Women and the American Experience

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Response 1

Throughout the centuries, males and females had been in constant argument about their roles in the society. Even though constant changes in the legislation regarding gender equality had been made, the consensus still had not been reached. Historically, the role of men had been raised above the one of the women. In addition, they had been shaping the image of a contemporary woman according to their personal needs and imagination. For this reason, the position of women in the society had been debated in two opposite directions.

Many women think they are not empowered enough, therefore, need emancipation. “Women's emancipation is understood to mean the fight for self-determination and improvements in the legal, social, cultural, and political positions of women” (p. 7), write Paletsheck and Pietrow-Ennker (2004), underlying the main similarities between the basic reasons for the need of feminist movements. Nevertheless, women suffrage movement and the feminist movement had differences, and the meaning enhanced into the term “feminist” is among them. The goal of women suffrage was aimed at gaining the right for women to vote and work; meanwhile, the feminist movement in 1960s had a more “pejorative connotation”. Therefore, the feminist movement of 1960s was more “radical” and “antimale”.

Response 2

There are hundreds of issues that women face every day in the real life. Among them are gender related issues. Without a doubt, the main issue for women is to be heard. Over the centuries, women had to stay on the background, being servants of the case. Nevertheless, today, women become empowered enough to stand up for themselves and their interests, even though it is still difficult. Unfortunately, being heard is not the resolution to all of the problems. Among them are found high levels of teenage child birth, homelessness and prostitution; discrimination, ageism, sexism, fashionism; pornography, overt and explicit advertising using female body parts, etc. One of the hot topic women’s issues in today’s society according to Connell (2012) is that women constitute the most minimum wage earning individuals. According to the author, “in 2011, more than 62 percent of minimum wage workers were women, compared with only 38 percent of male minimum wage workers, according to a new report by the Center for American Progress Action Fund” (Connell, 2012). That is to say that 2,5 million women earn the minimum wage or less then 1,5 of men, which is a serious issue both for women and the society in general. The author also states that since 1968, the level of the women minimum wage earning had dropped down by 31%, which is an important advancement (Connell, 2012). Let us hope that in the future, this problem, as well as many other gender related issues, will disappear, creating total equality between the two genders. 

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