American Working Women

1813 Words8 Pages
The working status of women has fluctuated greatly in America’s history, with jobs being denied to and kept from them. At this point, women have mostly secured their place in the job market, but there are other obstacles that remain; for example, the wage gap still persists, and while women can work alongside men, they are still seen as being inferior to them. Due to these negative factors, working women are not only expected to happily work alongside men - they are expected to work harder than them to prove their place. This higher expectation has lead to negative effects in women’s history, socioeconomic relations, and their health. Historical Lens The lack of availability of jobs for women throughout American history lead to a stigma for…show more content…
According to Andrea Kramer and Alton Harris, Northwestern University School of Law writers, women are expected to agree to do more tasks, no matter how menial, in order to prove their worth and work ethic. Similar to the dynamics from the past reported by WIC, women are not respected in the workplace unless they perform more tasks than men do; only by outperforming them are women able to be seen as equal to them (Kramer). While this work ethic is almost required of women to succeed, “[successful women] are applauded for delivering results at work but then reprimanded for being ‘too aggressive,’ ‘out for herself,’ ‘difficult,’ and ‘abrasive,’” as claimed by Marianne Cooper, a sociologist with a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. Thus, women could only succeed if they worked more, but those who did were prevented from moving up in society due to sexist ideas of powerful women being a threat to men. In “A World Without Work,” by Northwestern University journalism graduate Derek Thompson, explains how women remain more involved with society when they are unemployed, while men “are more likely to withdraw into their living rooms when they become unemployed.” This portrays how the expectation for women to work harder remains even in non-work situations, as they are supposed to remain busy without work and constantly be making connections to find work, while men are more lax on how…show more content…
It is not possible - or at least not possible at the moment - to eliminate all sexism in society and to rid the world of unequal opportunities for all genders in the workplace, but actions can be taken to prevent discrepancies in their chances. Firstly, companies can guarantee equal pay for equal positions. Secondly, they can also guarantee equal allocations of tasks and accounts between male and female workers. The most difficult aspect of eliminating the harmful effects of higher expectations for women, or eliminating the expectation altogether, would be changing social relations. Society must work on reducing its prejudices, and expect equal amounts of work and quality of work from men and women. It must also strive to normalize common behaviors in and out of the workplace for men and women, including childcare, housework, and social/community involvement. With these measures taken, American life could move toward a more efficient, happy, and equal
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