From the perspective of society, despite certain conditions it had established for women to move up to the top of their social careers through both the official efforts and the endeavors of women themselves, those British ¡°top girls¡± under the influence of Thatcherism in the late 1970s and early 1980s continued to live in a predicament resulting from the traditional gender bias, which was further enhanced by their fierce reaction towards it.
II. The idea of feminism in Top Girls
III. Certain social conditions for the birth of ¡°top girls¡± in Britain by the early 1980s
A. The official efforts
1. The parliamentary acts to promote gender equality
2. The governmental efforts to expand equal education for women
B. Women¡¯s movements for gender equality
C. The impacts of Thatcherism upon women
IV. Some other elements undermining gender equality in Britain by the early 1980s
A. The traditional bias against women
1. Women in Christianity
2. Women and family roles
3. Women and work
B. The consequences of the feminists¡¯ fierce reaction towards gender bias
¡°Top Girls¡± in the Predicament
The 20th century has been an unusual one for British women. During its first three decades, they struggled to obtain the vote and in 1928, finally won this key right of citizenship on the same terms as men. During the last three decades of that century, Margaret Thatcher became the leader of the Conservative Party and later in 1979, the first female Prime Minster of the United Kingdom. This dramatic shift from lacking the vote to holding the highest executive office is indicative of profound changes having occurred in women¡¯s position and status, where few could possibly deny the key role feminism has played. Much material has, however, revealed the other side of the story. Under the glorious veil, women, the feminists included, remain subordinate in many spheres of the real life, the predicament of which has thus attracted the interest of many to become a battleground of rival views and interpretations. There is the widespread one that vigorously maintains as the cause the fundamental differences between men and women while acknowledging the equal human value or individual worth of them. It is, however, essentially based on the biological interpretation of gender roles while adopting a m...
... middle of paper ...
...m into childless or loneliness as rather than helping them completely out of their inferiority.
Since each social phenomenon having happened or happening belongs to a certain real society, our appraisal of it should be confined to those specific social factors both superficially promoting its birth and basically undermining its development. Otherwise, our evaluation would be detached from its proper references only to become hollow and thus pointless. From this angle, the idea of feminism posed in Churchill¡¯s Top Girls is better driven home to us. Though committed to individualism, such ¡°top girls¡± as the fictitious Marlene in Britain in the late 1970s and early 1980s were essentially the trapped victims of the conflicts between certain social conditions having been established for their moving up the social ladder and the more powerful traditional gender bias having imposed so much constraint upon them. And this gender prejudice had been, in reality, enhanced by these feminists¡¯ tough reaction towards it. Therefore, girls in Britain then might reach the top of their social careers, but could hardly reach the top of individual freedom and people¡¯s esteem.
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