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Social Problems On Race/Gender Essay, Research Paper

Male dominance has been prevalent since the earliest records of man, because of this; women in most societies have been at a disadvantage in most aspects in life. Since the industrial revolution the importance of the traditional` farm household activities of women, like agriculture and textiles, have long been taken over by factories. Since most men now work away from home, the basic lower-status housework has been solely put upon the women. This division of labor caused even more dominance over females, basically making the female a subordinate worker to the dominating boss (husband). This gender discrimination is so deeply rooted in our society that it causes problems for women in every aspect of their life. This oppressed minority which is actually a statistical majority of the U.S. population is exploited at work, school, at home, in the media, and in politics, with one type of oppression reinforcing another. (Feagin 145). This interior colonization of women is undoubtedly ignored and is taught and basically accepted since the conception. Segregation starts in the very first minutes that a young boy and girl is born. The boy gets wrapped in the little blue blanket and the girl gets put in the little pink blanket. Girls are looked upon as pretty and delicate, while the little boy, who practically looks the same, is seen as big, strong, and very attentive. No matter how little this situation seems it shows how the genders are being put into two different categories from day one, thus making the discrimination between the two sexes seem normal before the children even have a chance to see themselves for who they are. As these young girls grow up, they are exposed to even more gender stereotyping. It starts with their earliest readings in children books; where they find women only doing feminine actions and jobs, while males in the books are the ones doing courageous acts and jobs, taking the initiative to overcome impossible situations. As these girls start to grow up, the mass media, through the means of advertisements in newspapers, billboards, TV, and magazines, only see women pictured in feminine situations. For example, according to the textbook, ads for women generally tend to put them with beauty (modeling, make-up, fashions, and beauty) and household (cooking appliances, cleaning appliances, and food) themes. Having women being judged generally by their attractiveness, basing their self esteem on beauty (furthering their sex object identity), simultaneously banging the housewife identity into their heads. On the other hand the mass media tends to portrait the males in manly advertisements judging them primarily on what they do. These portraits that are painted by the mass media further the patriarchal society that is already established, and helps make gender domains stronger. All families in America, for a long time, have been based upon established roles between the husband and wife. Through the presence of these women s roles and man s roles the two genders are suppose to act a certain way. Since these roles have been a part of the American culture for so long, women are expected to be subordinate to men. For example, making them dinner after work, doing the laundry and conception and care of children. They lose much of the major decision making of the family, since society regards the male bringing in money so highly. This lack of power within the family is so institutionalized it gives them such meaningless position when it comes to major things in their life such as: employment, laws, politics, and even their very own body. This meaningless position can be seen in the idea that women do not even get rewarded when they do play the women s role . Women do not get praised for their bearing of children or household work, nor do they gain any power within their family for this.

The power that men hold over women keeps them in a constant state of subordination. This power conflict over women has become so severe that it is not all to uncommon for a man to go so far as to beat his wife. The amount of physical and sexual abuse of women in this society proves this point well. Domestic violence is the most common injury to women, statistically proven millions of women are yearly abuse by their male counter parts. Women in relationships are expected to give themselves, whether willingly or not, to the man s sexual inhibitions. Another point that shows man s thought of his power over women is the idea of rape in America. The male s aggression and lack of respect for women in America make the U.S. have, by far, the most women raped every year. But, because the society is so male dominated these problems are not easily solved. Law officials are often quick to blame the women on most accounts. This patriarchal gender stratification has been carried out of the family and into the work place also. Because men look at females through the women s roles , they have not been able to compete with men in job positions, incomes, or advancement within the work place. Men, with the idea of women being less capable, are quick to judge women, even if their have better credentials. a common problem for women trying to break into traditionally male occupations is the pre-existing male information and support network. This remains a problem once women are hired. For example only relatively recently have women workers broken into traditionally male-dominated sectors of the auto industry (Feagin 170) . Until gender stratification is abolished at the family level women will never have equal opportunities in other aspects of life. When women and men are taught from birth that women are mentally and physically inept compared to men the gender roles will prevail. Women s role and men s roles in society will only slowly improve unless some drastic changes are made. It is not an easy thing to change such an institutionalized social order. Huge efforts at the legislative, in the court, law enforcement, Constitutional rights, and especially by man itself are at need to adjust the society in order for equality and equity of women to happen.


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