WOMEN`S ROLES THEN & NOW   7
WOMEN`SROLES THEN & NOW
WOMEN`S ROLES THEN & NOWThereexists great difference on the role of modern women from what used tobe in the past. The nature of women role in the society was dismal inthe traditional era mainly because of the patriarchal nature in thesociety, illiteracy and lack of legal affirmative actions by thegovernments to empower women. Unlike today, women in the past wererestricted and denied freedom to participate in external activitiesother than household chores. Today, women are more learned, have morefreedom, make their own decisions and are better protected by law.Previously, the role of women was similar to that of a servantbearing children, taking care of their husband’s home and were notallowed to participate in leadership or other business activities. However,this changed with reforms in the social, economic and politicalaspects, which made it possible for women revolutions advocating forwomen rights to rise. The role of women in the society today is morerespected and appreciated their role has transitioned from domesticchores to taking leadership position in politics and running greatbusiness ventures. The line between social roles of man and women inthe society is diminishing women in the 21stcentury are doing work previously associated with men(Fischer,2000).In this paper we will asses two notable women and the roles theyplayed in the society as well as their opinions on what role modernwomen should play in the contemporary world Rosa Parks and MargretFullerRosa ParksSheis recorded as the first civil rights activist in the United Statesand the mother of freedom movements. Rosa Parka day which symbolizesher birth date on February 4, 1913, and her arrest day on December 1,1955, is commemorated in California State for her bravery in fightingfor civil rights. Her mission began by refusing leave room for awhite passenger in Montgomery buses as had been directed by the busdriver. Although previously, other black Americans had previousdetested the racial segregation in buses, Rosa Parka’s case wasinfluential in leading Montgomery bus boycott a wave that run inmost United States regions. She was identified with civil rightsmovements in which she participated with civil rights leaders (Shipp,2005).Her participation in these civil rights movements led to loss of herjob. Rosawas born in a family of a slave descendant and lived near the capitalof Montgomery. She did not proceed with her education as she wasforced out to take care of her ailing grandparents and mother. It isduring this time that legislation on racial segregation was enactedwhich raised her dissatisfaction with racism and later culminated toher resistant to racial segregation. It is recorded that she wasvocal on the role of women, while working with NAACP, the leaderNixon, challenged her that the role of women was in kitchen howeverRosa reiterated to him that she did not belong to that class. Throughouther life, she was instrumental in fighting for injustices associatedwith racial segregation. As such, she founded and headed many blackAmerican organizations like council of Negro Leadership and theChicago defender. All these determinations were influenced by thehumiliations she suffered in the public buses. She began and devotedthe best part of her life fighting against racial segregation and inparticular for the civil rights for Africans. This stake saw her andher husband denied work and were constantly rebuked in their hoodsleading them to change residence often. It is with such audacity thatRosa Park became a notable woman in the history of America (Shipp,2005).Margret FullerSheis a renowned American writer and women rights activist who wasinstrumental in establishing Transcendentalistmovement. Herwriting was a great source of women suffrage campaigns.Shewas born on May 23, 1810 in Massachusetts by a lawyer father andbecame conventionally interested in matters of women. While workingfor the transcendentalmagazine she and others founded the transcendentalist movements andwrote many books on women role in society (Pettinger,2012).It is recorded that, as she progressed in her writing career shebecame a constant proponent on matters of women and even broketraditional gender role by taking roles not allowed for women.Importantly, Fuller, had strong beliefs on changing social reforms inregard to women and wrote widely about homeless women, women equalityand promoted progressive ideas which were later used by women rightsactivist in social campaigning (Pettinger,2012).Historicalstatus of women during RosaPark and Margret FullerDuringRosa Park period women had began to get equal rights as that of mendue to social, economic and technological changes that were takingplace in America. Women were allowed to vote, join organizations andwork in industries just as men did. As depicted in an exchangebetween Rosa and his boss Edwin Nixon (NAACP), women had become werehad began to acknowledge their rights and changed gender roles. Inaddition, social reforms taking place in America at the time made itillegal to discriminate women in employment, advocated for equal workpay, training and education. These causes could have propelled RosaPark confidence in fighting against racial segregation (Shipp,2005).It is recorded that she twice disobeyed a white male conductor aswell as challenging her bosses on matters of racial segregation andgender role of women. Based on these circumstances it is evidentthat the role of women had changed from that of household chores toparticipating in assertive roles within the society. A similar aspectis seen during Margret Fuller’s time. However, during Fullers time,women were suppressed and there were few social mechanisms toadvocate for women justice. This could have propelled Fuller tobecome a literal critic on issues affecting women in her literallyworks she advocated for women equality and justice (Pettinger,2012).Opinionseach of the women could have given on the role women in the societyRosa Park’s opinion on therole of womenInthe modern world, women should be more active in the social,political and economic matters. The struggle against racialsegregation and civil rights has not been fully won and therefore,women should be take assertive roles in fighting social issues atdomestic and national level. Women in particular, have been affectedby domestic violence, poverty and neglect in the society and as such,contemporary women needs to actively participate in political issuesand form social organizations to demand for equality and promotingawareness about women emancipation in general. In a broader sense,women should go for more education, pursue leadership roles andactively engage in social, political and economic policies as way offacilitating their development and the wellbeing of society ingeneral.Margret Fuller opinion on therole of womenInorder to take assertive roles, women need equal rights as men, takeroles traditionally associated with men and strive for women justice.In particular, women should form groups that enhance women to sharetheir feelings and concerns(Laurel& Stephanie, 2009).In addition, women should take responsibility of their families,pursue higher education, engage in discussions and fight for socialinjustice. Women need to have control over their life, familyplanning, get involved in political and public activities likevoting, activism and participate more in public decisions. Modernwomen should strive to empower other women from their culturalbondages, take assertive role in public opinions and fight foregalitarianism in all aspects of social life. Women should alsoparticipate more in family provision, education and makingindependent decisions(Kimberly,2006).Reference
KimberlyM. Radek, 2006, ‘Women in the Twentieth Century and Beyond’Internet Resource, http://www2.ivcc.edu/gen2002/twentieth_century.htm
Pettinger,Tejvan.2012,"Biography Margaret Fuller", Oxford,www.biographyonline.net,Internet Resource.
Laureland Stephanie, 2009 ‘Women in the early 20thCentury’ Texas: University of Texas (OWS),http://ows.edb.utexas.edu/site/women-early-20th-century,Internet Resource.
Shipp,E. R.(2005-10-25). "RosaParks, 92, Founding Symbol of Civil Rights Movement, Dies".NewYork Times.p. 2.Retrieved 2014-05-31.
Fischer,A. H. (2000). Gender and emotion: Social psychological perspectives.Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.