Sexism and the changing of roles of American women in the 1800's

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Art ・MLA ・4 Sources

In the early 1800s, a lot of women in their workplace experience sexism in many ways. These are usually in the form of sexist language from males or inappropriate body language directed to them due to their gender. Sadly at the time, a lot of women had normalized these treatments and were used to it. They usually faced problems like getting fired due to pregnancy, resignation after getting married, and they were never taken seriously in comparison to the males at the workplace in terms of ideas. Over the years, many women started voicing out their concersn and they formed many groups to protest against sexism at the workplace (Bradley and Healy, 126). This also helped in raising the desire for an amendment to Title VII 

of the same Act which made sure to avoid specific cases of discrimination against women.

Diversity should be integrated in all fields of work and people should accommodate others when it comes to their different beliefs. People have always believed women to be artists even in male dominated societies and it is normal to find sights of women’s art. Women have always been associated with weavings and embroidery such as in stories featured in The Odyssey that told the story of a brave lady weaver called Penelope. However, women artists still struggled centuries after that especially in the field of art and canon.

With time the stigmas that faced women artists started to change. This kind of change was also experienced across all domains for all women as well. More women groups were formed with the aim of fighting for their rights especially equal rights at workplaces, there were firms that were also dedicated to women’s concerns and also there was the evolvement of women professionals and artists who aimed changing the traditional notions of male dominance in the society (Bradley and Healy, 129). There was a desire to make changes in the society so as to make it fit for those around. Women came together to unite and fight for their rights and freedom to bring understanding and promote social, economic, political and also environmental change to correct the forms of injustices in the community.

In the present day, the idea of women and men as equals has been accepted in the workplace with a few exceptions from a few. Women still face a few challenges especially in the male dominated fields where they have not been fully accepted. To dream means to forget. To forget the struggles that were faced in the past, to forget the reality of the moment and to forget the reasons that drives people to dream. Forgetting is a requirement that is part of dreaming (Coates, 2). Therefore women should forget what women in the past faced for instance in the field of art.

The chain of command by having a strong influence on people is important in reinforcing a revolution. It is true that we cannot change the world, and that change only comes from within. Those in power are leaders such as CEOs in companies, Christian leaders, senators, governors and even lower in level such as the grass root leaders (Coates, 5)

Women artists were also in a position to effect change through their mannerism and the values they upheld. These influential women helped manifest what could only have been a dream in the past by valuing its success on wiping out prejudice. These shifts, that had its roots in the start of the century earlier on, continued to develop which pushed women out of the zones they were pictured to fit and into  the workforce that was only deemed to be for males only.

Speculating on individuals’ moral compass or the whole society at large is something that should not be done. Women today believe that it is possible for people to change, we are all humans after all and our minds could be changed. This is regardless of the chances to change minds. All of people’s strengths are to be focused on changing minds even if it is one per day (Coates, 3). It is through art that women can change the minds of many.

In the past there were many cases where policies have been adapted that have created social, political and even economic policies that gave men an upper advantage of power and supremacy (Lawrence, 58). Women were treated differently from men. However, this has been an inspiration for many women artists who tell these stories of defeat and intuition of these gender roles. Women artists have drawn on the objectification that their women counterparts faced in the past, others have embraced their feminist side and focused on the female body. Women artists today have been able to focus the attention on a woman’s individuality and sexuality as well as women in history. They have also included art that has sparked debate which is indication enough that their message is being received by a majority.


Work cited

A Brief History of Women in Art. Retrieved from 

Bradley and Healy. “Ethnicity and gender at work: Inequalities careers and employment relations”: Identity, careers and employment relations. (Future of work) 122-135; 2008

Coates, “Between the world and me”. Text publishing. Pgs 2-7:2005

 Lawrence, Gueron. “Expanding comprehensiveness; Structural racism and community building in the United States”. In Rebuilding Community (pp 34-63). 2001 Palgrave Macmillan UK.     

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