This paper is aimed at presenting the timeline that can throw light on the history of gender discrimination in America. In particular, it is important to focus on such issues as occupational segregation, gender pay gap, education, and political representation because they determine the status of a person in the society. To a great extent, these examples can demonstrate how this problem evolved with time passing.
The proposal to provide men and women with equal portions of land is not supported the Virginia House of Burgesses (Miller, 1966). They were allowed to have only 50 acres of land (Miller, 1966, p. 201). This event is not closely discussed by historians; however, it could have profound implications for the status of males and females in the United States.
The main problem is that this decision contributed to the economic inequalities between men and women, and the legacies were noticeable for a long time. Overall, the restriction prevented many women from acquiring the positions of great authority in the new settlements.
This year is marked by the beginning of the Salem witch trials. They resulted in the execution of many people who were mostly women. This event highlighted the extent to which women were vulnerable to the prejudices of the society. Admittedly, this catastrophe cannot be explained only by gender discrimination because it also takes origins in the religious beliefs of people who instigated these trials.
However, one should keep in mind that the accusations of witchcraft could stem from the deep prejudice against women, especially those ones who were not married. Therefore, this event can also be viewed as a form of gender discrimination.
The colonies adopt laws according to which women are not allowed to possess their own property. This privilege was given only to their husbands. These laws should not be disregarded because they virtually deprived women of their self-sufficiency.
The policy of the government contributed to the formation of a patriarchal society in which women could not express their views on any significant issue such as political life of the society or its economic development. Therefore, the importance of this event cannot be underestimated.
Salem College is established. It should be noted that it was the first college established for females. It should be noted that for a long time, this college was the only educational institution that served the needs of women. One should keep in mind that the first co-educational college was founded only in 1833. This lack of attention to the education of women deprived them of many employment opportunities.
The delegates present at the Constitutional Convention decide that voting qualifications should be determined by the legislators of separate states (Vile, 2005). As a result, women are denied the right to vote in every part of the United States, except New Jersey.
This particular event is important because it lead to the exclusion of women from the political life of the society. Moreover, they did not have any direct channels for influencing the development of the society.
Females are deprived of the right to vote in New Jersey. It should be mentioned that at that time, New Jersey was the only state in which females were allowed to take part in the political life of the society. This event demonstrated that the state legislators wanted to exclude females from the political life. This problem was addressed only at the beginning of the twentieth century.
Seneca Falls Convention is organized. During this convention, various female activists discussed the issues related to the problems encountered by women. In particular, they focused on such issues as employment, education, and political representation.
This event attracted the attention of many journalists who discussed the arguments put forward by female activists. This convention was one of the landmarks in the development of the civil rights movement.
The famous Myra Clark case begins. This case was vital for the status of women because it was related to their legal rights to inherit and own property. One should bear in mind that at that time, only several states enabled women to enjoy property rights.
Therefore, the verdict of the court could have profound implications for the economic status of American women. At that time, they were struggling for the right to act as independent economic agents.
American legislators give the right to vote black men. Nevertheless, women are denied the same right. To a great extent, this controversial decision stimulated women’s right movement because at that time, many females understood that American legislators had been unwilling to promote their political empowerment. This is one of the details that be singled out.
The Congress passes legislation according to which the employees of the federal government should be given equal pay regardless of their sex. The main problem is that this right was not given to the female employees of private companies.
As a result, many females could not protect their interests in the court. The problem was resolved only in the second half of the twentieth century when legislators began to eliminate wage discrimination.
Susan Anthony is arrested for trying to vote. This event was important because it indicated that the state could take punitive action against women who were willing to take part in the political life of the country. This decision increased the tensions in the American society. At that time, the struggle for the right to vote was critical for many American women.
It is important to speak about the case which is known as Bradwell v. Illinois. According to the decision of the Supreme Court, state legislators had a right to deny women the right to work as lawyers. This event should not be overlooked because it prevented many women from entering legal profession. As a result, their views on many social problems were often overlooked by the state.
To a great extent, this Supreme Court decision can be viewed as an example of occupational segregation. One should keep in mind that the ability to practice legal profession was critical for the promotion of women’s rights.
The National Association of Colored Women is established. It should be kept in mind that this organization was important for protecting people who could be discriminated on the basis of their gender as well as race. The association was vital for supporting many underprivileged women who faced different forms of discrimination.
The New York State Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage is founded. This organization attempted to show female suffrage could not benefit the society. The formation of the organization intensified the tensions in the American society. The members of this organization were extremely critical of the increased political representation of women.
This year was marked by the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment according to which the state legislators could not deny citizens the right to vote on the basis of their sex. The change in the U.S. legislation enabled women to influence the internal and external policies of the country. Yet, it is critical to remember that the political participation of women was not welcomed by many governmental officials.
The administrators of Harvard Medical School agree to admit women. Later these restrictions on the admission of women were removed in other educational establishments. This example is important because it shows that for a long time, women were barred from the most prestigious universities such as Harvard.
Therefore, one can say that they were deprived of opportunities for achieving higher social status. It is also important to mentions that these barriers were not required by the state. In many cases, this sexism was imbedded in the policies of separate educational institutions.
It is important to speak about the case which is known as U.S. v. Ballard. This court decision limited the ability of women to act as jurors. In many cases, the lawyers were allowed to exclude female candidates who wanted to become jurors. Therefore, very often women could not express their views on various criminal cases. This is one of the issues that should be considered.
The U.S. Congress adopts Equal Pay Act which explicitly prohibits discrimination against women in the workplace. In particular, this law is related to the compensation provided to male and female workers. The adoption of this law significantly raised the income of women in the United States.
One should keep in mind that this law was supposed to eliminate different forms of discrimination that could be based on race, ethnic origin, religion or race. This legal act enabled women to protect their interests in the court and companies that were biased against female workers could be required to pay fines.
Military academies in the United States are required to admit women. It should be noted that before this event, the United States Army excluded women, even though in many cases, this institution relied on their labor.
In turn, the decision created more opportunities for women who wanted to join military organizations. However, this example also indicates that even after World War II, the American government was unwilling to promote the empowerment of women.
The discrimination against pregnant women is prohibited by the state. It should be noted for a long time, employers could easily fire women who got pregnant. Very often, pregnancy could be one of those factors that slowed down the career growth of many female employees. Moreover, female employees could not protect the position in the court.
It is important to mention the Supreme Court case known as Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire. According to this decision, a worker can sue an employer for gender pay discrimination only during the period which is limited to 180 days (Leavitt, 2013, p. 163). Therefore, this decision enhanced the legal power of companies. Furthermore, many of the discriminatory practices went unpunished.
Thus, it is possible to say that gender discrimination has not been completely discriminated, but in the course of history, the American society has made considerable achievements in the promotion of equality. Additionally, there are many legal provisions that enable women to protect their interests.
Leavitt, G. (2013). Class Conflict: The Pursuit and History of American Justice. New York, NY: Transaction Publishers.
Miller, J. (1966). The First Frontier: Life in Colonial America. New York, NY: University Press of America.
Vile, J. (2005). The Constitutional Convention of 1787: A Comprehensive. New York, NY: ABC-CLIO.