Arbeitsblatt: short story on sexist practises


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Steffi Von Bergen-Rauch
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S104 Ateliersemester W06 Kompetenzraster, Aufgaben, Informationen zum Fach Englisch Fachwissenschaft Short story on sexist practices Washing day It was not an easy day for Mary. Soon twelve oclock, she was still four blocks away from the restaurant where she had an appointment with her employer. Like usual, she was too late and in hurry. When she arrived at half past twelve, the employer was gone. She looked around and made phone call to the office to explain why she was too late and apologized. After some seconds standing around in the restaurant she noticed that she had to pick up her daughter from school. Oh my goodness, the time is runningIm out of time once again. She ran out and went to the bus station where she recognized that the last bus to Victoria Road Station just left. She was in panic because she knew that her daughter was waiting for her. What the hell is wrong with me today? Its really not my day! Then she decided to order taxi because it was the last opportunity to be there in time. She was fifteen minutes late and then she saw in her daughters angry and disappointed eyes. Honey, Im sorry! Oh Mom, stop it! Youre always late. Have you noticed that? Its incredible! Mary said nothing and took the hand carefully of her daughter and both went to the shopping centre. One hour later they were at home. The box of eggs fell from the top of the shopping-basket to the floor and smashed. The key refused to turn in the lock and Mary was compelled to let go of her daughters hand and put down the basket. Jill ran across the hall and rang the bell outside the flat opposite. She was only seven and an active girl. Stop that, you little devil. You dont want Mrs. Mills to come out, do you? Mrs. Mills was an old woman in her eighties living next to Mary and her daughter. She was not nice and friendly person. She was always complaining about unnecessarily things and Jeanine Aregger, Steffi von Bergen-Rauch 1 was very interested in everything that was going around in the house and she liked to gossip lot. Mrs. Mills always had her nose in other peoples business so she was not very well-liked. However, it was already too late. The door opened to reveal the stout figure of Mrs. Mills. So youve come home at last, have you!? Ive just been to You forgot to take the washing out of the drying-room. Im sorry. It wont happen again. Thats what you said last time. Well, had to go to school to fetch Jill. suppose you didnt have time to clean the washing-machine either. It was filthy. Im sorry about that, too. You see, had to get lunch ready for Jill and her father. My husband has only an hour for lunch. If its not ready when he gets home then Husband? Youll be saying the moon is made of green cheese in minute. Everybody knows you are not married. dont know how you expect this poor little girl to behave herself like any normal child when her parents are living in sin. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. dont think that is any of your business. Jill is perfectly happy with And look at the way you live? Its not normal, thats what say. You go to work all day. What kind of wife are you? You should have look to your family. Doesnt your husband earn enough money? know he has well-paid job. Now look here, Mrs. Mills, Ive just about had enough of your bloody ideas. Its no business of yours how we live. My husband has good job and yes, it is well-paid but have the right to work too. What do you think of us? Ok, Im busy but have time for my job, my family and the housework. Housework? You dont know one end of brush from the other. Modern woman! Its incredible! When my husband was alive, he never had allowed me to work. took care of my family and that was my job. Dont tell me anything about being busy. The key turned at last and the door opened. Come on, Jill. Mother and daughter went into their flat and closed the door. And dont forget to take the washing out of the drying-room next week or Ill Mary smashed the door. Alone at last in the flat Jill and her mother started to unpack the shopping-basket. She was really tired. Working as secretary the whole day, looking after the house and the time she Jeanine Aregger, Steffi von Bergen-Rauch 2 needs for Jill, was becoming too much for her. She looked around the kitchen. Perhaps it wasnt as clean as it should be. Where should she start? What else she has to do? The doorbell rang. She answered it. What are you going to do about this mess in the hall? You cant throw eggs all over the floor and just leave them there, you know. This was clean house before you came here with your man. People, who think they are something better then the others, should Oh, go to hell! She slammed the door in her face. Then she walked into the kitchen, took out bucket from under the sink and began to fill it with hot soapy water. At night Jill was already asleep and Mary was still doing the housework. Then the door opened and Jim, her husband, came in. Hi Mary, is dinner ready? Im so hungry. had busy day! Could you imagine, that all computers in our company had broke down?! All the work Mary was too tired to answer and just walked into the kitchen to make the dinner ready. While eating his dinner, Jim was talking about the news in the office and Mary only sat there and was not listening to him. He suddenly looked at her and said: Hey, whats wrong with you? Arent you interested in my working day? Mary just looked at him with tired eyes. Well, its just Jim interrupted her and asked: Havent you had time to do the laundry and what about the vacuum cleaner? Oh, let me think, have you picked up my clothes from the dry cleaners? Mary stood up, walked into the bedroom, closed the door quietly and lay down. After five minutes she closed her eyes. Jeanine Aregger, Steffi von Bergen-Rauch 3 Academic conclusion BBC-Article: Housework holding women back Women will not achieve equal opportunities in the workplace until men agree to do their fair share of housework, according to University of Ulster researchers. The research What women want? Women and gender roles in Northern Ireland, compared attitudes expressed in three surveys in the province between 1994 and 2002. Despite an increasing number of women in the workplace, they still continue to bear the lion share of the burden of running the home. Men on average do just under six hours of housework per week compared to more than 17 hours by women, not including the time spent looking after children. Authors of the report Professor Gillian Robinson and Dr Ann Marie Gray, from the University of Ulster, said gender inequalities were rooted in social structures and in attitudes. It is difficult to see how women will ever have the same opportunities in the labour market if equality in the private sphere is not achieved and women continue to provide more than 70% of all household and caring work, they said. They found the perception that what women really want is home and children has remained remarkably consistent over the years with 36% of men and women agreeing or strongly agreeing with that sentiment in 2002. Conservative attitudes Of those who replied to the 2002 Life and Times Survey, 70% agreed that both men and women should contribute to the household income. However, the survey also suggested that domestic responsibilities and childcare were not equally shared. The researchers also referred to the high cost and limited availability of childcare in Northern Ireland which created problems for many working parents. In the survey, men and women were asked about range of household chores doing the laundry, making repairs, looking after sick family members, shopping for groceries, household cleaning and preparing meals. The male respondents made significant contribution only when it came to making repairs. Although majority of both men and women agreed that men ought to do large share of the housework, the researchers found traditional gender roles within the home very slow to change, with conservative attitudes still fairly entrenched in Northern Ireland. Only 8% of respondents felt that women should go out to work full-time when they had child under school age. Some 44% felt that family life suffers when woman has full-time job and 46% felt preschool child is likely to suffer if his or her mother works. Source: Jeanine Aregger, Steffi von Bergen-Rauch 4 Improving Gender Relationships in School Daily classroom situations could be that once again all the boys are clustered on one side of the meeting circle and all the girls on the other. The same thing happens during choice time, when the girls flock to the writing centre and the boys gather around the math games. Such scenes are common in elementary schools: boys or girls left out for being the wrong gender; talents, ideas, and enthusiasm rejected because someone belongs to the wrong gender; boys and girls teasing and taunting each other as they defend their positions on either side of the gender divide. Although teachers might notice some early signs of gender division in the primary grades, the split becomes most noticeable in about third grade when boys and girls not only separate by gender in school but also stop inviting each other to come over after school and start having all-one-gender birthday parties. Because preference for same-gender friends and resistance to gender mixing is predictable part of child development, it is tempting to dismiss problems between boys and girls with simple, Kids will be kids. However, negative inter-gender behaviours are worth paying attention to. In fact, facing them head-on can be prerequisite to successful teaching in many classrooms, where both boys and girls confront teachers daily with taunting, cliques and exclusion, and hurtful notes and drawings. All of this interferes with attempts to build community prevents boys and girls from working successfully together, undermines the academic agenda, and creates an unsafe learning environment. Over-sorting by gender works against what we most want in the classroom: for students to be fulfilled and to build community. If boys are always here, girls always there, it divides the community. That is why it is our job to help children reach their potential, which often means we have to unsort the sorted. This does not mean that boys should never work with other boys on project or that girls should never meet together in math study group. It does not mean that either girls or boys should abandon their same-gender best friends: no one can deny the value of same-gender friendships. But it is important for boys and girls to learn to work and play together in friendly, respectful manner, outside the box of gender or cliques or favourite friend status. We are all together in one group. Gender is not category that matters in this classroom. Gender is common theme in our daily life. That is why it is important to discuss in school. The students should we get consciousness of the importance of the gender theme. The teacher has to get the students values and norms and to show the comprehension of roles. Feminist movement – history and present time Since couple of years, women are fighting against discrimination. The history shows many examples of situations in which women played subordinated role often forced by men or community norms and values. In the past women had to stay at home, keep care of their families and had to look after the house holding. To bring up children and educate norms and values has been the most important aspect to fill up. Over the years, women began to stand up and fight for their rights. Working outside the house, earning their own money, all things like that were first steps to become modern women. Famous names out of the feminist movement are for instance Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony and Germaine Greer. Opponents of feminist movement claim that womens quest for external power, as opposed to the internal power to affect other people ethics and values, has left vacuum in the area of moral training, where women formerly held sway. Some feminists reply that the education, including the moral education, of children has never been, and should not be, seen as the Jeanine Aregger, Steffi von Bergen-Rauch 5 exclusive responsibility of women. Paradoxically, it is also held by others that the moral education of children at home in the form of home schooling is itself womens movement. Such arguments are entangled within the larger disagreements of the Culture Wars, as well as within feminist (and anti-feminist) ideas regarding custodianship of societal morals and compassion. History The Feminist Movement reaches far back before the 18th century, but the seeds of modern Feminist movement were planted during the late part of that century. The earliest works on the so-called woman question criticized the restrictive role of women, without necessarily claiming that women were disadvantaged or that men were to blame. Prior to 1850 Christine de Pizan, late medieval writer, was possibly the earliest feminist in the western tradition. Indeed she is believed to be the first woman to make living writing. Feminist thought began to take more substantial shape during The Enlightenment with such thinkers as Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Marquis de Condorcet championing womens education. The first scientific society for women was founded in Middleberg, city in the south of the Dutch republic, in 1785. Journals for women which focused on issues like science became popular during this period as well. During the period of the French Revolution, two of the first works that can unambiguously be called feminist appeared. In the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen (1791), Olympe de Gouges paraphrased the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789), central document of the Revolution. By modern standards or in comparison to Olympe de Gouges, her English contemporary Mary Wollstonecraft comparison of women to the nobility, the elite of society, coddled, fragile, and in danger of intellectual and moral sloth in Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) does not sound like feminist argument, but Wollstonecraft believed that both sexes contributed to this situation and took it for granted that women had considerable power over men. At the same time, as part French revolution: olympe de gouges started first attempts to establish womens rights. In the 19th century The movement is generally said to have begun in the 18th century as people increasingly adopted the perception that women are oppressed in male-centered society (see patriarchy). The Feminist movement is rooted in the West and especially in the reform movement of the 19th century. The organized movement is dated from the first Womens Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848. John Stuart Mill, with the influence of his wife Harriet Taylor, made considerable contribution with his work The Subjection of Women, in the mid-19th Century. Other notable 19th-century feminists include, Emma Goldman, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Dame Ethel Mary Smyth, and Margaret Sanger. In the 20th century Many countries began to grant women the vote in the early years of the 20th century, especially in the final years of the First World War and the first years after the war. The reasons for this varied, but included desire to recognize the contributions of women during the war, and were also influenced by rhetoric used by both sides at the time to justify their war efforts. For example, since Wilson Fourteen Points recognized self determination as vital component of society, the hypocrisy of denying half the population of modern nations the vote became difficult for men to ignore. (See: Womens suffrage) Jeanine Aregger, Steffi von Bergen-Rauch 6 The 1920s were an important time for women, who, in addition to gaining the vote also gained legal recognition in many countries. However, in many countries, women lost the jobs they had gained during the war. In fact, women who had held jobs prior to the war were sometimes compelled to give up their jobs to returning soldiers, partly due to conservative backlash, and partially through societal pressure to reward the soldiers. Many women continued to work in blue collar jobs, on farms, and traditionally female occupations. Women did make strides in some fields such as nursing. In Nigeria, the Igbo Womens War of 1929 saw women demanding greater role in local politics. In both World Wars, manpower shortages brought women into traditionally male occupations, ranging from munitions manufacturing and mechanical work to female baseball league. By demonstrating that women could do mens work, and highlighting societys dependence on their labor, this shift encouraged women to strive for equality. In World War II, the popular icon Rosie the Riveter became symbol for generation of working women. The rise of socialism and communism advanced the rights of women to economic parity with men in some countries. Women were often encouraged to take their place as equals in these societies, although they rarely enjoyed the same level of political power as men, and still often faced very different social expectations. In some areas, regimes actively discouraged the Feminist movement and womens liberation. In Nazi Germany, very hierarchical society was idealized where women maintained position largely subordinate to men. Womens activism was very difficult there, and in other societies that deliberately set out to restrict womens, and mens, gender roles, such as Italy, and much later Afghanistan. Early feminists are often called the first wave feminists, and feminists after about 1960 are called the second wave feminists. Second wave feminists were concerned with gaining full social and economic equality, having already gained almost full legal equality in many western nations. One of the main fields of interest to these women was in gaining the right to contraception and birth control, which were almost universally restricted until the 1960s. With the development of the birth control pill feminists hoped to make it as available as possible. Many hoped that this would free women from the perceived burden of mothering children they did not want; they felt that control of reproduction was necessary for full economic independence from men. Access to abortion was also widely demanded, but this was much more difficult to secure because of the deep societal divisions that exists over the issue. To this day, abortion remains controversial in many parts of the world. Many feminists also fought to change perceptions of female sexual behavior. Since it was often considered more acceptable for men to have multiple sexual partners many feminists encouraged women into sexual liberation and having sex for pleasure with multiple partners. The extent to which most women in fact changed their behavior, first of all because many women had already slept with multiple partners, and secondly because most women still remained in mainly monogamous relationships, are debatable. However, it seems clear that women becoming sexually active since the 1980s are relatively more sexually active than previous generations. Moreover, much of the taboo of sexuality evaporated within Western societies as women in monogamous and open relationships asserted their right to enjoy and not regret or be shamed by sexuality. (See: Sexual revolution) These developments in sexual behavior have not gone without criticism by some feminists. They see the sexual revolution primarily as tool used by men to gain easy access to sex Jeanine Aregger, Steffi von Bergen-Rauch 7 without the obligations entailed by marriage and traditional social norms. They see the relaxation of social attitudes towards sex in general, and the increased availability of pornography without stigma, as leading towards greater sexual objectification of women by men. Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin gained notoriety in the 1980s by attempting to classify pornography as violation of womens civil rights. There is so called third wave, but feminists disagree as to its necessity, its benefits, and its ideas. Often also called Post-Feminist, it can possibly be considered to be the advancement of female discourse in world where the equality of women is something that can be assumed rather than fought for. However, many women cite that this belief is oppressive in itself, as it assumes an equality which, to certain degree, does not exist. Women still must face host of issues including unequal pay, the lack of child care, the glass ceiling, sexual inequality in government programs such as social security, the burdensome assumption as to womens responsibility for the family even when working, and continuing gender stereotyping that hinder younger generation of women from realizing their abilities in math and the sciences. Early Achievements The Feminist Movement has effected many changes in Western society, including womens suffrage broad employment for women at more equitable wages (equal pay for equal work) the right to initiate divorce proceedings and no fault divorce; and the right of women to make individual decision regarding pregnancy, including obtaining contraceptives and safe abortions; and many others. Some feminists would argue that there is still much to be done on these fronts, while third wave feminists would disagree and claim that the battle has basically been won. As Western society has become increasingly accepting of feminist principles, some of these ideas are no longer seen as specifically feminist. Some beliefs that were radical for their time, such as equal pay for equal effort and time are now mainstream political thought. Almost no one in Western societies today questions the right of women to vote, choose her own marital partner if any, or to own land, concepts that seemed quite strange only 100 years ago. Feminists are also often proponents of using gender-inclusive language, such as humanity instead of mankind, or he or she in place of he where the gender is unknown. This can be seen as move to change language which has been viewed by some feminists as imbued with sexism providing for example the case in the English language the word for the general pronoun is he or his (The child should have his paper and pencils), which is the same as the masculine pronoun (The boy and his truck). These feminists use theory to purport that language then directly affects perception of reality. The feminist movement has certainly affected the nature of heterosexual relationships in Western and other societies. While these effects have generally been seen as positive, there have been some consequences that can be catalogued as negative from the traditional point of view of morals. In some of these relationships, there has been change in the power relationship between men and women. In these circumstances, women and men have had to adapt to relatively new situations, sometimes causing confusions about role and identity. Women can now avail themselves more to new opportunities, but some have suffered from the demands of trying to live up to the so-called superwoman identity, and have struggled to have it all, i.e. manage to happily balance career and family. In response to the family issue, many Socialist feminists blame this on the lack of state-provided childcare facilities. Instead of the onus of Jeanine Aregger, Steffi von Bergen-Rauch 8 childcare resting solely on the female, society has started to recognize male responsibilities in assisting in managing family matters. Today, it seems that women have the same rights like men in our society. Many examples shows, the fight against discrimination has not finished yet. Women earn less in nearly all kinds of work places and have fewer chances to find new job after pregnancy. When they reach higher position in business life, they are still not on the same base as men in similar positions. During the time, we as women made some big steps but still have to fight for equal rights. For school it means that we have to be careful how we teach students. We have to take care of history and show the development. Therefore, the students get new consciousness and learn how to handle this topic in school and daily life. We have to take care of the next generation because these students are our future. For students it should be normal to react with understanding and knowledge. So they can act in modern way which includes they have to see all people as human beings and not as man and or woman in the role itself. This is the new understanding of roles and role situations. In this way, women will reach the equal rights. Feminists continue fighting conditions which they perceive as oppressive to women. Feminists observe that in more or less all areas of the world, women still earn less than men on average, and hold less political and economic power. It is believed that womens lesser earning power is due to being paid less than men for equivalent work on significant scale. Feminists believe that women are often the subject of intense social pressure to conform to relatively traditional gender expectations. The most high profile work is done in the field of pay-equity, reproductive rights, and encouraging women to become engaged in politics, both as candidates and as voters. In some areas feminists also fight for legislation guaranteeing equitable divorce laws and protections against rape and sexual harassment. Radical feminism was significant development in second wave feminism, viewing womens oppression as fundamental element in human society and seeks to challenge that standard by broadly inverting perceived gender roles along with promoting lesbian and gay rights. In the Arab and Islamic world, the Feminist movement has faced very different challenges. In Morocco and Iran, for example, it is the application of Islamic personal status laws that are the target of feminist activity. According to Islamic law, for example, woman who remarries may lose custody over her children; divorce is an unqualified male privilege; in certain countries polygamy is still legal. While not attacking Islamic law itself, these women and men in different Islamic countries offer modern, feminist, egalitarian readings of religious texts. In Egypt feminist gynecologist Nawal al-Sadawi centers her critique on the still-prevalent custom of female genital mutilation. Feminist groups in other African countries have targeted the practice as well. One problem feminists have encountered in the late 20th century is strong backlash against perceived zealotry on their part. This backlash may be due to the visibility of some radical feminist activism that has been inaccurately perceived as representing the Feminist movement as whole. Many women, and some men, have become reluctant to be identified as feminists for this reason. Outside of the West, the Feminist movement is often associated with Western colonialism and Western cultural influence, and is therefore often delegitimized. Feminist groups therefore often prefer to refer to themselves as womens organizations and refrain from labeling themselves feminists. Jeanine Aregger, Steffi von Bergen-Rauch 9 Relationship to other movements Most feminists take holistic approach to politics, believing the saying of Martin Luther King Jr., threat to justice anywhere is threat to justice everywhere. In that belief, some feminists usually support other movements such as the civil rights movement, the gay rights movement and, more recently Fathers rights. At the same time many black feminists such as bell hooks criticize the movement for being dominated by white women. Feminist claims about the disadvantages women face in Western society are often less relevant to the lives of black women. This idea is the key in postcolonial feminism. Many black feminist women prefer the term womanism for their views. However, feminists are sometimes wary of the transsexual movement because they challenge the distinctions between men and women. Transsexual women are excluded from some women-only gatherings and events and are rejected by some feminists who say that no one born male can truly understand the oppression women face. This is criticized as Tran phobic by transsexual women who assert that the discrimination and various struggles (such as that for legal recognitions) that they face due to asserting their gender identity, more than makes up for any they may have missed out on growing up, and that discrimination against gender-variant people is another face of heterosexism and patriarchy. (See: Tran feminism and gender studies) Bibliography Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble. London: Routledge, 1999. Jones, Amelia. The feminism and visual culture, reader. London: Routledge, 2006. Fougeyrollas-Schwebel, E. Feminism(s), 2006. Tetreault, Mary Ann. Conscious Acts and the Politics of Social Change (Feminist Approaches to Social Movements, Community and Power) Jeanine Aregger, Steffi von Bergen-Rauch 10