In the course of history, the status of women underwent several dramatic changes. First of all, the American Revolution gave rise to the debate about the rights of women in the community. However, at the end of the eighteenth century, the legacies of the colonialism were very strong, and according to this tradition, women could play only subordinate roles in the community. For instance, they did not have access to formal education (Cott 65).
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This is why they became economically dependent on males. Furthermore, one should speak about the strong suffragist movement which emerged in the middle of the nineteenth century. It was closely related to the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. At that time, many women argued that they were also denied many civil privileges (Cott 204). This is why many of them struggled for the right to vote. Additionally, one should focus on the so-called Progressive Ear which culminated in the Nineteenth Amendment that gave women the right to vote. Finally, one should speak about the changes in legislation that took place in the second half of the nineteenth century. They eliminated many of the discriminatory practices aimed against women.
Legal or political discrimination
Currently, women do not face any legal or political discrimination. For instance, there are no explicit or documented laws which can prevent them from occupying the positions of authority. Nevertheless, there are some practices which indicate that they can be underprivileged sometimes. For instance, one can mention such practices as glass ceiling or denial of promotion to women only on the basis of their gender (Abelda 7). This is why one should not suppose that gender stereotypes or prejudices have been completely eradicated. They can profoundly affect the lives of many women. These are some of the main problems that should be addressed.
Identify several constructs of femininity and masculinity
It is possible to identify several constructs of femininity and masculinity. They are mostly related to the gender roles that males and females are supposed to play. For instance, one can mention the assumption according to which women’s duties are primarily related to the education of children. In contrast, men are supposed to act as breadwinners in the family. These constructs are conveyed through various mass media. In many cases, these stereotypes do not correspond to the real behavior of people; however, they still remain popular, especially in mass media.
GLBT community: discrimination in the United States
For a long time, the members of GLBT community were discriminated in the United States. The Puritan culture and ethics condemned homosexuality or deviation from gender roles (Young-Bruehl, 173). These individuals could face criminal prosecution and public ostracism. In the nineteenth century, their behavior was classified as a crime against nature and it could lead to imprisonment of a person (West 15).
The defense of unconventional sexual orientation was raised only at the beginning of the twentieth century. Various political activities believed that the struggle for equality had to include the rights of GLBT community. However, even in the second half of the twentieth century, gays or lesbians could face legal prosecution in various parts of the United States. Discriminatory laws against these people were eliminated only in 2003. In particularly, one should refer to the famous case Lawrence v. Texas (Sears 505). Therefore, one can say that the changes in the status of GLBT community are the result of continuous political activism.
GLBT people face: various forms of discrimination
At present, GLBT people face various forms of discrimination. In particularly, they cannot register same-sex marriages in many parts of the United States. For instance, it is impossible to register same-sex unions in Alabama, Arkansas, or North Carolina.
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Furthermore, these couples can adopt a child only in some jurisdiction of the United States. Apart from that, these individuals are still reluctant to speak about their sexual orientation because many people are biased people with a different sexual orientation. Therefore, one can argue that GLBT activism is still very strong in the United States. To a great extent, the efforts of these people can change the attitudes and decisions of policy-makers. However, this process can be very time-consuming.
Life of GLBT community
There are several political and social issues that are relevant to the life of GLBT community. One of the most disputed questions is the registration of same-sex marriages. The main problem is that the official recognition of this partnership is related to various legal privileges. For example, one can speak about the right to inherit the property of a husband. Furthermore, one should pay attention to same-sex parenting.
This problem is so contested because the state denies GLBT people the right to adopt children. Moreover, one should not disregard the problems related to employment and job security. Admittedly, there is no legal discrimination against these people, but very often, the managers can be prejudiced against them only because of their sexual orientation. This is why they can be denied opportunities for promotion. These are the main problems that should be resolved by policy-makers and public organizations.
Abelda, Randy. Glass Ceilings and Bottomless Pits: Women’s Work, Women’s Poverty, Atlanta: South End Press, 1997. Print.
Cott, Nancy. No Small Courage: A History of Women in the United States, New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. Print.
Sears, James. Youth, Education, and Sexualities: An International Encyclopedia, Boston: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2005. Print.
West, Donald. Sociolegal Control of Homosexuality: A Multi-Nation Comparison, New York: Springerm 1997. Print.
Young-Bruehl, Elisabeth. The Anatomy of Prejudices, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1998. Print.