Since the beginning of the women’s suffrage movement, women in the United States have attained the right to vote, the ability to pursue an education, the access to birth control and abortion, the opportunity to pursue whichever job she pleases, and many other legal privileges. Women have absolute equal rights to men within the law. However, modern feminists continue to hold up signs like “girls just wanna have fundamental human rights,” or “I deserve equal pay,” while rallying at events like the Women’s March. If we are to see actual change in regards to female empowerment, we must stop playing the victim.
First off, it is difficult to know exactly what is meant by the broad term, “fundamental human rights.” The definition of fundamental human rights varies between countries, cultures, and individuals. If the term cannot be defined, it cannot be advocated for—especially when dealing with governmental policy. However if one had to set common grounds for the term, the Declaration of Independence states that “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” are certain rights guaranteed by “the Creator.” Under these requirements, women are not oppressed in any way. Fundamental rights do not include the right to an abortion either. Although the standard argument for abortion includes a woman’s right to “liberty” over her body, the dispute as to when a fetus attains the right to “life” is equally concerning.
Now to address the later: “I deserve equal pay.” According to the Center for American Progress, the gender wage gap implying women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes is the calculation of median earnings of all full time working women over the median earnings of all full time working men. The problem with this calculation is it does not account for total hours worked or occupation.
For example, approximately 90 percent of nurses are female, while only 34 percent of doctors are female. Doctors obviously earn more than nurses, due to their higher education and responsibilities. But since both are full-time jobs they are both calculated into the gender wage gap, and these differences alone skews the data. Not to mention many full-time women work fewer hours than men do in order to spend time with their children. The wage gap cannot be used accurately to represent some sort of societal oppression of women; there are too many variables. There is no law in this country that prohibits women from doing an action that men are able to do. A woman has the absolute freedom to choose what she wants to pursue in life, and there should not be quotas on equal representation if there is not equal pursuance of a career.
Many modern feminists will use flawed statistics like the pay gap to argue their state of being a victim of society. In truth, women are capable of pursuing any dream they desire in the United States. Nothing in the law is stopping them from becoming a doctor, a politician, or simply a stay at home mother.
In Jordan Peterson’s new book, 12 Rules for Life, he writes that “if you buy the story that everything terrible just happened on its own, with no personal responsibility on the part of the victim, you deny that person all agency.” In other words, if one chooses to believe they are in a situation with no relation to their own doings, then they must also understand they cannot fix their situation as well without outside aid.
We as women must stop claiming the role of victim. At this point in history, if a woman has the initiative, she can be whoever she wants to be. Let us stop blaming society for our failures, and instead start empowering women as individuals.