According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, women make about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. In addition, women only take up 14.6% of executive officer positions in the United States. For women of color, these gaps are even wider. As you can see, women seem to be valued less and lack leadership positions. This idea of women being valued less and unsuitable for leadership positions is represented in the Keywords essay “Gender”, the new Audi commercial, and showcased in “The Journey Begins” (Kaya).
In “Gender” by Erica Hately, it discusses how in children’s literature, boys are usually represented as intelligent, leaders, doers, and creatures for action. In contrast, she mentions that girls are presented as being tag-alongs and subordinate to boys in initiative in many children’s books. This is showcased in Kaya’s American Girl book “The Journey Begins.” When Two Hawks and Kaya were escaping the raiders and trying to reach home, Two Hawks felt that because he was the boy, he should be in charge. For example, Two Hawks said, “men lead, women follow”, “don’t tell me what to do”, and “you’re not a leader, I am.” He acted as if Kaya was not smart enough to take charge.
This theme of women being valued less and unsuitable for leadership has been present since Kaya’s childhood in 1764, long before then, and today still. However, Audi is trying to combat this issue. During Super Bowl LI, Audi released the commercial “Daughter.” It showcases a man’s daughter racing alongside other boys. The father says, “Do I tell her that despite her education, her drive, her skills, her intelligence, she will automatically be valued as less than every man she ever meets?” The commercial ends with stating that Audi is for equal pay for equal work. This commercial does not showcase the girl as a tag along or subordinate to the boys, but rather as a winner. The young girl was of value and a leader which is something that needs to be showcased more in children’s literature.