedom and independence but not for a country but for women of all kinds to be free of their slavery to men. To not be the property of their husbands or fathers, to be their own identity, claim their own property, have a voice, be a part of government, and have the same code of morals as men.

To read what women had suffered through so much only 150 years ago is depressing, especially when it comes to the fact that we have come a long way, but not long enough. Women hold hardly any standard in the area of the government, and are scrutinized that much more when running for candidacy. As though the fact that they can give birth to another human being is a reason enough that they “couldn’t handle the job.” If anything shouldn’t the ability to bare life be a pro upon why they could lead a country or state or providence? No man on earth can do what a woman can but any women on earth could do what a man does.

One of the excerpts I found most influential was the following: “Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” This touched me so deeply with the current controversy on the birth control debates going on. To me I read it as, if your government is keeping you from living a happy and prosperous life, then you must stand up and do something about it, it is acceptable to fight for your right, and I find that Birth Control covered by insurance companies is plenty under the line of fulfillment. I don’t see what the big deal is, and I definitely think that we should try and get this bill passed, I am woman, I have my rights like any other human being, and I am the only one who should be in control of when I want to reproduce.

Are we instilling a princess persona too early and too often in girls?

In today’s day and age we have alot going on in our culture. One of the most mind blowing is the age that adolescent girls are beginning to wear make up. The subject outrages me, because it seems that every year the girls are getting younger when they begin to layer themselves with makeup. In my women’s colloquium class we have seen videos of 9 year old girls applying make up and doing their hair, taking up to an hour to get ready to go the mall after school.  Then there are places like this http://www.thelampnyc.org/2012/02/07/building-a-culture-of-princess-ified-beauty-one-glitter-manipedi-at-a-time/?utm_source=February+2012+Newsletter&utm_campaign=February+2012+Newsletter&utm_medium=email. They are salons that are catered specifically to girls 7 and up where they can get mani/peddis, facials, up-dos, and a face full of make up applied giving them a princess make over, and instilling the idea that girls must wear make up, dress pretty, and strut for attention at an terribly young age! I believe there is a time and a place for “dress up” but parents should be telling their children about the age appropriateness and how they should always love themselves for who they are. I myself consider my looks to be a thing of confidence and lucky in the gene pool. I did not start wearing makeup until I was 15.5 and even then it was only eyeliner, up until today, all I wear on a regular basis is eyeliner and when I go out it, I only add mascara and eye shadow. I’m now a 21 year old girl, and have a fine perspective on myself and beauty. I do not feel the need of going out all dressed up everyday. Once a week you can find me with no make up on and in sweat pants.

What truly irritates me is that my 11 year old cousin, who looks strikingly similar to me, with good skin and hair, is wearing make up and dying the hell out of her hair. I had not started highlighting my hair until I was 16 or 17. And she doesn’t even look like (she is now 13) her own age! I am friends with her on facebook and I have my college age friends gasping at what she looks like with her actual age. This scares the shit out of me. I am so afraid she is going to lose her innocence (and yes I am referring to first sexual experiences here) at way to young of an age, that she wouldn’t know what it means or how important that other person and her own self respect should be to her. When these 13 year old girls dress, and look as though they are legal (18) there is a definite problem with the culture and world. I say dress your own age, look your own age. I know there is a crazy amount of hormones screaming through their bodies, a surge that can be confusing, but that doesn’t mean you should be acting on them. They should wait to wear these specific clothing and make up until their conscience and minds are more developed. Just because the plumbing is there doesn’t mean you have to use it. I know most girls hit puberty around 13 and boys balls don’t really drop until 14/15, but they are in no state of maturity to be presenting themselves in a manner of self provocation  and willingness to perform sexual acts. Which is happening at younger and younger ages now. Girls are getting pregnant at the age of 15, they hardly even know whats what down there because the school and gov’t system is so jacked up the sexual education is only pleasing the church.

 

Im getting way off topic and my heart rate is rising. So I will end on this. Girls need to know they need to beloved for the outside and inside, and should not be wearing makeup until a later age, at least high school. Which is the age 14. But really even then you don’t need that much.

 

And then there is bull shit like this out there http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qk7-DFl2o1w&ob=av3e, and parents who apparently don’t know about what the fuck there kids are doing in there room. IDIOTS.

 

 

Are women getting paid equally?

My prof in my woman’s colloquium had recently sent us this article –> http://www.northjersey.com/news/NJ_college-educated_women_most_affected_by_pay_inequality_panel_says.html
and I can honestly say that I was outraged by the fact that a woman who has a bachelors degrees only makes 66 cents to the mans dollar and a woman who finishes grad school makes only 63 cents! This is unfathomable! I know that this is just a census that was taken in New Jersey but it was difficult to find anything country wide or even just in Ohio, my home state. As a woman who will be getting a bachelors in May, and then following suit with a masters in the next two years, you bet your ass that I would want to get paid equally and also have the same advancement opportunities as a man.

Considering it is now the year 2012, I myself was ignorant in thinking that woman had equal pay. We already had the right to vote, and I personally don’t really care about myself being in a political race, but I never realized that woman are losing at least a full quarter to the man’s dollar. That may not seem like much but it adds up! Woman work just as hard in the business industry especially if they went to school for the same job as a man! Getting the same education!

My prof had also sent us a pdf with more information on Ohio’s wage gap. It was found that a full time working women makes $33,616 per year while men  working full time are making &44,563. That’s a $10,947 wage gap between men and women. When grouped together that is$16,703,205,837, to but that in perspective for you, that’s like 94 more weeks of food for a family, 9 more months of mortgage payments, and more then 3,000 additional gallons of gas. That is crazy that we are getting jipped that much money!

Apparently in the 112th Congress, the House of Representatives passed  the “Paycheck Fairness Act,” but fell short by TWO votes in the Senate. And yet in 2009 women were still only getting paid 77 cents to the dollar. And the thing that absolutely blows my mind is that women and men want this act to pass, along with democrats and republicans. So why does this not get passed? If we are such a democratic country why are the people not getting what they want?

So what ways we can help?

  • Write to your senators! I always seem to hear this one for about any gov’t problem but I suppose it works if you hear about it so much!
  • Wear red on “Equal Pay Day” which is April 17 this year
  • Host an “Unhappy Hour” talk to bars about women getting 78 cent drinks for the dollar drinks. Approach woman owners first! Or even women paying 78% of their bill and men paying the full 100%
  • Attend a local rally or make one!

Other websites I visited that may help you expand your knowledge:

http://www.now.org/issues/economic/factsheet.html

http://www.pay-equity.org/day.html

~Jacki K

Reaction reading to “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf

As I begin to read “A Room of One’s Own” by Virginia Woolf, i find myself wondering if I can even comprehend the words that she is saying. I know it is English that she writes but it is old time English, in which can be very arduous to comprehend her exact meaning. Not to mention it seemed she repeated herself, A LOT.

For the most part I understand how she claims that there is not much knowledge of female life, and how women had been poorly portrayed by authors and and poets until the 18th century. This must be frustrating for women looking back into the ages, to not be able to understand what they went through and how women were treated. I could only wrap my mind around parts of her excerpt, and the only reason I could do that is because I have had a fascination with English/literature throughout the years, so I knew what she spoke of when she was “name-dropping” past characters and authors.  All in all I could not even make it through the entire passage. But what i retained from the material is how difficult it must have been for women in the 18th century.

Considering the author Mary Shelly (of Frankenstein) happened in the 19th century, and Emily Dickinson in the same century. The only artistic woman I could remember was Sappho in ancient Greece who wrote poetry. Aside from that I am quite happy that I live in the time in which I can actually write and be recognized for it, but there is still a long road for female directors and producers. A world I plan on being a part of.

 

 

~Jacki K

Equality for Women, sexual empowerment

Journal entry: “Where Are We Now?” in terms of equality for women.                                                                                        1/24/2012

To begin this journal entry I would just like to start off by stating where women were in the past in terms of equality. After about 10 minutes of researching and plugging words into Google like “achievements for women equality,”  “women’s equality achievements throughout the decades,” “women’s equality in the 90s,” and failing on finding what I wanted. A simple representation of where women have been throughout the years was all I was asking for. Finally, I figure I’d try “timeline of women’s equality” and boom, second link. Exactly what I was looking for. It depressed me to find this so hard to even come by with my first few attempts. But nowindepent women in the 90s to the my decade representation.

the 90s- For the first time in history married women can be taxed individually and not alongside of their husbands happens, thus making them more independent. Rape in marriage is made a crime. And a new law is passed stating that both women and men can take a 13 week absence to care for children under the age of 5.

THIRD WAVE OF FEMINISM- 1980s-Today main focus FIXING THE BACKLASH AND MAKING SEXUALITY EMPOWERMENT AMONG OTHER THINGS.

the 80s-Women can apply for loan or credit in their own names. Bars and pubs are no longer able to discriminate women and turn away their service. The Equal Pay Amendment is passed allowing women to be paid equally to men, another act passes letting women retire at the same age as men.

the 70s- contraceptives become available, women can no longer be fired for being pregnant, and the National Abortion Campaign is formed

SECOND WAVE OF FEMINISM- 1960s-1970s main focus BREAKING THE TRADITIONAL VIEWS/ROLES OF WOMEN.

the 60s- women are allowed to keep half of any “allowance” husband gives her, this is the Married Women’s Property Act. First female Minster of State. Contraceptive pill becomes available through Family Planning Clinics, and women strike at a ford company for equal pay

the 50s- Rape is defined “incest, girl under 16, no consent, drugs, anal sex, and impersonation.” women teachers and civil service workers should receive equal pay in Britain.

the 40s and 30s- National service Act passed, women 20-43 can be called for “war work” exceptions to only pregnant women. free access to health care for women (use to be only insured men).

the 20s- women can inherit property equally as men do. Grounds for divorce become equal. Women can vote!

the TEENS- rally for women’s right to vote, women over age 30 able to vote in Britain.

the 1900s- women fighting for right to vote, National Federation of Women Workers is established, can be elected mayor!

First Wave Feminism-1848-1920 Main Focus- RIGHT TO VOTE

That is as far back as I am willing to go for this journal entry. Anyways, to know how far we as women have came, I had to take a look back and see where we have already been. And my commentary on where we’ve been is well, damn! I had no idea that some of these issues were not being resolved until just recently. Looking back and finding out that the definition of rape wasn’t even declared until the 50s! It blows my mind to think how slow the movement of women’s equality has been moving! To think that if only I was born in a different decade and be living a completely different life puts me into a shock!

But to the point. Where are women and their equality rights now? Personally to my own belief I think women need to earn respect and have the sexuality at the same time. Too many often times in just even a single day I see a woman being scrutinized for being sexy, or being used as an object to sell merchandise or any item at all. I am so torn by the subject. I enjoy seeing people, men and women who are sexually proud, people who are not afraid to only talk about sex but who are also fine with their bodies and inner sexuality that they can use  to their advantage.

I realize now that it is the happiness that is brought out of being sexy, of getting something in return that makes a person sexually empowered. NOT for the attention that being sexy brings, but for the enjoyment that an individual is given from it. Women do not need to be out on display in music videos being degraded by rappers and such but I am alright with using your sexuality in a magazine shoot or in advertisement. I feel as though for me that would be sexually empowering, not for the attention but for the fact that I am open enough with my sexuality to be put on display. I know when its said like that it sounds like I just want attention, but in all reality, I get a rush with things like that, with knowing that by a mere picture I’m giving another individual satisfaction, that they find me attractive enough that they would be content with just looking at me. Or even if i were a model and trying to sell a product or an idea, and if my body, face and sexuality can help sell that, I would get satisfaction from it, not because of the attention, but because my appearance is what they are looking for and I can portray that image for them. That would give me tons of sexual enjoyment, empowerment, and happiness. And it would not be just for the attention, or because of daddy issues.

So again, Where are women now?  I believe they need to learn what sexual empowerment is before they can ask for it, and that the women who do know what that is, should not be looked down upon for it. Women who show their sexiness and do so for themselves and the riches they get for it, if they are smart, funny, witty, talented, and beautiful, why can’t they use their sexuality to their advantage? Why is it looked down upon? This is where I think the future of women needs to progress too. To accepting women for all that they are and that they have sexual needs, wants, desires, and urges just as much as a man does, and with the public being okay with that.

Resources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third-wave_feminism

http://womensissues.about.com/od/secondwavefeminis/Second_Wave_Feminism_1960s1970s_Womens_Lib.htm

http://womensissues.about.com/od/firstwavefeminism/First_Wave_Feminism_18481920.htm

Click to access gender-equality-timeline.pdf