What were the challenges faced by the feminist movement in the 1980s and why were the issues of the Equal Rights Amendment, abortion and pornography troublesome issues during this movement?
The term feminism can be used to describe a political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing equal rights and legal protection for women. Under the help of writing an essay feminism issue had been examined. Feminism involves political and sociological theories and philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference, as well as a movement that advocates gender equality for women and campaigns for women’s rights and interests. Although the terms “feminism” and “feminist” did not gain widespread use until the 1970s, they were already being used in the public parlance much earlier; for instance, Katherine Hepburn speaks of the “feminist movement” in the 1942 film Woman of the Year.
According to Maggie Humm and Rebecca Walker, the history of feminism can be divided into three waves. Best essay service examined all of them within the framework of custom essays. The first feminist wave was in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the second was in the 1960s and 1970s, and the third extends from the 1990s to the present. Feminist theory emerged from these feminist movements. It is manifest in a variety of disciplines such as feminist geography, feminist history and feminist literary criticism.
Feminism has altered predominant perspectives in a wide range of areas within Western society, ranging from culture to law. Feminist activists have campaigned for women’s legal rights (rights of contract, property rights, voting rights); for women’s right to bodily integrity and autonomy, for abortion rights, and for reproductive rights (including access to contraception and quality prenatal care); for protection of women and girls from domestic violence, sexual harassment and rape;for workplace rights, including maternity leave and equal pay; against misogyny; and against other forms of gender-specific discrimination against women.
The advocate and campaign for the right of equality of the women are known to be long ongoing on the history pages of the society’s development. In this aspect, women are traditionally viewed as recessive and subordinate to their gender counterpart however this social view, has been significantly changed now in the present. The campaign to achieve this status is known to as an enduring journey for the women as they have endured many challenges and problems on the way. Yet, their dedication and passion for achieving an equal status in the society are proven to be stronger than the adverse hindrances on their way.
The campaign for the equal rights of women has been long ongoing with many peaks and turning points for both conflicting parties. However, one of the most significant periods of the campaign happened during 1980s when legal matters and social issues became the stumbling block for the women’s campaign. Indeed, in the 1980s, the significant rise of some legal and social matters namely the rectification of the Equal Rights Amendment, rise in abortion rate, spread of AIDS and pornography proved to be critical challenges to the feminist movement.
What appeared first as a solution to the problem eventually became an overwhelming problem for the feminist movement. The passing of the Equal Rights Amendment has almost become the light for the feminist movements however, the issues regarding this proposed amendment have given much more challenges than its positive intentions. This amendment actually guarantees equal rights to all the citizens of America under the rule of the United States Constitution however, promotion of the equal rights also requires equal responsibilities for all people. As the opposition of the feminist movements claim, the ERA would only cause sex bias in the U.S. Code as the main point of the amendment is solely to give out equal treatment for the people regardless of gender. However, opponents of ERA argued that this amendment failed to realize the equal responsibilities that must also be levied unto the people regardless of gender. This means that women must also be drafted to the military in scenarios of world and military threat which is unlikely also to happen. Because of this, the ERA has been viewed as an illogical political movement as this can inflict more adverse effect to women rather than promote their rights.
Other social issues during the 1980s that became a problem for the feminist movement are the problem of increasing abortion, AIDS and pornography abuse cases. These problems are argued to be direct effects of the feminist movement to the society making more negative perspective towards their campaign. Increased abortion rates was argued to be because of the desire of women to become liberated including having extramarital affairs resulting to cases of unwanted pregnancies. This argument has been related to the fact the some women suffragist such as Margaret Sanger and others have started to remove social limitations to women particularly their femininity and sexuality. This is also believed to be the cause for the rise in the pornography incidences in the same period. The deterioration of the social norm regarding female sexual issues has led to the liberal nature of women. This has also caused the rise in the social incidences of lesbian relationships which is argued to be a significant factor to the AIDS problem. Indeed, most of these negative issue that occurred in the 1980s are blamed to the feminist movement causing a negative image to their campaign.
However, advocates and suffragettes for women’s equal right continued to push through their campaign in spite of all the negative challenges that are thrown at them. Through overcoming these stumbling issues that the society has able to see their dedication and commitment to their ideology gaining the feminist movements more supporters making their campaign stronger than ever. This has eventually lead to more significant triumph for the feminist group in achieving their equal and fair standing in the society.
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