Gender discrimination in the U.S
Discuss how various social institutions reproduce gender discrimination in the U.S
Gender discrimination is rampant in various social institutions not just in the United States, but the world over. Discrimination against women at the workplace is still rampant in spite of the fact that it against the constitution under Title VII. Although there has been tremendous improvement with regard to the issue of creating equal working conditions for both men and women at the workplace, we still have a few disparities along the gender divide. For example, on average, men earn a lot more than their female counterparts. At the same time, most senior positions at the workplace are held by men, never mind then we have women of equal if not better qualifications who can fill those positions. A report by the Glass Ceiling Commission of 1995 shows that more women than men are awarded Master’s degrees but still, most senior positions are occupied by men.
Another social institution where gender discrimination is still present in our institutions of higher learning. In this case, the enrolment rate of males is more than that of women. Also, most of the teaching positions at institutions of higher learning have been taken up by men, although women are equally qualified to fill these positions. Women are also likely to be discriminated against when it comes to ownership of property like houses or any other property, on the basis of their gender. However, the 1968 Fair Housing Act prohibits this form of discrimination. In the past, women have been denied loan facilities to own homes for lack of collateral on the basis of their gender, and this has denied them the chance to own property and businesses.
Even within the family gender discrimination is still present. For instance, the family unit is largely patriarchal, meaning that men are still regarded as the heads of the house. With an increasingly higher number of empowered single women in the US on the increase, we can expect this trend to change dramatically. A lot more women now opt to remain single or cohabit with their partners but share equally in the family expenses. This may eventually shift society’s perception on the place of women in society as women are now equally likely to earn the same as men.
In her speech on “The case for same-sex marriage”, Diane Savino endeavors to passionately argue for the case of a government that administers and acknowledges same-sex marriage. Diane Savino is speaking from the experience of her husband who has since manifested a preference for a gay relationship. Her speech speaks volumes of the complex nature of the marriage institution. The expectation of culture and society is that the youth will grow up and find perfect mates of the opposite sex whom they will then get married to. However, there is a high rise in the number of gay marriages in the U.S, and more so among the younger generations. This shows a domestic shift in societal values.
Whereas many of the older generation in the U.S normally view the idea of same-sex marriage with contempt, and as an attack on conventional marriage, the marriage institution has really changed. For example, we now have more single parents and divorced parents then were the case three decades ago. What Diane Savino is trying to suggest in her speech is that just as the constitution provides for the right to pursue happiness as a single parent, the same kind of right should also be extended to couples who chose to be gay. Moreover, an increasingly higher number of states in the U.S are also recognizing the rights of gay couples by offering them legal benefits of marriage. Nevertheless, Diane’ Savino’s position appears to conflict with the functionalist’s view of marriage which maintains that we mainly get married for preproduction. However, we have married couples who are unable to get children. In any case, it would be pointless to get married to a person of the opposite sex just to get children if at all the marriage will not bring happiness and satisfaction because you have a preference for the opposite sex.
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