“Don’t Lose Your Voice”
Discrimination because of a person’s gender has been around for hundreds of years. The first attempt to bring equality to women began back in the 1800s, and women are still fighting to this day. The effort and the number of obstacles they have had to overcome to get this far are hard to comprehend. To appreciate and honor their contribution to the world, Women’s History Month was created. In celebration of this month, a medical assistant from the UIHC (University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics) by the name of Johanna Voggl is speaking up about setbacks she’s had to overcome to progress in the world.
Like most women, most discrimination happens in the workplace. For some it is the difference in pay between men and women, others it is the small probability of moving up in the job, for Voggl, having to prove herself in her work was where she felt most differentiated.
During the summer before she started her job as a medical assistant she worked in the IT department of John Deere. When she first started she recalls being the only female in the workforce. She added that she felt out of place, and the other male employees didn’t feel she belonged there. Only after she proved that she could do just as good in the IT department as a man was when things began to improve.
“Once they knew I could do the job I was treated differently; but at first they acted like, ‘Oh, you’re a girl, you don’t know how to do computer work’.”
She had also added that in the future she would like to see better equality for everyone, We’re all humans. You know, if men are making three times as much and we’re doing the same job as them, there should be equal pay or equal accessibility to skills.” — Johanna Voggl
We’re all humans. You know, if men are making three times as much and we’re doing the same job as them, there should be equal pay or equal accessibility to skills.”
— Johanna Voggl
Another point Voggl had addressed was the difference in products for men and women. An example she used was razors. She expressed, “Men’s razors are cheaper than women’s razors, yet they are for the same use… it’s three dollars more for a pink razor than a silver razor.”
To elaborate on this, an article written by LifeSavvy on what the difference is between men and women razors mentioned that, “The blades on women’s razors also get dull faster, since they use them to shave much larger areas. This means that in addition to paying more for razors, women need to replace their razors or blades more often.”
Other products like clothing and soaps she stated were more costly for women as well. “Make things equal across the board. Whether it is for pay or products,” Voggl voiced.
When asked about her thoughts on feminism, she spoke about how hard it is to get people to listen. Voggl commented, “We get discriminated against because of our sex and that’s not fair. We want to voice our opinion, then we get backlash for it because we are trying to speak up… nobody’s taken us seriously.”
She knows the hardships of being a woman and like many others, she would like to see a change. Generations of women have had to fight for the rights that they have today, and sadly many more will have to continue that fight. To the young women who will be heading into the world, Voggl offers this advice:
Don’t lose your voice. If you feel like you’re not being heard or if you have ideas that no one is listening to, keep speaking up and keep being true to yourself. Don’t pretend that you’re somebody that you’re not. Everyone is all unique and that’s what makes us all human.”
— Johanna Voggl
- “Gender Discrimination – History.” Jrank.org, 2021, law.jrank.org/pages/22615/Gender-Discrimination-History.html. Accessed 21 Mar. 2021.
- Hauser, Elyse. “Is There Really a Difference between Men’s and Women’s Razors?” Lifesavvy.com, LifeSavvy, 12 Mar. 2019, www.lifesavvy.com/193/is-there-really-a-difference-between-mens-and-womens-razors/. Accessed 21 Mar. 2021.