Women’s Equality, Ethically Speaking
SOC 120 Introduction to Ethics and Social Responsibility (ADG1422G) Steven Smith
September 15, 2014
Women’s Equality, Ethically Speaking
When you think of equality, the first thing that comes to mind is fact that all human beings should be treated equally, regardless of their, race, religion or gender. In today’s society, there are still issues regarding inequality between men and women. It seems that women are paid less for the same position as men in a corporate entity. Woman in many cases, are overlooked for a position when a man applies for the same job. Why is this? The truth is, there is no reason for it. Woman are equal and should be regarded as such. Women’s equality has made great strides over the years, however, there are still many prejudices when it comes to woman’s equality and it is an issue that is highly unethical.
Kathleen Sullivan wrote that, “On the one hand, sex is like race: it is visible and generally immutable characteristic that has been used to stereotype and classify, without regard to individual merit, in realms involving public benefits and private social ordering. Woman, like African Americans, have been subject to formal legal disadvantages with respect to voting, jury service, occupational licenses, property ownership, and the like. Members of both groups have been subject to social prejudice and stigma when they exceeded the boundaries of the roles laid down for them” (Sullivan, 2002, p. 740). When you factor in ethical theories, the deontologist would quite possibly consider the dignity of women and take the stand that we are all equal and everyone deserves respect. Therefore, the deontologist, in this case would agree in equality between sexes.
Since the early 1900’s women have been fighting for fair and equal treatment. In fact, in 1920 an amendment was added to the constitution, granting women the ability to vote. This was just the beginning and “at the behest of Rep. Bella Abzug (D-NY), in 1971 the U.S. Congress designated August 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. This was the culmination of a massive, peaceful civil rights movement by women that had its formal beginnings in 1848 at the world’s first women’s rights convention, in Seneca Falls, New York. The observance of Women’s Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment, but also calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality. Workplaces, libraries, organizations, and public facilities now participate with Women’s Equality Day programs, displays, video showings, or other activities” (Murphy-MacGregor, Ruthsdotter, Cuevas, Hammett , & Morgan, 1980). A utilitarian would most likely view the equality of woman as the right thing to do. Being that all women want equal rights and many men believe in equal rights for women as well. A utilitarian would realize that ethically, the greatest number would be affected and that the end result or consequence would be that of equality. Murphy-MacGregor, Ruthsdotter, Cuevas, Hammett , & Morgan further report that “the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the...
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