The Historical Treatment of Women research paper

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The Historical Treatment of Women’s RightsSavannah McKeeEastern Kentucky UniversityAbstract[The abstract should be one paragraph of between 150 and 250 words. It is not indented. Section titles, such as the word Abstract above, are not considered headings so they don’t use bold heading format. Instead, use the Section Title style. This style automatically starts your section on a new page, so you don’t have to add page breaks. Note that all of the styles for this template are available on the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Styles gallery.]Keywords: [Click here to add keywords.]The Historical Treatment of Women’s RightsIn the early colonial days of America, women were seen as nothing but objects to men. Women were there just for the sole purpose of birthing children, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of their husbands. They weren’t allowed an education, or to have a job. Women were viewed negatively because of their emotional nature and very often viewed as “weak”, so men thought they could be controlled very easily, and so they were. In this colonial period, the importance of a family unit had control over everything. Gender roles was a learned behavior from early childhood. Women in this century were taught that they were lesser than a man and that they had to do any and everything to make their husbands happy. Women at the age of 13 were expected to fill the roles of grown women duties. Many young girls were married off at a very young age and already fulfilling their women duties. Punishment arose for women who did not follow the societal values and rules, were punished. Mainly punishment was publicized to embarrass and mortify women who misbehaved and went against societal norms. So, since women had little to no rights, they could not divorce their husbands without his agreement, whether or not it was a domestic violence situation, there was no protection by the courts for women, so there was no escape from that lifestyle. With little protection from the court system, little to no education, being housebound, women truly were 100% objectified and during this time, it seemed to be no way out. Women were criticized for everything that went outside societal norms, such as expressing sexuality, they could not wear clothes that showed skin, and they were made to please their husbands. Women who did not want children were sometimes forced to by rape, (Burroughs,2016). Not having kids was out of the question because it was viewed as a “woman’s” duty. Women in the 1700s were used basically as domestic servants, if a woman was not married, she would be expected to go work in another household as a domestic servant and help another family with domestic chores (Burrough,2016) In the 1800s, women were still second-class citizens and expected to be domestic housewives. However, the fight for women’s rights started to arise during this time period and the roles for women also started to make a big change as well. During the 1800s, women took on jobs that men previously had worked, such as factories. The reason for this was because of WW1, while men were off at war fighting for this country, women had to fulfill the “men” roles. While most women fulfilled these factory job roles, working on the assembly line, that did not come easy and that did not mean that they were remotely respected within the workplace. Women often working in these factories faced discrimination as far as wages, women were making two-thirds less of what a man would make working the assembly line. Wages were low, but women had to work to earn their rights to do anything. (Burroughs, 2016)The opportunity to work outside of the home gave women a sense of independence, despite the low wages. Women had the chance to be able to support themselves and gain experience in the work field. During this time, many organizations that helped support the working women started to grow. This organization called the “Female protective union” was an organization that not only protected women in the workplace but also wanted to improve the workplace conditions (2016). This organization helped increase wages and reduce the number of hours a woman had to work in a day. This organization was established in 1850, it also helped empower women to go out into the harsh world and make their way into it. Another milestone during this time was the women’s suffrage movement. This movement began in 1848 and its goal was to fight for a woman’s right to vote. Its first pioneer was Susan B. Anthony, who was one of the leaders of this movement. Susan was a women’s rights activist who traveled around and gave speeches urging women to vote. She also fought internationally for women’s rights and played a big role in the creating of International Council of Women which was an organization that fought for basic human rights for women internationally (Styer,2005). She also had a hand in the Temperance Movement, which was a movement that pushed to reduce the consumption of alcohol. This movement wanted to reduce violence within the household, increase employment, and reduce family neglect and spousal abuse due to alcohol. Susan ended up collecting 28,000 signatures in support of the temperance movement, and the petition for prohibition, and although the prohibition had failed, Susan was still a big part of women’s history and continue to help women gain their rights. In 1866, the American Equal Rights Association was created. This association, led by Susan B. Anthony, was to establish equal rights amongst all American citizens regardless of sex, race, and ethnicity (Hayward,2018). Anti-slavery was also fought for during this association. Anthony and her partner Lucy Stone not only wanted to fight for women’s equal opportunities and rights, but they also wanted to fight for African American’s rights as well, especially African American women. However, despite their efforts, in 1869, the American Equal Rights Association came to an unfortunate end (2018). But the association coming to an end, birthed the idea of the American Women Suffrage Association, which in total fought for equal pay for women within the workplace. Its leader, Lucy Stone, created the AWSA to fight for many things such as, advocating for easier divorce laws, and fighting for equal rights and pay for women in the workplace. The AWSA also designed what was called a “woman’s journal” which was the overall voice for the women’s movement (2018). These organizations guided women’s history and the starter points for the fight for a woman’s rights within this country. This time, women had opinions and a voice, so they started to use their voice to fight for what they wanted most, their freedom to do as they pleased. (Kappanadze, 2018). In the 1900s, an icon for women was Rosie the Riveter. Rosie worked in factories and shipyards during WW2, she was the star of a campaign that encouraged women that they could “do it” and recruited female workers to work in industries during the war (Bellou,2016). She was a dominant figure that sent women the message that they could do “men” based work such as factory work. Her campaign started a chain of jobs for women in the 1900s such as nursing jobs within the war (Bellou,2016). Many females could work as teachers, midwives, dressmakers/ clothing makers, and domestic servants. So, resources started really becoming available to women and more jobs were open to them that were closed to them before (2016). What really helped with this transition of women not being able to work to now women being able to work in more jobs was the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a law that said people can not get discriminated against in the workforce by race, sex, religion, and ethnicity. Although this law sounded great for women who wanted to work, the law did not include women at first so it did not really benefit them. Congress still did not believe in gender equality which was why women were absent from this bill until the very last second. Congress decided to include women into the bill in order for the bill to get passed but that still did not stop the discrimination. While women were able to get jobs as nurses and teachers, they were still not able to take on male-dominated careers such as law and medicine (2016). It did not matter of a woman’s capability to do that male-dominated job, she could’ve been the best at that job but society did not let a woman have that job because they still valued men over women (2016).Fast forward to 1964, John F. Kennedy is president and he passed a law called the Equal Pay Act. This labor law aim was to abolish unequal wages between men and women within the workplace. It forbids employers to pay men and women different salaries based on their sex (Livermore,2013). And it was the first bill in our nation’s history that wanted to help with sex discrimination within the workplace. Even though this act was a step in the right direction, there were so many other problems that women would face within the workplace besides equal pay. One of the problems that arose during this time was the sexual harassment a woman would face in her place of work. Since women were becoming more independent and able to travel alone and work, they had to deal with a lot of harassment from men. Women were expected to not act out sexual advances as aggressively as men. Since women were still seen as objects in a man’s eyes, there were many prostitution rings that specifically were designed to service a man because of his sexual needs. In the 1900s, women were fighting a battle of their bodies. They had to come up with a defense mechanism in case they were to get raped because that was also very common back then, and even now in the 21st century (2013).Another issue that women faced within the workplace was gender discrimination, even though the Equal Pay Act passed and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed, women still did not get taken seriously when wanting to apply or take over what was considered to be a man’s job, such as a management position, or a physical labor position. Eleanor Roosevelt tried to abolish gender inequality because she knew it was a huge issue and it personally affected her as well. Her plan was to get a big team of women and encourage her husband’s office officials to hire them, which gave these women an opportunity. Eleanor was a feminist and fought for social justice issues and of course women’s rights. She encouraged women to get involved in politics despite Congress not wanting women involvement let alone valuing their opinions (Newdom,2013). She actually helped with limiting the hours that an employer could force a woman to work. During this time, many women had lost their jobs during the Great Depression. but during the expansion of government programs many secretarial and clerk positions started to arise and give women an opportunity to work again. But the Social Security Act discriminated against women who had worked in agriculture or as domestic slaves, they were not included into the act at all (Newdom, 2013). Unemployment insurance in the 1900s was said to only be applicable to people who had an extensive work record, which during this time women did not have a long history of work records, so it automatically cut them out of the deal. Also, most women did not receive unemployment insurance because of the refusal of taking a suitable job because of how it interfered with their house duties (2013). The ADC program, which was a program that provided aid to families with dependent children, offering little assistance and very little assistance to a child of a married mother. So even though there were programs and advocates fighting for women’s rights at this time, it still did not change the fact that when they got these job opportunities, they were still getting discriminated against, making it super hard for them. In the early 2000s, women’s privileges and rights have come very far. Women are allowed to vote, get an education, work in a male-dominated role even though it is still looked down upon or viewed as “strange”. Women in this century are able to do everything a man can do, but that does not mean women aren’t getting discriminated against still in everyday life, but especially in the workplace. Women who have children get little financial assistance for child care services, so they are forced to use large portions of their own wages in order for them to be able to get the services needed. Many single moms who can not afford childcare services such as daycare, have to take off work or miss work to take care of their children, which brings on a whole lot of financial issues. Another law that interferes with a woman’s work is the Medical Leave Act. This act allows a parent to be on a leave of absence to take care of a sick child. In the U.S. there is no paid leave (Livermore, 2013). Parents who have to take the leave have to sacrifice getting paid and being able to survive for so long without getting paid. As far as sexual harassment against women in the workplace, it still very much exists. Here recently in the year of 2018, we have heard of the “me too” movement, which is a movement that women are starting to come forward about being sexually harassed by males, but especially their male co-workers or subordinates. This movement outed many powerful and wealthy men such as Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, among many other movie directors and managers. What was so shocking about these claims was the evidence shown, and the dozens of women who came forward. Being a woman in an industry that sexualizes women already, makes matters worse. But imagine having been sexually abused by your boss, but not being able to say anything in fear of losing all you have. There are sexual harassment laws in places such as the Title Vll, that prohibits workplace discrimination against different sex, and race. But even though we have this law, we as American’s see this workplace harassment against women every day. In 2008, Barack Obama was elected as president and he wanted to help the American people, including women and minorities. He believed in fair rights for all people, and to start that, in 2009 the case of Lily Ledbetter v Goodyear Tire and Rubber took place and changed history for the working woman. This law came about when “Lily” who was a manager at Goodyear Tires had filed a lawsuit claiming that she had made significantly less than her two male counterparts who were in the same work positions as her. However, the Supreme Court later overturned her case because they decided that a person was not able to report wage discrimination if more than 180 days have already passed (Kenton, 2018). Even though Lily was left defeated, after the supreme court ruled in her male counterpart’s favor, she is still an advocate today and still is fighting for women to get treated fairly within the workplace. After two years of her hearing, President Obama overturned their decision and passed what is now called the “Fair Pay Act”. This act allows employees to report unfair pay no matter how much time has already passed before the employee initially found out that they were getting paid unfairly. It also ensures that workplace discrimination does not happen at all and gives women the power to fight back when they feel that because of their gender, that they are being discriminated against (Kenton,2018). This act was one of many things that President Obama put in place to protect women in the workplace, it is also still relevant after his term was up in 2016.Women are always fighting to be equal; it is no different from today or the past, women are always fighting to become 100% equal to their male counterpart’s. ReferencesBellou, A. (2013). Occupations after WWll: The legacy of Rosie the Riveter. Retrieved from: . Burroughs, G. (2016). Not Going Back: Encyclopedia of Social Work. 26(4), 20-20.Brandwein, R. (2013). Women: overview. Encyclopedia of Social Work.doi:10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.630Jansson, B. (2018). The Reluctant Welfare State. Boston, MA: Cengage.Hayward, N. (2018). Susan B. Anthony. Retrieved from:, W. (2018). Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Retrieved from:, M. (2013). Employment and Unemployment. Encyclopedia of Social Work. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.126 McCutcheon, K. (2014). Discrimination: Encyclopedia of Social Work. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013Newdom, F. (2013). Eleanor Roosevelt: Encyclopedia of Social Work. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.778Pollard, W. (2013). Civil Rights: Encyclopedia of Social Work. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.60ReferencesFootnotes1[Add footnotes, if any, on their own page following references. For APA formatting requirements, it’s easy to just type your own footnote references and notes. 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