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WOMEN: THE OPPRESSED MAJORITY CHAPTER 15 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved.

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Presentation on theme: "WOMEN: THE OPPRESSED MAJORITY CHAPTER 15 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. All rights reserved."— Presentation transcript:

1 WOMEN: THE OPPRESSED MAJORITY CHAPTER 15 Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, NJ All rights reserved.

2 Women and Minority Status Subordinate status means confinement to subordinate roles not justified by a persons abilities Biological differences between males and females Must separate differences of gender from those produced by sexism o Distinctions result from socialization Feminist movement has long history beginning in 1800s Child care and housework still disproportionately responsibilities of women Both men and women find it difficult to conceptualize women as a subordinate group o Not all women live in ghettos o No longer attend inferior schools o Freely interact and live with their alleged oppressors – men

3 Five properties of a subordinate or minority group o 1. Women experience unequal treatment o 2. Women have physical and cultural characteristics that distinguish them from the dominant group – men o 3. Membership in the subordinate group is involuntary o 4. Women are aware of their subordinate status and have a sense of solidarity o 5. Women are not forced to marry, yet many feel subordinate status defined within marriage Stereotypes of Women o Considered emotional, irresponsible, weak, or inferior o Fight subtly against the system o Allegedly try to outwit men with feminine wiles


5 Sex and Gender Roles Sexism o The ideology that one sex is superior to the other Androgyny o The view that there are few differences between the sexes Permits people to see that humans can be both aggressive and expressive depending on the situation People do not have to be locked into masculine or feminine behavior Gender Roles o Societys expectations of the proper behavior, attitudes, and activities of males and females o Origin of gender roles are not clear Animal studies and gender Cross-cultural studies and gender

6 o Socialization has powerful impact on development of females and males in U.S. Boys are admired for athletic ability, coolness, toughness, social skills, and successful relationships with girls Girls are admires for parents economic status, physical appearance, social skills, and academic success o Gender differences are maintained in our culture through systematic socialization o Acceptable behavior for men and women change over time in a society Gender differentiation in U.S. culture embedded in social institutions o Family, education, religion, politics, economy, medicine, and mass media

7 Functionalist o Sex differentiation contributes to overall social stability o Persuasive in explaining the way men and women are brought up is US society Conflict Theory o Relationship between females and males is one of unequal power with men being dominant over women Functionalists and conflict theorists o Acknowledge it is not possible to change gender roles drastically without dramatic revisions in a cultures social structure Functionalists see potential social disorder or unknown social consequences Conflict theorists contend no social structure is desirable if maintained through oppression Sociological Perspective

8 The Feminist Movement Women activists and sympathetic men who spoke of equal rights Often were ridiculed and scorned Emerged during the early part of the nineteenth century o Seneca Falls, NY 1848 Evolved out of the oppression of women and children within the colonial family and society Role of women in the abolitionist movement and its influence on the development of the womens movement

9 The Suffrage Movement o Suffragists Worked for years to get women the right to vote o Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Seneca Falls womens rights convention of 1848 o Susan B. Anthony arrested in 1872 for attempting to vote in the presidential election o Opposition to the womens vote Liquor interests and brewers afraid of anti-alcohol women South feared my Blacks (women) voting Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution (1919) o Amendment was introduced in 1879 o Remarkable achievement because it had to rely on male legislators to do so o Many of the most prominent female suffragists died before ever getting the right to vote o The nineteenth Amendment did not automatically lead to other feminist reforms

10 The Womens Liberation Movement After voting rights were achieved the womens movement faded then regained prominence in the 1960s Encouraged by the civil rights movement there was a re-emergence of feminism (Womens Liberation) o Women felt unfulfilled with homemaking and guilty about being in the labor force Several events delayed progress in 1960s o Civil rights movement and the antiwar movement slow to embrace womens rights o New Left as sexist as the rest of society in practice despite talk of equality o Protest groups rejected women leaders Eventually civil rights movement, New Left, and established women groups endorsed feminist movement

11 The womens movement has also brought about a reexamination of mens roles o male liberation from masculine value system Expected to achieve physically and occupationally regardless of their values or others values o Men must redefine their roles as workers, husbands, and fathers Feminist movement underwent significant change in 1970s o Betty Friedan ( ) Founder of National Organization for Women (NOW) 1966 Feminine Mystique o Women had to understand that society saw them only as their childrens mother and their husbands wife 1980s called for restructuring the institution of home and wife o Recognized womens frustration with being unable to do it all: career, marriage, and motherhood


13 The Economic Picture Occupational segregation of women o Women are concentrated in low paying occupations Increase in female labor force participation over the last century Sexism in employment Bureau of Labor Statistics segregation index o 54% of women and men workers would need to switch jobs to create a labor force without segregation Occupational segregation by gender continues, but women have increased participation in labor force Women earnings have increased significantly over the last quarter century o From 62 cents to 80 cents for every dollar earned by men o Show little further narrowing through 2012

14 Occupational Segregation and Discrimination

15 Sources of discrimination Primary cause is segregating influences in the labor market The social and occupational roles of men and women have become segregated o Ideologically o Physically o Socially Ideological devaluation of the occupational roles of women

16 Efforts to eliminate discrimination as it applies to women o 1964 Civil Rights Act Equal Employment Opportunity Commission o Address cases of sex discrimination o Pay Equity (Comparable worth) Calls for equal pay for different types of work that are judged to be comparable by measuring: o Knowledge o Skills o Effort o Responsibility o Working conditions Primary goal of feminists-eliminate sex discrimination in labor force and equalize job opportunities

17 Glass Ceiling o Refers to the invisible barrier blocking the promotion of a qualified worker because of gender or minority membership Despite debate over affirmative action, consensus is that there is little room at the top for women and minorities Mommy Track o An unofficial career track that firms use for women who want to divide their attention between work and family Cant be applied to all women Implies that men are not interested in maintaining balance between work and family

18 Sexual Harassment Recognized as any unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances that interfere with a persons ability to perform a job and enjoy the benefits of a job

19 anti-sexual harassment advertisement

20 Sociocultural theory of sexual harassment o Rooted within patriarchy and male dominance o Takes place where the hierarchy of authority finds White men at the top and in which womens work is valued less than mens African American women 3 times more likely than White women to experience sexual harassment Power theory of sexual harassment o Rooted within the distribution of power within organizations o Function of the difference in power relations Conflict Perspective o Women, especially women of color, are most likely to be victims of sexual harassment o These groups typically are an organizations most vulnerable employees in terms of job security Sexual Harassment

21 Feminization of Poverty Poverty and women Increase in the number of female headed households Increase in divorce Displaced Homemaker o Defined as women whose primary occupation had been homemaking but who did not find full time employment after divorce, separation, or widowhood Declining alimony and the lack of child support Lack of family friendly Federal policies

22 Education Sex-segregated classrooms o structure and tracking by gender Discrimination in admissions and financial aid by sex Increase in the number female faculty on campuses Equal access to educational resources

23 Education Act of 1972 and Department of Health, Education, and Welfare guidelines of 1974 and 1975 o Collectively called Title IX provisions Regulations designed to eliminate sexist practices from almost all school systems o Schools must make changes or lose federal assistance Eliminate all sex-segregated classes and extracurricular activities Cannot discriminate by sex in admissions or financial aid; cannot inquire if applicant is married, pregnant, or parent Schools must end sexist hiring and promotion practices among faculty members Although women do not have to be admitted to play on all- mens athletic teams, schools must provide more opportunities for womens sports, intramural and extramural

24 Family Life U.S. society equates work with wages o Women who do household chores and volunteer work are given little status Sociologist Susan Walzer (1996) o Mothers are much more involved than fathers in the invisible mental labor associated with taking care of a baby Media attention (21 st century) o Focused on high profile women who choose not to climb the last steps of corporate ladder o opting out led to generalization on all women

25 Seventy-two percent of care givers are women Psychologist Mary Clare Lennon and Sociologist Sarah Rosenfield (1994) o 67% men suggested uneven distribution of housework fair to both spouses o Married women with fewest alternatives and financial prospects most likely to accept unequal household arrangements o Women who view unequal housework as unjust experience more depression

26 Sociologist Arlie Hochschild o Second Shift Describes the double burden – work outside the home followed by child care and housework that many women face and few men share equitably Issue increasingly important as more mothers work outside the home o Mommy Tax Economic cost of second shift o Lower salaries women receive over their lifetime because they have children o Lose job experience o Trade off higher wages for following mommy track o Discriminated against by employers

27 Abortion Controversial subject affecting family life in US Roe v. Wade (January 22, 1973) o Applauded by pro-choice groups and condemned by pro-life Social class issues and abortion Abortion issue centers on the distribution of power and the (control) over the roles and rights of men and women in society In terms of social class, right to terminate pregnancy affected poor people o 1976 Hyde Amendment Banned use of Medicaid and other federal funds for abortion o Another obstacle – access to abortion providers Fewer hospitals allowing doctors to perform abortions except in extreme cases

28 Political Activity Women constitute 53% of the voting population Under-represented in National political offices More representation on Local and State level Lack of representatives is a function of a number of factors. o 1. Fewer women in business and law– the grooming ground for a political career. o 2. Fewer women in political organizations and decision making. o 3. Some women may feel that a political career may interfere with family responsibilities.

29 Matrix of Domination: Minority Women African American Feminist Patricia Hill Collins (1990) Matrix of Domination o Whites dominate non-Whites; men dominate women; and the affluent dominate the poor Gender, race, and social class not only systems of oppression o Profoundly affect women and people of color in U.S. Double Jeopardy: Minority Women o Subordinate status twice

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