Friday, October 15, 2010

Gender discrimination

Darshan brought up the problem of gay rights, and that made me think about other discriminations that could be compared to the one during the civil rights movement. What immediately came to my mind were the major gender issues that are common to most countries in the world.
The civil rights movement was a national movement that affected the international world, but gender discrimination was, and still is, an international problem that affects every country nationally.

Like the civil rights movement, the feminist movement was a revolution, defying the daily rules heavily ingrained in people’s minds. This historical movement started in the 18th century and is still going on today; it is a struggle against gender-based oppression. Women from all over the world fight for different goals. Some examples of the main issues they fight against today are: sexism in workplaces, sexism in religion, or in some developing countries they are still fighting for respect, justice and equality. Can the feminist movement be compared to the civil rights movement? I definitely think so because of the number of people it affects and the massive issues it brings to surface.

We can go deeper into this subject, and combine the two struggles: African American women fighting for sexual equality and freedom in the second part of the 20th century. The civil rights movement was directed toward the liberation of the black race, but it fought mostly for the liberation of the black male.

Sojourner Truth, at a meeting of the American Equal Rights Association maintains: “There is a great stir about colored men getting their rights, but not a word about the colored women; and if colored men get their rights, and not colored women theirs, you see the colored men will be masters over the women, and it will be just as bad as it was before”.

As this citation shows, as along with being part of a racial movement,
African- American women also had to deal with the problems they faced
within their own race. Women had a “double problem” because they
were being discriminated against racially and sexually and were part of
two movements at a time which made the struggle even harder for them.
African American women had even greater difficulties fighting for women’s
rights because of the myths and prejudices within the American culture in
the 60’s. Here are a few examples of the prejudices: racism is the only
problem black women have to confront, they need to deal with the larger
struggle, and feminism is a man-hating movement…
This part of the black liberation process is often understated.  Although
now racial problems have faded, sexual discrimination still exists today…

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