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Gender Inequality in the 1970s

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There is no upper limit to the risks men are willing to take in order to succeed, and if there is an upper limit for women, they will succeed less.” (Clay Shirky, 202) Shirky, the author of “A Rant about Women” argues that women must become more aggressive and demanding to ultimately achieve their goals. No matter how society reacts, men take on any action, bypassing the “Golden Rule” to achieve their goals and desires. On the other hand, women lack this procedure in their search for self-promotion, as Shirky argues. However, in Chisholm’s speech “Equal Rights for Women”, Chisholm argues that the undeniable reason for gender inequality in the 1970’s, was the lack of opportunities women were given in the workplace. Chisholm’s viewpoint includes the reason women weren’t treated with equal respect as men, was because women weren’t given the chance. Both authors battle the reason for gender inequality equally demonstrating how this social problem existed; only differentiating on the reasons. In this essay I will argue that Shirky’s position on gender inequality is stronger based on the anecdotes he provides of women asserting themselves to become more successful; additionally providing a solution for women to become more aggressive.
In the 1970’s, when a woman walked into an interview, she was questioned if she can type. This occurs because of the stereotype that women usually occupy the lower standard jobs; the less important ones, in other words. The positions women usually occupy include: secretaries, librarians, and teachers, because women are viewed as incapable of withholding job options such as managers, administrators, doctors, lawyers, and Members of Congress. As Shirley Chisholm declares in her speech, “The unspoken assump...

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...unately still exists today. Both Shirky and Chisholm work at publicizing this issue to society, however represent different reasons for why this issue exists. Shirky believes women are not as aggressive in demanding self-promotion as well as equality, while Shirley believes the root of gender inequality is the low amount of opportunities women are given in the workplace in comparison to men. While I consider Shirky’s argument stronger, I still agree with Chisholm’s argument based off of the job position evidence she provides. Based off both articles, women need to become more arrogant and selfish to rightfully demand what is theirs, no matter what the consequence. Men can do it, so why can’t women?

Works Cited
Chisholm, Shirley. “Equal Rights for Women”. Washington D.C., May 21, 1969
Shirky, Clay. “A Rant about Women”. Shirky.com. Clay Shirky Blog, January 2010