The Role of Women in Society
Spanning the history of humanity, groups of people have come together to fight for their civil rights and the chance at a better life. The United States had a series of revolutions with many wronged minorities demanding equality. Among these groups of people, women were a major group seeking liberation. The Feminist movement, both the First Wave and the Second Wave, achieved many of the goals its innovators sought to accomplish. Legally, women have gained much equality to men. However, the inner workings of society need to be revamped to eliminate all prejudices women face simply because they are women. The Feminist Movement has earned women a new status in society that was not possible fifty years ago, but there is still room for improvement.
The group that I am studying is women, within the group women I am also touching on the subgroup African American women, lesbians, and Trans women. The group woman is defined as any person who identifies themselves as a woman.
For about 194 years, Women were second-class citizens in the United States. The only “right” women had was to the protection of the males in their lives and in return they were to obey. A woman’s place was in the home and caring for her husband and children. Being successful outside of the home was considered social deviance and “unnatural” (Chafe 16, 17). Feminists sought to change these social standards. The First Wave of Feminism, earned women the right to vote. Then in the 60s and 70s, another women’s movement arose and it was the Second Wave of Feminism. A few of the aims of the movement were establishment of daycare centers for children, access to birth control, and access to public places regardless of race (Staples 162, 163). The Second Wave of Feminism is responsible for the establishment of systems put into place both within society and legally (Chafe 142).
Women in politics, women in the media, are women equal to men??? Lesbians, Trans women, and black women. http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-10-13-column13_ST_N.htm As stated in an article entitled “Women in politics? The U.S. is failing,” we are shown images of influential female politicians, such as Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin, but the reality of the female in the political realm in the United States is not as perfect as it may seem. Compared to other nations we come in 90th place when it comes to female representation within the government. Other countries, such as France, have policies where women must have a substantial percentage of government representation. Apparently, the U.S. government does not feel it necessary to employ such policies. Statistics, highlighted in the USA Today article, show that Congress is 83% male and 17% female. This is a huge imbalance when population is brought into the equation, as women make up 51% of the population. Reasons speculated for the underrepresentations of women in government include blaming of the women themselves. The assumption is that women think themselves too busy with managing both their households and careers to take on a government position. Although there is a decrease in female participation in politics, there is still hope for the upcoming elections in 2012. The article states: “congressional districts will be redrawn on the basis of the 2010 Census, thereby creating new political territory devoid of the incumbency bias that perpetuates gender inequities.” So, without having to compete against a majority of men who have been in Congress for years, hopefully women will have a fighting chance. The topic woman in the media has been controversial. The media exploits women and portrays them as sex objects. Magazines are a problem for two reasons. The traditional magazines for women always contain topics like fashion, beauty, heterosexual relationships, “cooking, cleaning, and caring” (Tuchman, Gaye, Daniels, and Benet 98). Magazines covers, such as Maxim and Playboy, display half-naked women as...
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