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Gender Inequality

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Essay title: Gender Inequality

Whoever said men and women are equal must be blind. Women have always taken a back seat to men in American society. This occurrence is not only found in the United States, but in other countries as well. It's safe to say that the Declaration of Independence started it, and it has continued to the present. There is one set of standards that apply to men, and another set of standards that apply to women. This is evident in the home, workplace, and society in general.

The problem of men and women not being equal can be traced back to the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that all men are created equal. There was no mention of women being equal, only men. At the time of the drafting of the document, the men had all the power. The document was even drafted by a man. Women were confined to the home to take care of the domestic housekeeping duties.

Look no further than the home to see the first sign that men and women are not equal. The traditional role of the man was to work, and the money he made would be used by all in the household. The traditional role of the woman was to stay home, take care of the children, clean the house, and cook. Because society has always associated money with power, the person bringing home the money had the power. The man often makes the final decision on all household matters because he has the money.

In early American Culture it was common for a women's job to be a submissive homemaker in clear contrast to the male's tough breadwinner role. The Seventies marked the beginning of the Woman's Movement and the end of the ideals we held on to, of what it is to be a "woman". Women were no longer like the stereotypical homemaker, but were instead out protesting inequality. One of the Women's Movements primary goals was to crush gender roles in the sense that women were secondary to men. Girls are encouraged to play with dolls and playhouse type of toys while boys will often play with trucks and army toys. Boys are played with in a rough manner and told to "tough it out" when they get hurt. Girls are taught to be more passive and expressive their feelings. Whether or not these gender roles are fair, this is where the argument beings.

The fact that we are treated differently based on our sex prevent us from reaching equality or are we treated differently because we are different by nature? We are indeed raised differently, but does the fact that a boy is given a blue room and a girl is given a pink room mean that a girl is being clichйd or stereotyped? Now that the sexist roles that belittle woman have vanished; the ones that presently exist are the ones that are true. "Males are better in math while females are better in English. Women master language skills better than men, while men are better at organizing objects". Gender roles are present but they are not helpful to either sex. Women are portrayed as physically weaker, and men as the stronger more physically capable. It is not so much an evil conspiracy by "the man" but an observation of an obvious fact.

Traditional gender role outlook has reflected male dominance and viewpoint. For example, like most American boys they are trained to dread doing anything “like a girl.” Men were said to grow into the assumption that women were valueless, natural prey. It may be true that women are physically weaker, not because nature intended them to be but because women are discouraged from building muscles resembling a man’s figure. “In many cultures women are taught to depend on others, not themselves, for protection from bodily harm. Women are not taught to defend themselves”. This trend demonstrates the fear that men have in that a woman is dangerous with too much power.

Traditional gender roles for the woman include nurturance, dependence and emotional expressiveness; this socialization rooted from the placement of male and females how to be caretakers. Women are taught to be self sacrificing, passive victims. As a result of this, a woman’s identity is based on how well she serves others. Men are encouraged to venture out and establish a place in the world. Women are encouraged to stand behind men and clean up their messes.

Another example that men and women are not equal is the terms used to describe the sexual habits of men and women. Men who are promiscuous are considered studs, macho, and manly. Men often boast about the many partners they have had. Women who are promiscuous are considered sluts, whores, and prostitutes. Women tend to hide the number of partners they have had. If a man has sex before marriage, he is getting experience and exploring his options. If a woman has sex before marriage, she is not considered pure, a quality often desired by men. There is clearly a double standard for men and woman for the same type of behavior.

Gender inequality

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