“I want to say a little something that’s long overdue
The disrespect to women has got to be through
To all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and friends
I want to offer my love and respect to the end.”
– MCA (Adam Yauch) R.I.P., Beastie Boys, “Sure Shot”
A few months back, Amy Schumer made headlines for her provocative flouting of the media’s strict guidelines for who or what is considered beautiful. I like Schumer; however, she could have accomplished much more to help out politically – think Rosario Dawson – this election cycle, than she did by starring in a Bud Light ad with Seth Rogen. Maybe this is because she has ties to politics and wants nothing to do with it.
Regardless of her political agenda (or lack thereof), she made her point: women are tired of being judged solely on their physical appearance. Brash behavior may work well for women like Samantha Bee, Sarah Silverman, and Schumer (who have all tried to break through the glass ceiling of the male-dominated comedy industry), but how does this play out for the average Jane?
Women Everywhere Are Subjected to Harsh Standards
Women’s “body-shaming” may seem irrelevant compared to sexier topics, but even so, it does continue to affect all of us, every day. After thousands of years of oppression, women continue to find themselves clawing to maintain dignity. The worst result of this being that women and children are statistically more likely to be poverty-stricken than men; they are simply more vulnerable in tenuous situations.
Reproductive rights are being chipped away, one state at a time. Women also have a longer life expectancy than men but are more likely to receive less than their male counterparts during retirement. Sure, the gender pay gap has narrowed slightly, but it still serves as a glaringly obvious example that the work women do is less important than men’s. Worse yet, women’s endeavors may never be considered equal to a man’s. Should that bother us? Yes. Do things need to change in that respect? Definitely.
We Know We Matter; It’s Time to Prove It
Schumer’s point about respecting women does not only touch on looks. It also reflects upon the idea that in order to be successful in this world we must be beneficial to men in some way, shape, or form. Mother, daughter, girlfriend, wife, aunt, cousin, or even mistress are all names impressed upon women in order to satisfy another person’s needs. Those may be acceptable among most people, but what about, “independent woman?” The implications with a such a title are much less generous than other words used to label women in our society.
Can we fight back against such misogyny? As with any important issue affecting millions of individuals, the only way to respond is as a collective. It is my belief that the die-hard female supporters Hillary Clinton stand by her as a group in an effort to prove that women, can be and are equals.
Whether you love her or hate her, she has accomplished a great feat, and women everywhere now stand a better chance of overcoming barriers in the workplace. I may not be her biggest fan, but I cannot deny that she has done some great things to advance women’s rights. Now, it’s up to the rest of us to show the world what we can do.