The Pros And Cons Of Oppression In America

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One of the most prominent conundrums coursing through the veins of American history is oppression of those who do not conform to mainstream society. Whether in skin tone, culture, gender identity, or sexuality, discrimination of minorities has always plagued the United States.
Oppression leads to suppression, and that is what many gay, lesbian, and otherwise non- heterosexual members of society have experienced over time. Martin Luther King Jr. once said,
“Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” and while many non-heterosexual people today especially still face oppression, discrimination, and general prejudice, there has been much advancement in the law and society to improve the treatment and
attitudes
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Women began to wear their hair short and wear slacks as it was required for their jobs. Though many non-heterosexual people were still closeted, they were able to gain a new perspective during the war times that they were not alone in their desires. Once the war ended, many gays and lesbians moved to port cities where they could live anonymously surrounded by an urban gay population. While male veterans reclaimed their prewar jobs and many women were forced back into domestic roles, those who were shaken by the dropping of the atomic bomb in 1945 and the threat to all of humanity took it upon themselves to live and express their sexual orientation more openly. A number of openly homosexually themed books were released during this time, including Gore Vidal’s City in the Pillar and Donald Cory’s The
Homosexual in America along with The Kinsey Report, two books on male and female sexual behavior which brought awareness to the fact that close to 20 million gay men and lesbians existed at that time.
Once the Red Scare shook the United States of America in the 1950s, soon any person who was deviant from social, political, or sexual norms was accused of communist activity
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Those who were under investigation for homosexuality underwent intensely thorough surprise interviews in which they were closely watched. Many were promised general discharges and confidentiality for telling the truth, but these were not delivered. The injustice that gay and lesbian people faced with
McCarthyism was predominant in this time period, and so many felt forced to marry someone of the opposite gender in order to conform to the modern ideals of American society. However, the
1950s also saw an increase in groups and material which supported those who preferred those of their own sexual orientation. This included the Mattachine Society, a gay rights organization, from which sprung the Mattachine Review, a homosexually oriented magazine. Another prominent magazine for gays and lesbians of the time was One magazine. An organization which gained popularity was the Daughters of Bilitis in 1955, a support group for lesbians, and more lesbian publications were being printed and distributed, helping lesbian women understand themselves and their desires to a greater extent. A renowned activist figure of the 1950s

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