Essay on The Second Shift-Women in Society

1346 Words 6 Pages
The Second Shift-Women in Society

Women have pushed forward in the struggle for equality. Today women are staples in the professional world. More women are attending college than men as proved in recent studies. Women have outnumbered men on college campuses since 1979, and on graduate school campuses since 1984. More American women than men have received bachelor's degrees every year since 1982. Even here on Haverford's campus, the Admissions Office received more applications from women for early decision candidacy than men for the eighth straight year. The wage gap is slowly decreasing and the fight for proper day care services along with insurance coverage for birth control pills are passionate issues for women across America.
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Perhaps you are saying to yourself "I already knew this but couldn't prove it." Whether or not you could have guessed this information or have possibly lived to tell your own stories about juggling the responsibilities of family-life and work, the underlying and disturbing question is, how can this be so today? How can it be that modern women who have seemingly come so far in becoming recognized as thriving active members of business, politics, and society in general still be struggling with the same gender roles with which their grandmothers dealt? How is it that women have broken out of many of the confines holding them back from the public sphere, but women are still expected to fulfill traditional roles within the private sector?

The initial answer is that women today can not simply give up their roles of motherhood and wife because they have gained ground outside the home. Household and child care responsibilities still apply to women even if she wakes early to start her 9am job and doesn't return home until 5pm. Yet, this answer is inherently problematic. The responsibilities discussed above should not mean an inequitable amount of time spent on her children and family as compared to her husband. House-hold responsibilities should not result in less sleep than her husband and having less time