Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Classed as "others" - Women in Society


The website I have chosen to discuss is the Trinity University site in San Antonio, Texas which analyses gender through history, education, family, media, and work.

The website notes that a woman’s role within society is influenced by a diversity of factors. These factors range from culture, religion, region, living values and experiences. Women have found it difficult to find their place in the world, and their role in society is often questioned or even marginalised. The world we live in is predominately controlled by men and in many cultures, for example tribal or where strict religion is in force (Amish, Islam) women have struggled to be anything but second class citizens by Western industrialised standards. Historically our society has made it almost impossible for women to achieve and desires in life. Women are made to feel as though their place is in the kitchen and are not worthy for a job. The sex of a person should not determine what type of responsibilities or what kind of a career a person will have. Society shouldn’t shape and determine what a person does in their life.

The website shows that as the female education rises so fertility, infant and child mortality fall. The increase in girls’ secondary school enrolment is linked with increases in the females’ participation in the labour force and their contributions to household and national income. An educated woman’s political awareness is more exercised and they are more informed about their legal rights and how to apply them. The role of women within the family has always been fairly stereotypical. The link from the website shows you a chart displaying the percentage of what chores women do in comparison to men.

In today’s world of mass media and instant communications, media coverage that often displays women in a stereotypical way. There is also a focus on superficial beauty and sexual discrimination against women. During the 1990s, newspapers would devote three quarters of the front page to men and two thirds of the front page pictures as well. Printed media and electronic in many countries display women in a negative way and do not offer a balanced picture of a female’s diverse life and contribution to society. Additionally, violent pornographic media especially some computer games adversely portrays women and their role in society.

In our society today women are able to balance their career with looking after their children and husband. The website points out that work put women on the historical record, to enable women’s voices to be heard, to listen to their voices and to show their points of view. The website does an excellent job of pointing out females can be seen as second class citizens through many aspects of life. The class of the female may not matter as much; neither does the employment, media or home strategies, the world we live in today is still male dominant. Feminists have steadily made a difference but men have too much power and control in our society.

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