The Cougar Claw

Women uniting as one to combat sexual harassment

Erika Molina, Senior Writer

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Being a woman in a society dominated mostly by men is not easy. Sometimes that is due to culture. Society has always been more accommodating towards men.

We see it everywhere: In the sports world, it is evident that those sports played by a man are more appreciated; in the workplace, competing against men in order to succeed or get to the top is really hard to accomplish when you’re a woman. For example: in professional sports, most of the media and sponsorship goes to male sports, because those are the ones who sell the most. Brands choose to give their sponsorship to male teams rather than women.

I’m not saying that we’re oppressed, or that we still haven’t gotten our freedom. Yes, I have to recognize that things have changed a lot. Women now have more rights than what we used to in past eras. We are no longer seen as objects whose only vital function is to get married and have our husband’s kids. Women have had enough of inequalities, and for that reason, they have fought with their lives for our freedom.

And thanks to those brave women who have fought for our liberation and equality, nowadays we can have the lives that we want to have. Women, too, are brilliant and capable of doing great things, but we are oft en unappreciated and misunderstood.

In many cultures, women are still expected to come home, either from work or school, to clean, cook, take care of their husband or family, and be at their service. And in return, women are ignored, unappreciated, and even abused in their own homes. Many of these women face domestic abuse. The statistics show that 20 women per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. This equates to more than 10 million women in one year.

So, not only do women face abuse at home, but also in their everyday lives. Women are discriminated against in their workplace, unappreciated at school, and even harassed on the streets.

Violence toward women is rising in the United States. On average, 24 women per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking. They are typically from ages 18-34.

However, the years 2017 and 2018 have definitely been the years of women. Protests have been organized in many states, where hundreds of people marched for the same cause. Social media platforms are being used as a way for them to tell their stories. Many of them have gone viral, making an impact on others.

One of the major social media movements has been the #MeToo movement. Girls of all ages have shared their experiences, what they went through and how they moved on from the trauma. These movements are changing lives, encouraging others
to take action and speak up.

The #MeToo movement started when many actresses began accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct and other Hollywood scandals. Many shared their stories of what they dealt with to be in the Hollywood industry via social media. Other girls followed up in the cause, sharing their thoughts about the controversy and experiences they had in the past regarding abuse.

Some people believe that unwanted advances, stalking conducts, and inappropriate flirting towards women are okay and shouldn’t be considered as abuse. Well, it does matter and it’s obviously not okay. I don’t know about you, but it would make me feel uncomfortable and bothered. Not all abuse is physical – it can be verbal, too. Examples of verbal abuse can be: inappropriate name-calling, constantly correcting someone’s behavior or yelling at, denouncing, constant humiliation, blaming, threats, manipulation, and more.

It’s important to know your rights. If any girl, for any reason, is facing any sexual harassment, or experiencing a circumstance where they feel bothered or discriminated against because of gender, they need to speak up.

If you don’t know who to talk to or who can you trust, speak to a counselor your parents. Believe me when I say that there is help out there for you. Everyone can help solve the problem, even people who are not personally close to you. It is not good to keep silent. Sometimes we are not able to solve problems by ourselves. It is okay if you need help from others.

I also believe the school should address problems regarding gender inequalities, one of them being the lack of importance given towards girls’ sports. There have been only two or three pep rallies this year, and all of them were dedicated to our football team. Other sports deserve their special attention too, especially girls’ sports, and not only a few mentions in the morning announcements. In addition, there are other problems at school regarding gender inequalities, dress code being the one most students talk about.

Is a time to make our voice loud and clear to send a message of equality, solidarity, and resistance. Amazing people have made huge differences, by helping other women. It is time to be involved in the community, and to see what can be done for a change. If women keep unifying and fighting as they have been, changes in our society will come, and fast.

We are everyone and we are strong.

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The School Newspaper of Tomball High School
Women uniting as one to combat sexual harassment