The feminist movement fought to secure equal rights for women. How have the roles of men and women changed over the last 40 years? How have they stayed the same? Analyze the change in gender roles and whether it has been good or bad for relationships and families. How are these changes seen in cultural images?

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First, one should note that social change is not uniform across all classes and regions and also that the feminist movement occurred at the same time as Civil Rights, gay rights, and other movements and so it is not really possible to isolate its effects from other aspects of social and technological change. For example, readily available and effective birth control has freed women to make their own reproductive choices. While acceptance of this has been a feminist priority, it also is the result of advances in medical technology.

In developed countries, women have fought hard for equality in the workplace. This means that many more women are employed across a wide range of careers. Men have also become less restricted in career choice by gender with it now being more acceptable for men to become nurses and women to become doctors. This has been a uniformly positive change as it allows people to have more fulfilling careers and use their talents productively rather than being stereotyped by gender. Increased participation in the workforce has also improved the economies of many countries.

Financial independence and social change have affected family life, with fewer people trapped in specific domestic roles by gender. A man can now be a stay-at-home dad while a woman can pursue a career or a gay couple can marry and raise children. Although this has provoked some backlash, especially among the less educated, and uncertainty and change can be uncomfortable, these changes seem generally positive. One negative though is that changes in sexual mores has led to a hook up culture and premature sexualization of young people. Although one would not want to restrict the freedom of people to make their own sexual choices, young people may feel pressured by this freedom to engage in unsafe or emotionally damaging practices.

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