Women Suppresion Essay, Research Paper
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, women felt discriminated against men and by most ofsociety. Men generally held discriminatory and stereotypical views of women, which mademany women dissatisfied with their lives and made them, feel their lives were unfulfilledand isolated from common society, this is an integration of our history. According toDorothy Smith in the past, and present women are suppressed and divergent by society(which she delineates to be male). Her article which argues that women have beenexcluded from the “production” of our culture suggests that society shapes and molds thestandard living of women which is not to their liking. Smith accuses the media andgenerally everything that relates with society forms “ideological apparatuses` of the society”which contradistingushes women and implies inferiority. I on the other hand think Smith’sargument to be bias and only a fraction of the truth. It is clearly a feminist point of viewintelligently raging against today’s society. She purposely leaves out women’s achievementsand only focuses on the negative aspect of reality. In this paper I will say my opinions onwomen and indicate why I think Smith’s argument fails to prove her incongruous point. To begin with Smith gives too much credit to man: according to her article shethinks highly of them and believes they are superlative to women. She credits this world tomen, which is completely irrelevant and sarcastic. When she says that “the universe ofideas, images, and themes- the symbolic modes that are the general currency of thought -have been either produced by men or controlled by them”(Smith). It seems to be heropinion and shouldn’t be taken seriously. Women have contributed immensely to today’ssociety. In fact she is insulting her own sex, she doesn’t realize that women contributed tosociety such as their fight to earn the right to vote, to be treated equally and grantedsuffrage. This enables them to produce some ideas and images to society. Even before thewomen’s movement they must have contributed to todays way of thinking but it isn’tacknowledged to women yet it isn’t acknowledged to men either. It is credited to society, itis a chain reaction between both sexs contributing to todays way of living. One quote Ibelieve is “our culture does not arise spontaneously; it is manufactured.”(Smith) HoweverI believe this culture was manufactured to believe that the sexs are equally accepted.Discrimination spurred women to take action. Women began to revolt, they beganexpressing the feelings they had bottled up inside all along. They were fed up with thelaws prohibiting them from the right to vote, hold office or sit on juries. It is true that menoften treated women as if they were chattel, nothing more than possessions or property. They had no respect for their wives or mothers, and they constantly treated them likehousemaids whom were to answer to their husbands every command. And men whobelieve women who could incite such a revolution were evil and should have beenstopped. They opposed women suffrage and believed that women were less intelligent andunable to make decisions that affect society, But women pulled through and achievedacceptance, isn’t this manufacturing a culture? All the women’s ramifications to becomeequal with men are not credited. But Smith attacks women’s positions in the world sayingit is influenced by men. Which to my knowledge is equal, men and women share the workforce and both sexs influence the world. And even the past it was never men writing whatthe world should be and only gratifying what men want and believe. These statements areboldly preposterous. Smith insults women by saying that they are influenced by society, shesuggest that women have the intelligence and integrity equivalent to a little child and haveno chance to emerge from there so called “suppression”. Absurdly Smith states ” let us beclear that we are not talking about prejudice or sexism as a particular bias against women ora negative stereotype of women. We are talking about the consequences of women’sexclusion from a full share in the making of what becomes treated as our culture.”(Smith) This statement contradicts itself she is implying in it’s purest form – prejudice againstwomen existing in society: any kind of suppression is prejudice. And claiming that womenlive in a man’s ideological world, it’s foolish to justify that it isn’t prejudice. Furthermore Smith claims that men with careers are more likely to advance thanwomen, and “women’s experience of work in this kind of society is located in standstill jobslacking career structure and in a status system in which their positions derived from that ofman.”(Smith) Yet there are female physicians, executives, and engineers. Todays jobmarket is for both men and women and there isn’t any barriers to stop them fromadvancing in their career positions. These claims Smith makes are small minded and haveno substantial evidence. The only reasonable point she makes is when she indicates thatwomen were systematically and consciously excluded from the growing profession ofmedicine… (Smith) It is true women were stifled in white collar occupations but that wasthe past. Society has been manufactured to accept all colors, genders, and religions to beconstituent in the workforce. Furthermore she goes on saying Two points are of special importance: first, the concentration of women are relatively temporary nonladder positions. This concentration means that women are largely restricted to teaching, that their work is subject to continual review, and
that reappointment is conditional upon conformity. The second point to note is the market break in the proportion of women between tenured and nontenured positions.(Smith) It seems Smith overlooks that just maybe women want to be teachers, teaching isn t ahumble job, it requires an education, it isn t something people settle for, it is a job peoplework towards and achieve. Even though these women achieve these careers Smith putswomen down because they aren t department heads or principals of the school. Yet insome cases women out number the men in some situations, so the distribution ofpromotions in the academic positions balances out. However Smith s outlook on womenteaching is inglorious. The articles main point is that women are excluded to contributingto society she even says the forms of thought and images we use do not arise directly orspontaneously out of people s everyday lived relationships. Rather, they are the product ofthe work of specialists occupying influential positions in the ideological apparatus (theeducational system, communications, etc.) (Smith) Here she contravenes herself, as ateacher to young children women are the biggest influences on young societymanufacturing the future through their job while earning a salary. And if women arelargely restricted to teaching then they play a big role on society in the future which Smithneglects to realize. When Smith explains education and women; it is completely bias. Oneexample is “as in the stories of women mathematicians whose biographies show in almostevery case the effect of a general deprivation of education. In almost every case they havediscovered mathematics by accident – sharing a brother’s lessons, the interest of a familyfriend, the paper covered with calculus used to paper a child’s room – some special incidentor relation that introduced them to the territory of their art.”(Smith) Rarely does anyoneknow what they want, they discover their own interests and talents, isn’t Smith describinghow all people find their interest? Yet she only labels this on women saying that men aretold what to be or that they can be whatever they want. She refers this information from”women mathematicians whose biographies show in almost every case the effect of ageneral deprivation of education.” It is likely that if she read male biographies she wouldfind similar stories of success. In the section titled “The Brutal History of Women’s Silencing” all the idealitySmith brings up is irrelevant and incoherent to her argument. She lectures how there isevidence of suppression in political and spiritual views of women that have been silent. She mentions such names as Joan Boughton and her daughter Lady Younge who wereburned at the stake for religious indifference’s, Sara Ann askew who was tortured andkilled for heresy, Margaret Fell who was not considered a leader even though she had animpact on the women’s movement, Ann Hutchinson who was banned from theMassachusetts for teaching religion, and Olympes de Gouges and Manon Roland, whowere killed for claiming leadership. Obviously these women were ridiculed or unjustlykilled but has no relevance to persuade her argument. First of all it’s an integration of ourhistory, even men went through the same torture and ridicule such as “Malcolm X” whodied trying to gain equal acceptance for African Americans. These examples used bySmith are positive and self motivating for women and as most controversial society figuresmany women gained fame during the women’s movement, which she fails to mention,mainly by their strong positions on women’s rights and their demand to have their rightsrecognized by all. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Mary Ann McClintock, JaneHunt, and Martha C Wright were some of the first to be distinguished nationally bynewspapers and government officials. They were recognized for their antagonistic viewsand their loud protests. There is no doubt that all these women were intelligent and had theability to manage themselves as well as men did, if not better. One of the first women tobe recognized was Susan B. Anthony. Susan Anthony was raised to be self-reliant and shehad a sense of self-discipline that had already been instilled into her throughout herchildhood. Anthony received most of her recognition from 1851 to 1920 when the fightfor women’s rights was at its peak. These successful women emerged from the womenSmith mentions. Which is part of manufacturing a society, yet Smith with the knowledgeof revolutionary women figures only mentions the unsuccessful women, which she uses toundermine and discourage women. Smith says ” The repression of the continuingunderground sources of intellectual power and assertion among women shows us the roughstuff. There is actively enforced barrier that we were unaware of until we looked at thesekinds of examples. But studies accumulate, telling us of our history and breaking thesilence of our past…” This quotation from her article implies that there are still obstacleswomen still have to prevail, but women successfully overcame their ramifications as didman The exclusion of women contributing to society is clearly an idea that Smith createdherself that cannot be proven. Women manufactured the society to accept them as humanbeings and respectable figures. Yet Smith a women herself discourages this revolution ofequality of women or in another view complains about the past and farfetched ideas thatwomen are not equal and the only possible achievement gained would be a society wheremen are discriminated and all women govern the society causing more controversy ofequality of sexs which is not necessary at the present time. Smith’s assault on women’sexclusion, if not inherently biased, is at best inconsistent.