Relationship Between Women’s Emancipation and Capitalism

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Sociology Pages: 6 (2061 words) Published: September 5, 2013
Relationship between Women’s Emancipation and Capitalism

From the long history, women are considered inferior and less powerful then men. Even though the United States had many movements about women, such as feminism movement, gender inequality still exists today. Other countries, such as Asia, have more gender inequality issue until now. Women didn’t have any opportunities to get a job outside of the house. Due to the influence of capitalism, women gained more opportunities for the work. “From the Frying Pan into the Fire,” by Arlie Russell Hochschild, shows the analysis of a fast food Quaker Oats ad and applies the ad to illustrate how mothers are pressured for time. Hochschild makes significant points about the capitalism and how effects the family. She explains about market individualism, people defining their identity by work and consumerism, and how it affects the relationship between the family and the community. “The Girl Effect,” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sherry WuDunn, illustrates how women are treated unequally from men, which is the idea of patriarchy. They also demonstrate improving the status of women can have negative impacts, such as taking women’s advantage and use them like an object for economic development. Kristof and WuDunn use the term of girl effect, which means, “The women meanwhile financed the education of younger relatives, and saved enough of their pay to boost national savings rates. This pattern has been called the girl effect”(210). Girls are taking large part of economic development and labor force. Capitalism certainly gives women more opportunity to work and earn money. Sometimes, market individualism allows women to focus on work to be independent. However, capitalism gives negative impact to women when patriarchy, the male dominance, exists. Also capitalism abuses women and take advantage of women by treating women unequally. Capitalism gives more opportunity for women to work and improve women’s status. In the past, women’s role was to stay at home and take care of housework and children. Women were considered as inferior and they didn’t have any power to work outside both economically and politically. However, since capitalism emerged, women are more active and powerful economically and politically. According to Hochschild, “The first factor is the inevitable – and on the whole I think beneficial – movement of women into the paid workforce”(188). More and more women are working in workforces these days. For example, according to a research, the employment rate for women rose from 41.9% to 57.9% in Canada. On the other hand, the employment rate for men decreased from 72.7% to 65.9%. Increase of women’s working rate does not only happen in Canada. There are about the same percentage of workingmen versus working women in Korea. More women are working outside in our generation today. Capitalism gives more opportunity for women to work outside, which means that women can be independent. Women were considered inferior then men because they didn’t have any power to earn money and become independent. However, by earning money, women become independent and gain social status by using economic power. According to Kristof and WuDunn, “Eighty percent of the employees on the assembly lines in coastal China are female, and the proportion across the manufacturing belt of East Asia is at least 70 percent. The economic explosion in Asia was, in large part, an outgrowth of the economic empowerment of women”(201). Asia faced economic boom because of women. Therefore, more and more women gained opportunities for workplaces and social status. Factory managers looked for more women workers, rather then men workers, because women obeyed and worked harder then men. Capitalism significantly influenced women’s emancipation by allowing women to gain social status and become independent from men and the family. Even though market individualism changes one’s individual identity focus from the family to...
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