The exhibit consisted of a triangular table with 39 place settings for important women in history, like suffrage activist Susan B. Anthony and painter Georgia O’Keefe. It sat on top of a tile floor covered in the names of 999 other women, including the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti and composer Amy Beach.
Gender equality has been particularly relevant recently as Malala Yousafzai, an activist for girl’s education, became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and actress Emma Watson delivered a speech at the United Nations to launch the #HeForShe campaign.
As high school students, these issues are particularly relevant to us. Especially at CHS, which has a mostly female population, we experience gender inequality.
For example, four out of five members of the Freshman Class Council are male, although the freshman class is made of 75 percent females. This occurs again in the Sophomore Class Council.
These councils are unable to properly give voice to their classes because they are an inaccurate representation.
Why is it that, in a school dominated by women, there is only one female member of the Student Government Association? We see men instead of women in leadership positions, and feed into inequality.
Emma Watson’s speech discussed the negative connotation associated with the word feminism, the effects of inequality on men and the need to invite men to join the fight against gender inequality.
Feminists are thought of as “man-haters,” whereas feminists fight for men rather than against them. Men display themselves as emotionless and controlling in fear of appearing “unmanly.”
#HeForShe asks the entire population to help to end gender inequality and we must do this at CHS.
Next time we elect biased representatives, make fun of a boy for expressing himself, or expect less of a girl, we must remind ourselves that these actions make gender equality an idea, not a reality.