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‘He,’ ‘she,’ ‘they’ … how about just ‘us?’

May 7, 2015

 

KELSY KERSHAW
Features Editor

 

Upon walking into the car dealership the other day, it took 20 minutes for me just to be greeted, and when I walked in I was gawked at.

KERSHAW

KERSHAW

 

There were three salesmen (all male) grouped by the door socializing, and before I even stepped all the way inside, their conversation halted and they looked at me like I was a lost child. Not a single one said anything to me.

 

It wasn’t until one of the female employees came out from the back that I received any service.

 

I knew what I needed, I knew why I was there, and I was just like any other paying customer, so why was I treated differently?

 

To put it bluntly, some men are sexist pigs. I had a dress and heels on with my hair and makeup done, and I have blonde hair.

 

So obviously I’m a ditz and can’t possibly be capable of explaining why I’m at a car dealership or what I need.

 

Being a pretty passionate feminist, I was just plain annoyed.

 

Gender discrimination and inequality are extremely pressing and crucial social issues.

 

We are objectified, we are paid less in the workforce and our intelligence is belittled.

 

This is not to victimize women. We’re not the only gender.

 

As a matter of fact, male and female are not the only gender categories.

 

Transgender individuals make up a large portion of the American population.

 

They are people, too, and they receive discrimination on more extreme levels.

 

Their families sometimes disown them, they are sometimes bullied very violently in school and 41 percent of them have attempted suicide, according to an article in the Huffington Post.

 

It is really disheartening that we live in a society so close-minded and judgmental and unaccepting of those who are different. Not only that, but we have developed this mindset of definitive categories with stereotypes.

 

For example, in the children’s section at a Duane Reade (a subsidiary of Walgreen’s located in New York City) store, there were two separate display cases of toys. One was titled “girls toys” and the other “boys toys.”

 

In the girls’ case were pink and purple ponies and dolls, and in the boys’ case were blue and green action figures and racecars.

 

Our gender stereotypes trickle down into childhood. Why should young children be told what they can and can’t play with? Why should I be treated like I don’t belong at a car dealership? And why should transgendered individuals be victimized?

 

Some people use the Bible to defend their stereotypical actions, but if we’re going to use the Bible for anything, it should be to stop the discrimination and stereotyping that’s tearing society apart.

 

We have bigger fish to fry like an upcoming presidential election and Louisiana’s current budget cuts negatively affecting education.

 

Let’s put our time and energy into those milestones and accept one another for what we all are—human beings.

 

Kelsy Kershaw is a senior journalism and FMRS major from Jennings. Email comments to kjk016@latech.edu.

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