Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Women and work


Indeed, advertisers of the 1980's and 1990's still took their messages where the readers were. The percentage of women who worked may have crossed the 50 percent mar in 1982, but marketing research proved they continued to cook, clean, and care for spouses and children. By the end of the 1980's, the management of 'Good Housekeeping' had asserted that ''the country was returning to their magazine's view of the world.'' and that American women ''had had enough of the blatant careerism of the 1980's.'' This advertising lineage continued to expand in home and fashion magazines, while publications such as Ms. and working woman struggled to capture ad dollars from marketers. When Gloria Steinem told the head of Estee Lauder, Leonard Lauder, that he should be advertising in Ms. because 60 percent of the women who used his products were salaried, he responded by saying that did not matter because he was selling a ''kept woman mentally,'' and even if the majority of women did work today ''they would like to be kept women.'' - Advertising to the American Woman, 1900-1999, Daniel Delis Hill. 

This paragraph has been taken from a book which discusses the development of the role of women in society throughout the 20th century. This piece of text suggests women in work in the 1980's were not taken seriously or taken as that big of a thing. However, this is contradicted by the introduction of maternity leave programs and day care centers which encourage women into work, especially younger women who want to have a career but also want to have a family. These introductions show that women who wanted to and did work were taken seriously.

The text to me suggests men saw women wanting to work as more of a phase and that by the 1980's women were getting over it and preferring to go back to being a housewife. The only supporting quote for this argument also comes from a man who makes the assumption that women would rather be looked after than look after herself. The quote comes from Leonard Lauder who at that time was the CEO of Estee Lauder Make- up and the quote in context was a response to being told he should advertise in the magazine Ms.; a feminist magazine, to which he declined. Lauder's response suggests he does not take women in work seriously as unlike men, women who do work are doing it out of some sort of necessity, otherwise they would  be back in the kitchen were they would rather be.

21st century.

                   The 20 most prevalent occupations for employed women in 2009 were

1.                                   Secretaries and administrative assistants, 3,074,000
2.                                   Registered nurses, 2,612,000
3.                                   Elementary and middle school teachers, 2,343,000
4.                                   Cashiers, 2,273,000
5.                                   Nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides, 1,770,000
6.                                   Retail salespersons, 1,650,000
7.                                   First-line supervisors/managers of retail sales workers, 1,459,000
8.                                   Waiters and waitresses, 1,434,000
9.                                   Maids and housekeeping cleaners, 1,282,000
10.                               Customer service representatives, 1,263,000
11.                               Child care workers, 1,228,000
12.                               Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks, 1,205,000
13.                               Receptionists and information clerks, 1,168,000
14.                               First-line supervisors/managers of office and administrative support workers, 1,163,000
15.                               Managers, all other, 1,106,000
16.                               Accountants and auditors, 1,084,000
17.                               Teacher assistants, 921,000
18.                               Cooks, 831,000
19.                               Office clerks, general 821,000
20.                               Personal and home care aides, 789,000

This is a table from the United States department of labour, which shows the most common occupations for women in 2009 in America. A large proportion, if not all of the 20 most common jobs for women can be seen as more feminine jobs, for example; secretaries, nurses, maids and child care workers. These jobs are most commonly seen as female jobs, rather than jobs for men. This suggests even in 2009, many women are still confined to the traditional role as a housewife when they go out to work. There will always be women who work as doctors, but a larger proportion will be nurses. And there will always be women who work as ice road truckers but a larger proportion will become child care worker. Women have gained equality to some degree, however, from this table it suggests women still have to work around the typical female stereotype of the carer and second to men.

An example of the average women working in typically female jobs is in Barbara Ehrenreich’s book; Nickel & Dimed. In which goes into low wage jobs. The jobs that she undertakes can be seen as typically feminine jobs, for example when she is in Florida, she become a waitress and a maid. While talking about these jobs she only mentions other females who do the same job as her. She then works in  Maine where she gets a job as a maid as well as a job as a nursing home aid.  Thirdly she travels to Minnesota where she gets a job working in the female clothes department of Wal-Mart. All of the jobs that she takes are typically feminine jobs, most commonly done by women. In all of the jobs she does there are only other women who do the same job as her. However, she mentions men, but they are in different jobs, for example she talks about men when she works as a waitress, but the men work as chefs. She talks about men when she works as a maid but the man is their boss. 

No comments:

Post a Comment