Sociología y Trabajo Social
English Linguistic Texts II
Women & Society
The term society is really wide and even controversial, therefore, society
involves many varied aspects. Religion, modern life, culture and stereotypes are some
Stereotypes, for instance, are never exact but are always known by everybody.
Talking about British people, they have always been considered as cold, reticent, distant
and with a peculiar sense of humour, that is, the so called English humour. However,
Latin character is on the other way round: open, talkative and naughty. Those are just
suppositions and generalizations, but in fact, all over the world make and believe
stereotypes that now are very difficult to change. In other words, problems between
societies become form ancient times, it has always happened. What is more, people
tends to refuse different cultures. Different priorities, different beliefs and different
ways of thinking:
Sport activities, both in the United Kingdom and Spain are highly important.
Those are two similar countries, but simple differences can be aolso observed. In British
and Spaniard education sports are included as one of the main subjects for school
children. However, the distribution is different in the two countries: on the one hand,
Spanish schools have sports like soccer, basketball or gymnastics; on the other hand, in
British schools the common sports are rugby, hockey, tennis cricket and even
swimming. This is a clear example of differences in priority.
Another difference is the consideration that British and Spaniards have about
home and going out. British people consider home the chief place for family and
individual entertainment. However, Spaniards prefer going out and be with friends;
home is for Christmas and birthdays.
To sum up, those very simple differences can eassily show how two cultures
defer. Imagine other two countries in problematic areas like Jerusalem and Jordania; or
what is more, two different countries like Russia and China. That is why wars exist and,
by the way, why there are problems all over the world. Even a problem in a country is
seen in different ways depending on the zone. One of this problems, directly related to
racism and discrimination, is the role of women in society.
Generally speaking, females are created weak and emotional, while males are
strong, wise and brave. The female has to depend on the male (father, brother, husband
or even son). The extension of his responsibilities increases his rights at the expense of
hers. However, the Constitution says:
“All people are equal... in public rights and duties before the law without
distinction as to sex, origin, language or religion.”
But women are not happy with that; in some countries women are required to
wear veils, and men can marry up to four wives at a time and the wife, according to
religion instructions has to obey her husband. In these countries women call for a
minimun marriage age of 16, equal rights, the vote and the right to be elected, the
abolition of bridewealth and the legalization of abortion rights. In kuwait, for instance,
the Constitution claims that every kuwaiti has the right to work, but according to the
tradition, tha woman who intends to work outside the home must ask permission.
Indeed, they must search for jobs where the sexes are segregated like teachers or
administrators in girls public schools.
Females in Kuwaiti society suffer from the same problem encountered by
females all over the world: the problem of sex discrimination. Sexual harassment knows
no national, religious or ethnic barriers. However, this discrimination differs from one
society to another.
Some men regard all women as being sexually available in societies where
pornography and the exploitation of women as sexual objects are commonplace. For
millions of women, sexual harassment is an unpleasnt and unavoidable part of their
working lives. And sexual harassment include leering, ridicule and embarrasing
remarks. Women feel that the secretary belongs to the boss, like a well-worn leather
chair, so it clearly shows how does some women feel.
In spite of this, there are many countries where things are changing and where
women are increasing. After years of struggle women are finally beginning to dominate
in a man´s world. Over the course of seven generations, there have been dramatic social,
legal and cultural advances made by women all over the world, and those are more than
simple changes in lifestyle. Some glass ceilings are being broken, women have gained
enough economic power to influence entire markets. Now the superwoman, or the 3M
woman -marriage, motherhood and mortgage- is entirely indicative of that feminine
ability to coordinate and master a variety of roles and survive to tell about it.
This happy face has mede that for some women seem impossible to imagine a
time when women were not allowed to own property, to vote, were not recognized
legally, and were denied entrance into both academic and professional institutions. Now
women have what they want and many of them are fighting to achieve the same in other
countries where women are suffering like their mothers and grandmothers.
-Lawrence, D.H. Women in Love. Penguin Plays, 1987.
-Turner, G. British cultural studies. An introduction. Routhledge, London, 1992.
-Newspaper and magazine articles from The Guardian, Time Magazine, Ms. and Diario Marca.
-Internet pages: Google.com, Women&society.com and Buffalouniversity.com
-Films: The color purple and Not without my daughter