How do we define women culture? First, let’s explain women culture. Historically, women culture has been in and out of the ringer. The beauty of women culture and society has been changing constantly for many years. As it be from bad to worse, change will be a continuous recognition until the day we die. Women have been revolving around change throughout their whole lives. It’s a good thing, the changing roles for women perhaps. Women are amazing in their own unique way, bringing different aspects and viewpoints to problem solving in which, I believe, enhances the quality of life. Women have stepped up in society by enhancing their rolls and partake in the world today. Starting from the bottom and constantly advancing their way to the top. It is a mind-blowing concept knowing the fact that women pretty much meant nothing way back when, and now they are a big part of society. So important that they are making continuous decisions that are helping America out and changing the way we perceive certain things. Women have shaped our society for the better, rather than for the worse.
The beginning of the feminist movement began in the nineteenth century, where women actually took control of their own gender. They were able to connect their concerns about their own lives, rather than having others contradict their lives for them. As you can see women have come a long way. Women and their history were not started from scratch, it itself has a history. This had influenced and developed the look on women culture today.
Women history began in the midst of the years in the nineteenth century to now. The woman history was all about living their lives away from the expected. Women were brutally beaten and forced to do things they may have not wanted to do. Women went through periods where they never even had a say in anything they did. For am example, in the book “America’s Women”, women were chosen a husband, by picking egg whites out of a bowl. Think of that, having a significant other picked for you. Women couldn’t even sit in the same pew as men at church and they had no say in any political or society decision. “The history of American Women is about the fight for freedom, but it’s less a war against oppressive men than the struggle to straighten out the perpetually mixed message about women’s role that was accepted by almost everybody of both genders.” (Collins, 2003, pg. 2) Everyday us women take for granted of what women culture and history was all about. Women have faced many challenges due to their gender biases. Women have struggled in finding difficulty in training, as well as gaining recognition. For centuries women have been excluded from everything. A few examples are; political choices, certain occupations and activities, religious roles, and church membership. Women had lost their rights to vote. The legislation had stopped women from having the ability to vote, which lost them the ability to have an official voice in American politics. The question is how have women evolved and came forward with such strong voices in women culture today? It all started in the beginning of the 1960’s, equal rights and feminist movements started. Women were able to teach and study in schools in the United States and Europe. Women were bashed with racial cues, slavery, and basically treated like a piece of land.
The Changing Image
The changing image of women was held by women. Women were known as known as primary caregivers, now they are known as both caregivers and breadwinners. Their attitudes, working ethics, and importance to the world has changed significantly. How has women culture changed? Here are a few examples how it has changed; among eastern tribe’s women worked in the fields and did the farming, while men were responsible for hunting and making war. Today, men do mostly farm and hunting and the women do housework, care for the children, and work indoors. Women had changed that significantly by being strong and bold and sticking up for what they truly believed in. The evolving of women back then has made a huge impact on women’s lives today. With women’s strong and powerful ways, women were able to change the way they live forever. The beginning of the nineteenth century, women began to gain recognition for the selling of their work. “In the first half of the nineteenth century, American women changed from colonial goodwives to people with more modern concerns.” (Collins, 2003, pg. 85) Women began to reconcile a much larger role in religion, politics, and church membership throughout the community, out-numbering men in majority of congregations. Soon women’s power had began to increase significantly, leaving remarkable success in the women culture.
Economic History of Women
The Economic history of American Women. Explains how men and women had a share of differences in their earnings and occupations. The female gender was considered stressful and powerless. So, the question is how do women manage to help shape, create and change the private and public ways we live. Women have experienced a lot of virtue throughout their lifetimes. Ever since the beginning of women’s lives, they were considered basically non-existent, close to nothing if you shall say. In-order for women to shape, create and change the ways in which we live today, they had to protest and work extra hard to achieve the settlement in which women are in today. Starting with abolishing slavery (antislavery), Women’s Rights Movement, and Women Suffrage fairs. These types of movements have helped shape women today.
How have feminists made the world better for women for the future generations, is a great question to simplify. Feminist have brought women into the workplace by several women’s efforts. At one time in history most wife’s stayed at home and did not enter the workforce. This had changed throughout the times, which allowed women the opportunity to work. Women have also worked to change the stereotype of what men can do and what women can do. It was once excepted that women could only do certain types of work. In today’s world men and women have equal opportunities in the workforce. Another big problem is the wage gap between men and women which continues to be an ongoing controversial topic. Women activist have fought to reduce the wage gap, but it does still remain an issue today.
Women activist have also focused on improving the educational opportunities throughout Universities. “Indeed, Title IX opened up huge opportunities for women, ensuring them equal access to higher education. Today, women make up 58% of college undergraduates- an undeniable improvement in the lives of women everywhere.” (Maxwell, 2014) This had helped open new educational possibilities for women and gave them the push to enroll women in which were interested to purse a college degree. I believe that this truly helped women in the workforce. Availability and access to an educational degree helps shape the positioning in the workplace. Many women today are very successful because of have a high degree and educational background.
Woman Suffrage Movement. It wasn’t until 1920 in the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, where the struggle for women’s suffrage was established. One of the greatest feminist achievements was women earning the right to vote. The passage of the 20th Amendment came into factor and basically changed the lives for every woman in America. This Amendment gave the right to the women citizens of the United States to vote and shall not be denied or abridged by any state on account of sex. “The history of voting rights for women carved its own path through the political landscape.” (Keyssar, 2009, pg. 172) Women consisted to be the largest group in which was excluded for most of the nineteenth-century. “Their efforts to gain the right to vote persisted for more than seventy years, eventually giving the rise to the nations largest mass movement for suffrage, as well as a singular countermovement of citizens opposed to their own enfranchisement.” (Keyssar, 2009, pg. 172) Overcoming this situation required an immense movement. It was led by experienced and energized by politics and the participation of many. Until the social structure evolved, is when success came into play for the suffrage movement. “Electoral majorities in favor of suffrage were mustered only when divisions between and within the major political parties could be exploited by a single-issue movement; and victory was ushered in at the end by war.” (Keyssar, 2009, pg. 221) That is when women had initially entered into the voting world and earned the right to vote.
Motherhood and the Self-Transformation
Transformation of women during the nineteenth century to now have no difference to their transformation, both are equally the same concept and is an ongoing process. Sociologist Martha McMahon collects mothers’ data and experiences of their daily lives, whether it be pregnancy or motherhood and asks them to describe in detail the effects it has on their self-concept and self-image. Women came back with great detail and explanation as to how it truly does affect their self-image and their transformation through-out their lifetime. Women’s gender is revolved around social interactions and relationships. This article is very informative to which provides insightful data on women’s marital status and class in to how they both work together in shaping the ways in which women develop and create identities for themselves and their motherhood. It is truly an amazing and spiritual moment for women and their young. The women gender is amplified by mothering. Women and mothers have a tag on them, they are symbolized as love and compassion. Middle-class women and Working-class women were compared during this article by sociologist, Martha McMahon. She first explains the motives for women having children. Both middle and working class had different perspectives of motherhood. “Middle- class women view prior achievement of conventional adulthood as a requirement for “fit” motherhood, working-class women view motherhood as a process through which they become adult women.” (McMahon, 1955, pg. 126) McMahons investigation is taking in the women’s differences and considerations and their development of self-conceptions as mothers. Even though women consider themselves as becoming new persons, they do so in a much different aspect. Working-class women consider motherhood more as a moral reform, they accept their limitations. Whereas, middle-class women speak as self-discovery and consider themselves as more responsible and loving people. What does it simply mean to the becoming of a woman? The becoming of a woman means a constructed rite of passage, in which helps women transform their self-concept and compromises their identity’s. With the different verifications of middle-and working- class woman, it gives a great perspective of what a mother truly is in different ways and their diverse pathways in which they cross. In shortcomings, McMahon investigation and research contradicts how women live. Contradicting their cultural, social, and political views of motherhood and their self-structure. It reveals how women and mothers, children, and society shape one another.
In conclusion, women had shaped their culture through many different perspectives. Considering their hard work ethic’s and achievements throughout their lifetime. Women activist influenced their own culture as well as everyone else today. They have become such an important asset to society, by changing the image, structure, and conducting rights in their own favor, helping and shaping in which they want to be, or become. Woman’s history is an excitement because of the everchanging events happening throughout. As the constant change continues, there comes a development in new research and approaches in which to analyze. Which comes into consideration in that I foresee many American Women influencing specific historical events. As of now, women influence many events that are significantly recognized. Many of these women had moved history forward with all of there enlightening achievements and considerations. Women are a form of mass media, which is used to influence many people in certain ways. Women have always been influenced by media, as well as affected. Which means being a woman, specifically in America means rising above and living up to the beauty standards it has to offer. Technically stating that women are being told and worshipped only by their beauty. Women have somewhat overcome this obstacle by simply rising to the occasion. Women are influencing many people around the world and even better the media. Women culture has led us in many economic, historical, and fascinating perspectives, but most importantly women taught each and everyone of us to never give up and deeply insists that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Being a woman means strong, powerful, and intelligent. Women’s strength and power is a continuous motion in keeping women culture spiritually fit in the world in which we live today.
- McMahon, M. (1995). Perspectives on marriage and the family. Engendering motherhood: Identity and self-transformation in women’s lives. New York, NY, US: Guilford Press.
- ZerlinaMaxwell, Z. (2014, April 22). 23 Ways Feminists Have Made the World Better for Women. Retrieved November 24, 2018, from https://mic.com/articles/87809/23-ways-feminists-have-made-the-world-better-for-women#.ia44sjJ8R
- Collins, G. (2009). Americas Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines. New York: HarperCollins e-books.
- Keyssar, A. (2009). The right to vote: The contested history of democracy in the United States. New York: Basic Books.
- McMahon, M. (1995). Engendering motherhood: Identity and self-transformation in womens lives. New York: Guilford Press.