Rehumanize, Don't Dehumanize: How to Change the Narrative for Women

After recently attending a women’s empowerment speech, I realized that we can take simple and productive steps towards changing the narrative for women. Issues such as unequal pay and gender bias cause unneeded negativity and create wide and far-reaching effects like financial hardship or denigrating thoughts.

Although the problems plaguing women affect many areas of life, I wanted to break down three situations that need to be fixed… and how we can go about changing these circumstances. (Side note: all opinions are my own and reflect how I would personally confront the situation). With that being said, here are three issues facing women and potential solutions.

Gender bias in academics and the workforce

Gender bias towards women occurs at a place they go to every day: school and/or work. Essentially, that means that women are discriminated against or seen as inferior to men in certain situations. For example, women may not be assigned a task at work because they are seen as incapable of completing it the same way a man would, or women may not be given the same opportunities in schools due to this stereotyping.

However, there is a way to change this: practicing the idea of rehumanizing rather than dehumanizing. To dehumanize means to “deprive of positive human qualities,” leading to adverse effects towards women. We should instead rehumanize, which is to begin teaching society that degrading women is not justifiable and that women should be equal to men. Therefore, society will better understand the disadvantages and negativity that comes with dehumanization.

In order to rehumanize this issue, people need to understand, or at the very least accept, that women are just as capable as men. Women in high positions have proven that they can stand alongside men and do the same thing as them. Also, many other women are climbing the ranks in their jobs or school, showing that they are incredibly able.

The debate over reproductive rights

Although I will not delve into too much detail (as there's plenty of information out there already covering this debate), another issue plaguing women is their choice in reproduction. As a hard decision for women to face, the debate just adds fuel to the fire. Women should ultimately do what they wish with their bodies. Men should not try to talk over them on this issue since they cannot truly understand it.

We can, again, use the idea of rehumanizing versus dehumanizing on this issue. Rather than growing bitter over what a woman chooses to do with her body, understand that it ultimately comes down to what the woman decides is moral for herself.

The lack of women in politics

In the United States, women are the majority of the population, according to the Henry J. Kaiser Foundation. However, only 20% of women serve in the Senate and 18% in the House. What does this mean, exactly? Women are not receiving as much opportunity to create political change because they are not getting elected.

We can rehumanize this issue by understanding that women and men can work together to create positive political change. The country needs some improvements; men do not need to take full responsibility for this. Women have amazing and life-changing ideas that can better our country, too.

By altering the way society thinks about women, we can get to an achievable goal of equality between men and women. This will take time and effort, but change is sure to be made by adopting a more inclusive and open mindset. So make sure to rehumanize any negative thoughts rather than dehumanizing. It will make life much better.

Images 1, 2, 3