Women Now and Then

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Makando Mutanda


English 1101

Fall 2010

Women: Now & Then

Living in the United States we've seen women come a long way. Women couldn't vote or play specific sports, we saw more men having cooperate jobs than we did women. However a lot has changed over the years. Today there more women doctors, lawyers, governors, and senators. Last year a woman even ran for president. In the United States everyone is seen equally for the most part, we all have the same opportunities, and there is no gender barrier to hold a person back from pursuing their dreams. But this has been to true for every woman in the past. Women faced a lot of problems that prevent them from any improvement. However there are still a lot of factors that have led women to be seen as the “weaker” gender. Women have made a lot of improvement politically, educational, and socially allowing them to be considered as equal in society today.

 Women’s reproductive rights in the early 19th century were very low. Women were encouraged to have children and women suffrage activists like Margaret Sanger were ignored until early 1960s. Having children was an important Victorian value. Abortion was a crime in most countries and most states in the United States. Society believed a woman’s place was in her home, caring for her husband and children, as opposed to the workplace. In the Victorian era and early 20th century women were not allowed to work in many jobs. There was a view that women were good at repetitive jobs. Consider, an example of a progressive like Charles Davenport (who established the Eugenics Record Office at Cold Spring Harbor) only allowed women to work a maximum of three years because they had to go and have children and take care of them. In summary, society dictated women’s roles. Many jobs did not want women working for a long time to avoid hindering a woman’s responsibility to reproduce children and take care of the home. On the other hand, females currently...
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