This is a short paper regarding one of the topics presented in The Great Debaters:
The Progress in Gender Inequality
Women and men are not treated equally. In the past, women have typically been viewed inferior to men, despite being no less competent or able. Throughout history, women have argued for their rights as individuals. The shocking struggles of women during the Great Depression were demonstrated in the movie The Great Debaters. Some of the injustices women faced in the 1930s are no longer applicable, but gender inequality is still an ongoing prominent issue.
In the 1930s, the women’s right movement was being fought alongside the civil rights movement. Women gained suffrage in 1920 and a decade later, women started to work outside of the home. Moreover, women pursued education, which was not readily available previously. In fact, Samantha Booke in The Great Debaters was the first women on the Wiley College debate team. However, during this period of time, many people did not believe women should be able to work, but instead they should stay at home and do housekeeping. While James Farmer Sr. held the position of a minister and Melvin Tolson held the job of a teacher, their wives were unemployed, but instead homemakers.
Today, significant progress has been made. Women in the twenty-first century enjoy a multitude of freedoms formerly nonexistent. They are able to establish careers, receive a full education, and live without many of the restrictions placed upon them in the past. Unfortunately, the fight for gender equality is not over. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, modern women, in their jobs, often get paid an average of $0.22 less for every dollar they earn. With the money they acquire, women will often be subject to the pink tax, where products and services will frequently cost more for women than for men. Worst of all, women have to work towards opportunities that men are given. In the workplace, women are not taken seriously and must prove their worth, which is completely unnecessary and unfair.
Gender equality does not yet exist. Yet over time, due to women’s efforts, right for women have improved drastically. While women like Samantha Booke advocated for their education in the 1930s, women recently have been pushing for equal opportunities in the workplace. One day, with continued fighting, everyone can be equal.