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Aboriginal Women and Lesbians - Essay Example

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Aboriginal women and lesbians have been victims of racism, sexism and domestic abuse in the contemporary Canadian societyThis essay compares and contrasts the sufferings of the two groups of women, and their resistance against discrimination…
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Aboriginal Women and Lesbians
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Download file to see previous pages Aboriginal women are not given much protection by the law. The number of aboriginal women in prisons is higher than that of men, which shows discrimination against them. When Europeans arrived, aboriginal women were even deprived of their right to vote. European economic and cultural development proved to be catastrophic for them, since they were enjoying equal rights as men before the Europeans arrived. Their children were sent to residential schools at very early ages, to return after many years or never to return. Likewise, lesbians have been facing discrimination in Canada since a long time ago. They have been treated as psychologically ill persons, and are often subjected to electroshock therapies. They have not been allowed to get admitted to armed forces, and have been facing sexism at workplaces and public places. They have also been victims of anti-lesbian violence and discriminatory Canadian laws. For example, before 1969, lesbianism was considered as a crime in Canada, and was offensive enough to lead to imprisonment. Aboriginal resisted the deprivation of their right to vote, enter into business contracts, and own property. They struggled hard in the twentieth century to make themselves recognized as legal citizens of Canada. Due to their struggles, only some decades ago, law recognized them as legal persons and lifted precincts upon their right to vote, enter into contracts, and own property. They fought for their equitable position at the constitutional table. Similarly, today Canada has many national laws that protect the rights of lesbians, and imposes fines and punishments on those who do or provoke anti-lesbian hatred at workplaces or public places. For example, the Canadian Human Rights Act was designed after lesbians raised their voices against discrimination against them. This law “forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation by federally-regulated employers, landlords and services” (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, 1999, para.6). To conclude, aboriginal women and lesbians have been raising their voices against the marginalization that they have to face due to hatred of the society. Many laws have passed, and many associations are working, to protect their rights, but still their suffering has not completely ended, and they are considered as mentally ill and inferior persons of the society. 2. Feminism has seen four waves since feminists, and women themselves, have started raising their voices against gender discrimination they suffer from at homes and at workplaces (Rebick, 2005). This essay tends to focus on the thesis statement that the third and fourth waves of feminism differ from the first and second waves in terms of activism and understanding relations among women, by giving a brief introduction of the four waves. The first wave of feminism arose in the nineteenth century when an organized feminist movement started in Britain in the 1850s. Although many feminists, like Mary Wollstonecraft, had already debated on the topic of female social inequality, yet there was a need for an organized movement. First wave feminists promoted their idea of giving equal rights to women in education, employment, and decisions about marriage. However, they focused only on the problems they had experienced, and not on the problems of working women. Second wave arose in the late twentieth century when feminist activities increased. Women started to contend against discrimination, in which they were given second class status. This wave focused mainly on working class of women, which was obvious from the 1968 strike of working women at the Ford car plant, protesting for equal pay. Women also started understanding their ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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