Women and LGBT Diversity in the United States

Topics: LGBT, Gay, Sexual orientation Pages: 7 (1608 words) Published: October 2, 2014

Women and LGBT Diversity in the United States
Sharon Shewmake
September 21, 2014
Maria Kithcart
Women and LGBT Diversity in the United States
It is fair to say that great strides have been made concerning equality for women throughout the United States. It is also fair to say that the fight is far from over. For nearly 167 years, women have fought tirelessly to gain equal rights. The Feminist Movement began in the summer of 1848. “The first women’s rights convention began, attended by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, and other pioneers in the struggle for women’s rights. This first wave of feminists battled ridicule and scorn as they fought for legal and political equality for women” (University of Phoenix, 2012, p. 350). Susan B Anthony is probably the most widely recognizable participant from the suffrage movement. She was arrested while attempting to vote in the presidential election in 1872. It was not until 1919 that women finally gained the legal right to cast their votes. “Despite the opposition, the suffrage movement succeeded in gaining women the right to vote, a truly remarkable achievement because it had to rely on male legislators to do so” (University of Phoenix, 2012, p. 351). Unfortunately it would be many decades before a notable amount of progress was made. In the 1960’s, the Civil Rights Movement took up much of the attention. The anti-war movement did as well. Women’s rights seemed to get moved to the backburner. In the meantime, women were becoming increasingly dissatisfied and unfilled with life at home. Women wanted a place in the workforce and in the political arena. They wanted an equal presence in society. They wanted equal opportunity. One would be inclined to think that the Civil Rights Movement would gladly accept the plight of women into their cause, but not so much. “The New Left seemed as sexist as the rest of society in practice, despite its talk of equality. Groups protesting the draft and demonstrating on college campuses generally rejected women as leaders and assigned them traditional duties such as preparing refreshments and publishing organization newsletters” (University of Phoenix, 2012, p. 351). NOW (National Organization of Women) was established in 1966 after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 1965, failed at a vote of 3-2 to prohibit sex discrimination in employment. Sex segregation was allowed in job advertising. It was a last minute change with a major setback. To this day, “federal legislation has not removed all discrimination against women in employment” (University of Phoenix, 2012, p. 355). NOW has grown into one of the most powerful political organizations in the United States, yet they are still fighting for constitutional equality. The major issues that NOW focuses on are, “Reproductive Rights and Justice, Ending Violence Against Women, Economic Justice, LGBT Rights, Racial Justice, and a Constitutional Equality Amendment” ("National Organization For Women", n.d.). In the United States today, women can vote, women can work, and women hold important positions. Do women have equal rights? In many areas, they do not. It is hard to understand why they do not. “Across the nation, girls seem to outdo boys in high school, grabbing a disproportionate share of the leadership positions, from valedictorian to class president. In the 1980’s, girls in the U.S. became more likely than boys to go to college. Women accounted for more than 56% of college students nationwide. In 2002, more women than men earned doctoral degrees” (University of Phoenix, 2012, p. 360). It absolutely makes sense that women should be excelling in the positions of power and leveling the playing field. After all, “women in the U.S. constitute 53% of the voting population and 49% of the labor force but only 8% of those who hold high government positions. As of the end of 2009, Congress included only 73 women (out of 435 members) in the House of Representatives...
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