Rated Double X

Rated Double X

This week in one of our planning meetings for St. Anthony Messenger magazine, we engaged in an interesting discussion about gender roles, stemming from a mention of the recent Steubenville rape case.

Gender has been in the news a lot lately, as Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg promotes (and defends) her book, “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” describing her experiences and what she’s learned as a female at the top of one of the world’s most noteworthy companies.

It feels as though, in many ways, we haven’t come so far with gender equity. We still talk of “women’s rights,” a distinction from just plain old human rights. We still have to teach our daughters how not to be raped, because it seems an awful lot of our sons have not learned how not to rape.

We throw around rhetoric about women to justify whether we’re pro-life or pro-choice. We know women still generally make about 77 cents to the dollar every man makes, even though we also know women tend to control the majority of household spending.

Why is it that in 2013, women still so often are viewed or treated as second-class citizens? And why is it that asking such a question opens you up to the prospect of being called a “raging feminist” or a “femiNazi”? Why does feminism still even have to be an “-ism”?

It takes time to move the needle on any social issue, and sadly, being a woman is still a social issue of a sort. We’ve been raised in America’s rape culture, trained by our environment to look a certain way and act a certain way to gain acceptance, much less success.

Where do you see this phenomenon in your life? What ideas do you have to help bring about change?


Image: catwalker / Shutterstock.com


About the Author

Jennifer Scroggins works in Marketing in Cincinnati, Ohio.