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For all human history, men have been regarded more than women. No surprise there. Even though women have the intellectual abilities to perform as well as men in virtually any field. This would be the case in the world, or western society in the least- if gender equality was a given.

Many factors play into this issue of gender inequality. From the patriarchy to gender roles to the conventional ideas of femininity and masculinity. All of these and more ultimately result in lower wages and unfair treatment for women. These, in turn, create issues that hold women back in more ways than one. One of these issues is that of time, a nonrenewable resource and a non-tangible item. Women’s time is determined in a variety of ways: through their pregnancies, studies, marriages, business ventures, careers and so forth.

Moreover, the reality of time for women is that women spend a great portion of time doing our basic “beauty rituals” each day. From morning to night routines, and the retouches in between throughout the day. Approximately 584 hours, equal to 24 days, seven hours and 40 minutes is spent by the average woman. In comparison, the average man spends nine days, five hours and 27 minutes, or 222 hours each year, according to Glamour.

This is a difference of about 362 hours a year, which women spend in their beauty and health care routines. Time in which one could, instead, spend doing what could be considered more productive chores. Things such as reading or thinking critically about their lives and the world, learning a new language, simply learning a new recipe or taking time for themselves.

This time gap is something that in many ways affects how far women, in comparison to men, get in life. It represents the time that a woman could spend thinking about a new business venture, reading a book, or improving their life in general, which instead they spend preoccupied with these routines. Additionally, it represents the advantage (in terms of time) that men have over women to think about virtually anything else. Typically, this generally entails activities, projects and endeavors that help to get them ahead in life.

In addition, women are also targeted by a variety of advertisements that allude to the stereotypical way a woman should be. These are distractions that affect our priorities and concurrently the time we dedicate to certain things. Still, this is not simply a women’s only issue. Through the concept of intersectionality, women of racial and ethnic minorities, low income, low education levels and anybody who doesn’t identify as a cisgender male is affected.

It is a crucial part of the conversation that is often left out. The fight for gender equality extends to the concept of time and how we use it. Something that is so vital and passes by so quickly and yet is unexchangeable and unstoppable.

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Cynthia is a senior working toward obtaining a degree in International Relations, and two minors in Geography and Economics from Florida State University. She loves to watch historical documentaries, read, and cook in her spare time. You can also find her outside exploring nature or inside spending time with family and friends, and occasionally imagining a life in the South of France.
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