During my Diversity class last week the male students were asked which words they associated with their gender. The answer that struck me the most was “trailblazer.” It unsettled me to entertain the idea that my world had been constructed by men. If the tools I use on a daily basis; my favorite books, movies, and television shows; and my role models throughout history were all men what does that mean for my future as a woman? Because this concept of men creating my environment struck such a wrong note within me, I was led to question the validity of that statement, if only for my own sanity. I came to realize that the reason it seems like men made most of the major contributions to society is because of a very solid public relations campaign run by a very determined media directer: society.
I was reminded of a quote that seems to summarize this situation fully, “History is written by the winners.” Throughout America’s history men have overshadowed women, not just in the job market but also in the media. If women are ever seem to be dominating men it is done as a joke, so the viewers know how absurd the idea of it actually happening seems to the media. Women have been brainwashed by the media throughout history to believe that, not only are they currently less useful than men, but that it has been that way throughout history. The average history textbook in public schools fails to mention many revolutionary women. There are many reasons why and the case of sexism can be seen in many ways such as pen names. Women were forced to write under pen names because they would not be published if they revealed themselves to be women. The Bronte sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne wrote under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. The quality of something does not change when the gender of the person who is said to have wrote it does but they could not be published under a female name.
Source: Texas state Senator Wendy Davis (Patrick Michels /TexasObserver.com)
But women are making history by standing up for themselves in the twenty-first century, quite literally in Texas Senator Wendy Davis’ case. She, and other women, are getting the recognition they deserve from society by breaking down barriers that American media throughout history has built up brick by brick every year. They are gaining the respect and the equal media attention that they deserve and fighting for their rights. The problem is that the media is still focusing more on the color of her shoes than the content of her speech. Once again, a woman’s appearance is getting more publicity than her thoughts.
Source: Peace Monger
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wrote in 1976 that, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” What’s true is that women in general barely graced the American history books, although not for lack of effort. So, let us stop allowing the media to be the public relations specialist for the men in society. Do not let history repeat itself ladies, because, if it does, it will just be a long line of white men lined up trying to sell us low self-esteem and make overs, and honestly, we have had enough of that to last a lifetime. In our heels and our sneakers and any which way, we can blaze new trails.