“We [women] are, as a sex, infinitely superior to men.” Elizabeth Stanton (prominent woman suffragist) – (excerpted from One Woman, One Vote by Wheeler, pg. 58)
“Frailty, thy name is woman.”
William Shakespeare – (excerpted from Hamlet, Act I, scene 2)
This quote made by Stanton in 1890 shows many of the feministic beliefs held by the women of today. And the quote made by Shakespeare holds many of the same thoughts shared by men. The battle of the sexes is prevalent everywhere and is applicable to anything. From athletics to the military, men and women struggle to beat the other, but I find it to be particularly found in the workplace. Men and women are extremely competitive with occupations, and men feel superior to women. They [men] know the statistics are more favorable to them and they would like to keep it that way.
If this is true, then how do women and men share the world together without war between each other? I believe that for both sides to prevent this from occurring, they ignore many of the differences. Many women choose not to see the statistics or they do not care and accept that men are more successful than women are. The story Tales Out of Medical School, written by Adriane Fugh-Berman, which is an account about a woman that chose not to ignore the differences that faced her, shows another side to the superficial harmony.
Fugh-Berman faces sexism and discrimination at Georgetown Medical School where women are the minority. She sees the various examples of sexism from her anatomy instructors to the Academic Deans. There were classes that were only offered to men, and when she tried to change that the whole course was put on hold. This of course caused extreme tension between the men and the women of this class. “Just because you can’t take this course, why do you want to ruin it for the rest of us?” was one of the comments made by one of her male classmates. Subconsciously this man does not want this woman to succeed. Her classmates that are women and are not bothered by the sexism also shock her. In reference to this a classmate stated, “Oh, they’re just of the old school.” (referring to the doctors that ignored the women students) This account shows the sad truth that some women are happy to accept sexism and discrimination. For the women that do not, there is a long struggle ahead. Many do not make it to the end, or they tire of the pressures put upon them. For example, Shannon Faulkner who wished to become the first woman in the Citadel was mocked, ridiculed and harassed until she withdrew. And why wouldn’t the men of the Citadel want to see a fellow human being where they take so much pride? The fact that she is a she and they do not like that a woman would be on the same level. Hilary Clinton is yet another example of a woman put down for being in control. The tabloids and newspapers tore Hilary apart for trying to “take over” the President’s job. Why would it bother them that she may have been helping out the economy? Once gain, the president is a man, and there is no need for a woman to help.
Even in my personal everyday experiences sexism is everywhere. And sadly enough, it is accepted everywhere. In recreational books women play passive roles, in movies and even TV sitcoms. For example in the sitcom Dharma and Greg, which is about a young married couple, the man is a successful lawyer from a wealthy family, while Dharma is a cute little blonde that cracks jokes. My own boyfriend will make wise cracks of how after he goes to medical school and becomes a successful doctor he will provide for me, and I won’t have to do anything. Talking with some friends in the Wharton school of business, I see more sexism than I thought existed in the nineties. 78% of the Wharton undergraduates are men and they believe this is so because the business world doesn’t need women.
In my generation, there arise the same sexist beliefs held centuries ago. It is scary to believe that men do not want women to succeed. It is scarier to believe that women accept this as reasonable.