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Women always have a great role to play in any society. During the colonial times, a natural affinity was clearly evident between all black women who were deemed to resist the existing bonds of slavery that hampered them to succeed, and also many white women who were out to resent the male chauvinism that existed at that time and locked them out of bigger positions in the economy. Men did not want to give an ear to anything that the ladies had to offer. Black women felt the impact of segregation as they were subjected to harsh treatments from their male counterparts. Some pregnant women even lost lives before delivery which shows the extent of the desperation that these women were forced to undergo. As evident in the quest by these women to realize their dreams of gender equality, the war took many fronts. This was necessitated by their desire to be considered at all levels of the society in terms of allocation of opportunities and diverse roles that they could play. The long duration of this quest can clearly explain the impacts that it had on the lives of women. It ran through the 1830s, 1840s and also 1850s, and it is a fight that they still look out to up to now. There have been massive improvements in the gender roles that societies allocate to women. Job opportunities are open to all sexes and it is normal to fins a woman heading a major organization. The constitution also calls for representation of women in the house and, therefore, this can be credited as a significant step towards gender equality and women roles.
Black women underwent massive exploitation and oppression, basing on grounds that they were blacks and also women. White women, on the other hand, saved from the segregation on the basis of color, and were considered as mere servants of their husbands and generally the male fraternity. They did not hold any position in society other than ensuring that their male counterparts fed well and had ample environment for succeeding in their endeavors. Both these categories of women had the role of giving birth and taking good care of them. This was not goin to last for long as it was evident in the nineteenth century, where women decided to rebel against their class in society. The latter echoed their voices at all levels of the society and could not relent in their quest for a balanced society and one that valued the place of women in the world. They felt that they had a place in the society and it was essential that their voices were heard. They had all that was needed to ensure that they succeed in their quest for equality. They did most of the work, at home, and in their families, which mattered most. They did not see any need of them acting second fiddle to men. They believed they commanded a greater following in the society and their numbers spoke it all. Some of them believed that they should be considered as holding a more defendable position in the society that the men. The roles they had, and were given by men, like child bearing, taking care of the home, and nurturing the children held more water than what their male counterparts did.
Massive demonstrations were witnessed, whereby girls decided to strike, all black women were heard clearly expressing their issues on enslavement, while the white women decided to support the blacks by joining the movement for anti-slavery. Many women went out to the extent of writing books as early as 1830, on these incidences. This was a demonstration of the courage that women had garnered and were not looking behind. Sarah Grimke was one of these confident ladies who, in 1830, wrote on how she did not consider men as any superior in a society. She does not have any reasons whatsoever to rely on men as she has discovered her potential. She goes on to elucidate on how she cannot despise herself because of her sex. She calls for equality at all levels of the society. There is need for respect from men as the latter require and depend on the women for their prosperity. She also bases her claim on the Bible and religious front as God expects all people to work hard and be equal. God, despite calling on women to be men’s helper, never mentioned that the former should come out as the minority or less fortunate gender. She, therefore, believed that women had every reason to stand on their own, defend their claims, and demand for their rights. She was a white woman from the South, and also a sister of the renowned and fiery abolitionist by the name Angelina Grimke. She, in deeper quest for a balanced society, went on to explain how it did not matter to her the abilities of a man. She believed that women had all the privileges that men have and they have all the reasons to handle the tasks that men also handle. Women were out to prove that they had all that anyone needed to prosper in their quest for equality. They should despise their women as they solely depend on them for survival. Women are the source of men, they bore them. They undergo severe pain in order to deliver men who are considered prosperous in societies. Women persevere nine good months of labor in a bid to give birth and also nurture children. They undertake many responsibilities and sacrifices that men would never wish to experience. She called for respect from men and urges women to keep on fighting for their rights. They had all the reasons to receive freedom from the slavery, both in the name of color and also roles in society. This is where issues dealing with gender come in.
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Women were seen to work in many antislavery societies that were out to echo their call for gender equality and acknowledgement of their roles in the society. Their quest was boosted as they gained massive ground all over US, and even many of the petitions that were directed to the Congress. This was a great achievement towards the success and development of a gender sensitive society that valued every individual in the society. Since the US was, and still is a superpower and model nation in the world, there was need for the nation to embrace the call by women. This was given a boost by the many women who later got their way to the congress and decided to focus on the success of their quest.
The struggle for gender equality by women was further ignited in 1840, when a World Anti-Slavery Society held a meeting in London in line with the prevailing state of the world on roles of women. The meeting felt the urge that women had towards the consideration of their pleas. They could not settle for anything less than their expectations. Their voices had to be heard or else the meeting could not have a good progress. The debate took a heated front on the issue that was at hand, as the women present refuted any calls for reconsidering their stand. However, the final decision was a vote that excluded women, on attending those meetings only in a way that involved a curtained enclosure. This was a blow to their fight but they could not relent at any instance. They decided to sit there silently and protested against the ruling. It was another show of maligning women and denying them their rights. It was also a demonstration of the way women were perceived by men in the society. They vowed not to stop at that instance and kept on fighting.
Women can be considered as invisible in all development issues in a society. The heads of the military, holders of great positions, academic leaders, presidents, and all the top most positions are in the hand s of men. Women are overlooked and considered the less fortunate and minority in the society. In line with that invisibility, the issue of color came in. it was the basis of them being considered as inferior. Most of them were black slaves who felt the impacts of oppression in the hands of the whites and mostly men. They were perceived as having no chance in society and could not hold any position, be it at work or even in the family roles. Gender inequality was the order of the day as all roles were in favor of men. The physical characteristics and nature of women was used as a tool for exploitation, harassment and mistreatment by men on the women folk. They considered women as being weak and could only serve as procreation agents. They were to give birth to children and take good care of the latter and their husbands. They could only have a place in the home, and to a limited extent where their roles were cut down to house chores and child bearing, as Howard puts it (Voices of a People's History of the United States 425).
These women were victims of private oppression. These meant that they could be offended at family level by their male counterparts and they could not air their issues since the cultures expected them to be submissive. They were to live by all the rules that men set for them, clearly illustrated by Howard (Voices of a People's History of the United States 425). They did not have any proof of being mistreated or molested. Most of the acts committed by men were considered right in the eyes of the community as male chauvinism was the basis of most judgments. Women were not allowed to socialize easily and they could only be given very little time to share ideas. The main reason behind these bars was because they could start forming entities that would be against the male chauvinism. Men did not want to share roles with women. They did not accept any call for gender equality in the society. Howard explains how they were out to ensure that they suppress any tact and plans by women to ensure that the gender roles in the society were revised (A People's History of the United States 125).
Earlier American societies which comprised of whites still faced this issue. With the black slaves, this notion trickled down to the black families who were considered as the minorities. The blacks used to ensure that they lived in harmony as a family, sharing duties and all roles. They believed that the society could only flourish if people helped each other up the ladder, despite the sex. Women were seen to help their men reach their targets, and men tried their best to ensure that women had an ample environment to realize their goals. Whites did not value this and decided to erode the culture that was fully considerate of the whole gender. By the use of slavery, these families were separated and could not continue practicing their culture. Their bonds were loosened and they fell prey to the acts of male chauvinism. Most black women were mistreated, molested and even sexually harassed by the white men. The latter did not have any humane feelings in them and were out to exploit all the weaknesses that black women possessed.
The Zuni tribes, which existed in Southwest, were famous for their value for extended families. They lived as a unit, from young children to their grandparents. Women were given high priority in terms of gender roles in the society. The women were the sole bread winners, having an equal share in all the yield s and success of the family. This was a very unique culture and acted as a role model whenever women called for consideration of their rights. Despite the fact that the fields were owned by the clans, they had the right to demand their own share of the yields. Howard goes on to explain how women were subjected to inhuman treatments (A People's History of the United States 125). A woman was extremely secure due to the fact that she lived with family, and had all the rights to keeping the property in case she decided to divorce the man. They were not tied to male chauvinism.
Women, as evident in most Plains of Indian tribes that were habitants of Midwest never had any farming duties in their roles in serving the society, as illustrated by Howard (A People's History of the United States 126). However, they were considered as herbalists, holy people, and also healers. These jobs could be seen as a mockery to their hard work and dedication to their families success, as Howard explains (Voices of a People's History of the United States 426). That was the position that could suit them and they could only fit in it. They were also very essential and helpful when the bands happened to lose male leaders, as they were taken in as chieftains. They were expected to understand and apply basic rules in that field. Hey also underwent lessons in using small bows to shoot, and also the use of knives in defending themselves as the Sioux. This was part of the tradition. They had no option other than doing what is expected of them by their culture. Their culture bound them and they could not avoid it.
Even other free white women, who were not brought in as basically servants or even slaves but as the wives of those early settlers, did experience special hardships. This means that men did not consider race but the sex in terms of gender roles and equality. Women were looked at as minorities and people who had no place in society. Howard clearly brings out the situation that existed on the ground and how women were molested (Voices of a People's History of the United States 425).
They had to depend on men for survival. Eighteen women who claimed to be married came over during the Mayflower. This represented that women lacked any formidable position in the society. Their voices could not influence any decisions that the men had set forth. Three of them were evidently pregnant, and even one of them had a still birth before they group landed. This showed that men did not care about the situation that those women were going through, well put by Howard (Voices of a People's History of the United States 425). They only cared about their own desires and their success during times of war. They never gave an ear to any issue that the women raised and only considered their children. Women who gave birth to males were valued in the society. Howard explains how this made many women despise their female children as they feared that the latter would go through the same treatment that they were being subjected to (A People's History of the United States 125). However, they had hope and kept on serving there men, hoping that one day they would realize their roles and heed to their plea.
Women should be given an ear whenever they air their issues. They should be considered at all levels of management. Policy makers should always allocate a larger portion of opportunities for women as men have already occupied more than half the positions that exist. There should be a global drive towards gender equality and balance of roles that both men and women play. One party should not be considered as superior over the other. Every human being is equal in the eyes of God and this should trickle down to other societies and the world at large. As many organizations keep on emerging, in line with women role in the society, people should embrace their calls in order to have an amicable environment for success in all their dealings.
As evident in the quest by these women to realize their dreams of gender equality, the war took many fronts. Women took a bold step in ensuring that their voices were heard. They did not want to relent in their quest for consideration at all levels of society. This was necessitated by their desire to be considered at all levels of the society in terms of allocation of opportunities and diverse roles that they could play. The long duration of this quest can clearly explain the impacts that it had on the lives of women. It ran through the 1830s, 1840s and also 1850s, and it is a fight that they still look out to up to now, as evident by Howard’s work (A People's History of the United States 126). This long duration demonstrates the determination and zeal by women ina a bid to realize their dreams. There have been massive improvements in the gender roles that societies allocate to women. Job opportunities are open to all sexes and it is normal to fins a woman heading a major organization. The constitution also calls for representation of women in the house and, therefore, this can be credited as a significant step towards gender equality.
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