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Societal Changes in Women Status 30s-70s - Essay Example

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Gail Collins, metaphor “the pendulum swings wide’’ to describe the ups and downs of the woman as a gender entity on their trials, tribulations and triumphs over history that have shaped the perspective on women today. Collins portrays a 400 year history between 1587 to the 1970’s on women. …
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Societal Changes in Women Status 30s-70s
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Download file to see previous pages These changes as represented by the pendulum have political and economic influences being the major cause affecting these changes. However, individual women have impressively changed the concept of the woman as gender perception as seen by Maya Angelou who during the world second war aspired to be a street car conductor and ended up being the first African American street car conductor thanks to her relentless applications (Collins, 2003). In his intriguing and captivating book, Collins gives examples of heroines like Hannah Dustan who in 1697 escaped from her captors by slitting them and returned to her home to a jubilated welcome. The book gives a wide range of inspiring examples of women thus the other meaning of the pendulum swinging wide.
There are quite a number of historical facts that paved way to the behavior of women in the 20th century particularly between the 1930s to the 1970s. For example, in 1637 the law had to be changed after Ann fowler was sentenced to 20 lashes when she verbally abused a county justice by the name of Adam Thorowgood in Virginia (Walsh, 2010). It was then stated that husbands were no longer liable for damages caused by their wives. In Pennsylvania, single impoverished women were forced to wear bras with the letter P which stood for pauper whenever they appeared in public. In world war two, there were over 1000 women pilots, but they could only fly planes that were grounded. This meant that they could not leave the ground, so they only towed the planes for either takeoff or landing for inexperienced male pilots. Despite this, over 80% of the reading public was female at the time. This had a positive impact on American scholarship history, for women were inevitably placed on the same class as the men. The book celebrates women like the Grimke sisters, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Jane Addams, and Dolores Huerta who have arguably influenced the behavior of women in the 1920s and beyond. It is reported that the American Government and cultural leaders sent mixed messages to women regarding their social status, work, education and family through domestic policies gender roles and design of their positions in society. The American government having been influenced by philosophical advocates under nongovernmental organizations on gender equality weakened the family by legitimizing divorce. It also had no policy that supports in any way, infertile women giving rise to promiscuity and rise of immorality. More so infertile women had a high probability of dying during pregnancy and feared to give birth leading to a lower birthrate during the 1920s, and the government still did not address this issue (Smith, 2005). The cultural leaders particularly the Catholics in the name of ‘modernity’ reduced the number of grants for memorial masses for the dead. This in turn no longer inspired the young generation to give birth to a new generation. So population did not grow as intended, and marriage, which is the sole unit for conception was not as recognized as should have been. In his book ‘utopia against the family’ Bryce J. Christensen mentions organizations like the American home economics declaring that families have nothing to do with blood marriage legal ties or adoption, instead states that it is of two or more persons who share similar resources, responsibilities goals and virtues over a period of time. Politicians and the media have picked this mentality and spread it ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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