For years throughout U.S. history women were not afforded the same rights that men were. Throughout history women were thought of being intellectually inferior to men and a source of evil and temptation (Women’s International Center, 1994). In early America women were not allowed to vote or work outside of their home and were ridiculed when they did. It was the culture of early America that women were to remain behind the men being in a supportive role but not to voice their opinions. Through much suffrage, it was not until 1848 that the women’s movement came to its beginnings. Focusing on the social, civil, and religious condition and rights women at the Seneca Falls Convention in New York began to express their rights and wants. Headed by Elizabeth C. Stanton and Lucretia Mott, it marked a new era for women in the United States.
While the right for equality continued and the creation of the National Woman Suffrage Association (NWSA) by Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, it brought opposition of the 14th and 15th Amendments (extending citizenship rights and granting voting rights to freedmen) due to its exclusion of women (U.S. Office of Art & Archives, n.d.). By the 1920’s the struggle for equality was answered and the status of women had grown. On August 18, 1920, the right to vote was ratified by the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution affording the right to vote for women. Today, women throughout the U.S. still fight for woman equality through established organizations. The National Organization for Women (a major source of protection on workplace equality and reproductive rights) has been at the forefront in support of women. With the assistance of so many organizations in the fight for women’s rights, that statuses of women are equally more today than that of years passed. Status of women in United States history today
The role and status of women has drastically changed throughout the decades. Women have taken a more responsible role outside of the home in joining the workforce. From being one-third of the workforce in the late 60’s, they make up more than half of the force in the U.S. today. According to Center for American Progress (2014), women have also gained a considerable role within politics in the country with record numbers serving in congress (para. 1). With the fight to end gender discrimination by big insurance companies, women have solidified their economic security. Constructions of masculinity and femininity seen in society and media As American culture continuously evolves, so do the lines of male and female roles and functions. Society’s view of masculine and feminine roles has become embedded in the minds of people.
From an employment standpoint, society views for example that doctors and lawyers are one of a masculine role whereas nurses, teachers or social workers would be more of a feminine role. The media’s portrayal is just as bias to the constructions of masculinity and femininity. An example in modern media would be that tattoos and a considerable amount of muscle mass would be viewed as one of a masculine trait. More often the depictions are movies; music videos and even in magazines. The role of a homemaker has been viewed for example as one of a feminine role. Although the depictions are in the mainstream, it has been a barrier broken down by both men and women taking on varied diverse roles.
Status of GLBT people historically
The GLBT community, throughout history has faced much discrimination and prejudice. The GLBT community has had it hurdles of being socially acceptable and still does today. In the United States, members of the GLBT community historically were a cultural minority. Through much oppression, the gay liberation movement of the 1970’s brought forth pride marches every June in the United States. During the 80’s socially the status of the GLBT community was decimated by the AIDS epidemic. This led to fear and ridicule being described as the, “Gay Man’s Cancer”. There has never been a more separation of social status with any other community than of the GLBT community. Status of GLBT people today
Although America is widely divided today attitudes are changing rapidly in acceptance of gays and lesbians. With the growing approval of same-sex marriage, basic civil liberties and freedom of expression for the GLBT community, the trend of greater tolerance is growing. Over the last two decades, same-sex marriage has risen in support with 11% approval in 1988 to 46% approval and rising today. The status of patriotism and service of GLBT members in uniform in the past resulted in the uncomfortable compromise of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (Morris, PhD, 2014). This crusade like movement ultimately abolished decades of military forms of discrimination and dishonorable discharges. Although there are a great many that seek to dissolve, it creates an opposition between both the hetero and homosexual communities.
Social and political issues relevant to women and GLBT people in the U.S A political issue relevant to women would be health care reform. With the Affordable Care Act it provides advances for the women’s health issues. The current pending case on contraceptive insurance coverage is an endless debate women’s rights and health. An extraordinary and yet accomplished issue for the GLBT community is the recent strike down of Arkansas 2004 amendment prohibiting same sex marriage (Volsky, 2014). The original ban was in violation of the state constitution and the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Women’s International Center. (1994). Women’s History in America. Retrieved from http://www.wic.org/misc/history.htm U.S. Office of Art & Archives. (n.d.). The Women’s Rights Movement, 1848–1920. Retrieved from http://history.house.gov/Exhibitions-and-Publications/WIC/Historical-Essays/No-Lady/Womens-Rights/ Rainbo Organization. (2009). Organizations Fight for Womens Rights. Retrieved from http://www.rainbo.org/organizations-fight-for-womens-rights/ Sewall-Belmont House & Museum. (n.d.). Women’s History in the U.S. Retrieved from http://www.sewallbelmont.org/learn/womens-history-in-the-u-s/ Bader, E. J. (2014). Reproductive Justice and Women’s Equality: There is Some Good News!. Retrieved from http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/23588-reproductive-justice-and-womens-equality-there-is-some-good-news Volsky, Igor. (2014). Judge Strikes Down Arkansas’ Same-Sex Marriage Ban. Retrieved from http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2014/05/09/3436443/judge-invalidates-arkansas-b
an-against-same-sex-marriage/ Morris, PhD, B. J. (2014). History of Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Social Movements. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbt/resources/history.aspx Associate Program Material
Diversity Organizations Worksheet
Search the Internet for information related to the following:
Women’s rights organizations
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) rights organizations
Note. You may also refer to the Internet Resource Directory of Racial and Ethnic Groups.
Complete the following table with notes and thoughts related to your findings:
Ford Foundation (http://www.fordfoundation.org)
Supports inequality & discrimination
Network building for women & human rights organizations against discrimination & inequality
Equality Now (http://www.equalitynow.org)
campaigns to raise awareness by highlighting individual cases of pervasive and severe violations against women and girls calls for the repeal of all laws that discriminate against women in accordance with international and regional human rights standards Human Rights Campaign (http://www.hrc.org/)
organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans represents a force of more than 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide mobilizes grassroots actions in diverse communities
invests strategically to elect fair-minded individuals to office and educates the public about LGBT issues.
Use your notes to aid in your responses to the questions below. You may need additional resources from the University Library to complete this activity.
Write a 750 to 1,050- word paper answering the following questions:
What has been the status of women in the United States throughout history? What is the status of women in the U.S. today?
What are some examples of concepts or constructions of masculinity and femininity that you see in society and in media? Historically, what has been the social status of GLBT people? What is the status of GLBT people in the U.S. today?
What are some social and political issues relevant to women and GLBT people in the U.S.?
Provide citations for all the sources you use.
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