Women's History Month: 'Why aren't women farther along?'

I spoke about feminism, eating disorders and sexualization with the Orange County Register last Friday! Bummed, they edited out the stuff I said about mental health. I guess the OC can only handle so much Irvina in one day ;) The article that appeared in the OC Register is below: 

Women's History Month : 'Why aren't women farther along?' 

By: Irvina Kanarek 

The feminist movement today reminds me of the computer game from the fifth grade, "The Oregon Trail."

To me there seemed to be a glitch in the program because it appeared as if everyone became plagued with yellow fever before ever reaching Oregon.

Today's women have the road to the top paved for them with the advancements in women's rights and gender equality in the workplace. So, the biggest question during Women's History Month is, "Why aren't women farther along?"

The glitch is that though at no other time in history have American women been more equipped, there also has not been a time when so many have been sick:

  • 1 in 4 women struggles with eating disorders
  • 1 in 8 women struggles with depression
  • 4 million women are alcoholics

Consider how our society and economy suffers with that many women out of work, on unemployment or in rehabs. In my role as a counselor in an eating disorder rehab, I have seen women who were chief executives. What are we as a society doing wrong that a woman can climb to the top just to throw herself out of the corner office?

Some blame the media, for its sexualization of women. Studies by The American Psychological Association show that young women who see themselves as sex objects are more likely to be depressed and have eating disorders. They also have lower ambition.

In the fields of film, marketing and writing, we need to advocate for portraying strong female characters who come in a variety of body types. As viewers we need to advocate for change.

I am blessed to be fully equipped with an education and entrepreneurial spirit. I am lucky to have survived the trail, but I passed many women with the same map as I had who didn't make it.

There is a glitch in this system, and it will take the collective voice of all of us to fix it.

 

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