Inequality in the Workplace, Still- Harriet Martineau

Topics: Gender, Feminism, Sociology Pages: 3 (1005 words) Published: April 21, 2010
Inequality in the Workplace, Still.
HARRIET MARTINEAU

Harriet Martineau, the founding mother of sociology, was a very accomplished female. She was, among other things, a feminist, Unitarian, critic, social scientist, and an atheist. She began many methodological, theoretical and substantive studies that would now be considered the study of sociology. She analyzed women’s rights, disability, education slavery, history, health and religion within her lifetime. “Long before Marx, Weber, or Durkheim, Martineau also studied and wrote about social class, suicide, forms of religions, domestic relations, delinquency, and the status of women” (Gordon). Her neglect by sociologists in later years is a perfect example of how academic sociology has excluded women sociologists from its study. Martineau stated that, “an American woman's life is equal to that of a slave's, (in that) they were both given indulgence rather than justice.” (Berleant) Harriet saw that women were denied education and had only one option and duty in the United States: marriage. Her attitude towards the injustice of women would most suit the feminist theory which focuses on analyzing gender inequality and promotes women’s rights, interests and issues. A recent incident, showing the inequality women still face today, occurred when a female was denied equal treatment at the workplace causing a gender discrimination lawsuit.

Monday March 15th, 2010, a federal judge announced a $2.5 million discrimination verdict in favor of Michelle Maher, who was forced out of the Fresno Fire Department’s training academy. Maher, a single mother, former professional mixed-martial arts fighter and certified EMT with 13 certificates in firefighting skills, was clearly qualified for the job at hand but apparently the fire training academy supervisors continuously focused on asking her personal questions and setting her up to fail certain tasks while unfairly grading her exam. Maher sued the Fire Department in...

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