Introduction The history of American women is said to have started in 1848, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucreita Mott organized a convention to discuss women’s rights in the city of New York. The objectives of the convention were modeled after the US Constitution and were called “Declaration of Sentiments”. The resolution argued that women should be given the right to vote, and not all women agreed to this demand, but because over 100 women signed the resolution, it was approved. For the next ten years, women met annually for the Women’s rights convention to discuss issues that women had to face. The American Civil War ended these annual conventions, and for the next several years, women’s rights activists campaigned to abolish slavery and other freedom issues. However, at the 1866 American Anti-Slavery Society meeting in Boston, Lucy Stone who favored banning slavery brought up the idea of women and blacks working together for achieving equality and voting rights for everyone (Scott, Lerner, Sklar, & DuBois, 2003)
Status of women in the U.S. today Women have made tremendous progress on most fronts. Not only are women equivalent to men in college attendance, but younger women have greater probabilities in acquiring a college or master’s degree. Women have also increased in the labor force and are nearly the equivalent of men in holding jobs. Working women’s incomes now make up a greater share of the family income. However, these strides in education and jobs have yet to catch up on wage equality because women get paid around 75% of what men earn in similar jobs. Because of the discrepancy in wages, and because more single women have the responsibility for raising their children, women are usually poorer than men and these economic differences are even greater for women of color (Van Dusen & Sheldon, 1976). Usually women have longer lives than men, but they face more health problems which include arthritis, asthma, depression, obesity and several other problems. On the other hand, men are more likely to suffer from heart diseases because many women do not receive individual suggested preventive medical care. The percentage of women without health insurance has also increased. Men are targeted more frequently than women in violent crimes including murder. However, the government is helping women to face contemporary challenges like helping women financially to attend college because of the increase in the number of women students who are interested in science, technology, engineering and math including the promotion of equal pay for women. The government is also providing health insurance to millions of women, and is making greater efforts to end violence against women at home and at the workplace. In essence the government is working to better the lives of women all over America (Woo, 1995).
Examples /constructions of masculinity and femininity
Most constructs of masculinity and femininity are specific to culture. The constructs in modern Western culture have not been the same throughout history and from different parts of the world. Some common masculine constructs:
The color blue
Likes violent entertainment
Careless about physical appearance
Keeps short hair
Common Feminine Constructs are:
Like the color pink
Plays with dolls
Always uses makeup
Always well dressed
Having long hair
Sentimental and speaking softly
Cooking and Cleaning
Wearing skirts and dresses
Although all this is stereotypical, still women are not supposed to have masculine characteristics and vice versa. Although this is no longer true, most people still raise their children in with these characteristics (Kenway & Fitzclararence, 1997).
Historically, what has been the social status of GLBT people?
There is historic evidence that homosexual activity including same sex love was practiced