We asked: Gender Equality?

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The Question: Do you think women are equal to men on this campus?

I am a feminist, so naturally I always think that women are equal. But whether or not women are treated equally and viewed as being equal is a completely different story. I think that as in most other arenas and other parts of society, women on this campus are suffering from this notion that the women’s movement is over, feminism is something that is behind us, we should be equal now. It’s a birthright for people born in the ‘90s, like college students were. Women know that they are entitled to equality, but that assumes that we receive equality and equal treatment, and I don’t think that we do. Look at pay inequity, for example.

—Jenny Kutner 
Plan II and women’s and gender studies senior from Housto

I think that the UT campus does a really good job regarding gender equality. As far as I can tell, it seems like there is total equality, both among the student body, and then the faculty — just everybody around campus. I think UT does a really good job.

—Zach Fine 
Computer science sophomore from Seattle, Wash.

I don’t feel that anyone is going to come at me and tell me that I am less than a man, at least not seriously. I don’t feel that the University is going to get behind that opinion. But I feel like the culture of the University definitely makes me feel that way. I see it in my classes. I see the way that male students are called on more than female students. I see the way that women are kind of pushed in certain directions, and bad behavior is sanctioned and the way rape culture happens. I feel like all of these things combined make me feel that I’m just less valuable as a female student. I don’t feel that my education is considered as valuable.

—Ginger Yachinich 
Social work and women’s and gender studies junior from San Antonio

I think we definitely have come a long way. I definitely think there are still things that need to be done, but I think it’s good that they’re spreading awareness about how women’s roles have changed in society and what we’re doing now to improve.

—Danielle Fenson 
International relations sophomore from Houston

Well I don’t know if they’re necessarily equal, but they’re coming back in a definite way. In the 1970s, at least, here on campus it was much more disparate than it is now. And currently, not only do women outnumber men here, but by far, at least in my observation, some of the smartest people — if not all of the smartest people — I know on campus are women.

—Alan McQuinn 
Public relations senior from Arlington, Va.

As far as the issue of women’s pay, I wouldn’t be surprised if overall they were paid less, or in certain positions. I don’t think it can be too obvious for it to be successful in the effect of doing that, because then obviously we would all know about it and hear about it and there would be an uproar. I’m sure what happens is that smaller amounts of it [pay inequality] happen, which is unequal. Now, I do think more women overall may be — I don’t know about this campus, but I think they are getting more degrees and have more influence, as far as numbers go, so that could balance that out. As far as respect and everything else goes, I think women are treated somewhat equally on campus, but again that’s hard to tell. You’d have to really dig in. So if I had to sum up, I would say yes, overall it’s equal, but you can look at certain individual cases where it certainly isn’t.

—Kevin Hippler 
English senior from Center