THE ISSUE: Gender equality in America


Divided America: Gender equality in 2016? It's complicated

DAVID CRARY (AP) – It's a complicated time for gender relations in the U.S., as the campaign pitting Hillary Clinton against Donald Trump has underscored — most recently, with the fallout from their first debate and a sharp exchange about Trump's attention to a former Miss Universe and her weight.

On one hand, there's been great progress toward equality. Women have climbed to the top of many a corporate ladder, IBM and General Motors being just two examples. They were recently approved to serve in all military combat jobs, and depending on the election outcome, troops could soon be saluting the first female commander in chief.

At the same time, deep and obvious gaps remain — not only in terms of economic inequality and continuing discrimination and harassment in the workplace, but in everyday actions and conversations.

Consider this year's reboot of "Ghostbusters," with women replacing the male leads of the original. Misogynistic comments circulated on social media demanding the film's stars appear nude or be "hot."

Or the way some sports commentators covered women's accomplishments at the Rio Olympics. An NBC newsman drew criticism for referencing the husband-coach of a Hungarian swimmer as the "guy responsible" for her record-breaking performance.

Or the backlash in, of all places, progressive Seattle, after the five female councilors voted against the proposed sale of a street to help make way for a new arena that could host an NBA team.

Student Reactions

Ahmad Fowlkes, freshman athletic training major

“I don't think it's impossible [for there to be true gender equality]. I think it can happen in the future, but not in the near future," Fowlkes said.

Collin St Mary, freshman music media production major

“I back [gender equality] because where I'm from, way up north, things are pretty much based off male dominance," St Mary said.

Nikki DeGroot, sophomore advertising major

"I think honestly we are progressing a lot with actually talking about sexual quality, gender equality and hot topics like that," DeGroot said.

Kaushalya Herath, graduate student in urban planning

“I feel like in presidential debates, this gender inequality is going on. I feel like there is this gender issue and [some people] don't think women are powerful enough to become the president of America," Herath said.


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