Critical Analysis Paper
Some people live their lives by
going through the motions day after day. Some people may slowly realize that
the world has changed when they see their kids, and their kids have completely
different thoughts and habits than they did when they were at that same age.
Many people have observed how the world has changed and how it is continually
changing, for better or for worse. An example of this is the article, “Our
Revolution Has Just Begun,” by Gloria Steinem. From this article, she addresses
two important myths regarding feminism that still apply to society today. Along
with these myths, Steinem included several key examples of how feminism still
has a long way to go until complete equality is reached. This article
emphasizes how dominant ideologies and intersectionality still have a major impact
on our society, and it shows how easy it is to not realize that while feminism
has made great strides over the years and continues to move forward, many women
still have less rights than men in various, important areas of their lives.
The notion that all men and women
deserve equal rights has come a long way since the first wave began. However, some
of the things that people may consider to be normal and simply part of their society
may turn out to actually be ideas and attitudes that they let represent them
(Kirk & Okazawa-Rey, 2013). Today, we continue to have dominant ideologies
about topics such as sexuality, child care, occupations, etc. As Steinem points
out, the U.S. is a democracy, yet we do not have a system for national child
care and roughly 60 percent of the U.S. is in favor of homosexuality within our
society. The U.S. is far from being completely equal as other countries already
have higher rates of acceptance for homosexuality (2014). People within the U.S.
should be able to have a civil conversation and be able to work out any differences,
however, some people are still afraid of speaking out. This only helps dominant
groups as their thoughts continue to thrive, and others who disagree have fewer
opportunities to express their point of view. The glass ceiling is also a major
issue regarding available occupations for women. The thought of climbing the
corporate ladder and being promoted should always be a positive step in any
career. However, because some people still believe that women cannot be
effective managers or leaders, their thoughts and attitudes may become the
dominant ideology and subsequently cause less women to want to advance in their
careers. Some men who have these positions may not be qualified for it, yet
they may only maintain the position due to intersectionality.
For many people, power and privilege
are associated with men while oppression is associated with women and the way
these factors connect with each other affects society and the people within it,
sometimes without them noticing anything (Kirk & Okazawa-Rey, 2013). In the
U.S., intersectionality is highly prevalent. For example, men with children
have better chances of getting a job and receiving a larger compensation than
women with children (Steinem 2014). The notion that men get paid more than
women should not be new to anyone, and the idea that women with children are somehow
less qualified than men with children is astonishing. This mindset may also support
the glass ceiling issue that some women still face. Equal pay continues to be
an ever-challenging uphill battle for women in the U.S. today. Steinem also
pointed out how the death count of women by boyfriends or husbands is larger
than several important events in our history combined (2014). Yet, as men hold
more power than women do, some people associate these violent acts as the woman
disobeying the man, and they think that this is how society is. This is also an
example of the ideology that men are still superior to women in terms of power.
Feminism in the U.S. is an ongoing
movement, and it is likely to continue for many years to come. While many
people have accepted that men and women are equals and deserve equal rights no
matter who they are and/or how they view themselves, some people do not share
the same opinions and ultimately end up dividing society. Dominant ideologies
are still prevalent within our society today, and intersectionality should be
considered in greater detail to pinpoint acts of oppression that people would
not normally think about. While feminism has come a long way since the first
wave officially began, change has come slowly over the years. With many groups
of people still facing oppression, complete equality might be further away than
what was originally planned.
Kirk, Gwyn, and Margo Okazawa-Rey. Women’s Lives:
Multicultural Perspectives. 6th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2013.
Gloria. “Our Revolution Has just Begun.” Ms. Winter/Spring 2014: 26-31. Print.