Women: A History of Misrepresentation Essay

Women: A History of Misrepresentation Essay

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Crossing the boundaries of race, class, region and religion, the history of American women seeks to illuminate the multifaceted, public and private lives of women who may otherwise go misunderstood or completely unrecognized. In the course of this study, the following four themes have been found to characterize the shared experiences of generations of women: the construction of gender and gender spheres, housewives v. working women, mixed signals, and the legitimization of feminism. Placed within the context of our own patriarchal society the acknowledgment of the proceeding themes and subsequent scenarios, failures and accomplishments will help contemporary persons understand where we have been, where we are now, and where we could go.
Where We Have Been
Gender has become so pervasive that many assume it is genetically dictated. In truth, gender and gender spheres are continuously being created and re-created through human interaction and experience. By controlling the institutions of knowledge and dissemination, those who possess status and power are the ones most able to dictate and manage ideals. Additional scrutiny of American history, will add validity to Barbara J. Berg’s assessment, “Patriarchy has always been America’s default setting….” Naturally, the confirmation of this theme begins with the colonists.
Steadfast in their defense of the English, ideological cloth, men and women living during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries recognized women to be vital proponents of survival and prosperity. Nevertheless, the church and state propagated the belief that women were predestined by God to occupy a secondary status. Thus, the virtues most praised and exhibited by females—compliance, modesty, affection, delicacy, grac...


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...dual forms of beauty and intelligence.
In conclusion, there are several other realistic actions I personally can take to help make the lives of women better. These actions include: not holding my fellow women and men to unfair standards; supporting my female friends, boyfriend and guy friends in their positive endeavors; educating peers about the true media agenda; and finally raising my own future children to believe in and support the feminist movement.



Works Cited

Miss Representation. DVD. Directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Kimberlee Acquaro. Los Angeles, California: OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, 2011.

The Representation Project. “Infographics.” The Representation Project. http://therepresentationproject.org/infographics (accessed December 10, 2013).

Woloch, Nancy. Women and the American Experience: a Concise History. 2nd ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2002.

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