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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Power of women

This week the VMAs were dominated by heels. These strong, independent idols triumphed against prejudice and stole the spotlight. In a patriarchal society rising to success is a constant battle for the female population. Demanding respect and proving your talent in the music industry, and any other field for that matter, is something that being a woman entails. To be recognized for your skills, more work is required solely for your inborn gender.

August 26th was women’s equality day. It’s a prideful time but also a reflection on what it means to be a woman. Being a woman means fearing walking alone in the dark. It means hesitating to accept late night work downtown. It means hearing song lyrics like “you a stupid hoe.” It means making a dollar less for the same job. It’s losing a job due to pregnancy. It means responsibility over children. It’s sacrifice. It’s stereotypes. It means being judged on looks as opposed to abilities. Dreamers are subject to objectification because sex sells in more ways than one. It’s being cat called on your way to class. It’s being characterized shamefully for things males are glorified for. It’s the double standards. It’s the expectations. We must uphold certain standards of appearance and behavior to be accepted. It’s the fact that rape victims are blamed for assault due to the way they were dressed or inconsistent remarks. It’s worrying the clothing will affect the way you’re perceived. It’s about inferiority and invalidation. Despite the major progress the feminist movement has established, sexism prevails in every day life.

Recently, though, female empowerment has rampaged through the media. Twitter has been flooded with the trending hashtag #yesallwomen. Women everywhere share stories of harassment, fears, and pure discrimination because yes, all women have these stories.

The Real You campaign is the removal of photoshop from aerie ads to inspire girls to feel confident and promote a healthy body-image. Meghan Trainor's summer hit "All About That Bass" recognizes the diverse beauty of all female body types. Dear Kate underwear released a controversial, provoking ad of executives in their underwear.

This illuminates the faults in judging women by their attire. Respect shouldn't be dependent on professionalism. Women should not need to perpetuate certain standards at all times. They should be given equal opportunity to perform their personal best. Commonly the phrase "like a girl" is used as an insult, however the new Always commercial has transformed the derogatory idiom into something to feel good about. We do things like girls because we are girls.

With every disadvantage and advantage tied to that identifier, we are women. We are here at Grand Valley earning our right for an education. We are on the road to success and equality. Let’s celebrate that.



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