Over the centuries, women have faced numerous difficulties in a male supremacist infested society who places gender as the main determining element of human capacity. Despite the rise of liberal, secularist ideologies that express support for women’s rights in the 08th and 19th centuries, the problem remains chronic as there remain social prejudices and blind convictions on the weaknesses and shortcomings of women as members of society. . During the 50s, the media projected women as undignified citizens who do not have the right to exercise free will.
Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin recall Seventeen Magazine to have advised their readers about the role of women in a relationship. That the woman’s role was to function as partners and not rivals, enemies, and playthings, and that the relationship between women and men should create a heaven, a home that should serve as a place of sanctuary and peace (Isserman & Kazin, 2000, 13). The 1960s proved, on the other hand, to be one of the biggest turning points of women’s rights in the United States and across the world.
Apart from the emergence of the second wave of feminists, the Vietnam War provided opportunities for women to show their capabilities as members of the working class. The entrance of women to the realm of the paid labor force were led by women who at the time were over the 40-year old mark Despite such remarkable turn of events, women remained to be deemed as underrated second class citizens. Primarily, tradition norms hold that women should not be granted education and right to labor as their capabilities are not equal to those of their male counterparts.
As a result, society failed to acknowledge the statistical proliferation of women in the labor sector because of traditional belief and practice. In doing so, society also failed to look at the fact that the entrance of women in the labor force meant that women as unrecognized members of society have finally broken the domestic ideal that women are supposed to show their supremacy as homemakers and housewives. For the African American woman however, the deprivation of rights were enveloped in the concepts of gender and ethnicity.
While African-American women enjoyed the rights to having paid labor similar to those of their male counterparts, they were always compared to white women (Isserman & Kazin, 2000, 26). And considering the rampant racial discrimination during the 20th century, the comparisons between African-American women and Caucasian women implied negativity. Likewise, the right to purity for African American women was among the most alarming concerns as the accepted norm regarding women who take pleasure for sensual activities were only ascribed to African American women.
Maurice Isserman and Michael Kazin (2000, 27) write that white American Writer Willie Morris was shocked by the fact that a woman of his own skin tone does actually enjoy sexual intercourse. Morris added more insult to injury as he denoted his personal thought that “only Negro women engaged in the act of love with white males just for fun (Isserman & Kazin, 2000, 27). ” Women’s rights over the years have been hindered by male supremacists who only believed in the capabilities of their own ego.
However, it has also been apparent that apart from gender, skin tone and other physical features are also factors that hinder women from proliferating and being part of a prejudice-free society. But putting all the obstacles that gender issues bring forth, such obstacles should not be the cause of disheartening but a beacon of hope that women would one day face a world free of blind prejudice and mindless conformity.