Social and Political Change in Modern America

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Why did women's issues suddenly become so prominent in American culture?

While issues like sexual assault and harassment impact all women, we wouldn't want to say that all women have suddenly gained prominence in American culture. When we hear stories about sexual trauma, whose stories tend to get the most attention? More so, when we hear about the pay gap between women and men, which women are emphasized? You might want to focus on how a woman's prominence is typically linked to her profession and socioeconomic status.

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Issues of injustice tend to fester unaddressed beneath the surface until a triggering event brings them bursting to the forefront. In the most recent manifestation of a women's issue, women's sexual harassment on the job has emerged as a significant challenge women face.

In light of the widespread allegations of powerful producer Harvey Weinstein's sexual abuse of female employees, Alyssa Milano, in 2017, invited women to tell their own stories of sexual harassment on the job through the Twitter hashtag #MeToo. The results were so overwhelming—it seemed that almost every working woman had a story—that American society as a whole was stunned, and the "MeToo" movement calling for an end to sexual harassment on the job was born.

Similarly, in the 1960s, the second wave feminist movement in the US burst forth as women over kitchen tables shared their stories and came to a boiling point as many of these women, joining movements for social change, began to realize that the men they worked...

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