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Gender can be termed as a number of traits aimed at differentiating a male and a female. It can be viewed beyond the biological perspective given that; most of those differences have been used by the society to categorize men and women (Rose, 2010). In the same breath, gender has been widely used by the society in assigning responsibilities to these two categories of people. Gender stratification is based on the social perspective and regards to both men and women unequal ways of accessing things such as power and assets basing the argument on sex. For the simple fact that individuals are treated on sex basis, the harms that come with it are more than the benefits at any given time (Rose, 2010). Gender stratification is the way the society deems it right and there is no other way about it. This article will focus on how females are labeled in the society and how the society has continued creating their image. It will focus on how different tools such as education, media and law have been used to create the image of women at work places, politics and eventually the kind of treatment they get as a result. The article will further look at the unacceptable things that females can do and the consequences that comes with it. Finally, the focus will shift on what females cope with when they are accused of not doing what is right and ethical.
In around the world and written legacy, females have adopted what could otherwise be called a back seat to their male counterparts. In actual sense, males have continued to gain more power socially and physically both in private and public arenas. Males seem to be more violent and aggressive than their female counterparts (Morrissey, 2009). Due to this, men end up taking the big offices creating laws that normally govern the society. In some cases, they have been seen as the one controlling females. For example, in the united states, things took a different direction the other day where female were allowed to vote, owning assets and being listened to in court. Patriarchy had completely taken over in the American society.
Although there has been major steps towards equalizing gender, experts are very quick to note that there is still a lot to be done in the united states if equality is to be realized anytime soon in the united states. Sexism has widely been blamed for inequalities in such areas such as education, political fields and places of work (Gutek & Koput, 2010). Discrimination has been further brought about by gender and the misconception that men are mightier than women. For women, sexism has always had negative impacts on their lives. They have limited themselves to some courses which have otherwise been labeled masculine just to avoid being seen by the society as not viable mothers. In some situations, sexism has made females to see men as their seniors thus rating themselves in a very negative way.
In a study carried out in the United States back in 1968, some female students in a college were required to rank some articles that had been written by a female and male artist. It was noted that, although females read the two works of art, the male writer was rated higher than the female artist. Other studies carried out have revealed that, male’s resumes are ranked higher than female’s. In the recent studies though, the gap in these type of ranking seem to be narrowing. This can be attributed to the positive comments socially in the media on sexism. It is although worthy noting that, many women have excelled in careers which were associated with men in the past. In other words, sexism has brought a lot of inequality between men and women in discrimination perspective (Smith, 1992). When we compare positions in the places of work, for instance, females in most cases receive less salary than male. In the same breath, sexism can cause inequality in a broader way. When females are made to feel inferior, the society slowly but surely accepts it as a fact. As a result, females acquire very little expectations and low self esteem leading to them achieving nothing much. Although sexism is to blame for inequalities in gender to many females, inequality is indeed the bone of contention in such places such as academics, places of work and in political careers.
In the legacy of Japan, gender has been a vital tool for stratification although it has been changed over time basing on diverse social rankings. For instance, in 12th century, females had the privilege of owning assets registered under their names and have control over it. When feudal government came in the picture, the female status was drastically reduced (Holmes, 2007). The females who were peasants continued to enjoy de facto power of moving around besides making decisions but those who were in the high class were limited to patriarchy which received a backing from the government. This was simply meant to control them. When industrialization came into being, young females worked in industries under very bad conditions with most of them being subjected to exploitation and denial of personal freedom.
In the same country, when Meiji era came into being, urbanization alongside industrialization reduced the powers that were bestowed on men but at the same time women were not given any power. Although many lower class women were not affected a lot by the coming of this trend, it soon caught up with them. In 30s and 40s the authority saw the need to have associations meant for women and the government threw their weight behind them. When the Second World War came to an end, the authority opted to come up with equal rights for both men and women (Morrissey, 2009). This was to be included in the constitution which was to be drawn in 1947. Women, just like men, were to have partners of their choice, careers, acquire assets as they wish, and divorce their marriage partners as well as being allowed to take children. Come 1946, females in Japan were allowed to take part in elections unlike in the old times. In yet another step ahead, the authority established education institutions for females and they were to receive an equivalent salary like their male counterparts for work done. The law to cater for equal opportunities for employment came into being in 1986. With all this coming into effect, it is worthy noting that, there is still no equality in Japan society today. Women are still being marginalized and the fight for equality is still a reality.
In work places and family, gender role has continued to take centre stage. The notion that a good wife is always a good mother has indeed contributed a lot to this. Females are associated with such roles as looking after the children when men go to work. As a result, most women subject themselves to giving their best to their husbands and children as the society expects them. In most cases, females get satisfaction from their families well being and they end up becoming good family managers alongside good mothers. In many families, it is the role of women to draw the budget and come up with concrete decisions about their way of living, education and the careers they have interest in. it has also been noted that women will always carry the blame emanating from the difficulties that may affect the family (Carney & O'Kelly, 2007). However, the position of women in family is different from that of place of work. Although they perform many roles in terms of housework and bringing up of kids, women are not paid for any of these although it contributes a lot in ensuring the family survives. The work they do is not deemed as prestigious and one that requires to be compensated. Given that men earn a living by working outside their homes has placed them so high unlike women who do not access resources out there.
In yet another observation on gender stratification, men have been identified as having higher access to labor opportunities than women. This is according to differential access. Women have been associated with meager pay even on work where qualifications are not considered. In labor markets, women join at different period and end up carrying home little than men. In the legacy of America, a position like that one of a doctor was meant for men while women were generally nurses (Morrissey, 2009). It was unheard off to see a woman becoming a doctor. When it came to field of teaching, females taught in lower schools while their male counterparts taught in high institutions of learning. It was women who were secretaries while men took part in construction jobs. In yet another comparison, textile factories were mostly associated with women while men worked n steel factories. If the above is anything to go by, it is clear that the high paying jobs were mostly meant for men while women worked in sectors with very little wages.
In big firms, gender stratification has always found its way in even when it is not intended. For instance, the minority who are in this case women have been locked out of certain activities without the slightest idea that it is discrimination. In a situation where women have a say in the administration, it is men who are seen as controlling the firm. Decisions which concerns hiring of new workers revolve around men (Holmes, 2007). This is the same case when it comes to firing. In a situation where an informal gathering is to take place beyond normal working hours, women are mostly locked out. Supposing the workers in the same firm were going out on Friday after work to engage in discussions that regards business, women will definitely be locked out. It is argued that they would feel uncomfortable in a pub. Due to this, many females have been locked out as the firm continues to justify its position.
In regard to gender stratification, research indicates that women are highly affected health wise due to social roles and positions. This mostly comes in form depression. Given that women have the social role of looking after the family as well as work at the same time, the pressure becomes too much on them. Studies indicate that women who are employed end up with more number of working hours than their male counterparts who sleep more and less working hours. This can be used to explain why women get more depressed. The situation is even more complicated when one has children (Smith, 1992). This is because the house responsibilities become more than one can imagine. Given that the society expects even more from a woman who is working, the situation becomes more unbearable and the level of depression even goes up. These great demands and expectations affect women in their sense of mastery and how to put under checks and balance the influences that come from the social world.
Another observation deduces that, women stand to earn very little when they work overtime than their male counterparts. Given that all work extra time in a bid to have a better life, it therefore translates that women are given a raw deal. In most industries where workers work past normal working hours, men are given an upper hand. This is because most women will always tend to leave work early to go look after their families. In most jobs that women take part in, overtime does not come anywhere in the picture (Holmes, 2007). Clerical jobs are mostly meant for women. This is one of the many factors that generate inequality in the society. In America for instance, too much emphasis is put on the type of work that one does. It is deduced that prosperity lies on the type of work that one does. Due to this, given that most women do not take part in well paying jobs, the feel short changed thus resulting to inequality.
Although there has been a feeling that gender stratification is nature controlled, it is yet to be proved as such. For instance, in the united states, masculine is always associated with strength which is physical while feminine is associated with emotions. Anything else apart from this is treated in a rather strange way (Nerad, 1999). With all these claims being brought on the surface, some experts argue from a different point of view. The roles that are associated with gender are said to have emanated from the time when the nation was formed by the ruling class. In the United States for instance, gender role is said to have come as a result of the need to sustain an affluent class which would rule the nation. For that to happen, women had to be placed under men at all costs.
However gender stratification has been dealt with in the 20th and 21st century and major steps have been made. For instance, as far as academic opportunities for women are concerned, there has been a tremendous increase of the same. Studies indicate that, by 1989, 40% of females had been enlightened up to high school compared to 44% of men. It also worthy noting that most women joined junior institutions of learning that in higher learning institutions such as the university (Gutek & Koput, 2010).
In 1990, a good percentage of women took part in labor force which was paid for. During this period, there were major transitions in the work related to females. The initial transition was doing away with employment which was based on household. Women in lower social classes had always worked. Given that self employment was hard to come by, there was need to separate the place of work with homes thus there arose new roles of looking after the children. Another transition that was embraced was inclusion of married females in the working industry. In 50s, most females who were working were not yet married (Levine, 2006). Although some of them continued working upon getting married, many opted to leave work and go look after their families. There are some still who opened up businesses wile others took control of family business. There were even cases where some opted to leave work and com back later once the kids were big enough to look after themselves.
Gender stratification is responsible for shaping social position of grown ups therefore leading to mental problems for males and females. Inequality in gender is also partly associated with shaping of socialization which forms the self in an individual. From the above discussion, it is evident that, the dimensions which are found in an individual bring about inequality which eventually causes depression. The discussion above supports the idea that gender stratification aids in elaborating further how diversity in mental diseases between male and female occur. The society should avoid as much as possible to put too much pressure on females simply because they are working (Nerad, 1999).
Finally, although there has been a lot of legal support in regard to calls for equality, and improvement in women’s status, women who are married have continued to understand that most men do jobs which requires more time besides total commitment. With the help of house maids, married women are taking part in full time jobs and can earn even more than their male counterparts. The fact that not many children who are looking after their aged parents have come as a wake up call for most of them to take part in full time paid labor. Many women are practicing having small families which can easily be managed. In the same breath, there has arisen a class of well educated women who are favorably competing for job vacancies in the industries with their male counterparts (Gutek & Koput, 2010).
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