04 February 2019
Gender Wars Back Then vs. Today
In the United State’s history there has made attempts to try and end the gender
wars, but we are still seeing so many of the same problems or attributes that the women back
then saw. Some examples of these would be the Women’s Suffrage or the Women’s Right to
Vote, The Me Too Movement, and The gender pay gap. Each of these were brought to the
government’s attention for decades and even though they have tried to resolve some of things.
They are now bigger then they were then.
Women’s Right to Vote or the Women’s Suffrage Rights is the nineteenth amendment in
the United State’s Constitution. “It was passed by congress on June 4, 1919, and was ratified on
August 18, 1920. (19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women's Right to Vote (1920)”.
In the 1870’s feminists tried to vote. When they were turned away they filed lawsuits. Even
though the nineteenth amendment was ratified in 1920, there were still some states that had not
ratified until almost twenty years after the nineteenth amendment was written. “And then there
was Mississippi who did not ratify until sixty four years after the law was enacted
nationally.(Payne, Spruill, & Swain 2010)”. At the time of the voting act many “politicians
responded to the newly enlarged electorate by emphasizing issues that intrested women such as;
prohibition, child health, public schools, and world peace.(Dumenil 2007)”. However, even
though women responded to these issues, when it came to voting they shared the same beliefs
and voting behaviors as men. Because of the voting gender gap it has impacted the way elections
and the way candidates run for office. “The presence of women in Congress has gradually
increased since 1920, with an especially steady increase from 1981 to the present. In 113th
Congress, serving from 2013-2015, included a record 20 female senators and 77 female
representatives.(Women in U.S. Congress, Rutgers 2013)”. And in 2017 congress had a record
number of women 104 house members and twenty-one Senators.
The gender pay gap is the “average difference between the remuneration for men and
women who are working. ("Gender pay gap" 2019)”. Women are usually getting paid less than
men. In 1963 John F. Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This law “prohibits
sex based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform
jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working
conditions. ("The Equal Pay Act of 1963")”. Now even though this law was made in the 1960’s
we are still seeing these kind of actions in people’s wages today. In 2009 President Barack
Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. “Lily Ledbetter worked at Goodyear Tire plant
and filed for an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination. (Siniscalco 2010)”. There have
been some people who think that men get paid more than women is because men are more
willing to negotiate more than women. Another key factor that has caused men to make more
money than women is, women are more likely to take time off of work. An example of this
would be for maternity leave. Someone is more likely to make more money than someone who
does not take time off. Now although the pay gap has narrowed as time has gone on, the gender
pay gap still exists today. There have been some people who think that men get paid more than
women is because men are more willing to negotiate for more than women. Many public figures
in the media who have spoken up about this. One person who has spoken about this on an
international level is actress Jennifer Lawrence. “She wrote an essay, in this essay she addressed
the fact that she was getting paid less than her co-stars. She blamed herself for failing to
negotiate because she was more worried about being liked.(Burns, 2016)”.
In 1986 the United State Supreme Court held that work environment can be declared
hostile or abusive because of discrimination based on sex. This ruling from the court has a lot to
do with what the Me Too movement is about. The Me Too Movement is an attempt to draw
attention to sexual assault and harassment. In October of 2017 actress Melissa Milano sent a
tweet with #metoo. Because of this tweet several people started to share their stories on various
forms on social media. It was because of this that “employers were being forced to make
changes. For example, examining gender-based pay differences and improving sexual
harassment policies.(Feldt 2018)”. The me too movement has had many people come forward
from many industries such as sports. Most notably the former U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry
Nassar. The most recent stand towards the me too movement was over the holidays. Several
radio stations all over the country had removed the Christmas song Baby It’s Cold Outside. Now
that song was written in 1944 and has since had many other versions of it released. But it was
because of some of the lyrics it made it seem suggestive to sexual harassment. Since the Me Too
Movement started many people have started to come forward and tell their stories because they
are seeing other people do the same. So just like the Women’s Suffrage and Gender Pay Gap, the
Me Too Movement had some history in the United States Government.
The thing with all these, is that for decades our country has tried to resolve these issues
like the gender pay gap and the me too movement. Whereas because of the Women’s suffrage
and Women’s right to vote it has made gigantic slides for women. Back then women were just
supposed to cook, clean, watch the kids. But because of Women’s right to vote it gave them a
voice and they made sure that their voice would be heard. But because of the Gender Pay Gap
and the Me Too movement it has gotten many women to speak up for themselves and has helped
them. The policies that were put in place for these movements back then were more like a
stepping stone for what the women and government have been able to achieve in today's society.
“113th United States Congress.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 2013,
“19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women's Right to Vote (1920).” Our Documents
- Interstate Commerce Act (1887), www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=false&doc=63.
Burns, Dasha. “What Jennifer Lawrence Reveals about Women,Equal Pay.” CNN, 26 Nov.
Dumenil, Lynn. The Modern Temper: American Culture and Society in the 1920s. Hill and
Feldt, Gloria. “How Companies Must Adapt in the #MeToo Era.” Time, Time, 29 Jan. 2018,
“Gender Pay Gap.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 28 Jan. 2019,
“Me Too Movement.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 Feb. 2019,
Payne, Elizabeth Anne, et al. Mississippi Women: Their Histories, Their Lives. Univ. of
Georgia Press, 2010.
Siniscalco, Gary R. “Developments in Equal Pay Law: The Lily Ledbetter Act and Beyond.”
Americanbar.org, American Bar Association, Mar. 2010.
“The Equal Pay Act of 1963.” Information about the Americans with Disabilities Act
Amendments Act (ADAAA), www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/epa.cfm.
“Women's Suffrage in the United States.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Jan. 2019,