Do Women Face Oppression in America?

Licensed by Creative Commons People protest women’s rights daily.

By Luke Sterner

Contributing Writer

Let me start by saying women are phenomenal. There have been remarkable women in history.

Look at Ida B. Wells, Margaret Thatcher and Harriet Tubman, to name a few.

Women do extraordinary things every day, but why do I hear so often that they are oppressed, or that women’s rights are on the line in an election?

I want to talk about some common misconceptions I hear about and try to understand this feeling of oppression women may have in America. The common rhetoric I hear often is that women make only 80 cents to every dollar a man makes.

First off, wages are the biggest expense for a business.  If the wage gap is true, why don’t companies only hire women?  If companies could save 20 cents on every dollar, for every woman they hire over a man, imagine the money they could save.

Let’s look at how this statistic is calculated.  You divide the median earnings of all women working full time by the median earnings of all men working full time. These stats don’t consider occupation, education, position or hours worked per week.  The wage gap is a product of the career choices men and women make, not America burdening its people.

I am going to list the top five paying college majors and the bottom five least paying college fields.

The top five highest paying college majors are:

1. Petroleum Engineering- 87% Male; 2. Pharmaceutical Sciences- 48% Male; 3. Math & Computer Science- 67% Male; 4. Aerospace Engineering- 88% Male; and 5. Chemical Engineering- 72% Male.   

Now the five lowest paying college majors:

1. Counseling & Psychology- 74% Female; 2. Early Childhood Education- 97% Female; 3. Theology & Religious Vocations- 34% Female; 4. Human Services & Community Organization- 81% Female; 5. Social Work- 88% Female.

Men dominate the top paying fields, women dominate the lowest paying fields. These are the choices people make, not society imposing its will on them.

Also, men and women have different aptitudes, instincts and desires that draw them to these careers.

It’s not the fault of society, its just the basic fact that men and women like and excel at different things. There are some other factors that can determine why women could make less than men.

Women on average work seven percent less hours per week then men. Women are more likely to enter lower paying specialties like family practice or preschool teacher.   

Also, women are more likely to work part time and can take maternity leave.

Why is there a gap at all you might ask?

The department of Labor concluded that there are many factors, no single study could cover them all.

Now let’s talk abortion.  I have been told personally that being anti-abortion means being anti-women, and that its their right to choose.

Women have that right in America.  They have the power to choose life or death of another human being, a right women in many other countries don’t have.

The power over life and death is something only God should have, but in America women have that same right.   

In America, there is no law that prohibits women from doing anything based on gender.

We actually have anti-discrimination laws. In America, women can drive, they can work, they can leave the house without a man’s permission.

Women can do anything they want, as long as it’s legal of course.

Women also have the right in America to protest any purpose they want.

Yes, even dressed like female genitalia.

In other countries, such as Pakistan or Iraq, women don’t have that freedom.

A professor at the University of Michigan concluded that male criminals receive 60% longer sentences on average than women do for similar crimes.

Another study concluded that men are 13 percent more likely than women are to receive traffic tickets.

In America, divorce laws favor women. Women also have the power to say yes or no when asked on a date or to accept a marriage proposal.

Lastly, I truly want to know: why do women feel oppressed?

What is so bad about being a woman in America?

What do women want done, in order to feel equal to men?

These are open ended questions.

Email Luke at:

lsterner@live.esu.edu

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.