I would like to wish everyone a happy Equality Day! August 26th is the date we commemorate (since 1971, thanks to Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY)) the 19th amendment was ratified in 1920, giving women the equal right to vote in elections in the United States. As part of the memorialization of this day and women in our nation’s history, one can still step into the Capitol rotunda and look for a statue of the Suffragettes: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and Susan B. Anthony. When you find it, you will notice there is still a part of the statue that remains uncarved.
This space is reserved exclusively for the bust of the first female President.
So while we wait, I thought today might be a great time to discuss other smaller ways to demonstrate equality in our midst. I’ve experienced some great examples of sexism from people who never considered their comments to be sexist. Here’s my list of things we could do (some individually and some collectively) to promote equality of our sisters, mothers, daughters, partners, and friends. Enjoy!
- Give women credit without attributing her success to a guy, placing her into a stereotype, or denigrating her success by asking her about her appearance. Here’s a link of some highlights of Olympic coverage this year in which that was done. We can do better.
- Treat rape cases as seriously as homicides in our legal and law enforcement systems. The cases of backlogged rape kits in my state are appalling and necessitated legislation to get my own city to move faster on the issue.
- Stop turning those accused of committing rape into victims and stop using victims’ choices to justify rape. The aspect of one’s innocence should not be predicated on whether or not it would “ruin” their life. And there are no skirts/shorts/tops that are high/small/low cut enough to justify someone else’s actions. If one cannot control their actions in response to something their sanity and capability to be unsupervised in society should be automatically questioned; not the victim’s fashion sense.
- Start asking men about how they juggle home and a family. If we’re equal, why is she carrying a heavier load?
- Stop asking women “when are you going to get married?” Here are six reasons why.
- Teach girls to always ask for more money/benefits when negotiating pay and raises. Here’s a clip of Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) discussing her own negotiation for equal pay to her male counterpart.
- Teach male children that they can be babysitters. It isn’t a girls’ only job and teaches lots of necessary life skills.
- Vote in every election. It is a privilege not all people on the globe enjoy.
- Buy property in your own name.
- Advocate for paid maternal and paternal leave.