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Life in America, Essay Example

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Words: 878

Essay

Throughout history of the American state, women have been considered the lesser sex, having lesser legal rights and employment opportunities than men. They have been regarded as just fit to assume the motherhood and wifehood obligations in the society. However in various states, have been achieving increased academic and job opportunities especially in the 20th century. This is attributed to the relentless effort by women to have their rights reevaluated and hence changing the way the society in general perceives their contribution (Ellen, 2000).

The belief of natural women inferiority led to greater effect on the women status in law. For example according to the common law of England prior to American Independence, single women were allowed by law to own properties, and could be sued as well have the right to sue. This was however not the case with their counterparts in marriages, they were assumed to have surrendered their names to the husband hence the properties. This was indeed the case in the early United States of America, where the husband owner not only the wife but also the children and the material possession in that marriage. Women were just to be seen and not to be heard (Ellen, 2000). However in some communities and subject to the husband’s consent a woman could be allowed to act as lawyers and on properties. This was based on the equity law which as created in the England and was based on human rights rather than culture and traditions. This was in turn accepted in America making it possible for a wife to sue her husband by 1839 in Mississippi, then in New York and Massachusetts in 1848 and 1854 respectively. This also extended property ownership rights. Although divorce was allowed, the husband maintained legal custody of the children resulting from such marriages.

By the turn of the 19th century, women had started working in the fields and factories such textile mills. The condition s in these factories was very poor characterized by overcrowded and poorly ventilated rooms where the women plus their children worked for many hours a time more that 12 hours. In 1847, Great Britain limited the time duration for women working in such factories to be ten hours per day. This did not happen in the United States until 1910 where individual states began to limit the duration through passing of some legislations meant also to look up the women’s working conditions.

Although this was earlier received with excitement, this laws latter worked against women. For example the 8 hour per day legislation prevented women from assuming certain key supervisory jobs that do require extra hours of working in companies. They could not as well take up position that may make the work in overnight shifts. In some states there was some legislation that prohibited women from jobs that require some object- lifting especially on weight greater than 7 kilograms (15 pounds).

Some federal laws were enacted in the 1960s in order to promote economic equality position of women.  In 1963, the Equality Pay Act allowed for the harmonization of wages for both male and female employees (Ellen, 2000).

In the colonial times most of the women in employment worked in boarding house since professional job opportunities such as medical doctors, lawyers, teachers and so on were a reserve for men. After this for example female medical students could not attend the male students’ medical school. However the situation in job opportunities was to change especially during the Second World War where over 300 000 American Women took part. This situation was still rather difficult for women in marriages. Generally employers were reluctant to have women assume key corporate posts since they will either be marriage or are having children to take care of. This was proven wrongly in the late 1960s and the 70s when married women proved to be a dependable, transient and permanent workforce. The working class would in most cases delay in getting married so as to achieve their desired professional milestones before settling in marriages (Jerry, 2002).

Women entry in politics has been rather slow. Having been enfranchised in 1920, their political vaguer has been always minimal. This was to be the case until in 1984 when the first woman Geraldine Ferraro from New York run for the U.S. vice- presidency in a major party.

Politically women had been active in championing for reforms meant to transform the education system and standards, disbanding of some alcoholic drinks and also in the abolishment of slave trade.

Bi racial people in America refers mostly to the “people of color”, this refers to groups such as the African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic and so on. The life of this people has for a long time been riddled with ambiguity and complications. Majority of these came about as a result of the intermarriage between the native whites and the enslaved Americans. Historically these people have been assumed as aliens not until one of the clichéd the top- most seat in the land (Seelhoff, 2006).

References

Ellen, K. (2000). Women’s History in America Presented by Women’s International Center.  Retrieved on October 29, from http://www.wic.org/misc/history.htm

JERRY R. (2002). Get A Life, America. Retrieved on October 29, from               http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132×8605948

Seelhoff, C. (2006). Motherhood as the work of revolution: on raising bi-racial children. Retrieved on October 29, from http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-16216154_ITM

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