Power of high heels
By Mok Ji-soo
Years ago, women were not allowed to go outside without permission; they were forced to get married at an early age; and they were considered no valuable than animal stock.
Now the situation has improved. Women are actively participating in society as they recognize their rights and empower themselves.
Condolezza Rice took office as Secretary of State; Sonia Sotomayor was the first Hispanic women to become a member of the Supreme Court; Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House. Should women, however, be content with what they have accomplished?
Even though contemporary society recognizes women’s right and allows them to be contributing members of the community, frequently, it does not treat them as equally as men.
For example, women dominate higher education in general; however, men take up more than 60 percent of leadership positions in educational institutions. Having similar education and skills, women’s average wages hover around 75 percent that of men.
Mary Fielder, the assistant dean of academics at the Episcopal High School laments, “Society wrongly assumes that men are more capable than women when it comes to fields that have been traditionally dominated by males such as science, technology, engineering, math, and leadership.
Among 535 members of congress, roughly 20 percent or fewer are female, and in the senate you can count the number of female members on two hands.
Also, the number of women leaders in major universities is considerable fewer than that of men, even though 60 percent of students and 55 percent of the population are female.” Simply put, women are still regarded as what Simone de Beauvoir coined, “the second sex.”
What then should we do fix the gender bias problem?
Many agree that the young generation of women needs the right kind of role models. Fielder suggests, “The more female role-models out there, the more opportunities young women will get.”
To illustrate her point, Fielder mentions Madelyn Albright who paved the way for Hilary Clinton, and Golda Meyer, the former Israeli prime minister, who opened the door for female political leadership opportunities in her country. Kevin Soja, the dean of students at the Episcopal High School, also supports the idea by saying, “Increasing social awareness is the key to the problem.
We need to talk about the issue and seek solutions together. Erecting respected and distinguished female leaders like Nancy Pelosi as public role models might significantly contribute toward the goal.”
Supported by their role models, women can be more productive than men. Dan Abrams, in his book Man Down claims, “women are better cops, drivers, gamblers, spies, world leaders, beer tasters, hedge fund managers, and just about everything else.”
In the near future, people should not consider the saying ― women can do whatever men do, and they can do it in high heels ― as a joke.
Jisoo Mok is a freshman at the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia, the U.S. You can contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org