Women and Society

Ciencias sociales # Stereotypes. Different cultures. Sex discrimination

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English Linguistic Texts II Third topic 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 of them. 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;

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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.

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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. BIBLIOGRAPHY −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

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