In the 21st century, feminism, like in the past, was a great challenge. Male dominance is evident to everyone in society, particularly in corporate environments. This dominance is an illustration, ranging from mistreatment to roles which could build up a person’s appreciation. This paper reflects on a number of articles expressing the burden on women every day. Power Plays
The first article by Burk discusses the diminishing power of women in the marketplace. In her discussion, she illustrates the plight of the women in terms of power and how women are unable to use the same power to influence perceptions in the corporate world. The author talks about women as being part of the minority groups together with black men. The women do not get the opportunity to be in leadership positions even in bigger companies. Even in companies such as Citigroup in which women are dominant in terms of overall numbers, the executives and officials are majorly men. As such, Burk’s illustration indicates the pain that women have to go through, given that they also are not able to invite friends to be part of their company as that would be labeled as rebellion or furthering of their own interests. Maybe to counteract that notion of furthering their agendas, women need to focus on performing very highly so that their value in those organizations grow to a level of being indispensable.
Another power play highlighting the plight of women in the corporate world is the issue of compromised societal standards. Still, there is the aspect of the power loyalty being too strong for loyalty to race. It is quite true that as men further their interests in power, the decay in the society becomes even worse. Gender differences may lead to denial of power simply because an individual is bent on frustrating the other gender. Such a move may be counter-effective. As such, there is the need for the development of reforms that may not immediately change the role of women in society. However, those reforms would then improve the circumstances that make the society hard to govern due to the loyalty for power inherent in the male gender.
The suggestion that power combined with group loyalty is well capable of overcoming an individual’s moral stance also works against women especially in relation to the women rights. Women are often less likely to engage in group actions that may hurt them as individuals compared to men. Men are risk averse and when motivated towards a certain course, may work towards furthering that course regardless of personal thought. As such, when men have the power, and they also have the numbers in a corporate world, such as in an office environment, it becomes very hard for a woman’s suggestions to be accepted. A practical and more recent example is the manner in which Hillary Clinton failed in the elections in 2016. Most assuredly, most men voted for Hillary. Due to the disjointed nature of women as a group, one of their own fell, especially given that some of the women also voted against themselves. Women, for this reason, are their own worst enemies. When men are united behind one of their own species, women find it hard to combine their togetherness with the power when they have it.
Queering Black Female Heterosexuality
According to Springer, the sexuality of the black woman determines whether or not they would be respected in the boardrooms or if they will be dismissed. It is also suggested in her article that being asexual and able to handle her family determines the black woman’s support even in workplace environments such as boardrooms or meetings. The act of relating a person’s sexual behavior and on-the-job character is absolutely subjective and poses a threat to the empowerment of a modern day black woman.
Furthermore, traditionally, it is known that men are the ones required to get attracted to ladies. As such, ladies who stare for long periods at passing men are labeled fast and unable to control their desires. In the black community, being fast also entails a woman driving a car on her own. The thought that women are not supposed to drive cars is insensitive, to say the least. In actual sense, in an ideal environment, women who are empowered and able to fend for their families with or without the man’s support provide a good cushion for the family in situations where the man loses his job. A woman who strives to work and focuses on producing has a higher chance of changing her society than the ones who sit down and succumb to societal pressures of being slaves of sex at the expense of their husbands.
Springer also suggests in her article that today’s black communities; women are viewed only in deviant and victimized ways. Essentially, it is impossible to create a positive image in the presence of a people who continue to focus only on one’s bad sides even when there are other better things to focus on. In a world where those women who express themselves in sexual ways are more likely to get more fans than those who are more reserved, it is hard to deny the right of people to show off what they have. Women need to be given a break. They need to be left to use their bodies in sexual ways if that is the way through which livelihoods will be met. In addition, as the sexuality issues grow, it is not just enough to be a woman, to be a black and a woman is a deadly combination. In the current century, black young men are mishandled. It is impossible to imagine, then, what black young women might be going through in their day to day lives, following pressure both at home to be decent, and in the society to be affluent.
Lullabies Behind Bars
It is a huge concern in societies when pregnant women are caught in a criminal activity and as such require to arresting and sentencing to prison. The plight of people in prison is well known to virtually anyone who has come across an ex-convict or watched the news or even in cinemas. The plight of women when imprisoned is even worse. Women do not have the physique to compete in the prisons. As such, the idea of pregnant women being prison sentenced is not one of the best. Schwartzapfel reports that most states are grappling with the procedures involved in imprisoning expectant mothers. It is actually not a good picture painted when such women are arrested. However, if extra consideration is put on the criminal women who are expectant, it would most likely lead to a leniency program for those victims. Whenever there is any form of leniency on criminals, the aftermath may well produce an increased rate of crime. As such, it may not be appropriate to fail to imprison women who are expectant, but rather, there needs to be special care in correctional facilities that take care of them.
While taking about correctional facilities accommodating expectant women, it is impossible to think about such a situation without talking to children who are born in prison. According to Schwartzapfel, children who grow up in a prison environment may acquire traits that are not so welcomed in the outside world. This argument is quite true considering the fact that every once in a while, those children at the correctional facility may observe the beatings. Sometimes, they may be also influenced by the prisoners as they grow up when they are sent for drugs among other social killers of progress in most prison settings. Ultimately, women who are mothers to children in prisons face tough challenges struggling to explain why they are in such a facility and building in them morals that may not quite exist in the immediate society they find themselves in.
Another case involving prison births also discussed by Schwartzapfel is the scenario where children are taken to stay with their grandparents at a young age. Such a situation mostly takes place if the mother’s sentence goes for longer than 6 months. In such a scenario, the small child may end up developing and growing up well and in a healthy society, yet as an orphan. Similarly, Schwartzapfel also suggests that the mother-child bond for the first few months is vital for a baby’s development. As such, there are certain correctional facilities that allow the baby and the mother to interact for a certain period until the baby is grown enough to stay with relatives or foster care. This importance of women as parents also emphasizes the need for special treatment for imprisoned women. Still, for the interest of the baby, it may be wise to come up with a sentence that allows for the baby to visit the mother frequently. In terms of child health, the first six months of the baby’s life require exclusive breastfeeding, which further strengthens the argument on a discretely moderated structure of managing imprisoned new mothers.
Opening Pandora’s Box: Adding Classism to the Agenda
It is impossible to have class equality while still having different classes. That argument is true in the case of classes since classes have a sort of ordinal scale where there is a perceived increase in superiority as one move to higher classes. Economic classes by nature are arrived at in levels, which makes it impossible to ignore the inequalities within them. However, for a number of reasons, class inequality may not be used as an analogy for gender inequality. Firstly, gender is not a classification with levels, it is a categorization for determining mutually exclusivity. Secondly, gender is a social issue, not economical. In Economics, people are often classified based on wealth. However, in sociology, categories are based on location, appearances such as race, and genome or physical attributes, such as gender. It is, therefore, inappropriate to say that one’s genes or physical attributes compared to someone else as that would be subjective.
Again, Yeskel argues that there would be no success with regards to fighting against, racial inequality, heterosexism, among other social issues without first adding the class issue on to the agenda. In response to this statement, gender is a sensitive issue that cuts across classes. As such it is hard to deny the fact that dealing with class issues would help resolve various gender issues. However, since the poor have their different perceptions of gender, which is contrary to the rich’s perceptions, even eliminating the class concerns may end up not helping bring about gender equality.
A Day without Feminism
Baumgardner and Richards make a significant observation that during the period when the article “A Day without Feminism” was written, ladies were not allowed the opportunity to do certain work or take certain subjects such as Calculus and Physics. The conditions have improved over the years with more and more young women venturing into medicine, programming, engineering and aviation, fields that were previously out of reach for them. As such, the conditions are improving for the female gender.
Consequently, the fact that ladies may be mistreated because of failure to put on makeup, or hairdo, or be judged for getting pregnant is absolutely uncalled for. At the time of publishing the article, New York was the only place that pregnant ladies would obtain permission for an abortion. There was the other option of going abroad for the same task (Baumgardner and Richards 36). However, inasmuch as there is a bitter feeling about the mistreatment of the ladies without hairdos, abortion is still up for debate especially since it is an act that goes beyond just the gender differences.
No More Miss America
The Authors of No More Miss America, came up with one of the most misleading aspects of females in the form of “Slavery of Beauty”. It is enslaving that the males demand female beauty of very high standards, somewhat unachievable. Females, on the other hand, are gullible and by default find themselves succumbing to the same demands. The female responses to the ludicrous demands by males are one of the best examples of how women are misused. Furthermore, there is the observation that Miss America competitions are only a way for the people to use the women, wind them up and dump them. That winding up of women and misuse is quite unfair, given the promotional role that those women play by giving their all in the competitions.
It is further evident from the article that men always want to be treated as kings or nobles and just make the lady participants feel like slaves. The pageant exercises as identified by the authors only enslave the participants to the high heels and low-status roles. Those heels are by no means easy to walk on and the filthiness of the young women walking back and forth is just a demonstration of how much the female roles are diminished.
Too Poor To Parent
It is unfortunate that the majority of single motherhood homes suffer from disowning by the father of the children, who are usually former boyfriends. From the article, the children are taken to foster care homes by the authorities because their single mothers are unable to meet their needs. The authorities, in such scenarios, are often not interested in hearing what the mothers have to say. There is often the lack of understanding of the situations or circumstances leading to the great lack which culminates in the inability to provide for the children. Ultimately, the children are lost. It is a pity that there has not been sufficient action by the government to incorporate an understanding of the overall factors leading to the lack. At least there needs to be an effort to stabilize such families or support them for a certain period until they are comfortable.
The article also highlighted that poverty is actually not a reason for the children being taken away from the mothers. The authorities justify their work that they are responding to the mother’s inability to fend for the family. It is so unfortunate that there would be that kind of a subjective excuse. In every way, it does not solve the situation but rather postpones the current problem and puts the mother at greater risk of developing psychological complications.
Maid to Order
Ehrenreich describes very well the tough work that maids do. The job description of maids is dirty, to say the least. Scrubs on urine or sticky food remains on the floor and carpets are just but examples. The work environment is also often not too friendly. For instance, the intentional dirtying of the floors in rebellion against a maid’s work is not uncommon in most rich families. Being a maid is a female-dominated job and when they suffer, more other women suffer implicitly as a result. Working terms for maids need to be improved to cater for the risk of catching disease associated with the work.
Also identified in the article was the fact that even after years of revolution, still, wives do twice the amount of work that husbands do in an average household. This is not right given that in most of those families, women also pay the bills and shop. Essentially, the male counterparts are not applying adequate effort to change things. While solutions may not be on the horizon, women need to be given a break. Since authority would still be on the man as the more dominant, daring and physically muscular of the two parties, it would be appropriate to be more considerate of the amount of help the women get in the family. If societies do not pay close attention to these issues of support to the woman in the family, the work and development that has taken place over the past few decades will all be wiped out. It must never be allowed that women be overworked in the family context.
In the article Southern discomfort, one of the most evident themes from the report is the lack of freedom of expression, mostly be ladies when it comes to male sexual terms such as the penis. It is impossible to imagine explaining sexual matters without having to mention sexual parts. At some stage, the use of euphemisms has got to stop and the explanations made more practical. One would feel that female Biology teachers also face equally tough times communicating their ideas to the student with mere drawing without practical illustrations. The government may need to intervene to enable women in leadership and mentoring positions to be given room to communicate clearly with real life examples. The only way to fight HIV/AIDS in America and beyond is to embrace the challenge it poses and striving towards greater freedom all round in all sectors concerned with the pandemic.
Empowerment of women to be independent is also one way to foster greater help for those around them. In the article, a scenario is presented where a lack of independence led to the failure of a woman to access services because she did not have a car to use to access Davis’ events. If only the woman had had a car, she would not have had to miss the event. The scenario highlights the need and importance of women empowerment where women can comfortably own cars and not feel threatened of their societal roles. With greater empowerment, the women support teams would then be able to join together and form greater forces to counter the ideas of lack of freedom of expression.
Facebook for Women vs. Facebook Designed by Feminists
The first thing one identifies in the article is the difference between Feminists and Women. The fact that most women are having feminist principles and most feminists are women is inconclusive since it does not shed more light on the difference in stance between the two groups. However, women can only do to themselves a lot of disservices when they oppose the efforts by feminist groups. Feminism may be complex but that does not change their motives. Feminists’ interests are mostly in favor of improving the current situations faced by women.
The article also identified Feminism as a political tool with political goals and outcomes. Feminism and politics are inseparable. Facebook bearing a feminist design would help further the interests of females and would be feminine-centered. It is true that the Feminist-design of Facebook would be more willing to hear out what the women want to do when on social media platforms. Such a Facebook type would be predominantly careful to advocate for their freedoms, rights, and services as well as provisions for equality basing from the system of constructing the site.
What Pussy Riot Taught the World?
In the article by Petrou, the delicate choice of “Pussy Riot” is symbolic and perfect for a group with the intention as the one they had. Whenever a man hears the word pussy, there are a number of thoughts that would ideally cross their minds. As such, the name of the crew would be misleading to the sexually active males. Someone else may interpret the name to mean an offensive movement (riot) by married women not to offer their husbands sex (pussy). An opposition to the movement in some ways is justifiable given that most people who are not feminists would take such a title and intention as provocative. It was also of a great show that once released from prison, they were quite positive about the opportunities for change ahead stating that “they would use their experience for future projects”. That kind of pluckiness is very important for anyone fighting against forces in a war that they are less favored to win. Their refusal to regret their previous actions also is an indication of exemplary character.
However, the state reaction against the actions by Pussy Riot’s attack on a church was quite understandable. It is not right to disturb the functioning of other parts of the society just in the name of desiring to be heard. Even for feminists, the war might be physical but not disruptive. The war is more political and mental than it may appear in the eyes of those who are not involved. It was a move that made it hard for anyone to defend them adequately before their being put behind bars.
Fundamentalism and the Control of Women
Often in churches, women are treated as people with low social roles and with no ability to defend themselves. It goes down to the perception of the fundamentally religious communities and people. In such communities, women usually do not have the freedom to take control of situations. Whatever a woman does, they are often told to take initiative to progress, yet when they take responsibility, they are required to “submit” themselves. Religious institutions need to be moderate in their exercising of authority towards women in their midst.
The Five Sexes, Revisited
At the end of the day, once women’s true values are recognized, one challenge will come, to fight for the rights of the intersexual. According to Fausto-Sterling, some of the most masculine people are actually females. It is mostly a matter of chromosomes, gene makeup, and the dominant organs. Many babies have been declared males just for having a testis. However, the possession of female genitalia is quite underrated. As such, it is imperative that if a baby possesses female genitalia ad well capable of performing reproductive functions, they are allowed to rule over their sexes. The idea of five sexes might work but there is also the risk of developing ambiguity such as when one is classified as a “herm” yet their bodies respond like females and not as males at all. There is sure to be controversy, even if the five sexes were to be introduced as a measure of neutrality.
Also, from the report on The Five Sexes, Revisited, there is the great need for support of women initiatives. As the threat of the 5 sexes comes alive now more than ever before, women need to stand for their rights. Even with an introduction of the extra sexes, the people allocating the sexes are more likely to label the healthy babies – males and the unhealthy or those appearing weak females even when the labeling ought to be herms, ferms or merms. Consequently, the use of the five sexes would only result in further confusion and chaos as to what gender classifications a baby ought to be in.
Economic classes need to be overlooked so as to ensure that equality is attained sooner for the sake of all women currently suffering. Women also need to keep working at the employment places so that in case the husbands leave or the boyfriends desire to leave, then, the children will not be taken away as well. Unity and independence are fundamental for the success of any feminist efforts. With greater independence and togetherness, comes greater voice. The ability to stand for oneself as a woman will play a very significant role in placing women at places with bargaining power when it comes to fighting for equality.