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Social Inequality Essay
There are currently a number of various social inequalities that face our society as of
today. These issues range from social control, to social stratification, to racial/gender inequality.
Among these, the biggest issue related to social inequality today is gender discrimination. The
implications of this are discrimination of women in sports and in the workplace, as well as the
perpetuation of gender inequality by the media.
Statistics have shown that women’s sports do not carry nearly as much value or attention
as men’s sports do. In fact, “male athletes get $179 million more in athletic scholarships each
year than females do” (Collins). Society places a much higher value on male athletes than they
do for females. This in turn leads to “unequal wages and coverage when compared to men’s
sports” (Collins). And when women do make to a high level of competition in their given sport,
they are more than often objectified and perceived as nothing more than mere sex symbols. For a
male athlete to make it to the professional level, he simply needs to have the talent and work
ethic for it. For a female athlete to do the same, she must be beautiful. Too many times
spectacular female athletes are overlooked because they are not considered “beautiful” enough
by the rest of society. Actions need to be taken to help this problem, such as promoting female
athleticism just as much as male athleticism, and giving female sports more coverage and value
in the media.
Such discrimination carries on over into the workplace. It is a known fact that a wage gap
exists between men and women. When comparing the earnings made by both groups, the
“median earnings of full-time female workers are still just 77% of the median earnings of their
male counterparts” (Shriver). Not only do women make significantly less than men on average,
they also have to combat the “glass ceiling”, which refers to the invisible barrier that keeps
women from taking corporate jobs. So while you may have a woman who is putting in the same
amount of work and dedication to her profession as her male counterpart is, she will only ever
make 77 cents to his dollar, and opportunities for her to move up are very limited, all due to the
fact that she simply is a woman. Changes need to be enacted, such as making corporations and
businesses equal out the paychecks between men and women, and giving women the
opportunities to move up the corporate ladder but without being discriminated against for their
Unfortunately such discrimination is only furthered by the media. Today, if someone was
to look at a random magazine or advertisement, chances are it will be adorned with images of
impossibly skinny, young women with flawless faces- society’s “perfect woman”, in other
words. Such images and characterization continues into movies and television shows, and “of the
limited female characters in a film, animated female characters still tend to show much more skin
than their male counterparts, and are more likely to be portrayed with diminutive waistlines and
other exaggerated physical features, and are often sexy in appearance” (McSweeney). What is
more, is that in television shows women are more likely to be depicted as some sort of
homemaker or sex symbol, while the men are shown as confident businessmen in the workforce.
The media needs to recognize the problems they are creating by demeaning and degrading
women, and giving both sexes equal screentime but minus the stereotypes.
Women are just as capable as men of achieving great things, and should be treated as
such. But yet, gender discrimination is prominent in our society today, ranging from
discrimination of women in sports and in the workplace, as well as the media promoting gender
inequality. It is critical that actions be taken in order to promote gender equality, and to rid
society of the discriminations it has placed upon women and men.
• Collins, S. (2013, October 13). Gender Discrimination in Sports. In LiveStrong.
• McSweeney, M. (2012, August 12). Gender Equality in the Media: The New Social
Movement. In Insight.
• Shriver, M. (2014, January 8). The Female Face of Poverty. The Atlantic Daily
newsletter, pp. 1, 2.