“Somehow, the unsexy issue of the paycheck—equal pay for the same or equivalent work—dropped off the economic agenda. But it never left the minds of women” (41). In her article entitled “A New Campaign for Pay Equity,” liberal columnist Ellen Goodman outlines the problem concerning the wage gap between men and women. By describing the present position of the wage gap, Goodman points out that there are things being done by the government for the wage gap, which include enforcing the laws that are in existence and suggesting that jobs of equal value be paid equal wages. Goodman then states that, even though laws are in place and goals have been announced, there is still a considerable slack in the government's progress. She holds that the laws are not being enforced as well as they could be and that society needs to transform the way it views the value of women's work, or just work in general. "Underlying the new campaign for pay equity," Goodman emphasizes, "are attitudes that are changing faster than wages" (41). Here, she suggests that people are beginning to ponder why women's wages are lower. Goodman explains that in order for the issue to be solved, the changes will have to begin on a state level and move up to the national level as momentum and support are gained. Goodman concludes with an astounding statistic: Because of the gender gap, women's families lose $200 billion each year. This statistic helps Goodman enforce the idea that although there are improvements afoot, "[. . .] half a cent a year just won't cut it.”
Since the 19th century, the women's movement has made fantastic strides toward obtaining civil rights for women in America. Woman suffrage has been abolished, and they are no longer viewed as second-class citizens. Unfortunately, the issue of gender inequality still echoes in today's society. The fight to change a society shaped predominately by men continues, and will likely pursue for decades to come. Whether it be social, political, or economic rights, the main idea is equality for all genders, man or woman. In modern society, it seems that such a simple concept should be accepted globally by everyone – so why do women still face the daily toils of demanding the privileges that should available to all? No matter the class of woman, it is likely they will suffer from inequality and stereotypes at some point in their life. We see this in the workplace, where women have been shown to earn less then men. Some women also face the dangers of sexual violence, and are left victimized for such crimes.
Why does society segregate the workforce by gender? Women have been single out against in the workforce as minorities, not as women, because they are relatively powerless. Men see women as less profitable. Society stereotype that women are less capable, less productive, and less dedicated to their employers. Women therefore are assigned jobs that are more mind numbing and are paid less. Women are place in the underpaid and underutilized pool of marginal labor works. Women have always had a lower status than men have, but the extent of the gap between genders varies across cultures and time. American women in 1999 earned approximately 77% of what men made, in 2000, according to the Department of Labor. Societies do not consistently define most tasks as either feminine or masculine. With industrialization the importance of muscle power is declining, thus leaving more options and gender differences to further condensed (Nolan & Lenski, 1999). Women do confront barriers in the marketplace, and in some industries, marginal pools of labor are profitable.
Turbulent times of a newly freed democracy bred a longing for civil liberties and birthed what would become equality for all. The United States of America, known for independence, has not always been balanced in its freedom. The labor movement in America was a significant step in developing equal opportunity. In the nation’s infancy, working conditions were abominable. Workers were underpaid, overworked, and abused. Women and children in the workforce were ubiquitous in certain industries, often earning far less than a man would. Countless laborers were injured or killed on the job, and there was no health insurance. If a worker was wounded while working, he or she would simply be replaced. As a result of the deplorable labor environment, unions
In the workforce, men have been shown to earn higher wages than women. According to the article, “The Inescapable Gender Wage Gap”, by Bryce Covert, “In no state in our nation do women breach the 90 percent mark.” (Covert, 4) There are not states in American where women make 90% of what men earn. This wage gap exists in all job fields, no matter the circumstances. A man and women can go to the same college, receive the same degree, get the same job, and even ask for the same pay but, the man will still earn more than his female counterpart. There is a misconception that women don’t work as hard as men or they’re less likely to demand a higher salary. There are women who ask for more and are as assertive as men but, they aren’t being given what they deserve. Assertive women are often seen in a negative light. People say that women aren’t assertive enough and yet when they are, these women are called “bossy” or a “bitch”. The true reason why women don’t earn as much as men and don’t hold as many positions of power as men are because of gender discrimination. Men have always been hegemonic to women. The idea is that the biological differences between men and women are the reason why men are “superior”. Men are typically taller, stronger, and have more testosterone than women. According to The Gendered Society, by Michael Kimmel, “And whereas biological sex varies
Familiar to almost every individual in this country is the passage in the Declaration of Independence that states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” (Jefferson par. 2). This statement would seem imply that all people, regardless of creed, gender, race or ethnicity, have equal access to advancement in all facets of life. However, despite this concepts’ status as a foundational American ideal, complete equality among all groups of people has never been a reality in this country. Instead, different categories of people are ranked into a hierarchy and maintain various degrees of wealth, power, and prestige, often as a result of prejudice and discrimination. An area where this stratification is extremely pronounced is the difference in opportunities for women relative to those of men. Since the conception of this nation, women have been the subordinates of men. For many years, women were denied basic freedoms, such as the right to vote and own property, and they are still currently denied the right to make some decisions regarding their own bodies. In today’s society, it is widely recognized that men control more wealth, have greater opportunity for advancement, hold more powerful positions, and are more respected than women. In this paper, I will explore several aspects of inequality that contribute to gender stratification.
Iversen, Torben and Frances Rosenbluth. Women, Work, and Power: The Political Economy of Gender Inequality. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010. Kindle E-Book.
For the past century, the United States of America has made countless advancements in technology, medicine, and many other fronts. As a society, it has advanced at an incredible rate, becoming a major world power in an incredibly short period of time. The biggest barriers that America is working on are currently taking place within its own borders; civil rights and the battle for equality have men and women of every race up and arms. Specifically, the fight against sexism is the most modern struggle in America. Discrimination against women is harmful to both men and women; it holds women back into a useless position and forces men to take the brunt of the work. Men are expected to work, but women are almost expected not to, and instead "be nothing more than dangling, decorative ornaments--non-thinking and virtually non-functional” (Chisholm 4). There is progress to be made in the American society in its attitude and treatment of women. Gender inequality continues to be a social problem in the business, family, and personal lives of women.
“They are free to exploit you, to lie to you, to cheat you and to take away from you what is rightfully yours - your health, a decent wage, a fit place to work” (Asseyev, Rose, Ritt, 1979). In the movie Norma Rae, union organizer Reuben Warshovsky, delivered this powerful speech to workers at the O.P. Henley textile mill. He warned them that without union representation they would continue to be taken advantage of by management. The movie, set in 1978, showed textile workers in a small, southern town who were forced to work long hours for a measly wage in deplorable and unsafe conditions. These workers were characteristically “poorly educated and largely unskilled” (Leiter, 1986, p. 951). The management was neglectful of and apathetic to the health and safety of their workers. Norma Rae, a mill worker, knew that her children were destined to work in the mill like the generations before them. It was a life that they could not escape. Therefore she made it her mission to stand up for her rights, empower her co-workers, and effectively improve the quality of life for mill workers of the future. Norma Rae chronicles the union organizing process from the expression of the workers’ discontent to the ultimate union win.
For several decades, most American women occupied a supportive, home oriented role within society, outside of the workplace. However, as the mid-twentieth century approached a gender role paradigm occurred. The sequence of the departure of men for war, the need to fill employment for a growing economy, a handful of critical legal cases, the Black Civil Rights movement seen and heard around the nation, all greatly influenced and demanded social change for human and women’s rights. This momentous period began a social movement known as feminism and introduced a coin phrase known in and outside of the workplace as the “wage-gap.”
In small town USA gender inequality, doesn’t exist because any hand is a hand and all work is need form anyone no matter the gender. According to the article “The Heartland and the Rural Youth Exodus” the authors Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kefalas express how small town USA is decimating because the loss of “…the younger generation, is hollowing out many of the nation’s small towns and rural communities” (1-2). However, women equality has been suppressed and forgotten because of other “pressing matters”, but gender equality is much more pressing then many think. This idea of equal pay isn’t prominent in larger places. Unequal pay isn’t just found in America, but all over the world. In France women get paid 50% of what men get paid and in
There are nearly as many women as there are men working, yet, as it was discovered in 2011, on average, a woman will only earn seventy-seven cents for every dollar that a man earns. Women owned businesses make up for over a quarter of all national businesses and earn more than one point two trillion dollars (“Assessing the Past, Taking Stock of the Future” 6). Since many women are now becoming are the primary sources of income in the household, making less that a man does not only negatively affect families, but also the overall economy suffers as well. These women, among many others, are the ones who end up purchasing the supplies that go toward improving communities and stimulating the economy. There is no reason that the general public should stand for this. Women should be treated equally to men in today’s American society based on their biological compositions, psychological profiles and contributions to history.
As Aker notes within, his article capitalism entered the United States as a system in which was dominated predominately by white males (Acker, 2006). This domination created gender/race segregation and created inequalities in wages (Acker, 2006). He notes, within his article gender is a subculture in which has been embedded in capitalism. Race and gender allows for individuals to be treated differently under a capitalistic economy. “While white men were and are the main publicly recognized […] these are just not any white men (Acker, 2006).” White men are viewed as individuals whom were superior/privileged over other individuals within the capitalistic economy work force. They are individuals who moved from farmers to professional business men, notes Acker. Within his article Acker also mentions, “A living wage or a just wage for white men was higher than a living wage for white women or for women and men from minority racial and ethnic groups (2006).” White men are individuals in which receive higher wages over all other racial ethnicities as well as sex. Generally, speaking they are individuals in which help encourage racial/gender segregation. Allocating wage inequality helped to maintain and grow occupations such as clerical, farming, and factory jobs as segregated low paying jobs (Acker,
“In 1885, 2,500 women members of the Knights of Labor endured a six-month strike marked by violence in Yonkers, New York, at a mill where they worked as carpet weavers” (Lindsey, 2011, pg. 121). Soon after this setback that lead to this strike, women soon profound their independence through the help of The International Ladies Garment Workers Union; and was then given better working conditions within their working environments; and equal pay to match others working in the same field of employment. However, their we’re still obstacles to face, and one was that of not becoming unionized; because people didn’t agree on the stipulation to which it involved; so many walked away from it including the justice system and officiating officers of society. “Many Unions still refuse to admit women, and even with an official policy urging equal pay to women, the most powerful union, the American Federation of Labor (AFL), was unwilling to exert the pressure necessary for its affiliates to conform to the rule” (Lindsey, 2011, pg. 121). Although the union mainly we’re maned by men alone, around the 1890’s less than 6 percent where women; despite the fact that women would weaken the union by employing them regardless of their constitutional rights. During this time many women and men fought over lack of jobs due to the economic downfalls during the recession; but the unions failed to concur their ongoing attempts to get women unionized; because many believed women belonged at home and not working. Unfortunately, the union was able to help correct the working condition in these factories, but came out on the short end of the stick; in regards to including women completely in the union like they did of men back in the day. Besides it was only temporary work for these women, so it made it difficult to place them in a