August 26th was the 99th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment. Since then, women have been able to vote in the United States, something many people regard as a huge step forward for women’s rights. But even as Congress passed it, women were unequal. Some jobs were not legally open to women. In many states, women were unable to exercise full control over their finances. Moreover, women didn’t have the full power to divorce their husbands. Women especially faced a great deal of social inequality including backward notions of femininity and misplaced ideas of womanly weakness. But after decades of lobbying and law removing, women finally achieved legal equality to men in the mid-1980s. Despite this, the hashtag “#Equalitycantwait” is trending on Twitter. The hashtag both celebrates the 19th amendment and levies concerns about the true state of women’s equality in America.
“One is not born, but rather becomes, woman.” This is perhaps one of the most quoted lines from Simone de Beauvoir’s work; she is one of the first feminists to claim that gender is a social construct. Since then, the popularization of the “social construction of gender” has mushroomed. Denying that gender is a product of culture can get you branded as “sexist” or “misogynistic.”