Feminism can be roughly defined as a movement that seeks to enhance the quality of women’s lives by impacting the norms and moves of a society based on male dominance and subsequent female subordination. The means of change in the work place, politically, and domestically. Women have come a long way since the 19th century. Women have been trying to prove to the male dominant world that they are equal. They can perform and complete any tasks equal, or in some cases better than man. Feminism has changed the definition of men in many ways.
Women in the work place have transposed dramatically since the 19th and mid 20th century. Even if women had any education in the 19th century they were not allow to manifest any of it. It just was not proper for women to give any signs of intelligence and a brain of their own. They were to prepare themselves to become wives and mothers, which were the extent of their entire lives. In the early and mid 20th century some women were starting to be brave and take a stand for themselves. The beginnings of feminism were starting to take its massive role in society. More and more women were getting educated and looking for employment opportunities that had power. Men no longer can be in control of everything. Men in the work place started to feel impotent. But women fed off each other and gave each other strength. They were not looking for just the secretarial jobs; they were taking some men’s jobs and being good at it. They were becoming police officers, fireman, managers and business owners. Taking and sharing jobs with men, and performing just as well. For example, in the film Mr. Mom when the husband gets laid off work and the wife goes to work to support their family. It is very easy for a woman to do a man’s job but very difficult for a man to take over a woman’s duty at home.
Another way women have changed the definition of men is politically. Many years ago women were not allowed to vote. But women changed that in the early 1900’s. With the woman suffrage movement, it was a courageous and persistent political campaign, which lasted over 72 years, yet because of this women are allowed to vote today. This might have affected men greater than anything else, giving women power to vote and to actually give them a voice was ludicrous for men to allow. Ever since women have taken greater and greater roles in the political world. It was another sense of power or control men lost out in. In the reading Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, gives the voice of the many women who felt the same way she did. There was a need of change in society. But men too helped with the decision making of the 1900’s. The suffrage movement both included men as supporters and depended on men for their votes. The suffrage question often received tens of thousands of male votes of approval, and ultimately, a virtual all-male Senate and House had to approve the amendment, along with 36 virtually all-male state legislatures. Courageous men risked ridicule and worse to actively support women’s rights, and they offer far better role models today than many better-known political and military figures.
Domestically, women and men have changed their roles dramatically. There were no questions before who would do the household duties. Now men and women share them equally. Women do not accept the stereotyping of “you’re the wife you cook and clean.” Men share with the cleaning and the cooking, even with the diaper changing. There are still many men who will not perform any of these duties. They still believe it is a woman’s job. For instance, in the film Mr. Mom, Michael Keaton takes the role of the mother, but does a lousy job. The simplicity of changing a diaper is very difficult for him to do. But the fact that woman do not accept the husbands to sit around and do nothing anymore have changed men. Men know they can’t get away with it anymore. Oppose to back to just the
Several works by contemporary writers (Kissling, 1999; Lafky; 1999; Owen, 1999; Wayne; 2000) contrast the reading by Mellencamp (1986). Although written with almost two decades of intellectual development in feminist writings, there are parallels between the writings demonstrating that some things have not changed with time and development in feminist thinking. Whilst Mellencamp reviewed productions from the 1950's Owen and Lafky look into contemporary programs, in particular Buffy the Vampire slayer and Twin Peaks. Their discourses focus in different directions however the comparisons are amongst all writings are interesting not only in terms of observing the state of television programs which reflect different social tendencies, trends and desires for normative behaviour, it is also interesting comparison because of the development in the feminist debates surrounding those critiques. Mellencamp views the emergence of situational comedies in the 1950s US society as a secretive push by sections of women society in the US at the time to escape and subvert the male patriarchal dominance of the time with television narrative of humour.She presents it as a resistance, as the personalities of Lucy and Gracie where images of a suppressed ideal for many women who were drowned by the tide of society's push for an ideal woman being the quite housewife in the working father in the nuclear family model. It was a quite subversion as humour was acceptable to men and women equally and did not offend sensitivities of a dominant class. Not enough was made of this point, which it perhaps should have been.
Television programs produced decades later did not attempt to show a facade of unreal idealism, but rather has focused on a narrative where women, in particular young women, have independence of mind and power of self will (Owen, 1999; 25; Lafky, 1999; 7). The popular dramatic teen series such as Dawson’s Creek, Felicity, and Party of F…