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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Groesbeck: Stop Ignoring Utah’s Extreme Sexism

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Utah is the second most sexist state in the United States, according to businessinsider.com, Wyoming being the first. I spent my fundamental years in small-town Iowa and since coming to Utah as a transfer student, I have never experienced nor witnessed such a noticeable amount of overt sexism as I have here, even living in the ‘progressive’ Salt Lake City.

Recently, an overreaching police officer arrested a female nurse unjustly for following hospital policy in protecting a patient’s rights. If the nurse had been a man, especially a white man, it’s likely that no police officer would have put the male nurse into custody, nor would the police have been emboldened to question the man’s ability to do his job. Sure, the policeman would have still been on edge and angry, but it would not have been the same incident.

In my part-time workplace, I work with electronics and media. I am frequently told that, since I am a woman, I do not understand as much as the men in the department.  Men and women not bold enough to say those actual words will ignore me as if I do not work there and go off in search of a male employee to help them find what they are looking for. Don’t get me wrong, I love not having to interact with customers simply because of the kind of person I am. I just wish I were respected and considered as capable as any man in my position. When I do have the chance to share my knowledge in my job, customers typically do not listen to me.  My female coworkers share similar experiences daily.

The other day, I explained to a male customer that the gift card he was using to purchase movies did not have enough money to cover the cost. He quickly became upset, so I sent for customer service. Customer service arrived and explained the same thing. In the end, this man pointed at me and said, “You’re dirty,” before leaving. Additionally, on my way home from work in the evenings, I have been stopped and offered rides by strangers (which I never accept, of course). These are just a few examples, not to mention the sexualization and objectification of women’s bodies.

Then I could go into the gender-pay-gaps, but I hope everyone has seen the statistics enough to understand that men obviously make more money than women for the same work. Women of color make the least. When people say, “Women make 73-77 percent of what men make,” they are exclusively talking about white women, and the pay gap experienced by women of color does not enter into discussion. This lack of knowledge and awareness needs to abruptly end, and it seems to be ever so prominent in Utah.

Utah culture is enough to make my insides hurl from the daily pressure of being squashed and diminished in ways I have not previously experienced. If the state’s sexist culture is what it is for a white woman, I cannot imagine what this is like for a woman of color. It is important to me to refuse to adjust to this kind of society and I advocate for my fellow women to do the same. Men and women must reject the way we function inside this society and challenge one another to fight for equal social justice.

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    Donna P HuneycuttOct 15, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    I am the president/owner of a business in Virginia. My Son attends a boarding school in Utah. I typically don’t have problems communicating with men. I employ men and have normal business relationships with men all day long. I am not the type of woman who is submissive to men and I typically speak my mind if I feel the need to do so. I have questioned some of the rules and procedures at the boarding school in Utah that my sSon attends. I was immediately stereotyped, demised and attacked for having the nerve to question anything. I tried to defend my position and explain myself . in response, my emails were shared with other Men in the school who also responded to my original email. I was scolded and told that I was being disrespectful. I was thinking to myself what the hell is happening here.? Why are these Men attacking me for questioning their procedures? I told my husband that he would have to to take over as the main contact person because I could not deal with these Men.
    I went for three months without speaking to anyone there until my Son had a minor medical issue that I felt the need to correspond . As soon as I wrote an email stating that three week was too long to wait to address an infection, all he’ll breaks loose. The director responds by writing that he is emailing as to documenting my erroneous statements bla bla bla ! Then he shares my email again so they can all gang up on me. I am just not believing how I am being treated. Why am I not allowed to speak on behalf of my Son? I decided to research Utah to see if maybe Women there are different than women in Virginia. One minute into my google search and I have the answers. Utah is the second most sexist state, Utah women earn 70% less than men, levels of misogyny rise in Utah , Utah ranked worst for women’s equality and the list goes on and on! Not a place for someone like me. I feel sorry for the women there. I hope they can draw strength from each other to change the devaluation of women in the region. I pray for equal pay for these women. I am soooo happy that I live in Virginia where I have the same value as any other man or woman in our state!

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