This blog is going to focus on Woman’s role in 1960 society and how it relates to the themes of: inequality and different ways of thinking.

women of the world unite

From a young age, girls are led to believe that no matter what their dream is they can achieve it, but; in this world, that idea seems truly fantastical. The author of Keys to the Corner Office, Rhonda Rhyne is a woman. Her book is all about gender inequality and how woman must work much harder to prove themselves in this world. Though true, the women of the 1960’s had much bigger problems, and; their efforts have gotten us to where we are today. This thing that people call the “decade of change for feminism” took much more than 10 years. Truthfully, it’s still happening. And it was definitely happening way earlier than 1960. Pop culture of the 1960’s gave light to the idea of gender inequality, and; despite all the advances that have been made towards gender equality since, the fair treatment of women is still very much an issue in the workplace, in the home, and in the movies today.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS:

  1. How have the roles of women changed since the 1960’s?
  2. How has pop culture of the 1960’s affected peoples opinions on gender inequality?

An article from Vanity Fair explains what people of the nineteen teens thought like could be like with Feminism. The article does not specify anything about the author but based on the topic I feel that it’s safe to assume the author, L. L. Jones was a white female. Given the fact that racism was still very much an issue back then, we know it’s most likely a white person. Then you consider the magazine, Vanity Fair (a still popular female magazine), and you realize that L. L. Jones must be female. With the title, “When Women Run Things: A Glimpse Into a Feminine Future” you know the article is feminist.

The nature of the article tells us that the article was intended for a female audience as a way to fuel feminine empowerment. The idea of the article is that it shouldn’t be a big deal to want gender equality. It asks the question of why men find it amusing that women have aspirations in life other than being a house-wife. It also addresses how the author, and most people, should react when women are elected into government. Now, almost 100 years after this article was published, our country is still working towards gender equality and though we have made some major steps, we are far from equal.

The inequality between male and female in the workforce is a never-ending, ever-present issue. Even in Disney films like Mary Poppins you see the excitement of women protesting for voting rights. Mrs. Banks seems more excited about the idea of suffrage than about actual societal reform but, the film is not meant to be a feminist film. The story has nothing to do with woman’s suffrage, it only gives context. The American film, set in England in the 1910’s, demonstrates “how a specifically female force can change the world forever” It’s almost as though, Mary Poppins is a symbolism of feminism. She intentionally refuses to follow Mr. Banks’ rules, offering the family a new kind of freedom.

Equality of rights

This image is of the Alice Paul Memorial March of 1977. The words on the sign are the words of the Equal Rights Amendment that was passed in 1972. Alice Paul had died in June, two months earlier. She was a leader of the United States Suffrage Movement. Paul dedicated her life to gender equality. In 1913, Alice organized and executed a protest/parade for the rights of women. No police protection was provided and the intent of the protest was to change the mind of President Wilson, who, at the time was against women’s rights. In contrast, the parade of 1977 had police escorts. President Carter (who was already supportive of ERA, Equal Rights Amendment), was there meeting with women’s groups. He also passed out pens that were used to sign a proclamation that August 26th (the day of the parade) would now be known as Women’s Equality Day.

For my historical monograph I chose to read The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan. Betty Friedan wrote during the beginning of the woman’s movement of the 1960’s. Her goal for this book was to address the current situation for women as it was happening. Not simply just to address something that everyone knew was happening, but to really bring light to the issue at hand.

The main idea of The Feminine Mystique is that woman’s role in society (which is suggested to be that of a wife, mother, and/or housewife) is a false notion. In this book, Betty Friedan addresses the idea that women who once had to be wives and mothers and housewives could now be freed of that due to new technologies (detail one). She also talks about how women are criticized for wanting to do something in addition to/ or instead of these things that are said to be “essential to womanhood”(detail two). This mystique denied everyone benefits of a world in which all people could work to their fullest potential (detail three).

we can do it

In January of 1973, the American Journal of Sociology, published an article about the origins of the woman’s Liberation Movement. The article, written by Jo Freeman, is appropriately titled: Changing Women in a Changing Society. The article is a study of the origins of the two branches (labeled the younger and older branches) of the Woman’s Liberation Movement.

More specifically, the article talks about the prerequisites, so to speak, of the movement. It is suggested that a communications network must be present in the social base of any movement in order for the movement to be more than temporary. The article addresses these prerequisites in order for each of us to understand what was going on before this movement even began that caused it to be as successful as it was and is.

Nixon Inauguration Protests

The American Journal of Sociology published an article in November of 1978 that offers an analysis of gender inequality progression and/or digression based on censuses between 1950 and 1970. It suggests that our job market has been stable and mostly unchanging. A separate article published by The New York Times in February of 2013, talks about the reason why gender inequality has ceased since the late 90’s. The author, Stephanie Coontz addresses the percentages of working mothers between 1994 and 2007. The surveys in the article suggest that progress for gender equality in the work force may have actually reversed. In 1994, two-thirds of Americans rejected the notion that “it was much better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and woman takes care of the home and family.'” However, “[b]etween 1994 and 2007, the percentage of Americans preferring the male breadwinner/female homemaker family model actually rose to 40 percent from 34 percent.” In addition to that, “[i]n 1994, a quarter of stay-at-home mothers said full-time work would be ideal. By 2007, only 16 percent of stay-at-home mothers wanted to work full time.” “When family and work obligations collide, mothers remain much more likely than fathers to cut back or drop out of work. But unlike in the 1960’s. this is not because most people believe this is the preferable order of things. Rather, it is often a reasonable response to the fact that our political and economic institutions lag way behind our personal ideals.” The issue with this situation is that, “nearly 30 percent of opt-out moms who [want] to rejoin the labor force [are] unable to do so, and of those who [do] return, only 40 percent [land] full-time professional jobs.”

It has now been 50 years since the woman’s movement of the 60’s and, though a lot has changed; there is still much that is left to be done. An article posted on IVN quotes what Obama said in his state of the Union speech. “[H]e said, ‘Today, women make up about half of our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.’” The article addresses the question : Is Gender Inequality Still an Issue in the Workforce? The thing is that a lot of people don’t think it is because it isn’t a hot topic in the news these days. However, when you look at the statistics, you can tell that it is. That isn’t to say that we haven’t made progress, but we have a long ways to go. According to the World Economic Forum’s annual Gender Gap report, “in regards to political empowerment, the United States ranks 60th.” How is that possible with our favorite for the 2016 presidential election being a woman? Even if we elect a woman for president, the gap in gender equality will still be there.

happy no

Works Cited:

“The Alice Paul Memorial March, Washington, D.C. 1977.” The Alice Paul Memorial March, Washington, D.C. 1977. Accessed November 29, 2014. http://www.jofreeman.com/photos/AlicePaul1977.html.

Coontz, Stephanie. “Why Gender Equality Stalled.” The New York Times, February 13, 2013. Accessed November 11, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/17/opinion/sunday/why-gender-equality-stalled.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

Freeman, Jo. “Changing Women in a Changing Society”.  American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 78, No. 4, (Jan., 1973) pp 792-811

Friedan, Betty. The Feminine Mystique. New York: Dell Pub.co, 1983: 20th edition

Lubin, Wrangel. “Is Gender Inequality Still an Issue in the Workforce.” IVN,

March 17, 2014. Accessed September 2, 2014.

http://ivn.us/2014/03/17/gender-inequality-still-an-issue/

Jane, L.L. “When Women Run Things.” Vanity Fair. 1918. Accessed October 20, 2014.

http://oldmagazinearticles.com/Suffragette_article_pdf

Rhyne, Rhonda. The Keys to the Corner Office. Seattle: Crosswalk, 2014

Snyder, David, Mark D. Hayward, and Paula M. Hudis. “The Location of Change in the Sexual Structure of Occupations, 1950-1970: Insights from Labor Market Segmentation Theory.”American Journal of Sociology: 706.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/2778262

Trowbridge, Serena. “Mary Poppins and Social Anarchy.” WordPress,

January 15, 2013. Accessed September 10, 2014

http://cultureandanarchy.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/mary-poppins-and-social-anarchy/

Image citations:

“The Alice Paul Memorial March, Washington, D.C. 1977.” The Alice Paul Memorial March, Washington, D.C. 1977. Accessed November 29, 2014. http://www.jofreeman.com/photos/AlicePaul1977.html.

http://10cities10years.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/feminism.jpg\

http://www.happyclamblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/magnet-anne-taintor-trapped.jpg

http://www.vintag.es/2012/11/iconic-photos-that-paved-way-for-civil.html

https://www.blendspace.com/lessons/qiSGVKDhDZK6Sw/betty-friedan

https://reformproject.wikispaces.com/Liana+and+Cassidy+–Women’s+Rights+Movement+1960-Present