Gender Equality In The USA

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A young girl in a small town in Iowa was out for a morning run, while she was running a young man decided he liked the way she looked. So, he started a conversation with her and was soon rejected by this young girl. Instead of walking away from her after that, he made a new plan that would include her whether she liked it or not. While she was still out for her run that same morning, the young girl was abducted, raped, and then murdered by that young man. The reason he gave for her death, was because of how she was dressed, wearing shorts and a tank top, and saying no to his advances. Abductions, rape, domestic abuse, sexual assault, and murder are happening to women more and more each day.

In the United States, people would argue that as a country, we have fully achieved gender equality. Women now have gained all the same legal rights as men, and workplace discrimination based on gender is now illegal. Men and society also don’t expect women to stay at home, have babies, while cooking for the family, and cleaning the home while the man is off earning the household wages. Women now have all they need. What more could a woman want or even need? Women are more likely to be passed up for a promotion or being hired to a position of power compared to men who may be less qualified.

This happens because women are always perceived as too emotional, and not strong enough to handle the stress of a high-power position. Despite the small achievements our culture has made, women again are starting to stand up and speak out about the true gender inequalities happening today. Gender equality is the state in which access to rights and/or opportunities are unaffected by gender. We live in a society where gender has been a hindrance and has not fully been addressed. Those women who address gender inequalities and expect to have the same equality as men are treated and are perceived as angry feminists. That has been a misconception that our culture has always made, and it is something that needs to be fully addressed and changed for the better. To start making the right changes, we need to investigate our history and see how women have assisted in improving the world.

Then, we must look at the discrimination and violence that women can suffer from every day. Next, everyone needs to start taking the correct steps to expand gender equality for today’s civilization and future generations. Once that has happened, only then we can say, that as a society we have accomplished the goal of having true gender equality. Fighting for gender equality has been something women have been struggling with throughout history. Since the late 17th and 18th centuries women have been arguing to have the same equal rights as men.

This timeframe would be known as the starting of modern feminism. An early feminist in Europe named Mary Wollstonecraft would call for gender equality, while philosophers and writers would often ignore women. Wollstonecraft saw that women were lacking in education making them appear less informed compared to men in society. In the early 19th century, women in the United States started to quickly become moral advocates. Joining campaigns that were the extension of the Second Great Awakening. The Second Great Awakening in the United States was a religious revival that not only brought in new converts to Christianity, but it encouraged female activists (What was the First Wave Feminist Movement).

Women started to join the Temperance Movement, which was a social movement against the consumption of alcohol, while other women wanted to abolish slavery and expand women’s rights. Between the years of 1830 through the early 1920s, women were fighting to have equal contract and property rights, as well as the right to vote. This would soon be known as the Women’s Suffrage. In the United States, these women would be known as feminists. The word feminism means the promotion of women’s rights based on the equality of the genders. It was not until the year 1920 when the state legislatures signed into effect the Nineteenth Amendment, which gave American women full voting rights. After the Nineteenth Amendment was signed in, feminism started to die out in the United States. Which some could consider as premature death, especially since feminists just recently obtained the sought-out goals that they wanted, mainly the right to vote.

Women were hoping that having the right to vote would give them an equal spot in the male-dominated world. However, voting was the only place where women could be perceived as equals to men. By the time the women of the suffrage had grandchildren, the term feminist became a social fable and women soon became settled into the home life. In the beginning of the 1960s the word feminism was still either too embarrassing or offensive to use. However, over the next 10 years it would become a term that soon would be used to describe women, who were perceived by society as angry. Soon the words feminism and feminist became derogatory terms towards women. These women were looked at as either lesbians or man haters who wanted nothing more than to disrupt the nuclear family. Which most would argue at the time, it was not necessary or needed.

During this decade period, there was an alignment of women, which effected great changes in politics, intellects, and even the culture throughout the world. Women would attempt to reach a further sense of equality with men and this would allow women to have greater control over their bodies and the protection from physical abuse. This movement will be known as The Women’s Liberation.

The Women’s Liberation Movement divided into two groups, equal rights feminists and radical feminists. The previous women wanted equality in the workplace and home, while the modern women of the 60s, were enthusiastic to a more essential shift in male-controlled society. Equal rights feminists sought policies like anti-discrimination laws in the job market, whereas radical feminists looked past policies and sought to take apart gender roles and start an accurate feminist revolution. In 1969, the National Organization for Women organized the Congress to Unite Women, to attempt to resolve the differences, but neither side understood one another. Equal rights feminists were mostly older, white women, whereas radical feminists were more diverse, though they were largely white as well. Second wave feminists did, however, succeed in some ways.

Job opportunities were created through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The passage of Title IX which prohibits sex discrimination in any educational program or activity receiving any type of federal financial aid. The Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. Additionally, second wave feminism led to a change in attitudes about the role of women in society. The rights and programs gained by feminists of the second wave served as a foundation for the third wave. Unlike the former movements, the term feminist becomes less critically received by the female population due to the varying feminist outlooks. The third wave is described as focusing little on any type of political agenda but putting effort toward breaking the boundaries and conceptions of gender and, also being heavily inclusive of men.

This wave is extremely similar to the second in that it focuses on social change, but has essential differences that set it apart from the second wave, some being its attachment of men and its focus on gender and gender roles rather than exclusively dealing with the suppression of women. We are closely coming to the end of the year 2019, and as a society, we are in full swing of the fourth wave of feminism. Women have been breaking boundaries throughout history. Some have helped women gain some equality to men, some have made history with their achievements, and some were activists for different social norms. During the first wave of feminism, numerous women helped gained equality, but they also made huge impacts on the world. Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) was an American supporter against slavery and for the improvement of women’s and worker’s rights.

She began pushing for the Temperance Movement, which convinced her how necessary it was for women to have the right to vote. She toured the US giving speeches about human rights. A woman named Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) became the first woman to obtain a medical degree in America, and then she became the first woman to be on the UK medical register. Blackwell helped broke down the social obstacles, by qualifying women to be accepted as doctors. A woman who made a huge impacted on the world was Marie Curie (1867-1934). Curie was a Polish and French scientist who became the first women to ever receive the Nobel Prize.

She also became the first person to receive the Nobel Prize in two separate categories. Curie first received her award in the field of Physics in 1903, for her research into radioactivity. Then in 1911, Curie earned her second Nobel prize in the field of Chemistry. A few years later she would also help develop the first X-ray machine. There is also Betty Friedan (1921-2006), she was an American social activist and a leading figure for feminist in the 1960s. She wrote the book “The Feminine Mystique,” and campaigned for an addition of female rights and an end to sexual discrimination.

Women are being discriminated again in so many areas, but they are more likely be discriminated in employment, with their wages, and with getting the correct healthcare. Violence against women happen in so many ways, there are three main ways women receive violence by emotional abuse, domestic abuse, and sexual violence. Many thinks that these topics are taboo, but today people are starting to talk out more and more about this horrible violence. One may think to themselves’, how can you be emotionally abused? Its likely that the people in emotionally abusive relationships don’t understand that they are being abused because there is no violence.

Emotional abuse is more likely to be dismissed since there is no physical evidence. This form of abuse weakens a person’s self-esteem, independence, and dignity. Not only is it serious because it affects a person’s well-being and could turn fatal, but also because the person has been brainwashed to think that the behaviors are normal aspects of a relationship. When people think of domestic abuse, they often focus on domestic violence. But domestic abuse includes any attempt by one person in an intimate relationship or marriage to dominate and control the other.

Domestic violence and abuse are used for one purpose and one purpose only, to gain and maintain total control over another. An abuser doesn’t “play fair.” An abuser uses fear, guilt, shame, and intimidation to wear you down and keep you under their thumb. Why gender equality is essential? Changes that need to be made to help gender equality The real question now, is can gender equality achieved?

Works Cited

  1. Pettinger, Tejvan. Women Who Changed the World. 18 April 2014. <https://www.biographyonline.net/people/women-who-changed-world.html>.
  2. What was the First Wave Feminist Movement. 18 January 2019. <https://dailyhistory.org/What_was_the_First_Wave_Feminist_Movement%3F>.

Cite this paper

Gender Equality In The USA. (2020, Sep 08). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/gender-equality-paper/



What causes gender inequality in the United States?
Gender inequality in the United States is caused by a complex interplay of societal norms, cultural beliefs, and institutional practices that perpetuate gender-based discrimination and bias. This includes unequal access to education, employment opportunities, and pay, as well as pervasive stereotypes and biases that limit women's opportunities for advancement and success.
When did gender equality start in the US?
In the United States, gender equality started to become more widely accepted during the early 1960s. This was largely due to the women's rights movement that fought for equal opportunities for women in all aspects of society.
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