Something to Think About: Women’s Rights in America

Isabel Giovannetti, RHStoday Editor-in-Chief

Remember the ladies.

I could not agree more with the wise words written by Abigail Adams, asking her husband to keep American women in mind at the Constitutional Convention in 1776.

Unfortunately, John Adams must have forgotten to remember them because it would be another 150 years before women were allowed into the political process and given the right to vote.

Even then, for much of the 20th century, women fought to have equal rights as men, not only politically, but also socially and professionally.

And I have to say, we have come a long way. My representative in Congress is a woman. There are three female Supreme Court justices. And one of the presidential front-runners is a woman.

But this does not mean that gender inequality has disappeared.

According to the White House, women are paid $0.77 to a man’s dollar. And while Pew Research estimates the value to be closer to $0.84, the pay gap is still there. Even in 2016, it is incredible that equal work still does not merit equal pay.

It doesn’t end there, either. The United States is also one of the few developed nations without paid family leave. The reality is that the everyday woman has more obstacles to overcome than the everyday man.

However, advocacy for equal rights is often either misinterpreted or dismissed.

When Hillary Clinton calls for women’s rights, her credibility is called into question because of her husband’s past.

Additionally, Megyn Kelly, a prime-time pundit for Fox News, is now in the middle of a very public rivalry with Donald Trump because of her debate question about women last fall.

Even among high school girls, calling yourself a “feminist” is something to think twice about.

If you do believe in equal rights, you must be sure to mention that you are not “hardcore,” meaning that you are okay with the occasional door being held open for you.

It’s this misunderstanding of the women’s rights movement that leads to a widespread resistance to change.

With more than half of the country comprised of women, and a likely female president on the way, we can no longer forget the ladies.