Girls in 2022: Has Society Changed?

Girls in 2022: Has Society Changed?

Titles to articles like “How to Stay Safe in College as a Girl,” “A Safety and Security Guide for Women,” and “What Girls Need to Know About Sex Trafficking Schemes” pop up on almost any social media app on a teen girl’s phone. From all directions, in her world, she hears the shouts of her gender. The women in these articles are begging for safety, they are demanding equality, and most of all, they are asking to be heard. 

As of 2022 women’s equality advocates of every race, religion, and sexuality have already left their mark. Frida Kahlo has painted the hearts of many, Malala Yousafazi has spoken out again and again, and other advocates of womens’ equality continue to fight for reproductive rights every single day. Yet, for centuries these voices seem to be a low murmur in the background of everything else going on in the world. Although the percentage of gender discrimination in the workplace has decreased greatly since 1930, many women feel that they are still not held up to equal standards. 

Lake Ridge’s Girl Up club works towards an equal, unharmful society by addressing issues teen girls face and raising awareness in the Mansfield community. Club Public Relations officer, Christopher Do, does his part to help change the narrative for women by working with the organization. He acknowledges that girls have much more to be worried about, especially safety wise, than their male peers.  

“For a girl it’s much more worrying in this world to go out and hang alone and just even go for a walk because of how people treat them or stuff that happens to them. There’s a lot more worrying that they have to go through,” said Do.

Despite the way society has advanced in mindset regarding womens’ roles, there are an increased number of individuals that still do not view them as equal. While some women are applauded when being their most outward selves in public, others, in many 3rd world countries, are forced behind closed doors. Women’s History teacher, Rena Long, feels that while society is less judgemental about girls now than when she was a teenager herself, women are still not held to equal standards as men. 

“Society is more open to letting people be who they want to be and having it be an okay thing, like to be dressed whatever the way you want. I mean, we still face challenges, you know, because obviously we’re not equal even though people try to act like we are. We are definitely not equal in so many different ways. I think it’s something we have to keep spreading awareness about,” said Long. 

A July CNBC article claims that “nearly 3 in 10 men (28%) say women’s gains towards equality have come at their expense.” While violence against men is a serious issue that must be addressed, most women are simply stating that the majority group that faces gender violence is women, instead of taking attention from the minority. The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, NCADV, says 1 in 3 women face physical violence by a partner, while the statistic for men is 1 in 4. 1 in 25 men have been reported to be injured by an intimate partner, while it is 1 in 7 women that face this. Junior, Madison Nguyen, is constantly worried about her and her friends’ safety. 

“I read stuff and it makes me so upset that like, not only could that have happened to me, but it could also happen to my friends as well and my family members. Although it does happen to guys, you don’t really see it as often and it’s not as prominent for them. It’s written in history with the patriarchy,” said Nguyen.

Society has changed for women over the course of centuries. The 18th century altered the narrative for many women. At many points in history, women have had to turn to prostitution to earn money. Today, in 2022, there is less of that situation seen, but the 2006 #MeToo movement still lives on through many women across the globe who continue to speak out against it and other issues for women. As teenagers get to the age in high school where they are going places alone more often, the safety issue gets brought up more and more. Nguyen believes that an end to these problems can be met by educating girls and boys alike. 

“We need to spread awareness, which is something we’re doing right now but it shouldn’t be just for girls. We should teach it to guys as well,” Nguyen said. “We need to start teaching people from a young age what’s right and what’s wrong.”