.. ustration because both men and women continue to be ruled by their early training, by the acculturation process which decides for them what sort of existence they will have. This can result in feelings of guilt when their reality and the image they have been taught from childhood do not mesh. It would be a mistake to see changing gender roles in society as threatening only to males who dominate that society. Such changes also threaten many women who have accepted more traditional roles and see change as a threat.
I don’t know how your mother does it all. . . I think time are harder for women these days. .
. so many choices. This response is not new. When women first united for the right to vote at the beginning of this century, they were opposed by women’s groups who wanted things to remain as they were. Many of these women were ladies of means and social position in society: The main burden of their argument was that woman suffrage placed an additional and unbearable burden on women, whose place was in the home. .
. These arguments are heard today from religious fundamentalists who believe that the women’s movement is a threat to the family. The fact is that the family has changed and that the traditional family structure of homemaker, husband as breadwinner, and children bow constitutes only 10 percent of families. The role for women has expanded with more women in the workplace and with a variety of family structures with new roles for all members of the family. Business has been slow to change and to acknowledge the new family, and for all the complaints about the women’s movement as anti-family, the movement has instead followed the trend of placing the family in the forefront of addressing family issues as vital to women. There is much evidence that boys and girls are treated differently form birth, and this fact has been noted in every world culture: It may never be possible to separate out the precise effects of physiology and cultural conditioning on human beings.
Not only do they individually influence people but they interact with each other and with each person’s unique essence to affect human behavior. To accord with the reality of this complex interplay of factors, and to accord with an increasingly complex external world, feminists ask simply for options in life styles. Those stuck in sexism, however, cannot grant even the simple request to ask why women are inferior. The reason sexism exists at all is because of an acculturation process which subtly creates it, and it is perpetuated in part for that reason and also because perceived changes in the roles and status of women create a backlash based on fear of change. Surveys have shown that identical resumes or scholarly articles are rated lower if the applicant is though to be a woman rather than a man: Man’s success is more likely to be attributed to ability and woman’s to luck.
While advances have been made over the last decade, the challenge remains for the next, and as long as women constitute small minorities in nontraditional employment contexts, substantial obstacles will remain. The women in the workplace must work harder to succeed than their male counterparts, and once they have succeeded they have to deal with the envy and anxiety this arouses. Women who do not advance only confirm the stereotype for others: The perception remains that women can’t make it by conventional standards, or are less committed to doing so. In either event, they do not seem to warrant the same investment in training, assistance, and promotion opportunities as their male counterparts. Feminist theorists have been calling for some time for a change in the political climate.
They want more than just more women in office and the political arena; they want a new type of political thinking, one that empowers people rather than government and that addresses the issues that are of importance to men and women: If we can eliminate the false polarities and appreciate the limits and true potential of women’s power, we will be able to join with men –follow or lead – in the new human politics that must emerge beyond reaction. This new human liberation will enable us to take back the day and the night, and use the precious and limited resources of our earth and the limitless resources of our human capital to erect new kinds of homes for all our dreams. . . The perception the public has had on the role of men and women is outdated and has been for some time, but public attitudes change slowly even in the face of overwhelming evidence.
More than 40 years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead noted the way the West had developed its concept of male and female: There has long been a habit in Western civilization of men to have a picture of womanhood to which women reluctantly conformed, and for women to make demands on man to which men adjusted even more reluctantly. This has been a accurate picture of the way in which we have structured our society, with women as keepers of the house who insist that the man wipe their feet on the door-mat, and men as keepers of women in the house who insist that their wives should stay modestly indoors. Today, people are far less willing to accept these artificial roles even reluctantly, and this includes the provision keeping women in the home and out of the public arena. To have more women in office it is necessary to have more women run. As noted, public views change more slowly than the reality of gender roles.
They will continue to change slowly as long as we continue acculturating children with the same sexual stereotypes that have so long prevailed. It is necessary that we address this issue from early childhood, with parents demonstrating a different view of gender and sexual roles just as the school and church should take a part in eliminating the old stereotypes in favor of a more reasonable and equitable way to view both men and women. Business.