US Women History at the Late 20th Century
For a long time the American society had been rather particular when it came to defining specific roles for either gender. Initially, the system was somewhat rigid regarding the role of women in the society. According to Lynn (2013), the general perception was that they were not the equals of men and consequently were treated as something of second-rate citizens. It went on at least until 1920 when women were finally eligible to vote (Lynn, 2013). From then on, events took a fresh twist as elite women began advocating for freedom and privileges for themselves and their kind. Intense arguments about gender-related issues took center stage in the second half of the 20th century as women unrelentingly fought for their space in the American community. The social initiatives they undertook went a long way to redefine the American political landscape.
The American society is synonymous with its fixation on matters democracy. Nonetheless, its journey to attain its status has not been a particularly easy one. It may have made considerable strides in other quarters until the 1960s, but women were still languishing from the effects of gender inequality (Lynn, 2013). The political scenario in the U.S from the 1960s was heavily characterized by feminist movements, which sought to create a common ground for either sex in the society. Galligan (2010) provides an in-depth analysis of gender democracy in the 20th century. She examines the American woman’s predicament and views it as the precursor to the myriad feminist movements that ensued. The movements were intent on achieving freedom and social equality for all women irrespective of their social status (Napikoski, 2016). It goes without saying that these actions contributed significantly to the gender revolution in the second half of the twentieth century.
Women’s lives began to change dramatically from 1945 as they became more involved in both social and political life (Lynn, 2013). A considerable number of women had managed to acquire some form of formal education during the world war when most men had been shipped off to the battlefield. The women were not going to stop at anything. They would form movements or organize demonstrations if need be. To that effect, the National Organization for Women was established in 1966 as retaliation on the American administration for failure to provide equal employment for all (Lynn, 2013). The Miss America Protest followed it promptly in a couple of years later.
Indeed, the second half of the 20th century was the most thrilling moment in the fight for women’s liberation from the yoke of societal oppression. It did not help that men were adamant on having things remain as they were, women still managed to make an impact. Fortunately, a class of liberal women had cropped up in the society who did well to represent their cases for recognition (Galligan, 2010). Eventually, congresses and courts yielded to their pressures and enacted laws allowing for equality. Specifically, obstacles surrounding admission policies were removed, and women freely sought non-traditional jobs (Lynn, 2013). Nonetheless, their efforts could not go unopposed seeing that the media consistently demonized their initiatives. Even more important was the fact that some women were against the very actions that meant to liberate them (Galligan, 2010). Even though the outcome is far from satisfactory, there is plenty for present day women to be proud of. The feminist movements were quite instrumental in the entire gender revolution even into the 21st century.
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