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Cultural Diversity - Essay Example

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1. The Rise of the Women’s Rights Movement The seventy-two years in American history beginning from 1848 way up to 1920 marked a significant period for women. It is during these years that the struggle for emancipation from the “cult of domesticity” was at its peak…
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Cultural Diversity
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Download file to see previous pages Young ladies were groomed not for successful careers but to be wives of eligible and economically stable men, so they are not encouraged to pursue their education, as this will not be of benefit to them anyway. This cult of domesticity has been practiced for ages, so it was already something that most women accepted and became accustomed to. However, a growing number of women felt they were too constrained to be anything more than a housewife and longed to maximize their potentials as women. In raising these concerns, feuding groups of women fought for opposite beliefs. Those who yearned for freedom and equal rights with their male counterparts, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, staged a convention to launch the women’s rights movement. For two days in July in 1848, they convened in the low-key town of Seneca Falls in New York. This small group of people were instrumental in uplifting the position of women in society. In the convention, they argued for equality with men and fought for greater legal rights, especially the right of suffrage. They also voiced out their need for more professional and education opportunities (McMillen, 2008). These women were courageous to fight for reform that was considered radical at that time, especially since their opponents were also women who embraced domesticity. Out of that convention came the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments as drafted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The document demanded women’s voting and property rights as well as equal economic and educational opportunities with men. Eventually, in 1920, after more than seventy years, women got what they fought for with the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reads: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.” This amendment empowered women with certain rights and privileges that allows them to pursue an education, vote, and seek employment outside the home, and even work alongside men. It was a long wait, but it was truly worth it! Work Cited McMillen, Sally. Seneca Falls and the Origins of the Women's Rights Movement., Oxford University Press, 2008. 2. Institutionalized Heterosexism From time immemorial, the belief that there are only two genders: male and female, has been propagated by society. This meant that each gender was endowed with its own roles, rights and privileges. Over the years, the fact that some people have differing sexual orientations that did not conform to the two that are upheld, was not welcomed, as discomfort in even accepting such differences prevailed. Although homophobia, or the “irrational fear of, aversion or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals” (Merriam Webster Online, 1969) has been viewed negatively, it has somehow persisted albeit in a more subtle manner. Individuals who pursued their sexual preferences as lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBT) usually suffer discrimination in many facets of society. They are seen as those who go against the norm, and certain rights, opportunities and privileges that heterosexuals enjoy are usually not extended to these LGBTs. This kind of prejudice against LGBTs has been labelled heterosexism. It deprives many of society’s privileges from those who “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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