Gender equality has always been a controversial topic among the American populations. When looking throughout history, men have always ranked higher than women since it was well-known that men were stronger, smarter and wiser. However, by the 1940’s, gender equality showed its colors in America. At that time women had to start working to replace men during World War II. On December 19th of 1941, the lives of women drastically changed with President Roosevelt’s speech on the workforce (Field). The president hired an emergency committee, which then decided to recruit women for work. That was a totally new thing at that time. Women everywhere were excited to hear such news. Ads on the walls stated that without women the war they could not win. It was a great deal. Women enjoyed this. Some of them were doing it to support their husbands in battle. They thought that in order for their husbands to come home they needed great supplies sent to them. Who was to make all the equipment with men being overseas? As the war progressed, women started getting very good at their jobs. They replaced men in such a way that you could hardly tell the difference from the outcome of the product. In fact there was no difference at all. While being in the workforce, a lot of women felt a great sense of accomplishment every time a ship or a plane was built. Going forward in time, we see that women continue to fight for equality with men. Although things seemed to be going very well from the outside, there is still discrimination present on the inside.
In the second half of the 20th century, the gender policy has drastically changed in the USA. The main content of this change was the creation of the current state mechanism to guarantee equal rights and equal opportunities for men and women in all spheres of life.
Under pressure of women's movement in the United States, as well as in Europe, the transformation of a gender system took place, hence, it had the consequences. It is not necessary to talk about the final eradication of discriminatory practices claimed within centuries. Nevertheless, the principles of equality have become a part of the U.S. gender policy.
Eventually, with the rise of the feminist movement in the West, the term "sexism" appeared in the 1960’s. It is formed by analogy with the word “racism". Sexism is an ideology based on stereotypical gender role models. The role, abilities, interests and behaviors of people were explained by their gender. Within feminist theory, sexism is often taken as a manifestation of patriarchy, that is discrimination against women by men.
In 1960 - 1970’s at the fist steps of feminist combat, the strategy of the legalization of equality leads to the gender-neutral law practice. Then in 1980 - 1990’s the transition to the strategy of equal opportunities insist on the gender-sensitive policy of affirmative action. It provided women with the definite advantages in work, education and business.
The gender-neutral rules have obligated women to take care of their own well-being after the disintegration of the family. When today the economic results of divorce depend on the professionalism of the lawyer, at that time, if the wife was a housekeeper, ex-husband paid aliments only for the time she could not find a job. In accordance with the doctrine, the law did not take into account the real situations where woman had no professional qualifications or skills as she had become a mother and householder. The property was not specified in the marriage contract, in most cases exactly husband received the biggest part, because section was carried out on the principle of the contribution to the property creation. Though, most of the children stayed with mother. As a result, according to the statistics, the economic status of divorced women with children got worse by an average of seventy percent, and material well-being of divorced men improved by forty percent.
Therefore, the right to receive the same education as men do, was considered as a basic condition for the feminist emancipation. Lasted over a hundred years in the U.S. public debate on the topic "Why educate women?.” The answer was that women should be educated only as much as it corresponded their civil duties. Nowadays each American college and university examine applicants and students only by paying attention to knowledge and skills.
As in the most of the countries, in the United States until second half of the 20th century women were denied to have an opportunity to create a business, to take credit from the bank, to receive an education in the schools of law, medicine, theology, business, engage in the certain professions. It is interesting that with the U.S. Supreme Court precedent set in 1873, constitutionality prohibiting women advocacy practice. A natural biological difference, discussed in this subject, has made women unfit for the certain professions in the social life; their main activities remained housekeeping and motherhood; man had role of a protector of women and mothers. Now it is improved, but there is still a pay gap. In 2014, Obama has announced that this difference to be nearly $0.77, where women earn less.
However, the implementation of the gender equally policy has challenged and under the federal and state law forbids employment discrimination, based upon sex and sexual orientation, more than three of every fifth Americans live under the administration, which does not provide such defenses when they are needed. Furthermore, there is no federal law that outlaws discrimination at the workplace on the ground of sexual orientation in the private sector.
Despite what gender statistics indicates, we need to take into consideration the old stamps and prejudices in the society. Particularly they even influence women to make their decisions about choosing some specialization or job.
There is another question about social opinion on the people with a different sexual orientation or gender identity.
Even though there always were different human sexual intercourses, the history of so-called separated groups of homosexuals, heterosexuals, and transsexuals, is relatively short. The term “homosexual” appeared in some German papers, in 1869. The scientists, physicians and officials are still trying to find the cause of people choose their preferences or have born sexual orientation. For today, the most accepted statistics says that one in every ten individuals is LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual), but other survey assume one in twenty. One thing is why there is a growing number of people mentioned above, but other thing is how they live in a modern society. In Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition of Christian Bible, there is no mention of transsexualism, however, the right condemns homosexuality, lesbianism and transvestism. The church's attitude to the problem depends on the denomination, but each of them condemns it. Most of the religions do not approve it.
Unfortunately, the society does not want to accept LGBT completely. A lot of people used to think that different sexual orientation is some disease or pathology. People considered homosexual relations as unnatural and sinful. It also was a crime in lots of societies. For instance, the early settlers in America strongly penalized for sodomy.
The LGBT can suffer from both employment conditions and social attitude. The special wage research says that gay tends to make much less than straight men at the same job position. Nevertheless, the anti-discrimination law affects people and prevents their not fair behavior toward sexual minorities. Even things changed during the last century, but life has not become any easier for homosexual minority or transsexuals. The police reports show the great violence against LGBT and destruction of their property and organizations is on the rise, and the crimes committed against them are disgusting and deadly. The discrimination appears with the unreasonable hatred.
It is necessary to highlight that now we still face the problems with the gender discrimination, thus there is no complete equality of sexes. There always was and will be the gender distinction, which becomes a social obstacle. Usually person stays conservative and does not accept unusual things for them.
The society has been transformed for centuries, however, with the democracy development it cannot provide each social group with the equal rights and opportunities. For sure, in 21st century the life of women is completely different from the previous centuries. Finally, the women’s rights are equated to the men’s. Concerning sexual minority, nowadays they can fear less and announce their sexual orientation, at least in the United States. The modern principles of law are improved to protect their rights.
Field, Connie, dir. The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter. Film. 15 April 2014
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Ford, Milt. "A Brief History of Homosexuality in America - Allies & Advocates." Grand Valley State University. N.p., 13 May 2013. Web. 14 May 2014.
Vitelli, Romeo. "How Effective Are Laws Against Sexual-Orientation Discrimination? | Romeo Vitelli." The Huffington Post. N.p., 13 Aug. 2013. Web. 14 May 2014.
"Who's Gay? What's Straight? | Assault On Gay America | FRONTLINE | PBS." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 May 2014.