Kelly Thompson Gender Studies Dr. Smith 6-18-09 Ibsen’s” A Doll’s House” and Gender Roles Introduction It has been experienced from time immemorial that there has always lain a very big and noticeable gap in the roles that both women and men play in the everyday societal developments. The issue according to most of the renowned researches is more elusive to the women as they are the ones that are mostly faced by the double standards in the society and this could include very harsh challenges as far as economic and financial status is concerned.
Some of the roles of women in the society and more typically, in the house-hold, were very much considered inferior as compared to that of the men who in addition, were given an upper hand in the decision making of the society. The thesis of this paper is to deftly analyze Henry Ibsen’s book, A Doll’s House in its portrayal of the roles of gender that existed in the nineteenth century, both in the household and the society as a whole, with more elaboration on the Victorian period .
Separate spheres ideology and how it contributed to this problem This was one of the most popularly used ideologies and a metaphor of the late Victorian time which was basically used by the historians in their bid to deftly analyze the roles of women in the society. It generally meant that two spheres of life that existed between men and women as far as roles are concerned were very much separated from each other. The belief went ahead to assign the women and men some of the distinctively virtual and opposite functional attributes and characteristics that were very much regarded as legitimate.
The two spheres were of the public and private life and it was posited that the husband’s role (this included all the men in general) were absolutely in charge of the public part of life while on the other hand, women (or more appropriately, all the women in general) had the role of taking care of the private life. It was according to these ideologies that men were charged with the role of going to work, voting in the elections, take part in the civics.
This was very contrary to the women who, according to this ideology, remained home to raise the children, cooked for their husbands, and overall took care of all the chores in the domestic sector . These separate spheres of ideologies brought with it a lot of problems that were associated with gender. One of the crucial problems brought about by this ideology was that it very Implicitly had a definition of the white, the Protestants, the middle-class and the arrangements of American gender as “normal’ and imperatively “ideal” for all that could get the opportunity to embrace it.
In the same context, the values of the middle-class were given a definition as typical American values. The consequences: Society headed for a division into two, “natural” classes which included the Men, who could construct the American empire of economical prosperity via achievement within the individual himself/herself; and some of the women who insured social order and just strength through their household activities.
In short, private life provided the decent establishment for the public activity . An explanation of protective legislation and the reasons why women reformers sought it and its implications for gender equity Protective legislation was established for the sole purpose of accordingly advising the President of the United States of America on the issues that were very much affecting women and how to accordingly seek for the solutions towards them.
The main issues that required address was the employment issues that largely affected women. The provisions for the Protective legislation very much limited the specific number of hours that both women and children had to work in a specific job and assured them of a minimum wage for every working period. There was a legal result, however, that both men and women had to be treated very differently in their respective work places.
The major justifications were that; among others, that there were physical differences that existed between men and women and would deem it very dangerous for the weak women to work; secondly, that there was chronic fatigue of the many hours that would effect in the worsening of the health of women’s; and the generations of the future would be absolutely affected by this health deterioration in women. This served a very likable element for the women as the got a much fair consideration, i. e. the Act was absolutely meant for their survival and well being .
The most important ways the 1935 Social Security Act was gendered, and why women reformers supported that legislation The very provisions for The Social Security Act of 1935 was one of the very important functionalities in the revolution against the gender bias in the society and had a lot of embodiment concerning the many number of assumptions that were based on gender issues. It was acting and shifting its responses to the various diverse concerns as per the economies of the country and the ever dynamic roles of women and the positions taken by the minority groups in the United States of America.
In regards to the economic dependence that stood as one of the greatest challenges of the times, it volatility was much addresses since there was a dire need for an equal protection to be guaranteed across the gender, with more emphasis on the women who encountered so much suffrage . According to the Act, it was worth noting that the women (mothers) were entitled to benefits with a directive from the Courts, that was payable to the insured widow of a worker who would be caring for the child of the worker.
The Act provided a living for the women whose husbands were dead and this enabled them to appropriately fends for their children even if they had dismal, or rather, not a single place to earn a living. This was mainly applicable to those women whose husbands were dead . This was very much likable to the women as the Act had a provision for them to be collecting a higher net benefit since they were regarded as people who tend to live longer. Their wage levels were therefore increased accordingly.
On the other hand, the women reformers of the time greatly and actively supported the legislation since it denied the male dominance as far as the earnings were concerned but gave the women an opportunity to have a more equal allocation of funds. According to the provisions of the legislation of the Act, any man that participated in the Social Security Fund was to lose a significant amount of money while for the women; their active involvement in the Security Fund generated to them a much more income . mplications the 1946 Employment Act on gender roles This is was the act led to the establishment of the main purpose that was to adequately lay the accountability of financial strength onto the federal government. This was due to that fact that the American government had suffered a great deal in the World War II and this was seen and appropriately adjudicated as s stimulus plan to rescue the country from the financial turmoil it had gone through . This did not go without the benefits associated with it embrace the roles in the society.
In the bid of the Act to create more employment to each and every individual after the World War II, gender, men and women were equally considered and each one was given apposition that she or he best fitted. This was all with the vision to increase the productivity and employment opportunities for both the men and women in the society. It trying to revive the American country, both women and men were given an equitable opportunity to access the job market, take part in every productive job, and have the responsibility that was equal to the men .
How, when, and why notion of fairness towards women changed from difference to equality There are a number of ways through which women gained a much more adorned recognition in terms of their existence in the society and their views according to the separate spheres of ideologies are concerned. The women of this time, Victorian era, Rather, in adding together to trying to expand recognized activity in public sphere, women very much attempted to have a gain in fairness and its substantively as a consequence of this great effort.
This class entails the notion of differentiation to be invoked and over and over again codified so that respect to the women’s uniqueness is achieved and not that they are always compared to the masculine in the baseline . The reasons for the changes were worth consideration. One was that most jobs that were held by these women were very low-paying and engage somewhat low-substandard environment. Some of the suffrage organizations campaigned for the improvement of the poor working surroundings for women.
These groupings were outspoken and largely accountable for the recognized changes in much needed labor laws that were referenced to as ‘protective legislation’ . Conclusion From the lengthy discussion that has been held above, it is imperative to note that gender roles have come a long way. This encompasses the days of the Victorian era till today when the act of separate ideology is not so much recognized. It has gone through changes and a more equitable approach towards gender roles in the society in entirety . Work cited Ibsen, H. (1889). A Doll’s House and Other Plays (First English edition ed. . New York: J. W. Lovell Company] Urban. W. L. Parallels in A Doll’s House: Festschrift in Honor of Charles Speel. Ed. by Thomas J. Sienkewicz and James E. Betts. Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois, 1997 ALTMEYER, A. 1968 The Formative Years of Social Security. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION AND WELFARE 1960 Basic Readings in Social Security: The 25th Anniversary of the Social Security Act. Washington, D. C. : Government Printing Office. WITTE, E. 1962 The Development of the Social Security Act. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press
Sonya, R. O. ‘Protective labor legislation in nineteenth-century Britain : gender, class and the Liberal state’. In Frader, Laura L. , 1945-; Rose, Sonya O. (ed. ), (Ithaca (NY): Cornell University Press, 1996 Zappone, K. E. Charting the Equality Agenda, Equality Commission for NI and the Equality Authority. (2001) Bailey, S. K. Congress Makes a Law: The Story behind the Employment Act of 1946. New York: Columbia University Press, 1950. Shoemaker, R. B. Separate spheres? Ideology and practice in London gender relations, Stanford (CA): Stanford University Press, 1999), 266-287.