This bulletin just crossed my desk. A new poll this month tells us that Americans believe we’re still far from equality between men and women..
Okay, maybe it’s not earth-shattering news. But it is a bit discouraging that, given 90 years since women achieved the vote, we’re no farther in overcoming our gender gap.
According to our friends at the Harris Poll, the divide remains pretty steep. More than 63% of us think the U.S. still has a long way to go (and unsurprisingly, that includes 74% of all women, yet only half of all men).
Starker differences arise when gay people are surveyed also. After all, when thinking about gender — sexual minorities struggle to achieve equal acceptance too. Among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adults, nearly 3 out of 4 (73%) feel we have a great deal of work to do to achieve gender equality. The same can be said of 95% of all lesbians who are among the least reassured.
Across the board, LGBT adults say we’re lagging on every approach to equal footing for men and women from equal pay and promotions on the job, to access to insurance and financial credit. From my years of work in observing LGBT issues and trends, this does not surprise me either, since many gay Americans have long believed their marginalization has deep roots in misogyny too.
Stereotypes surely goad many to label gay men as “sissies” and to slur lesbians who prefer masculine attire and traits. Across the board, rigid gender roles customarily force us to conform to cultural norms and to conclude, “who in America is equal, who is not?” Is it any wonder that transgender Americans, many yearning to transition to their authentic gender rather than their original birth gender, are among those most misunderstood and disparaged?
Yes, Americans face a lot of tough issues right now, yet it seems we still have much work to finish here too.
Submitted by Bob Witeck. Bob is CEO of Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a Washington D.C. communications practice that specializes in LGBT marketing, communications and trends. He is co-author, with Wesley Combs, of “Business Inside Out” (Kaplan, 2006) considered the first, popular business book on lesbian and gay marketing and business counsel. For complete details on this new survey, visit this news release.
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