Women have fought for equal rights with their male peers for a long time. For a very long time, women have been marginalized and given "easy" jobs because they are thought to be the weaker sex at home, at work, and in government. While men are free to work and support the family through their income, women are frequently the preferred gender to remain at home and care for their children.

Choosing who should work and who should stop working to focus on parenthood in a family situation is difficult for both women and men. There is also inequality in the work environment as the author notes that it is easy for a man to get family-friendly working environment at a place of work as compared to women (Coontz). For instance, the writer states that, “when family and work collide, mothers remain much more likely than fathers to shorten or drop out of work.” women usually drop out of work not because they like it, but circumstances force them as the society has not provided flexibility for them as much as it has offered to men. For example, the author confirms that women are still paid less compared to their male counterparts despite having the same education level or belonging to the same job category. Furthermore, women are less likely to get jobs that offer family-friendly benefits. She adds that when a woman becomes a mother, she is subject to a lot of scrutiny and prejudice which causes her to quit work (Coontz).

The most important factor that needs to be looked at and has greatly made gender equality to stall is how women are treated unequally to men at their place of work. Despite having the same qualifications and occupying the same job group women still are underpaid when you compare to men and are subject to prejudice and scrutiny when they ask for family-friendly benefits. On the other hand, men get easy access to these benefits.

The magnitude of the gender bias against women is felt both locally and internationally. However, the United States seems to be lagging behind in efforts to enhance the situation. For example in a study conducted in 200 countries by Jody Heymann, 180 nations were found to have guaranteed paid leave to new mothers, and 81 offered paid leave to fathers. The United States did not provide any of these provisions (Coontz). In another research in 1990 out of 22 countries that participated, the US was ranked 6th in female labor participation. Furthermore, in 2010, the state had dropped to the 17th place in the rankings of the same study. The issue of gender inequality has affected many women. As at 2011, two-thirds of the younger women and 42% of the older ones considered being successful in a high paying employment was very important to them in addition to having a family.

Stephanie Coontz is the author of the article Why Gender Equality Stalled. She was contributing in the opinion column of The New York Times, February 16, 2013. In her article, Coontz has quoted the works and studies done by economists, sociologists and feminist advocates and researchers. The article is very eye-opening as it highlights the injustices the women face at work with statistics from various research institutes. The questions that should be used to lead a discussion on gender inequality are; Do women deserve family-friendly benefits at work? Are newborn mothers entitled to paid leave? Are there policies that encourage women in the USA to work?

How Middle-Class Women Navigate the Uneven Gender Revolution

The author of Negotiating Courtship: Reconciling Egalitarian Ideals with Traditional Gender Norms, Ellen Lamont, describes middle-class women as women who are well educated and independent financially. For the longest time courtship has been uneven usually favoring the men while women play the passive role. However, with the new breed of women who are educated, independent and financially stable, they have demanded equal roles during courtship.

According to Lamont, women often face social sanctions when they make moves that were traditionally a preserve for men. For instance, in her research, she found that the middle class knew very well that they could pursue men and ask for a first date, but they didn’t since they were afraid to face the sanctions (Lamont). However, these women defended themselves by referring to it as a choice which they are at liberty to make. They argue that they could have pursued the men of their liking, but they just chose to be pursued (Lamont). Therefore, they are equal to men. Women felt equal to men in financial matters as they are able to support themselves financially and so they did not find the gestures that used to grant men symbolic dominance as a risk to their independence or insinuate power within relationships.

Women are independent since they are able to make their own choices whether financial or social. They can equally contribute to the family income and have therefore alleviated the traditional notion that used to place men as authority over the family just because they were breadwinners. Nowadays it is common to find women who are breadwinners for their families and even women who earn more than their husbands.

Works Cited

Coontz, Stephanie. "Why Gender Equality Stalled." The New York Times (2013). 11 November 2017. .

Lamont, Ellen. "Negotiating Courtship: Reconciling Egalitarian Ideals with Traditional Gender Norms." Gender & Society. Sage Publications, 2014. 189-212. 12 November 2017. .

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