Newsflash: it's 2016, but total gender equality still hasn't arrived. And while the media debates whether Beyoncé being a feminist is cause for alarm, real problems like unequal pay, sexual assault, and lurking gender bias negatively impact women every day. It's also key to remember that while there's usually more conversation around gender bias's impact on women, men also face harmful pressures to be masculine in exactly the right way.
Gender discrimination can be found everywhere: the workplace, college campuses and in the law. In the workplace, women who work full time, year round are paid 79% of what men who work full time, year round are paid. And many American workers still don't have the option of taking paid leave when they have a baby or need to care for a sick family member.
Women 18-24 who are enrolled in college are 3 times more likely than women in general to suffer from sexual violence – and women of the same age who are not enrolled in college are 4 times more likely.
As for the law, women's reproductive rights are seriously obstructed despite Roe V. Wade's Supreme Court decision to make abortion legal in the US. 20 states in the U.S. have unconstitutional procedure bans that could outlaw abortion as early as the 12th week of pregnancy. And sometimes, women's access to birth control still depends on her boss's opinion or her parents' permission.
Gender stereotypes stop people from being themselves and have economic implications that cost women and their families hundreds of thousands of dollars over a lifetime.
Sexual assault occurs all too often, and many survivors feel like they should be blamed for their own assaults. This can lead to survivors feeling disempowered and perpetrators not being punished, often because survivors fear not being believed or retaliation. Shockingly, studies show that one in five women will experience unwanted sexual contact in their college years.