Feminism in the 1960's and 1970's

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Introduction In this paper I investigate the correlation between an individual’s family income and gender, and their stance on feminism. I expect that females who lived in a family of higher income were more likely to support feminism than individuals of either gender of a lower income because they would have more access to time and resources to support women’s equality. While women of the lower class were busy carrying out the traditional duties of a housewife, women of the upper class had the privilege of hiring maids, cooks, and nannies, to fulfill these duties for them, therefore allotting upper class women more free time to engage in other social activities. My findings, collected from the 1964 Disney production, Mary Poppins, and from 1972 polling data, suggest that generally, a majority of women, especially women who lived in the top 33 percentile of the American income bracket, supported feminism. Generally, men of all income levels were split evenly on their stance on feminism. Interpretation As technology advanced and became more popular during the 1960’s, film and television became more accessible to Americans. Popular media during that time usually depicted some sort of social norm present in society. A prevalent stereotype to focus on during this time was that of living in a small, nuclear family in which the father is the main source of income, and the mother is the homemaker who cooks, cleans and takes care of the children. In the 1964 Disney musical production Mary Poppins, the plot is focused on this type of nuclear family. The patriarch of this family, George Banks, is a partner at a well-established bank, indicating that this family is of a high-income bracket. As a result of this, the Banks family is able to ... ... middle of paper ... ...ncome, who are “in between” on their stance for equal rights for women and men. Conclusion As popular social media, such as Mary Poppins, and the ANES polling data from Figure 1 and Figure 2 show, my hypothesis that females – especially females from the top 33 percentile of family income – were more likely to support equal rights for men and women is partially correct. While it is true that females from the top 33 percentile of family income were more likely to support feminism than males of this income bracket, females from the bottom 67 percentile of family income were less likely to support feminism than males of this income bracket. As depicted in Mary Poppins, this relationship may have been caused by the combination of both the amount of free time the women had during their days, and the willingness of men to relinquish their position of superiority to women.

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