There are almost countless ways. Here are some of the most widespread and common ones:
- Women still are paid less than men. This isn’t just “paid less for the same jobs” but a systemic way that keeps women in lower paid jobs and give higher paid jobs to men. Women are underrepresented in the military, in any positions of power, in higher paid and more stable jobs, and in anything prestigious.
- Women’s reproduction is still largely controlled by men and in fact, the rights they do have are being rolled back. Women often struggle to get birth control without the approval of a man and it’s almost impossible for women to get sterilized because “their future/current husband may want kids someday”.
- Women are primarily responsible for household chores and childcare, even if they work as many hours as their male partner. Proven rapists (such as Brock Turner) get nominal sentences, while rape victims are treated as a joke. Men can walk away from their pregnant partner, and pay little, if any child support – but at the same time, male politicians are trying to force women to bear children they don’t want and can’t afford.
- Women are still penalized for being women. The pink tax is very common (additional prices on women’s products, many of which are essential), and being penalized at work for periods, pregnancy, and childcare concerns are common.
- Women are overwhelmingly the most common victims of sexual abuse and in spite of sexual abuse being common and false accusations being rare, victims are rarely believed and the accused is almost always given the benefit of the doubt. Women are constantly harassed, called out, groped, and assaulted to the point where it’s just considered a normal part of being a woman. It’s so rare to find a woman who hasn’t experienced some form of sexual abuse that they’re practically a unicorn.
- Violence against women is the norm, from physical domestic abuse to targeted attacks in public (women are frequently attacked physically for turning down men), to groups like incels who want to mass murder and rape women. Again, something women have to be constantly on guard for and someone who they loved and trusted can suddenly turn violence seemingly without warning.
- Women are taken less seriously in every aspect of life. Women professionals are treated as inferior in knowledge to their male counterparts and women are not listened to as much. Women who ask for equality are treated as “difficult” and forced to tiptoe around people in order not to come off as such. Behaving in the same way as a man who is praised for that behavior is seen as a negative when women do it.
- Women are not taken as seriously in healthcare and in design of products. In spite of being less likely to get in accidents, women are more likely to die in accidents because car safety is geared towards the average male driver. Many medical studies are primarily focused on men’s health and so women’s issues receive less attention. Women’s pain and suffering and health concerns are downplayed and often not believed by medical professionals. The average man is considered the average human in many ways which dramatically hurt women in health and safety.
Basically if you think of all the issues that plague people in general, all of those things are harder if you’re a woman. It doesn’t mean they aren’t hard for other people, but it’s harder for women. The list goes on and on but those are some of the big ones. Many of these are just as bad or worse in other countries, but this question specifically asked about the U.S.