It is known the fact that since the people
started to develop their live on Earth it has started also the little conflicts
between women and men. Some people think that the reasons are religious or
cultural or even political. The fact is that some people consider the woman to
be inferior to men.
For instance in the 19th century a woman’s
place was believed to be at home, as domesticity and motherhood were considered
by society at large to be a sufficient emotional fulfilment for femals . These
constructs kept women far away from the public sphere in most ways. The idea of
women making political speeches, giving lectures, or other public speakings
wasn’t even taken in consideration, was out of the line. But during the 19th
century charitable missions did begin to extend the female role of service, and
feminism emerged as a potent political force.
some notions of inequality were giving way to the idea that the sexes were
‘equal but different’ , with some shared rights and responsabilities, law and
custom still enforced female dependency. As women gained autonomy and
opportunities, male power was inevitably curtailed; significantly, however, men
did not lose the legal obligation to provide financially, or their right to domestic services within
the family. Moreover, the key symbol of democratic equality, the parliamentary
franchise, was expressly and repeatedly withheld from women.
important to emphasize that the women started during the 19th century to gain
power in front of the men. It is well known that the most important places in society
are ocupied by the males. For example the most powerful and the greatest
leaders of the world were men (as Martin Luther King Jr. , Thomas Jefferson,
Alexander the Great etc), the greatest phisicians, mathematicians (Leonardo da
Vinci, Albert Einstein, Nikola Tesla), the best cosmeticians, doctors, chefs
and so on. The dominance of men in powerful positions is a historical legacy of
the old doctrine of “separate spheres”, which effectively excluded
women from most areas of public life. That exclusion had a linguistic
dimension: one way in which it was maintained was through a specific
prohibition on women speaking in public. Also, must be pointed out that women
had also important discoveries that changed the world, women as Hedy Lamarr,
Beatrix Potter, Marie Curie, Ana Aslan etc.
reason that I’ve chosen this topic is that it’s
an actual and persistent theme. Most of the time we don’t see this topic
directly, but in a delicate way promoted by mass-media and the other manners of
In my personal point of view this theme
represents a radiography of the nowadays’ society because its engenders a
myriad of actual issues as domestic violence, sexism, discrimination, of these days’
My interest is to approach this actual topic
by answering to one of the questions that regards the issue of sexism : Are women discriminated in the workplace?
Are women discriminated
in the workplace ?
Before I’ll start answering to my research
question I’ll respond to a pre-question regarding the required topic.
What sexism means?
Sexism is about discrimination on the
grounds of sex, based on assumptions that women are both different from and
inferior to men. It is a label for bahaviour that systematically derogates
women. The term itself was only coined at the end of the 1960s, probably on the
analogy of racism. Earlier in the decade, the term “male chauvinism”,
invented by women student activists, was used to criticize the attitudes of
their male counterparts.
The word “sexism” is situated at
the base of the discriminated women’ issue.
The pervasive, systematic constraints which
prevemt many women from reaching positions of authority, status, power, or
leadership in their organisations are often instantiated in subtly sexist
interactional and discursive behaviours. Gender is a significant and salient
variable in organisational interaction, a “pervasive social
category”, even when it is not overtly referred to. Gender stereotypes and
normative expectations about appropiate behaviour are particularly evident when
we examine the pressures on women in workplace leadership positions, and the
range of strategies they develop to manage the pervasive double-bind that
potentially undermines their institutional effectiveness.
Regarding this issue, must be pointed out
the use of the suffix “-man” in occupational names – businessman,
postman, renders women in such
occupations invisible. Even apparently gender-neutral agent nouns, like driver and writer, and unmarked occupational names like doctor, are assumed to refer to men, hence the need for the
compound nouns lady doctor (but not gentleman doctor), woman writer (but not man
writer), woman driver (but not man driver). This asymmetry implies
that doctoring, writing and driving are somehow covertly gendered and perceived
as male activities. It’s interesting, and encouraging, that the compounds now
sound slightly odd. You rarely come across similar compounds with man or male. In fact, the only I can think of is male nurse, although there may be more, perhaps referring to
workers in low-paid occupations.
By pointing out asymmetries like these in
terms of reference for women and man, critics of sexiest practices have
politicized classifications that were previously considered to be neutral. It
has been argued that, in English, once words become marked as female they are
systematically downgraded, often acquiring pejorative connotations. Compare bachelor and spinster, for instance.
To get a better view of this topic let’s
take a clearly example of women discrimination in the workplace. For instance,
the political places like the government, parliement and others that requires a
good public speaking skill. Women who want to become members of parliament
(MP’s) often complain that local party associations have a tendency to prefer
male candidates becuse they believe women are less effective public speakers.
This kind of discrimination is based on beliefs about male-female differences
which are not borne out by the evidence.
The evidence suggests
that you cannot predict an individual’s communication style from their gender:
there is too much overlap between men and women, and too much variation within
each group. Of course there are women who fit the generalizations, but there
are also many who do not. The women MP’s, police officers, soldiers,
salon-owners, are too numerous to be dismissed as merely marginal exceptions.
What makes the difference in choosing a man
or a woman as a MP’s and must be underlined is the women’s disposition to
behave differently from men. Women MPs do not stick to the rules because they
are timid conformists: they do it to counter the perception that they are
interlopers. These ways of behaving are problem-solving strategies which women
adopt in particular circumstances. They have nothing to do with the way women
“are”, and everything to do with the position women are put in.
This is the issue that really needs to be
adressed if women are to participate in public life on equal terms. The problem
is not that men and women have different communication styles, but that
whatever style women use, they are liable to be judged by different standards.
Women are obliged to walk what Janes Holmes calls a “tightrope of
impression management”, continually demonstrating their professional
competence while also making clear that they have not lost their feminity –
that they are not, for example, aggressive or uncaring.
There is a long-standing belief that
consider the style of communication to be the root of differences between men
and women. It is argued that women’s preference for cooperative and relational
ways of interacting puts them at a disadvantage in the public sphere, whose
norms are more competitive and instrumental. Women are said to have difficulty
in excercising authority directly, in acting decisively, and in dealing with
aggression or conflict. They may be seen as good lieutenants, but not as potential
commanders-in-chief. They are also said to lose out to men because they are too
reticient about their own achievements. While competitive men are busy
blowing their own trumpets, supportive
women are sharing the credit and missing out on the rewards they deserve.
To sum up, regarding a woman in a managerial
position, it can be found statements quarreling this kind of position for them
in society. For example, the literature of management is full of statements
like the following: “A woman’s leadership style is transformational and
interpesonal, while a man’s style is based on command and control. Women
managers promote positive interactions with subordinates, encourage
participation and share power and information more than men do…Women leaders
use collaborative, participative communication that enables and empowers
others, while men use more unilateral, directive communication.” In the
business world woman are associated to the words – positive, participation,
enable, empower and men to the words – command and control. This rhetoric makes
you wonder why women are not at the helm of every successful business. Why are
men chosen more instead of women ?
conclusion, if you are a woman and you work in a traditional and hierarchical
masculine field you have two possibilities : quit your job sau masculine
traditional hierarchi, the women will have to fight to get an important job,
but the majority of women don’t want a position as a leader. In the political
systems, under 5% of politiciens are women.
If you are a
woman and you work in a traditional and hierarchical masculine field you have
two possibilities to succeed : quite your job and take a job in which the
females have a right route or behave like a man. The male style still opens
many doors and the studies confirms the fact that the women who are more
“male” dressed have more chances to get a job in a leading position.
So can be clearly highlighted the fact that women had always problems in the
workplace. There are discursive behaviours which penalise women in many
workplace contexts, on the one hand, while documenting active discursive
resistence to sexist behaviours on the other. But this doesn’t mean that the
man must be feminized or the woman masculined.
women and men must understand that each system is vital in various moments on
the road of success and the way to the top of the pyramid. Not the gender is
important, but the mind with which you can succed in every job.