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Oppression is the inequitable use of authority, law, or physical force to prevent others from being free or equal. Throughout the years, women have faced oppression and been forced to conform to gender roles. They have not been able to exercise their equal rights due to unequal opportunities in society. Women have much potential to bring to the table, however cannot because they feel obligated to tend to the house, children, and husband.
Throughout the nineteenth century, there was frequent discussion about a women’s role and contributions to society. Ironically, the people who were discussing that matter were men. In 1972, Judy Brady released an article, I Want a Wife, to demonstrate the ridiculous standards women were held up to: “I want a wife to make sure my children eat properly take care of my physical need do the necessary grocery shopping be sensitive to my sexual needs …”
The article exemplifies how women were expected to take care of her house, children, and husband all at once. She did not have a say in her roles. As a woman, she is expected to finish her tasks and not complain. Rather than a wife and mother, she is portrayed as a maid. Men also did not believe women had a place in politics. The house was where she belonged. The Women’s Suffrage of 1911 was seen as a joke. People argued that suffrage was “not a right”, but rather “a privilege that may or may not be given.” Equal opportunities were not given to women and therefore many women felt as if they had no say in their lives. In Source B, Gustin displays a parallel universe. Men are given the stereotypical roles of a women: tending to the children and the house, whereas the women can go to work and be the “breadwinner” of the household. Even today, women still struggle with oppression.
To an extent, women still are oppressed by society’s norms in the present day. Young girls have no role model in the media to look up to. This can be seen through Source F. Due to the lack of representation, women are afraid to step up and speak out. It discourages women and enforces gender roles. Women do not want to enter a workforce where it is primarily dominated by the opposite gender. Less than 25% of women have shares in male-dominated industries in both Australia and Canada . It is even worse for women in third-world countries. In Pakistan, girls are prohibited from earning an education. Young women risk their lives everyday in order to go to school. Malala Yousafzai was shot on her way to school, however it did not stop her. In fact, it empowered her and inspired her to stand up and be the voice for those who do not have one . All these instances show how women are not being provided with equal opportunity to showcase their full potentials. Instead, they are forced to stay at home and carry out their maid-like roles.
Women are oppressed. Women all over the world are oppressed because of religion, politics, or even their male partners. In order to avoid this, we must reject other attributes said to be naturally feminin. The ability to care for babies, cleaning the house, cooking dinner are all attributes men are capable of. Men and women need to be held at equal expectations and be provided equal opportunities.
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