Is it harder to grow up male or female in America?
In today's society we deal with many issues never faced on this grandeur a scale. There are daily struggles like finances, family life, retirement, and many more. To decide who has a harder life between genders is no easy feat, but there is ample evidence to prove that a woman's life has become increasingly harder in past decades.
As a child I was raised with two working parents. I was accustomed to thinking that "normal life" consisted of both husband and wife working and coming home. The mother would then continue working around the house, while the husband would make himself comfortable and begin winding down from his day. My grandmothers on both sides of my family also worked full time and came home to morph into their domestic roles. So for me it was a given that when I was done with high school, I would have to jump right into the work force and make my way into becoming what was known to me.
My family may have differed from others, but as a whole this is what our elders made the reality of women today. In 1920, women were granted the rights to vote which paved the way for feministic change. In 1963 a law was passed to give women in the workplace "equal pay". In an article from the website of "American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations," they show that 40 years after the equal pay laws were implemented; employers have still found ways to pay women less than men in the same professional positions.
"In 2005, women were paid 77 cents for every dollar men received. That's $23 less to spend on groceries, housing, child care and other expenses for every $100 worth of work we do. Nationwide, working families lose $200 billion of income annually to the wage gap."
Before the rage of "feminism", there was an idea of what women were to live up to. There's cooking and cleaning, grocery shopping taking care of the children, attending school functions, church, all of the homemaker responsibilities and more. Today, women are still expected to do all of those things as well as provide extra income for the household by holding a career.
Many women today are feeling the disparity of trying to juggle both roles. If a woman works full time in the work force just as her husband may, then why does she have to also work full time at home as well? This is the question many of us ask ourselves. It is extremely one sided for the woman figure. Yet, you have those who will say, "life isn't fair" or "men work harder than women in their jobs." These are just lame excuses to ignore the reality of a woman's responsibilities today.
Men cannot care for the house and children as well as a woman can. Where one man may excel over another in one area, they can?t handle all the responsibilities as well and consistently as a woman can. They tend to lack the attention to detail and nurturing needed in family life. Men will say that when they help clean it is not to the expectations of the woman; while women will say they are tired of having to "re-clean" when help is given and end up doing it all anyway. So, the cycle continues and the expectation of women and their responsibilities remain the same.
The evidence is clear that men not only make more than women in the same occupation, but have fewer responsibilities at home. There is no easy solution to the problem, but there may be some help to the problem. If women truly got paid the same amount as men in the same position and got the same promotional opportunities as men, then maybe a husband and wife would choose to have the husband work less hours and take over some of the domestic responsibilities. If pay scales were the same, then laws could be amended to allow more women to work part time and still keep all full time benefits so they can take care of their domestic responsibilities.
Changes are needed for the well being of men and women today. Women cannot be expected to carry on two full time jobs year round. This unbalance causes health problems for women, tension in relationships, and can ultimately lead to unnecessary divorce. If a reasonable solution can be implemented, American families will be given the opportunity to live a happier well balanced life.
Anonymous. "Equal Pay". American Federation of Labor – Congress of Industrial Organizations. 2006. http://www.aflcio.org/issues/jobseconomy/women/equalpay/index.cfm
Richmond Acheampong. "Should real men do housework?" Article Alley.
Posted: 11-09-2005. http://www.articlealley.com/article_8598_41.html
Mary Kassian. "The Feminist Mistake: The Radical Impact of Feminism on Church and Culture" 2005. http://www.gender-news.com/article.php?id=79