Author: Nate Stitt, Greenhill School '23
A society in which some have more rights than others tears all groups down. Until equality is reached, every issue concerning one particular group of people affects all.
We all struggle. Yet, in our society, certain groups of people inherently face more prejudice and discrimination than others, simply because of who they are.
Women are often faced with discrimination in all facets of life. Employment, health, income, and perception are all examples of this.
Women who are looking for employment often have more difficulty getting hired than men. Various studies show that women receive comparatively less salary than men in most workspaces. Women often don’t have access to abortion, as many Republican politicians attempt to limit abortion by closing down clinics. This takes away the right to bodily autonomy.
As former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton famously said at an international United Nations Conference in Beijing, “Human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights.”
All of these examples display that women face inequality and are thought to be an inherent disadvantage in our society simply because of their gender.
Members of the LGBTQ+ community often face hatred as a result of their sexual orientation or gender expression.
“In 27 states, there are no explicit statewide laws at all protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations,” according to Freedom for All Americans.
People are easily denied employment, housing, or any public accommodation simply because of their identity. Making a choice regarding who you want to be can result in you being disowned from a community that you once had a sense of belonging with.
Additionally, the LGBTQ+ Panic Defense is a legal strategy that blames a victim’s sexuality or gender expression as the cause of a perpetrator’s violent reaction towards them, including murder. Numerous defendants get away with murder because of this. In our society, the law often views being part of the LGBTQ+ community as lesser than — it is perceived to be an excuse to murder for and discriminate against.
In 1948, the newly established United Nations declared the 30 basic human rights in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Human Rights are “rights inherent to all human beings, regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status,” according to the United Nations.
The phrase “regardless of race, sex, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, or any other status” is key in this definition because it highlights that human rights truly apply to all humans. A certain group of people should not lack any human rights. This is the basis for why women’s rights movements, LGBTQ+ rights movements, or any other movement that involves the obtainment of rights for a marginalized group exists. The goal is equality, and it cannot be reached if some people have more rights than others.
So, therefore, women’s rights are human rights and LGBTQ+ rights are human rights by definition including any and every other group.
Graphic by Sarah Luan, Greenhill School '21