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Is Australia Really Easy Going And Egalitarian?

2055 words - 8 pages

Lucianne WhiteAssessment 2Approaches to Social ScienceIntroduction:Australians regard themselves as easygoing and egalitarian and yet the Australiansociety continues to marginalise certain groups. Women are one of thesemarginalised groups. The struggle for equal rights for women has been an ongoingstruggle for humanity. Along the way, many complications and roadblocks havearisen. Media, beauty standards, and the meaning of womanhood were some of thebarriers.Women still face many issues to try and be treated fairly or equal totheir male counterparts. Even with the progress made by the feminist movement,women are still left behind in the political and economic arenas. In this essay I willendeavour to present to you three things. Firstly I will present an overview ofwomen historically. Secondly, where women are currently in the political andeconomic arenas. Thirdly what we can do to try and make this country fairer inthese situations. I will also give you a definition of two very important terms,sexism and patriachy, as they are both essential to understanding why women havebeen treated so unfairly.Definitions:Patriachy is a form of society in which men have all the power and women havenone. (Wignall, P 2000).Sexism is similar to the dynamics of racism. Males are believed to be superior tofemales and when this belief is put into action it leads to females being treated asobjects, the last to be hired, first to be fired, being paid less for equal work, etc.(http://www.webref.org/sociology/s/sexism.htm)Historically:History is 'the study of the past through documents or other written (and sometimesvisual and oral records) kept in state libraries, individuals' homes or byorganisations'. (Bulbeck 1993, p. 459)Hunt and Colander (1999, p. 10) argue that when history '...[systematically]attempt[s] to learn about and verify past events and to relate them to one anotherand to the present', it can be classified as part of the social science.Men historically have always been the favoured sex. Men got to live their lives,vote, be educated and have sexual relations without having to marry.Women, particularly middle and upper class women, became associated with a setof virtues: domesticity, purity, piety and submission. This view of women wascalled the cult of true womanhood, and it developed in the Victorian Age. Thecult of true womanhood seperated women from life outside the home; they were toremian innocent, chaste and child related (Welter 1978). These beliefs encouragedsociety to put women on a pedastal.Women were economically dependant on their husbands as they were not allowedto work or to get an education. They were in essence powerless. Things startedchanging during the second world war. Women were needed to work in thefactories as the men were away fighting the war. Although when the men returnedfrom the war, the women were sent home to resume their lives as before. Thingswere definately set in motion for change.Betty Friedan (1963) noted a cult similar...

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