Social Change and Social Movement

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Name: Luisa Thompson SO6102: Social Change and Social Movement Title: Women’s Liberation Movement: Critically discuss the cause and impacts of ‘Second Wave’ Feminism. Word Count: 4,000 Throughout history in America and Britain women have remained in the domestic sphere that were designated to them by patriarchal ideologies of gender construction where they were viewed as not individuals within their own right but as an extension of their husbands (Freeman, 1973). During the beginning of the 20th century, suffragettes such as Margaret Mead for America and Emmeline Pankhurst for Britain challenged the woman’s status of a housewife and a mother. In the 40’s and 50’s, it was this frustration of a woman’s socially constructed role that Betty Friedan’s ‘Feminine Mystique’ challenged the 1950’s image of a ‘happy, suburban housewife’ and functioned as the method of the women’s liberation movement that emerged in the 1960’s (Friedan, 1963). It was this growing awareness that women soon realised that their position within society was disproportionate to that of men as illustrated by Freeman (1971, p39), who states that “women are 51 percent of the population. That is the only category in which they constitute 51 percent. In virtually every other, their share is grossly disproportionate”. In addition, she articulates that during the 50’s and 60’s it became apparent that women were lower earners by almost double than men, they were not entitled to the same benefits of sick pay than men, and were subjected to gender discrimination within the working environment (Freeman, 1971). Through the women’s movement, women began to inspire protests and minorities such as civil rights, students, and blacks in an attempt to redefine public perception (McLaughlin, 2003). This essay will therefore critically examine the causes following the
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