Allen Johnson’s Chapter “Where are we Today?” refers to today’s society as primarily stunted since the dramatic change in the 1970’s and 1980’s towards gender equality. Some will deem that we are at a deadlock since the 1990’s, (Johnson [CH. 1] 4) while according to the Department of Labor more than 80% of women of working age are out in society currently working. Along with the fact that women now make up 47.9% of the world’s work force. ( Department of Labor). It is without a doubt that people have the inclination to think of women as being as Allen had put “less competent than comparable males” (Johnson [CH. 1] 4). In contrast to what the majority of people believe, I think society is still furthering towards gender equality, only not in such a radical way as in the 1970’s and 1980’s.
I will not argue that society is primarily catered toward men. The roots of Patriarchy run so deep so as far as the Neolithic Times in 8000 BC, where men hunted and women were seen as child barers and caring nurturers. The society we live in has ingrained the idea of servitude and women being house-wives long before the 1950’s. Men have a present dominance in a large majority of the fields in the work force, such as science and law. Yet it is not impossible for women to climb the ranks, like it was in the past. Women like Oprah, Ivank Trump, Hilary Clinton, and Sonia Sotamyers have all successfully broken into the business and political fields despite being primarily run by men (Johnson [CH. 1] 7). The pre-conceived idea of women being ‘less competent’ than men has begun to deteriorate ever so slowly. It is still an important issue to further in, but I would not say we are at a standstill.
According to Johnson women oppression had come into existence because men want and like to dominate women and act out of hostility. (Johnson [CH. 2] 1). While I do not believe all men have a need to put down women. In the past men and women were raise with this idea of men and women having a specific role in society and needing to fill it. According to Keen and Bly “The System is a monster that ‘runs us all’”(Johnson [CH. 2] 1), and raises us all. The society we live in shapes our views and beliefs without a doubt. Yet we cannot blame the “system”. Blaming society will not change anything. The system “does not talk balk or actually do anything” (Johnson [CH. 2] 3). We are the one’s who need to change the way the system and society works!
Today Gender rights and important societal issues are being brought out into the light while we were still children. The current generations are acutely aware of gender rights, along with a long list of active social groups in society. Today there here are many activists in the fight for gender equality today, many of which are men; such as Daniel Radcliffe, Patrick Stewart, Mark Ruffalo, and the list can go on and on. In the past we were not aware or did not want to be aware of all the issues with our society because “awareness is hard work”, says Johnson (Johnson [CH. 1] 17).
Gender Equality has also begun to blur. There are issues pertaining to babies being born Intersexual, and people coming out as Transsexual or Homo/Heterosexual. The lines of what gender is has begun to blur and merge with LGBT Rights. Johnson says that the gender you are born does not determine your sexuality. (Johnson [CH. 1] 15). This issue pertaining to simply women’s rights cannot be viewed as an entity on its own. Women’s Rights is tied into LGBT Rights, Race, Class, Sexual Orientation and much more. When thinking about women’s rights – it makes me question what truly is gender and why do we need to place a label on it. Why does society as a whole have a need to need to definitively segregate its citizens? We are all humans and have the same potential in every aspect. Is it the need to have control over the system that we label or is it ingrained in us, from before Neolithic times for us to segregate ourselves among the masses?