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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Feminism Goes Far

Some believe that potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton shows how womens rights have expanded. Others are skeptical of her abilities as a politician.
Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Some believe that potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton shows how women’s rights have expanded. Others are skeptical of her abilities as a politician.

Women’s rights have expanded greatly in the last few centuries. They have gained the right to vote, the right to take contraception and the right to maintain a job if pregnant, among other things.

America may even have its first female president; Hillary Clinton is expected to run in the 2016 election.

Clinton is seen by many as a women’s rights advocate, expanding political rights for women later on as possibly being the first female president in American history.

“I agree with a lot of her advocacy. I think it’s important for someone to be advocating for gender equality because it’s often swept under the rug in politics,” said senior Kate Coughlin.

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Coughlin believes that Clinton is a strong supporter for women’s rights.

“I think there are plenty of people who’ve done more than her, but… I think she’s a good person for the [gender equality] movement in general,” said Coughlin.

Junior Matthew Brooke also believes that Clinton could make a good potential candidate.

“She has plenty of experience with being Secretary of State,” said Brooke.

He also said that she is under stricter scrutiny than male politicians.

“I feel like she’s being made out to look like she isn’t a good candidate because she’s a woman… a lot of people probably don’t want to admit that to themselves,” said Brooke.

A recent incident involving Clinton was released last week. Clinton had been revealed to have used a private email address when handling government affairs as Secretary of State, an illegal breach of security.

However, Coughlin believes that Clinton is facing unnecessary criticism because of it.

“I think that she wasn’t doing anything illegal at the time, and other politicians have done it in the past and haven’t gotten as much flack for it,” said Coughlin. “People will find any opportunity to attack a female politician.”

This past Sunday, Mar. 8 marks International Women’s Day. This day serves to evoke thoughts about how far women’s rights have come.

Besides being criticized as politicians, many people believe that women have not yet gained social equality.

For instance, an Indonesian sportswear company sparked outrage the past week with printed instructions for cleaning on a shirt. The instructions read: “Give this jersey to your woman… it’s her job“.

The company recently apologized for the shirt, claiming that no sexism was implied, women are simply more capable of cleaning clothing.

Brooke said that sexist beliefs still persist today, though more subtly than in the past.

“I think there’s still a lot of different attitudes towards separate genders today,” said Brooke. “Although it may not be as blatantly obvious, I definitely think it’s still there.”

Socially, right now, women are definitely looked at differently than men,” said Coughlin, in agreement with Brooke.

She also said that men face restricting expectations from society as well. She cites the aftermath of rape as an example.

“After a woman is raped, she is asked basically why she was in the situation… when a man is raped, he’s often almost laughed and told he should have wanted it,” said Coughlin. “I think it’s a result of the fact that we push masculinity on boys and men so much.”

Brooke believes that it is time for feminism to be taken seriously.

“It can be men or women [affected by feminism]… feminism is seen as a threat,” said Brooke. “It’s not just working to help the female race… it just benefits everyone.”

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Leila Siegel, Online Feature Editor
This is senior Leila Siegel’s second year on The Pitch Online as the Online Feature Editor. Besides writing articles, Leila participates in the school’s symphonic orchestra and WJ S*T*A*G*E’s pit orchestra. She is also involved in the Black Student Union, Amnesty International club and the Read, Grow, Live Club. In her spare time, Leila enjoys sleeping and watching Netflix. She is excited to see what this year will bring to The Pitch Online. [email protected]
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