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"Feminism" This Is A Personnel Review Of How Feminism Has Changed From My Mothers Generation To The Present.

959 words - 4 pages

FeminismMy mother lived through the second wave of feminism that occurred during the 1960's and 70's. Feminists of this time brought on a social movement that made great and promising accomplishments for equality and women's rights. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned discrimination because of race, nationality, religion or sex. This enforced a change in the way American's viewed women. A few years later the birth control pill was legalized thus spawning the "sexual revolution" and of course the still controversial United States Supreme Court Ruling of Roe v. Wade which determined that women have the right to terminate a first trimester pregnancy.Although the 1960's and 70's were rewarding for the feminist movement a backlash occurred during the 1980's as a result of the revolutionary changes during the previous two decades. Feminists had fought against the belief's that women were subservient to men. They had instilled new philosophies and ideas to change the traditional American nuclear family assumption that women stay at home as caregivers. The feminist work of the 1960's and 70's successfully changed American popular culture.During the 1980's, the decade my mother gave birth to her three children, Americans opposed the reforms of the 1960's and 70's. Although the traditional 1950's style nuclear home had been broken and women were entering the workforce in record numbers we continued to live in a predominantly patriarchal society. Men predominantly ran our government and held the prominent positions of authority in most businesses and government. During the conservatism of the Reagan administration more emphasis was put on family values. The media began to institutionalize the war of the mothers. Feminism suffered a shattering setback because of this media generated war. At this time my mother was a young college graduate and new stay at home mom. She remembers the 'war of the mothers' very well and explained to me how it affected her. 1980s popular television sitcoms such as Growing Pains and Family Ties featured super moms who on camera were at home caring for their children at all times day or night. But in the backdrop they held amazing but rarely seen careers as journalists and architects. The mass media's portrayal of women was unrealistic. The reflection hypothesis that all women could be 'super moms' was rejected by stay at home mothers who argued that working mothers were unfit parents. Working mothers argued that they were equally fit parents, they just had to work twice as hard as stay at home moms by picking up a second shift at home after their paid workday. They emphasized quality time over quantity time with their families.The "war of the mothers" was one of the most detrimental setbacks for women. It turned us against each other rather than encouraging solidarity and celebrating the...

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