College Corner: A Student’s Response to the State Of The Union Address
In his January 2014 State Of The Union Address, President Barack Obama discussed the difficulties many women in the United States face today. These include lower wages for women and difficulties as well as controversies surrounding the issues of abortion and personal choice.
As a young college woman in a state considered strongly Republican, I am constantly exposed to the issues the President discussed. College is a time when young men and women are focusing on their futures and careers. Unfortunately, it is also a time when many men develop sexist attitudes that affect our women every day.
The attitude that pushes women down in the economic system of our country truly begins in college.
I have constantly heard phrases like “that’s woman’s work” or “housewife status” when a woman is spoken to by a man. It appears that men believe themselves to be a superior gender. This is nothing but sexism in one of its ugliest forms. However, when men do not stand corrected by the society we live in and are able to observe a degrading and unfair capitalist system in action, they see no reason to respect women or see them as equals.
A classic example of this is a friend I have made since arriving at my university. She participates in ROTC, otherwise known as a predatory military training that also pays for education. This program obviously does wonderful things for students everywhere. However, due to being a female, she is constantly made fun of by the young men surrounding her. Behind her back the boys say she is “practically a guy.” This is complete sexism that rises from a woman taking control and initiative of her own life.
One thing I have noticed since going to college is that many men feel threatened by a woman. A woman cannot do a man’s job. This threatens the pride and manliness of a man. Therefore the insults begin, meant to degrade a woman into hiding simply for embracing her sexuality, social status, or true potential. This is only the beginning of the issues President Obama addressed in his speech, and these problems start young.
In order to fully reach equality and potential, women must recognize that no man should determine their status in life.
Lilliana Yepez-Connors, 1st year College Student