Women in Congress

   It’s not hard to notice that women have always been ridiculously underrepresented in government.  We were close to electing a female vice-president, but have never been anywhere close to having a female president.  While woman governors to exist, they are not abundant.  Women represent over 50% of the U.S. population, so why are there so few in power?

   We have created such a patriarchal society in America over the years that I think its going to be very difficult or impossible to create a perfect 50/50 gendered government.  We have made incredible progress since women gained the right to vote and women entered congress, but I think society fears female power.  We have trusted in male leaders for so long that even women themselves doubt the abilities of women.  I think that female underrepresentation is a very bad thing for our society.  We have already seen issues about women’s rights for birth control and abortion appear, and I believe worse things have the potential to surface in the future.  The majority of congress members voting for birth control rights were male.  Is this really benefitting the female population fairly?  I definitely know we need a lot more female power in government, but the question is how we get to that point.  Not as many females are interested in getting involved in government, and we need to change that.

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Title IX

Title IX was passed by Congress in 1972 and guarantees that no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.  I remember extensively learning about Title IX in my sociology of sex & gender class freshman year.  I really hadn’t heard about Title IX before last year… which is pretty messed up.  I feel that both girls and boys should learn about Title IX and their rights before entering college.  High schoolers, and even middle schoolers, should know that they can’t be discriminated against by sex when sports, education, clubs, etc. are involved.  There have been way too many cases brought to the courts having to do with violations of Title IX.  We mainly focus on the athletic aspect of Title IX, but a huge percent of the cases brought to the public have actually involved sexual assault cases.

In the article “Why Naked Pictures Aren’t Harmless”, examples of vulgar frats portraying women as objects and exploiting them on posters and social media as sex toys and trophies.  Colleges have been forced to speak up and address these fraternities; they can no longer get away with hiding them from the public.  Victims of rape and assaults have come forward and exposed the disgusting nature of these “frat gods” that rule the majority of college party scenes.  The problem is that when girls come forward and try to label a colleges “star athlete” or “class/frat president” as a rapist, the school blames the girl.  She is in no way given the same rights as a male does in these situations.  Sometimes she is banned from campus or told to “take a year off until her rapist graduates” so she feels safer on campus.  A woman should not have to feel unsafe on her own campus.

As prestigious a school Yale is, they have boys holding posters that read “We love Yale sluts!”.  Rape games and “rape factories” are getting out of hand.  The language being used today to talk about women and their bodies needs to be stopped.   How can women gain respect from men when social media allows this slut shaming and accounts like “MSU boobs” to exist on twitter?  I think that kids need to be taught at a much younger age that this behavior is NOT okay.  We should be encouraging both teachers and parents to teach boys and girls about respect for both your peers and for yourself.  I think that MSU’s required SARV program is an awesome start to educating those already in college about these issues as well.  I think we’re definitely going in the right direction to put a stop to these issues, but we definitely have a long way to go.

 

Dansville School District

 

  Dansville, Michigan is a small town in Ingham county of 500+ residents, approximately 95% of which are white.  There is one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school in the Dansville School District.  All three schools fall into the lower half of schools when it comes to their statewide rankings.  Dansville Elementary is ranked 727th out of 1493 schools and the high school is ranked 471th out of 814 schools statewide.  Schooldigger.com gave them all 2/5 or 3/5 stars.  There are only 16 non-white students at Dansville Elementary and 10 non-whites at Dansville High School.  Gender is not listed on School Digger but I would assume that there isn’t a significant gender gap in this small town.

  If I lived in Dansville, I think I would choose to send my children to another school district.  Okemos High School is within ten miles and is ranked 14th in the state.  It is slightly more diverse with only 70% whites and has much higher ratings in test scores.  Although Dansville is a decent school, when it comes to educating your children I think it is acceptable to switch school districts.  It would be inconvenient to drive to another city for school, but I think it would potentially lead to a more successful future for students and would be worth the extra effort.