I want to write about Women's Rights. In class, we learned about Women's Rights in America in 1950's and 60's. So, I need a modern Women's Rights event compared to a Women's right event that we...

I want to write about Women's Rights. In class, we learned about Women's Rights in America in 1950's and 60's.

So, I need a modern Women's Rights event compared to a Women's right event that we learned in class. The modern event doesn't have to be in the US.

Asked on by houdektn

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akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that there are several events in the news that can directly relate to the issue of Women's Rights around the world and in the United States.  One of the most important lessons of the Women's Rights focus of the 1950s and 1960s was that the struggle for validation must be heard.  It is a fight in which one must peel away layers from the social, economic, and political veneers that envelop the individual.  A change in consciousness happens when women and men are able to examine the presuppositions that make gender bias possible around the world.  This lesson can be applied to the modern setting.

Wednesday, May 28 was Menstrual Hygiene Day.  It is a day celebrated by governments around the world to ensure that women have a right to be free from obstacles and intrusions when it comes to their health.  The day was conceived out of the idea that, around the world, women face challenges when it comes to their period:  

Periods happen. They're normal. And women and girls have a right to continue going to school, working and maintaining their health and safety during menstruation.Handling periods (or "menstrual hygiene management" as experts call it) isn't the first thing one might associate with human rights. Yet the link between realization of rights for women and girls and menstrual hygiene management could not be clearer.
Women's Rights and menstruation are linked to one another.  In places around the world such as Kenya, girls are forced into prostitution so that they can afford sanitary napkins.  In other settings, women are denied access to hygienic care, which can lead to infection as well as health risks.  Ensuring menstrual hygiene can be directly linked to issues such as education for women:  "Girls' right to education can be severely curtailed when schools lack bathrooms or clean water to manage menstruation or when students can't afford sanitary supplies."  It is for this reason that "menstrual management matters to human rights."  This is a modern day example of the consciousness- raising element that was intrinsic to the Feminist movement in the 1950s and 1960s. American Feminism was based off of the idea that individuals had to question the patriarchal conditions of the world around them and demand change as a result.  The examination of menstrual hygiene and the political issues that surround it is an example of how a modern condition reflects the American Women's Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
 
Another element of the 1950s and 1960s discussions of gender bias revealed how women are objectified.  In many instances, women can be seen as being reduced to objects, denied their full voice and complexity as a human being. The Feminist movement was important in illuminating a condition in which women were perceived as sexual objects, and not allowed to experience a full articulation of voice and experience.  Last week in California, 22 year old Eliot Rodger, murdered six people in drive- by shooting fashion.  At first glance, the event was a sad statement on the collusion between mental health issues and easy gun accessibility.  Yet, when Rodger's manifesto and YouTube videos emerged, it became clear that misogyny was a motivating force behind his actions.  Some of his words speak to a condition in which women's voices are silenced at the cost of masculine- constructed notions of power:  "You will finally see that I am, in truth, the superior one. The true alpha male." Rodger's actions and his thoughts as seen in video and in writing reflect the reveling of the "manosphere," " that corner of the Internet where boys will be boys, girls will be objects, and critics will be “feminists,” “misandrists” or “enemies.”   Rodger's hatred of “this oppressive feminist system” and envisioned “a world where WOMEN FEAR YOU” are reflections of patriarchal attitudes.  These are the same reactions that motivated the Women's Rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.  It was a fear of women and the fear of power in all of its forms that motivated patriarchy.  While Rodger's actions might have not reflected the male system of control in the 1950s and 1960s, his actions do represent a desire to control and a need to establish power and authority.  This becomes part of Rodger's narrative that reflects the cause and struggle for women's rights in the modern setting.
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rachellopez's profile pic

rachellopez | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

Women in the 50's and 60's, arguably, had more issues with rights then women do today. They had to fight for equality in the home and workplace as well as their voting rights. However gender based discrimination has been a common topic lately, especially after the incident with Eliot Rodger in California. It is fact that women are still paid less than men for the exact same job, just because they are women. Arguments saying women are sexualized in today's society aren't uncommon. Really, some people's views are still the same about this issue as they were back then. Women are still treated differently and are often targeted because they are the "weaker sex". In the 50's and 60's women were supposed to take care of the home and were not supposed to make political decisions or do physical labor. Although it isn't that extreme in America today, those ideas still exist, especially in other countries and some religions.

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