Gender Roles in the US and Abroad Term Paper

A look at whether national definitions of gender roles have been influenced by feminists.
# 150761 | 2,335 words | 7 sources | MLA | 2009 | TR

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This analysis takes a detailed look at societal definitions of genders roles and how successful feminist resistance to these definitions have been. Overall, several countries including the US, Iran and Turkey are compared and contrasted as to the rights historically and currently afforded to women. Also, historically and culturally significant events that have had an impact on gender roles in the mentioned countries are discussed. Reactions against feminist movements to maintain the status quo are also discussed in this work. It is concluded that national definitions of gender roles have been the primary force shaping societies' expectations of women even though the influence of feminist movements is impossible to ignore.

From the Paper:

"Following the feminist organizations of the 19th century came a new wave of feminists and affiliated organizations such as the National Women's Parade (NWP) that operated in the early 20th century. One of the greatest successes of these organizations is the 19th Amendement, which prohibited the US government from sexually discriminating against women by not allowing them to vote. This is not to say that the feminist struggle in the early 1900's did not have its drawbacks. A number of efforts undertaken by the national feminist organizations proved to be futile, such as the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment in 1923. (Fermaglich) In addition, the early feminist movements caused a backlash against their struggle because the feminists had antagonized themselves as a result of their actions which were deemed radical at the time. Examples for this include the prohibition of abortion in 1860, which lasted until 1890, and the very fact that the connotation of the word "feminist" was now almost exclusively negative. The blowback against the feminist movement was caused by the generally accepted conservative and puritanical values of American society at that time, and was mostly overshadowed by feminist successes in the second half of the 20th century. In the 1960's, at a time when liberal feminism was at its infancy, women still did not enjoy equal status with men. According to Professor Kristen Fermaglich of MSU, "women made 59 cents for every dollar a man made, could not open bank accounts under their own names, and could be legally raped by their husbands." (Fermaglich) Groups such as the National Organization for Women ambitiously struggled against draconian policies that limited the rights of women in America, such as airline policies that fired stewardesses at age 33."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Atwood, Margaret. A Handmaid's Tale. New York: Anchor Books, 1998.
  • Bush, Laura. "2004 Republican National Convention Address." 10 Oct. 2005.
  • Evered, Emine O, Ph.D. "Women, Islam and the State." 101 N. Kedzie, MSU. 18 Mar. 2009.
  • Fermaglich, Kristen, Ph.D. "First Wave Feminism." 101 N. Kedzie, MSU. 9 Mar. 2009.
  • Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis. Vol. 1. Paris: Pantheon Books, 2000.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Gender Roles in the US and Abroad (2012, April 09) Retrieved September 29, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Gender Roles in the US and Abroad" 09 April 2012. Web. 29 September. 2022. <>