Gender roles and inequalities within the workplace, though believed to be outdated, are still very prevalent. For Lynsey Addario, being a female photographer in a war zone was not always easy, especially when her partner was also a woman, and a pregnant one at that. Being perceived as weaker made her experience a lot of missed opportunities.
“I felt like a failure and sensed the limitations of my gender.”
Her expression of regret for something she can’t control is the reflection of poor social construct and standards that have yet to be extinct. Addario attributes the reasons for her “[failure] to witness” the imperative aspects of the war to her weaker standing to that of her male counterparts. Being prohibited from being on the foreground of the action because she was a woman was just the horrible face of reality. It meant that she was unable to properly do her job by missing out on integral aspects of the war.
Another personal restriction that coincides with her gender inequality was that of her loyalty. Her partner, Elizabeth Rubin (who was pregnant), was in no place to be immersed directly into battle and trudging the horrendous terrains; and when they were they faced many struggles along the way. Addario claims that had her partner been male, she would have a stronger desire to fight for her right to capture the fatalities if it meant putting herself at risk. But she was not to leave Elizabeth behind.
As a woman myself, I can relate to Addario’s strife. Her anecdotes and the way she expresses her emotions when being faced with this adversity evokes similar feelings within myself when I think of my struggles of facing gender inequities.
As an athlete all throughout high-school, I was constantly being compared to my male counterparts, and in most cases viewed to have lesser value. For a quick example, sophomore year of high school my varsity basketball team had a terrific season; almost undefeated (except for state finals), section and regional champions, and state finalists. With some of the best statistics in a decade, our team was historic. Yet, I can assure you the audience was never half as full as our losing-season boys team. Now, my struggle may not’ve been as detrimental as Addario’s but it just goes to show how this conflict of gender inequality spans from all different types of situations, locations, and even time periods.
This is similar to inequalities within musical theatre as gender as well as racial discrimination within casting. Many roles are specific and a very certain type of person is targeted, leaving out many eligible people behind. The music Hamilton by Lin Manuel Miranda defies these stereotypes to bring light to underrepresented population on broadway. In my next passion blog with Hamilton in the spotlight, I will partially discuss how this prejudice has diminished thanks to the great Lin Manuel Miranda.