Women from the beginning of time up until the 1960s have been subservient to the male dominant figure. Their so-called purpose was to give birth, raise children, take care of the home, and be viewed as physically vulnerable, and in need of protection (Minogue 2012). Men on the other hand, were the hunters and the gatherers in society (Schaefer 2012). They “brought home the bacon” and did little else. This was true, in western civilization and continues to be true in many parts of the world today.
However, women have not been satisfied with this description of destiny. Anxious to break out of this mold, they fought their way for equality. On August 18, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution passed allowing women the right to vote. This was passed after 100 years of protest; albeit, not exactly equality, but closer than they had ever been before.
With the introduction of education in a woman’s life they were given a voice they never previously encountered (Twenge 2012). Women in the early 1900s began forming organizations such as the National Organization of Women, aka NOW, to forward a woman’s ability to be free to vote and decided her destiny. The 1960s brought about the feminist movement that helped change her role in society, and make her more of an involved member with the advent of women in the workforce (Schaefer 2012). In 1973, women took a step forward by gaining control over their bodies with the landmark case Roe vs. Wade. This assignment was brought to the Supreme Court and a state’s ban of abortions except to save the mother’s life was found unconstitutional. This is a law that is still brought up today in the recent developments surrounding the issue. There have been a record number of restrictions made on birth control and abortion in the last couple of years (Flanders 2013). Today, women control over her fetus and still are scrutinized for making a choice regarding their own well-being. Clearly there is still more work to do. In 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which offers equal pay for equal work between men and women. The Act makes it clear that there should be no discrimination in reference to pay on the basis of sex, race, national origin, age, religion and disability.
Gender roles have switched since the onset of the women’s movement. Some men have joined women to alter the masculine value system of being strong, decisive and fearless, and a woman’s role as the subservient, child-rearing housekeeper (Schaefer 2012). “Manliness” offered a sense of responsibility and “womanliness” involved a sense of decorum. Our society teaches them to traditionally follow in these paths as they grow into maturity. It is now universal essential to describe a male and a female as “human”. This way there is no connotation as to strength or power, but as ultimately equal in society.
Historically, the social status of GLBT also known as the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender lifestyle has been difficult for our society to grasp. Per the American Psychology Association website, 32% of LGBT persons earned less than their male heterosexual counterpart, even though, they had more education (APA 2014). The Supreme Court case: Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was found unconstitutional. It identified the marriage of two individuals to be only between a man and a woman. With this ruling, GLBT people are now able to marry. Some Christians refer to the GLBT movement as not being of a Godly origin, as God never intended for same sex partners to join (Minge 2012); and others find ways to embrace the lifestyles of their congregation (Reuther 2000).
The GLBT personal agenda have now been embraced by nineteen states with the legalization of marriage (Procons.org). The GLBT ethos is that society as a whole has been more accepting of them in the last ten years; however two out