Today, I read a very heartbreaking article called, “ Gender Discrimination & Ill Treatments of Children” by Vernellia R. Randall and chapter eight (Beyond “ Boy versus Girl”: Finding the real you) of George and Sheila’s book called Boy versus Girls, How gender shapes who we are, what we want, and how we get along. Doing these two reading together was a great combination because they are related to each other in a way. These reading both discuss about the working status of boys and girls as they grow up, judging mostly from their gender and also basing on race. I think that one of the greatest thing about these two reading was that their topic are linked together.
In chapter eight of George and Sheila book, they discuss about how society also expected different jobs for boys and girls as they grow up to be adults. For example, women was expected to work as administrative assistants, cooks, retail and personal sales, etc. that was label “ women's work” from society. George pointed out that eighty percent of women in the workforce are employed as secretaries, salesclerks, nurses, and teachers (pg.160). While men were expected to work as construction workers, machinists, engineers, doctor, and other works that society defines as “ men’s work”. Men were not allowed to do “ women’s work” because if they do “ women’s work”, they will be harassed, excluded from other dominant men. Women were also not allow to do “ men’s work” or they will labels as bad women, who want to take over men work, and have to work harder to prove that they can handle men works. Women was often pay lower than men because of their gender, even though there was law restricting that women and men should be pay equally.
In chapter eight, George and Sheila gave some advises about how boys and girls should find their true selves, such as planning what they want to be as they grow up, regardless of those jobs expectation from the society, how they want act or what types of roles they want to do. George and Shelia recommended that these children should let their feelings out about gender stereotypes from their parents, teachers, and peers by talking about it. These two authors think that these children shouldn’t let society expectation influence their thinking about themselves. They argues that these children should recognized their good and be able to choose what roles they wanted to be and let the world know about it.
In Vernellia’s article, she talks mostly gender discrimination being used a lot in the U.S. society. She argues that women did not receive the same constitutional rights compared to men (Vernellia). That women in the United States have weak voice in politics, are discriminated in terms of employment, job status, and wages. The labor protection standards for women are below the international norms, and sexual violence, sexual harassment and domestic violence against women are also rampant in the United States (Vernellia). She emphasized mostly in her article about how women were mistreated because of their gender in work situations and jail, and how certain race and class status influence gender mistreatment. Vernellia found that women are paid an average of 26 percent less than their male colleagues from a November 2000 report released by an American institute studying policy on women (Vernellia). She also pointed out those men of color get pay lesser than white men.
She also found that there have been an increases numbers of women in prisoner that have also become victims of various abuse. Women of color were mostly those ones that were abused in the jail from harassment to raped, where some of those women gave birth in the cell. Vernellia also talks about many women and children being taken from Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe to the United States to work as slaves. In the United States, these children were mistreated badly, force to work in factories, mines, farms where the working conditions are very dangerous, being shot constantly for not working hard, no matter what races or genders they are. These children's life were threatened by poverty (Vernellia). There were little foods for them and immigrants children who, were not citizens of the United States, was not given medical insurance. Some of these poor children live on the street. So when these children get sick from injuries, pesticide poisoning, which can cause disability, most of them choose not to get medical help because of the fear that the medical bills will be too expensive that there wouldn’t be enough money for the food.
I enjoyed reading these two reading because these two reading made me realize that the whole gender roles issues isn’t much of a problems if we are able to overcome society expectation and that every boys and girls knows what roles they want to be. However, when adding race to gender roles, this become a greater problem because people that used race discrimination toward gender, are often unconscious of their agency. I was aware of the facts that women get pay lesser than men, and that women and men have different jobs from society, but I was surprised to know that this issues could cause race discrimination.
I think that in Vernellia’s article, she made a good argument about how women of color, men of color, and children are being mistreated badly because of their race. It is sad that those people are unable to help themselves because of their poverty statues, and than they have to work harder to just to be able to feed themselves. I didn’t like the fact that women are raped and abused in jail because of their gender, because I think that when people are in jail, they all have the same right. There is not a written law that say women in jail would have lower status than officers (men), and that officers should have the right to abused those women as a punishment. I think that this is just not fair. I think that every males and females should be treated equally because we are all the same human beings. Just like what George and Sheila argue in their book about boys and girls equal right to choose how they wanted to portray their gender in school, works, family, and the society, and they should be treated equally regardless of what races they are or whether their class status is poor or rich.
Here is the link to the article by Vernellia R. Randall:
Reference for the book:
Abrahams, George. and Ahlbrand, Sheila. Boy versus Girls, How gender shapes who we are, what we want, and how we get along. Free Spirit Publishing Inc. Minnesota, 1951.
Posted by chan0719 at August 4, 2005 11:58 PM