Feminism In Tough Conditions: Can We Really Be Wonder Woman?
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Politics and Activism

Feminism In Tough Conditions: Can We Really Be Wonder Woman?

Ways women are still unequal in today's society.

Feminism In Tough Conditions: Can We Really Be Wonder Woman?

Women have come a long way in fighting for the right to equality. Legally and socially, finding a voice among women has enabled us to demand the equality and respect we deserve. Despite these efforts, there are ingrained ideals which prohibit women from achieving full equality in modern day society. The representation of women in the past has constrained women into sexualized roles. It is no surprise that most of these roles are at the expense of women and remain in favor of men. These deep-seated attitudes are engrained within, but not limited to, the media, familial traditions and motherhood, and education.

The representation of women in the media and in the entertainment industry is the most visible and demeaning example of how women struggle to achieve full equality. From an advertisement to a major motion picture, the image of women becomes a universal truth to those impressionable to the ideas shown. Propaganda and advertisement strategies began to peak in the 1950’s, showcasing the ideal woman in positions of the housewife, making meatloaf with a certain brand of beef or looking as thin as paper in the latest corset.

We can see examples of this in modern day media. With the use of photoshop, women look flawless and carry the message that all women should look flawless. This greatly affects our lack of equality in society, not to mention our lack of self-esteem. Viewing women as objects is a prevalent issue in today’s media, regardless of how far we’ve come. In Patty Jenkins’ film, Wonder Woman, an Amazon warrior attempts to rid the world of hate by defeating the God of War. It is interesting to contemplate the intentional image of the Amazons, a group of women warriors, who were costumed by designer, Lindy Hemming. They wear leather body suits with metal breast platelets, protecting themselves, while also having enough mobility for their expertly trained fighting.

In revisiting the Amazons in the movie Justice League, director Zach Snyder and costume designer Michael Wilkinson decided to go a different route when costuming the Amazons. Showing more skin than armor, the women sport thin strips of leather covering their breasts and hips. Their stomachs are bare and reveal well-toned and air-brush enhanced abdominal muscles. It is shocking to see the difference in these costume designs, and perhaps more shocking to see the adjustment after a change in director and costume designer, both roles filled by men in Justice League.

The second set of costumes are neither practical for fighting nor practical for women. It definitely sends a message about what the media has imprinted into the public. Even in a movie that should be empowering women with a female superhero who is raised by a group of women warriors, we are again confined to a box of sexualized inequality.

The role of women in the home has been plainly labeled throughout time and society. It is clear we have designated places within the family, as a mother, a caregiver. Not that these roles are bad or demeaning, but they are disvalued within society, especially in modern society. While men have begun to involve themselves more within family dynamics, they are applauded for their “exemplary” efforts as a father. This ideal devalues the work women have been doing since the start of time. Woman have also become more involved in the workforce.

According to the Women’s Bureau of the United States Department of Labor, the percent of women in the workforce has increased almost 20% within 50 years. With the stress of caring for a family, as well as the stress of succeeding in a modern business world, women have their hands full. These expectations are a huge factor in inequality today. In referencing Female Psychology, what solidifies the dominant group is the notion of disparity in power, the influence of one group over the subordinate group. In defining women into these roles, men gain a power over women, a power that can be seen in simple expectations and standards solely because she is the mother.

In education, women have always been deterred in one way or another. Pace University, in fact, used to be an all-male business school. It was once a time when women were discouraged to be educated, academically and emotionally. It wasn’t until the second wave of feminism that women began to share their experiences and fully understand the severity of the inequality amongst other women.

Education is power and we had been denied for too long. The engrained ideals amidst education inhibit women to obtain leadership roles in a male-dominated curriculum. It is harder and intimidating for a woman to aspire to be a doctor rather than a nurse, but why does everyone assume she will be a nurse when says she says she is pursuing medicine? Furthermore, in education and careers, women are presumed to be in female-dominated careers and are pressured to be in male-dominated careers. You never observe society encouraging men to become nurses or mothers, only supporting women into STEM careers that are dominated by men. These dynamics are all evolved from the rejection of women in professional education and careers. We are moving from this rejection, but there does remain an inequality between the genders.

While we have begun to move away from the days of the past, women are continually subjective to inequality. It can be clearly seen in these three categories, yet there are many other instances where this is the case. The Equal Rights Amendment has yet to be passed, and we must ask ourselves why. To move towards full and general equality, many issues must be addressed within society. Perhaps full and general equality will never be accomplished, but without hope, and a voice, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Who knows where we will go.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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