YOUNG VOICES: I hope things continue to improve for women

2014-05-05T00:00:00Z YOUNG VOICES: I hope things continue to improve for womenBy Nicole Montella nwitimes.com
May 05, 2014 12:00 am  • 

“Having it all” seems to be a topic that comes up again and again in the morning news, blogs and magazines. I never felt I could really relate to the conversation because I’m still in college and don’t yet have to worry about juggling being a woman with a career, a family of my own and all the other responsibilities an adult female has in our world today.

This all changed for me as I was watching the "MTV Movie Awards" a few weeks ago. I know it’s a strange connection, but hear me out. As category after category went by, there was an awful theme of only one female being nominated per category with four other men. The only time this wasn't the case was for the leading actress and best kiss categories (this was MTV after all).

I didn’t get it. Why were women being outnumbered again and again by men? I’m pretty sure an actress can be worth just as much or more in terms of box office sales than an actor. And women have had some pretty great moments in film recently — Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep in "August: Osage County," Lupita Nyong’o in "12 Years A Slave" and Sandra Bullock in "Gravity." Heck, even a female celebrity, Ellen DeGeneres, hosted the Academy Awards this year. So why was MTV shoving women and all of our achievements back in time with a less than commanding presence at the show?

Maybe I shouldn’t think about it too much because it’s just MTV or maybe I should be thinking about it considering MTV’s core demographics include my generation who are suppose to be changing the way women live and work in today’s America. It made me really angry, and now I finally feel connected to the “having it all” conversation.

Why are women still being paid less than men? Why is it impossible for someone like me who is about to graduate college to want and get “it all?”

Books like "Thrive" by Arianna Huffington and "Lean In" by Sheryl Sandberg have become handbooks for figuring it all out. These two strong, smart women knew what they wanted and got it. Now, we are lucky enough to be learning from their stories and advice.

I hope things continue to improve and grow for women. We’re a pretty powerful bunch. I still don’t think I’m fully immersed in the conversation, but I’m more aware of what’s happening now. So although I won’t be watching any more "MTV Movie Awards," I’m thankful I did just one last time.

Nicole Montella, of Munster, is a senior at Indiana University in Bloomington. The opinions are the writer's.

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