Women in the United States have taken crucial measures to address the inequalities that have hindered them from gaining equality with men. But the nation remains continues to face gender inequalities that nowadays imprint American ideals and values. Women’s position was sometimes viewed as subordinate to men’s in American society. The social construction of gender has created stereotypes, culminating in women being restricted to those specified fields and not being masculine. Such stratification further slowed people of color’s position, increasing gender inequalities to justify the social order.
Although gender inequalities remain a social issue in the United States, the country has made significant steps to achieve equality of opportunity. The Constitution has contributed to profound social change by transforming gender relations since the beginning of the 20th century. Many of the legislative safeguards intended to ensure fair treatment for women and equity around the gender spectrum are embedded in the Constitution’s values and the new definition of equality that has replaced obsolete biases and assumptions. Strong U.S. majority. For more than four decades, the Supreme Court has made explicit that the 14th Amendment, providing ‘equal moral rights,’ requires protection against sex discrimination.
The Supreme Court ruling held a historic civil-rights statute that protects gays and lesbians, lesbian and transgender individuals from prejudice in jobs is a reminder of a conservative court’s win over LGBT rights. As envisaged in the 14th Amendment, various laws prohibit sexual orientation and gender-based discrimination in the workplace.
The social construction of gender resulted in male domination. However, in the 20th century, the country made significant steps towards equality of opportunity through legislative reforms and affirmative actions. These measures played a critical role in deconstructing social stereotypes that promoted gender performativity in the public sphere. In this regard, the century marked the beginning to an end of patriarchy, which denied women equal opportunities to participate in economic, social, and political activities. Through women empowerment, the cohort can achieve self-actualization by engaging in various welfare activities.
Constitutional amendments have strengthened legislative provisions against income disparity based on gender and sexual orientation, among other demographic characteristics. For example, although the 1963 Equal Pay Act forbids gender pay differentials, it provides an affirmative defensive provision that enables employees to offer explicit defenses to excuse a pay discrepancy. One of these protections, recognized as the “factor other than sex” defense, was understood so narrowly by courts that it has essentially become a backdoor for individual workers to successfully justify unequal wage policies that sound impartial or unbiased the surface. The ERA’s strong prohibition of sexism against sex could support reasons to close this void. This added funding may be incredibly beneficial, particularly where there is no substantive equal pay law, such as the Paycheck Parity Act.
Such provisions protect the rights of gays and lesbians in the labor market. The fight for gay rights is the first big challenge for liberty in the 21st century since African Americans’ struggles over voting rights and fair treatment for women. Western gay activists are advancing the fight for gay rights, the first big battle for equality in the 21st century (Barnes). Gays and lesbians exist in an age of unprecedented liberty relative to the past, with tolerance for gay rights to an ever-high degree due to legislation on same-sex marriage.
In the labor market, males have higher work numbers than women. With the pandemic’s impact on the economic cycles, women’s occupations are likely to decrease, as witnessed during the Great Recession. As such, the pandemic will exacerbate the gender disparity pattern in jobs, reducing women’s ratio to men in the labor market. The virus has adversely affected the progress towards equity, with women’s jobs rapidly decreasing. It illustrates that women are more likely to be impacted by contraction, regardless of education levels.
A woman as Vice President offers a rhetorical shortcut for optimism and reform. In particular, Harris position demonstrates the steps towards equality of opportunity in elections. As a women of color, she represents the first woman of color to compete on a ballot with a major party and participate in a vice-presidential debate (Hess). It means that the social norms, stereotypes, and practices on gender performativity have significantly declined. Harris’s appointment sends a strong message to deconstruct race, sex, and gender in American leadership.
“How We Got Gay,” (Mad Hive Media, 2013, 45min)
Hess, Amanda. “Kamala Harris Tests America’s Relationship to Women in Power,” The New York Times, Aug. 19, 2020
Taub, Amanda. “Pandemic Will ‘Take Our Women 10 Years Back’ in the Workplace,” The New York Times, Sept. 26, 2020
Chapter 12 “The Social Construction of Gender” in Heather Griffiths, Nathan Keirns, et al., Introduction to Sociology (2nd ed.)
Barnes, Robert. “Supreme Court says gay, transgender workers protected by federal law forbidding discrimination,” The Washington Post.
Bostock v. Clayton County