Editor talks on sexism and mistreatment

By Megan Ruge, Co-Editor in Chief

Since the beginning of time, women have experienced stereotyping and mistreatment based on gender. An old and archaic thought stemming from the beginning of most religions, women have been continually oppressed by the concept that men should head society.

The first wave of feminism broke out when women achieved suffrage in 1920. This wave continued through the ‘40s when the U.S. entered the second World War.

At this time, men were be- ing drafted to fight for their country, leaving holes in the industrial labor force. With women stepping into these roles, they finally got the chance to show that females are just as hard working as their male counterparts.

By 1945, nearly one out of every four married American women worked outside of their home. Since then, the path has been wide open to allow other ambitious and strong willed women to prove that they are just as powerful as men in our society.

You would think that when women showed they could be both factory workers and homemakers, moms and bosses, the world would start to see women a little differently. You would be wrong.

Though it is pleasing to believe that the 21st century has been welcoming to all kinds of change, we are still under a society that holds a man to higher power.

As a society, we still, to this day, see our women fighting to close the gap between their wages and that of their male counterparts. A woman in any business should be afforded the same opportunity and starting wage as any man applying for the same position.

Though it seems that working class women are the only ones struggling with the effects of sexism, women are feeling this in all walks of life.

As a woman myself, though I have felt the hardships of the current economic situation, I cannot actually say that I had to deal with sexism in my life before this year.

When I stepped into the position of co-editor in chief, I worried about many things.

My fears included a lack of knowledge of newspaper design, Associated Press style and overall editing as well as confidence in running meetings. Never did I worry that I would be subject to sexism.

As the semester progressed, I found myself taking on a lot of the roles previously shared with my male counterpart, co- editor in chief Kyle Kern, after asking him to help me take on more responsibilities. Slowly, my colleague allowed me the responsibility of final editing on my own and eventually, I began to run meetings. He helped me ease myself into the things I had previously been uncomfortable with.

We decided to redivide responsibilities so that I could learn these new techniques.

Toward the end of the semester, I began to realize that things weren’t as equal as we wanted after all and it was nobodies fault but society.

Kyle and I realized that even though my name was at the top of the masthead, Kyle received the majority of emails with concerns or questions from outside and issues from the general staff.

After a meeting in which I had to “lay down the law,” my words were perceived as angry and mean, but the same words delivered by my male counterpart were received much better.

This is something I didn’t understand and spent plenty of time pondering. Why was I the last to know about an issue but the first to fix them.

Though I am not the first female editor and I will not be the last, why should my bodies overproduction of estrogen determine my qualification to address your concerns and be the reason my credibility is questioned. Please…consider.

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