Feminism Reading Essay Essay

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The rise of the two classifications of young women was the central theme in Baerswork. The role of young women was said to be significant in the field of competitive markets, consumption and sexual aspect of life. This significance of young women in the said aspects of society caught the attention of the public such as the state itself, some private sectors, researchers and media. They became aware of the fact that young women have this tendency to create good effects on the society as well as bad effects.

Thus, social change was most represented by a trend on young womens character. Such character of young women can be either seen as moving towards success or failure. Classifications were established due to the contrasting view on the character of girlhood. The former was said to be the kind of young women or teenage girls who are optimistic, resilient and confident in character. They are high-spirited and self-motivated with regards to their future. They do things that they think would help them achieve their goals in life no matter what their condition is.

These kind of young women are more likely become successful in any of their endeavor due to their positive character and outlook in life. On the other hand, the latter was described as those young women who are involved in juvenile crimes and possessed unwilling attitudes towards the society. They are the young women who pose threat to social order as well as to other individuals (chiefly because they are the ones who involve themselves on crimes, illegal activities, and untoward actions). At-risk girls are often cited as failure in the society.

Consequently, their lives are becoming unsuccessful. Due to these distinctions between can-do girls and at-risk girls, the subject of womanhood has been a target of criticisms and debates. As described earlier, can-do girls are young women who pursue their career with great efforts. They plan everything that is necessary for the actualization of their ambitions in life. Most likely, this planning stage includes the education of young women. Can-do girls start to make plans for their future upon entering in school. This is where they tend to achieve their dreams and ambitions step by step.

Can-do girls know what they want to do and what they want to have in the future hence they know very well what actions they should make in order for them to reach their ideal status in the future. Can-do girls were also seen as a very good factor in the economic progress. Consumption was also an area of experience for young women. Since they were getting very good amount of salary, their expenditures contribute to the growth of the economy. With this, the marketplace also saw the importance of producing goods that are attractive to young women.

Can-do girls are women who have good taste in purchasing products hence marketplaces should take into consideration the fact that young women do not easily buy goods that are not appealing to them. As Judith Baer cited in her work, product endorser and advertisers used catchwords that more likely have good impact to young women. More so, young women were becoming so much in tuned of patronizing products or goods that were advertised or endorsed by famous women such as Britney Spears, Spice Girls and Madonna.

Because of this, marketplaces also considered young womens interests in buying products. Lastly, can-do girls were also seen as young women who did not prioritize motherhood. In this sense, young women regarded motherhood as a great hindrance for achieving their goals in life. It is to be noted that in order to achieve good career, young women should be focused on what she was doing or what she was pursuing. Nonetheless, having child or children would mean lose of focus on work and diversion of attention from work to family-matters.

Being a mother requires sacrificing young womens personal ambitions while focusing more on keeping their family in order especially their children. (McMahon, 1995) Consequently, the use of contraceptives like condoms and pills were advocated by the government so as to reduce birth-rate (or population growth) likewise help the young women in maintaining their focus on their careers. According to the book, another factor that contributed to this harsh condition of at-risk girls was the fact that they were also belong in a cultural or ethnic groups which were held responsible for the failure of these young women.

As stated above, community and family background were also few of the factors that triggered the at-risk girls to live in misfortune and wretched life. Inept family traditions and beliefs confined these young women to a way of thinking that they were inferior in every aspect such that they should not try to make efforts to advance themselves. Likewise, community and environment were other factors that shaped young womens mentality regarding their role and place in the society. Unable to excel in school or even failed to finish their schooling; at-risk girls had a hard time on applying for jobs.

Companies were inclined to pick employees that were able to complete their studies (meaning, those who finished their studies with a degree). Consequently, at-risk girls were most of the times unqualified to be hired in such kind of companies. Or even if they got the chance to be hired in certain companies, they were designated to low positions and had a very small chance of being promoted to a higher position. Looking into History (Herstory) But during the early 60s some issues arose from the peaceful starting years of the postwar period.

One issue was about racism, this have been visible in a series of race riots in Los Angeles in 1965 and in Detroit, 1967. In this decade immigrants to the U. S. included people of color, largely the Hispanic race. At those times poverty was common to the Hispanics and the black-American race. The majority of the families of the black race are single parented. Within that decade, a distinct trend of inequality in the economy was rising, and it created a group of underclass people in which the colored skin Americans prevails.

Also these groups have also been used by politicians that wanted to try to appeal to the white voters at the time when the rate of unemployment was high. And majority of the population of the African Americans believed and felt that there is discrimination among colored people. Not only the racial conflicts emerged but also issues on gender were seen arising, and it was in those times when they started to talk about femininism. The Post war feminism focused from definite discrimination, one of the examples is unequal laws, to indefinite conceptions of relationships between genders.

While there are many existing issues about discrimination, unbalanced opportunities, compensation and manipulation of reproduction stayed aside, the views and focus seemed to be on the examination of the popularity of male models of society and also in the politics. And women were seen and ultimately women in the view of them as such models, resulted in indistinct potentialities. The Second wave feminists were giving focus on attaining ample equality in the social and economic aspect, since they have already gained nearly full equality in legal rights in a number of nations in the west({Meyerowitz, 1994).

On the same period which was the postwar in America, Senator Joseph McCarthy said that the Communists had penetrated the United States government at high levels. As a result Americans felt a sense of anxiety about their nation and it reflected with questions like was America the greatest country in the world? Was life in America the best it had ever been (Bradley, 1998)? As years were passing by, the problem and issue of self-satisfaction and self-doubt in culture about compliance and the truth behind the value of living the American values, were reflected and seen in literature.

One of example of these issues impact on the American literature during the postwar period was the writings of Gwendolyn Brooks. Brooks was a dedicated poet, she started working and publishing her works since she was on her teen-age years, and her writings were not of the common poetries you can see. During the post war period, her writings created a great impact on society and most of her poems were given attention, it is because she is an African-American that wrote poems usually about the characters from the poor inner city and the African-Americans everyday experiences in the neighborhoods.

One significant publication of Gwendolyn Brooks was the book A Street in Bronzeville. This book was a collection of poems which described the hopes and disappointments of the Bronzeville people. Most of Brooks works focused on the discrimination among blacks in such poems as The Ballad of Chocolate Mabbie; it tells the story of Willie Boone choosing a lighter-skinned girl than Mabbie. And The Ballad of Pearl May Lee. ; a story about Pearl May Lee takes revenge when a threatening situation happens to her. These black women characters in the poems were poor and discriminated (Brooks, 1945).

With regards to consumption, at-risk girls were seen as purchasers of alcoholic beverages, prohibited drugs, and cigarettes. They often abused the use of these material goods that in a way had bad effects on their health (physical, psychological, and emotional aspects). Moreover, there were also cases in which at-risk girls paid for deadly and illegal weapons probably they used them in their delinquent activities. Herewith, government implemented policies that were geared towards the regulation of at-risk girls delinquent activities and misbehaviors. Finally, at-risk girls were said to be more prone to early motherhood.

Teen motherhood entails enduring social dilemmas and lost of opportunities for young women as well as for the community itself. Lacking knowledge about contraception, at-risk girls failed to plan for their future as mothers. Effects of early motherhood include failed marriages, high cases of unwed teenage mothers, and unemployment of teenage mothers. (Musick, 1995) Additionally, government was alarmed of such instances because when teenage mothers failed to support their children, the government had no choice but to help them in sustaining the lives of their children.

It would increase government expenditures in which if the cases of teenage motherhood were minimize, also the probability that the government expenditure would increase would also be minimized. Analysis As how Judith Baer illustrated in her work, young women can be classified in two categories or classifications. Those young women who were most likely become successful in their careers were said to be can-do girls while those who failed to do so were labeled as at-risk girls. Such distinction was obvious.

Apparently, the society was in a way aware of this situation that there were can-do and at-risk girls. And such opposing characters of young women cannot be discounted. Either the two classifications caused good or bad in societys everyday existence, it truly had immense outcome such that the government cannot undervalue its effects. Planned effort and individual choice were listed as the primary elements in obtaining the status of young women as either successful or failure. As given in Baers work, can-do girls truly make well plans for their future.

They used all their sources and access so as to arrive at success. However, at-risk girls were either lacking of enough sources and access to plan for their future or really did not have intention of making plans for their future. Using these presumptions, can-do girls and at-risk girls can easily be distinguished. Nonetheless, the aforementioned initial elements were said to be insufficient in evaluating the distinction between can-do and at-risk girls. In addition to the initial elements discussed above, economic and cultural resources were also of great importance.

Mostly, young women who were given the luck of having high economic status in life had more chance of becoming can-do-girls, pursuing what she wanted to have and doing what she liked to do. In contrast, young women who were unfortunately situated in a family which have a low financial access were most likely become at-risk girls. Families of the can-do girls can afford to send their youth in schools that were highly-recognized. Likewise, these families can sufficiently finance the schooling of their youth.

While families of the at-risks girls lived in poverty, they cannot pay for the education of their youth. In this regard, the potentiality of young women to become either successful or failure can be greatly affected by their economic and cultural status in life. The government should make actions and programs or policies that would encourage and facilitate the conversion of at-risk girls into can-do girls. According to Our Lives Before the Law, the government was really making ways in which they can support and help their young women.

This was primarily due to the fact that there is a high demand of young women in the competitive and labor markets. By helping them in achieving good career and also good status in life, United Kingdom would also reap the fruits of such effort prospering its economic status. In addition in the United States, juvenile delinquency of young women was treated by making programs that tend to rehabilitate them. Mental offices were also institutionalized in order to help the government in its rehabilitation program on misbehaved young women.

If young women were really supported and helped by the government, cases of at-risk girls would be easily reduced. In such undertaking, at-risk girls could be converted to can-do girls by giving assistance to the young women. In doing so, government should start such assistance by advocating quality education to young women. Having access on education implies good start in pursuit of better future. By monitoring the education young women as well as their family and community background, young women can be directed to the right path.

Being successful in education could bring about success in work. Young women who finished their studies most likely got good jobs (high-paying jobs). And having a good educational background, young women were more competitive with regards to their career. Likewise, being a well-rounded person, young women, who were then regarded as can-do girls, became good consumers. Knowing that their demands greatly matters in the marketplace, they would realize that what they were going to buy would reflect who and what kind of woman they were. Hence they would become choosier when it comes to consumption.

When it comes to motherhood, government handled it by promoting the use of contraceptives. Family planning was also one of the mechanisms or programs established by the government in treating the case of early motherhood. Government saw that if young women would engage themselves in early motherhood, opportunities for them would be lost. Investing in young women or teenage girls would really mean critical and serious endeavor. Young women, just like young men, have great potentials when it comes to what they can contribute in the society.

Therefore government, non-governmental, and private institutions should take young womens role in the society as significant as how they view young men. Conclusion Young women have been seen as one of the indicators of social change. In this light, the general public, the government and the society itself see young women as vital factors within and outside the community. The distinction between can-do and at-risk girls was derived from the diverse approach of young women on the concept of success and failure. Likewise, the society sets criteria from which young women would be classified as either can-do or at-risk.

Furthermore, facets such as personal choice, planned effort, economic and cultural groupings are seen as the defining marks that distinguish the young women. In human life aspects, young women play important roles. They are not only seen as child-bearers and household chores-managers but more of individuals who are capable of transcending themselves from the traditional and conventional roles given to them by the society. In the workplace and marketplace, young women are regarded as co-equal with young men who have big potential of being excellent and very competitive employee as well as very intelligent consumer.

In view of motherhood, young women should be guided by the government in order to prevent them from losing their good careers. Also the labor markets or companies also support such endeavor by giving bonuses and maternity leave to the young women who patronize motherhood in their mid thirties and above. It should be stressed out here that the government and the labor markets are against motherhood only that they view motherhood as more enjoyable when the mother already achieved what she wants and has already established good career and good status in life.

To end, classification of young women pertains to their character as persons and as women in striving for successful life supported and facilitated by the society. References: AAPOLA, S. , HARRIS, A. & GONICK, M. (2005) Young Femininity: Girlhood, Power and Social Change, Palgrave Macmillan BAER, J. A. (1999) Our Lives Before the Law: Constructing a Feminist Jurisprudence. Princeton University Press. BRADLEY, B. (1998). American Cultural History. Retrieved March 12, 2007, from http://kclibrary. nhmccd. edu/decade50. html BROOKS, G. (1945). A street in Bronzeville.

New York: Harper. BURN, S. M. (2004) Women Across Cultures: A Global Perspective McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages. COLLECTIVE, H. C. W. S. S. (1995) Womens Realities, Womens Choices: An Introduction to Womens Studies, Oxford University Press. EHRENREICH, B. & HOCHSCHILD, A. R. (2003) Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy Amazon Remainders Account. HARRIS, A. (2003) Future Girl: Young Women in the Twenty-First Century London, Routledge. HARRIS, A. (2004) All About the Girl: Culture, Power, and Identity Routledge. JIWANI, Y. & STEENBERGEN, C. (2006)

Girlhood: Redefining the Limits Black Rose Books KESSELMAN, A. , MCNAIR, L. D. & SCHNIEDEWIND, N. (2006) Women: Images & Realities, a Multicultural Anthology McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages. KONZAK, B. , KONZAK, S. & KONZAK, M. (1999) Girl Power : Self-Defense for Teens, Sport Books Publisher MAZZARELLA, S. R. (1999) Growing Up Girls: Popular Culture and the Construction of Identity Peter Lang Publishing MCELROY, W. (2002) Liberty for Women: Freedom and Feminism in the Twenty-First Century. Ivan R. Dee Publishers. MCMAHON, M. (1995)

Engendering Motherhood: Identity and Self-Transformation in Womens Lives The Guilford Press MEYEROWITZ, J. J. (1994). Not June Cleaver : women and gender in postwar America, 1945-1960. Philadelphia Temple University Press. MOORE, C. T. (1993-2007) Feminism. Feminism and Womens Studies. MORTIMER, J. T. (2003) Adolescents Preparation for the Future: Perils and Promise: A Report of the Study Group on Adolescence in the 21st Century Blackwell Publishing Limited MUSICK, J. S. (1995) Young, Poor, and Pregnant: The Psychology of Teenage Motherhood Yale University Press.

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