The status of women in the United States throughout history
The history of American women has been popular among many scholars, especially after 1970. In the past, historical studies were male-dominated, with women being ignored over time. Throughout the history of the United States, women had a low profile in society. They, therefore, held low profile jobs in the country, with most of them being slaves, housewives, and witches, just to mention a few. Most of them were not educated, and those that did hold little education.
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Status of women in the United States today
A lot has changed with regard to the status of women in the United States in the recent past. Women have gone against all odds to make advances in almost every field despite the high degree of discrimination in the nation. For instance, most of the professions that were thought to be male-dominated or physically strenuous have now been filled up with women who are, in fact doing well in such occupations. Nevertheless, there seems to be a level up to which women can reach and not go beyond.
Thus, despite the achievement of women in society, equality with men has never been achieved. This is evidenced by the fact that most of the top positions in the United States are still being held by men. Overall, the status of women in the United States today has risen, making most women independent. “One women’s leader says: We used to think we had to marry doctors [to achieve status and financial security]. Now we know we can be doctors ourselves” (Kane and McCabe, 2013, p.1).
Concepts of masculinity and femininity in society and media
Masculinity and femininity in society and media come about when men and women understand what it means to be of either gender. That is, a man is able to see himself as a man in society and perform the duties of a man as required by organization. The same case applies to women. For example, men are required to be the providers of their families as women take care of the domestic roles, among other duties in the homes. The media, on the other hand, plays a significant role in defining the roles of men and women in society. It should, however, be noted that there will still be instances of men describing themselves as feminine and women defining themselves as masculine.
The historical status of GLBT people
The GLBT people have been in existence for a long time in the world’s history. However, their presence was not known until after the Second World War, when most of the groups rose up. In the past, GLBT people had no say in society and in other parts of the world; they were thought to be outcasts and condemned from community. In Europe and the United States, same-sex behaviors were unacceptable in the society, and any person found guilty of that offense was considered to have committed a severe crime and punished under sodomy and sumptuary laws. Any movements for the GLBT people were held secretly since they were deemed to be illegal.
In addition to this, the GLBT people were stigmatized because of lack of access to healthcare despite having serious health risks and problems that required medical attention. “In contrast to members of many other marginalized groups, LGBT individuals frequently are invisible to health care researchers and providers” (Cruikshank, 1992, p.87).
Status of GLBT people
After several years of discrimination in society, the GLBT people formed movements to fight for their rights. Among the many activities formed was the Gay Liberation Movement of 1969 to 1974. The actions were aimed at creating awareness of gay rights and gay values. The GLBT people wanted to be liberated and allowed to practice their sexual practices without being discriminated against by society. Indeed, the GLBT people won, and today the situation is different with GLBT people publicly declaring their status in any forum. This has also minimized health risks since most of the GLBT people can receive healthcare services just like the other people. As such, they no longer suffer from stigma.
Social and political issues relevant to women and GLBT people in the U.S
Despite their liberation, the GLBT movements are still facing criticism and opposition from organizations and individuals. Critics have argued that same-sex relationships cannot be equated to marriages and should therefore be illegalized. Allowing the practice of same-sex marriages would lead to instances of polygamy hence affecting society’s look and morals. Nevertheless, the political stand on same-sex marriages has taken a different route in the United States, with the current president, Barrack Obama, approving gay marriages, something that brought a lot of controversies. Among the GLBT people, women are on the losing end since the legalization of gay marriages will leave a few men for the many women making a more significant percentage of the women unmarried due to lack of men.
Cruikshank, M. (1992). The Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement. New York: Routledge.
Kane, S., and McCabe, S. (2013). Women in the U.S Today. Web.