Sex equality, gender equality, sexual equality, or gender egalitarianism refers to the equal treatment of both men and women in every front of the society. The view that both women and men should receive equal handling has been there for many years. Discrimination against gender creates social barriers to development. Measurement of gender equality is done through the analysis of the role representation of both women and men in different aspects of the society. International comparative indices on gender equality have been set up to enable the standardization of gender equality across all countries. Each of the gender measurement indices look at different parameters, and each parameter affects gender equality levels in every analysis. The aim of this paper is to look at the historical perspective of gender equality in voting.
Currently, the world has achieved considerable levels of gender equality. Women political participation has increased compared to the past (Deploige & Miltner, 2005). By 2014, more than 46 countries had over 30 percent of their parliament member seats occupied by the women. However, some countries, mostly in the Middle East Muslim countries, gender equality have not been achieved. Women hold minor jobs with small benefits compared to the men. Additionally, violence against women has increased in these countries. The historical time in the American society saw women voting rights taken away.
Womens Right to Vote
The ethics make great differences in the analysis of the human society. It is not in all instances that ethics acts as abstract discussions to be used in theoretical cases. It is seen that ethics bring about significant changes in the society. In this analytical case, the focus will be on the arguments that revolve around the right of women to vote in the United States. The perspective is normally referred to as the analysis of the women's suffrage. As will be seen, what is taken as obvious and simple was not always regarded in the same way in the past. It was through the ethical considerations that women were allowed to vote in the United States. Some arguments were indicated as dubious in the past, but later proved quite persuasive in the journey. In this case, the analysis will be based on the perspective of virtue ethics and deontology, as they were presented in the past when the issue was an unstable matter of discussion. The subject matter of womens right to vote is an example of how ethical and moral arguments can produce genuine difference and at the same time provide clarity for understanding of these concerns.
The Argument against Women's Suffrage
Women and men are different in many ways. One of the obvious reasons for this is in biology; the differences can be observed physically. The difference is also seen in the reproduction perspective in the event that the women and men play different reproduction roles. Women have specific approaches to doing things due to their role in carrying and delivering babies. Taking care of children involves having intense emotions. Women, therefore, are more compassionate with different nurturing abilities in addition to their willingness to compromise and avoid conflicts (Deploige et al., 2005). The psychological and physiological differences that occur in men and women have been noted for a long time by different scholars including Aristotle.
Even before the birth of Jesus Christ, Aristotle noted that the females are more mischievous and softer in handling things compared to men. Additionally, they are impulsive, less simple, are attentive to nurturing other people especially the young. On the other hand, the males are more savage, less cunning, simpler and have more spirit than the women. The differentiated characteristics have traces that can be noted in every aspect of the society. However, much of these differences are seen after character development, especially in the man.
The differences are also seen in our dialect and language. For example, hysterical originates from a Latin word that refers to the womb. The phrase enables us to come up with the word uterus. Another example is the word lady which originates from the English perspective of the one who is in need (Flanagan, 2001). Moreover, feminine originated from the aspect of breastfeeding. Most of the terms that are used to associate or describe women have in many languages emphasized on delicacy and softness in addition to their relevance as mothers and wives in the society. The Holy Bible reinforces the claim when Jezebel and Delilah are used to represent immoral behavior in women; they have adulterous and treacherous characteristics. On the other hand, Mary represents humility and through her, the maternal features represent the righteous women.
The word woman as developed in many languages like English entail that a womans virtue has to be praised. Moreover, women in a well-functioning community are indispensable as they keep the activities of the home running. They ensure that the children are raised in an efficient and effective environment. However, politics represents a different and complex environment for women. They lack the attitude, temperament, experience, and understanding to function efficiently and effectively. Therefore, the participation of women in politics is not suitable in voting or as official elects. Politics is a complex sphere dominated by the men.
In any case, a number of women have no interest in voting, claiming that voting will lead to the dilution of the power they have over their spouses (Flanagan, 2001). Moreover, giving women the power to vote is essentially increasing the number of voters who neither have the understating or the background in making relevant political judgments. For these and more reasons, women are not supposed to be given the right to vote.
Why Women should Vote
Women just like men are human beings. They are expected to look after themselves, their husband, families, homes, and the children. They, therefore, have the most important responsibility that anyone can be entrusted with. Women are denied the right to vote despite them embracing all these responsibilities. The denial of political representation is unfair to the women. Women work hard without pay, sometimes harder than men, and help the community where they live to function. Women, therefore, enable the smooth running and functioning of the society (Gilman & Deegan, 2004). Despite this, the same society in which she is devoted to bars her from equal voting rights with the men. Womens contributions to the community are indispensable. It is not only the fact that women are human beings just like men alone that makes them eligible to vote, but also have the right to determine how the society that they live in should be run. Women need to be a part of the political structure and organization of the society as they are part of it. Complete equality will also be achieved if the women get involved in the making of laws by electing the lawmakers.
Even though the Declaration of Independence dictates that all individuals are equal, women have not been left out of this indication. Women are expected to do all their responsibilities, but are denied the voting fundamental right. It is immoral to deprive women of their basic fundamental rights of seeking equal political representation and a voice in the society. It is unjust for men to see themselves as political superiors through the denial of women their right to engage in elective procedures (Gilman et al., 2004). If the society needs the women to take up roles, then these roles have to be accompanied with the rights to do so, the right to vote.
Some people may suggest that father and husbands are the representations of women in the society. The question that comes up with these suggestions is whether the men will be willing to switch positions with the women by their views being represented. Is there fairness when only half of the society is used to represent the whole views of the society? Are there different political perspectives that women can bring that can shape leadership and changes in the management of the society? Will there be informed political decisions in the event that the women were given the chance to participate in the policy formulation in the community? Who in the society can represent political agendas of women than the women themselves?
It is a simple argument. Both men and women are human beings with the responsibilities and rights. One of the fundamental rights that cut across all the genders is the voting rights. Depriving women of this right means that is has been unjust and unfair to rally such an act for a long time. The representation of every member is a fundamental principle of a fair and free society. Society members deserve to give out their views and participate in the representation. Therefore, the moral result is a matter of justice and the moral law to enable women to vote.
Applying the Theories
Women's suffrage can be resolved firmly in the United States. As seen above, the issue of voting inequality still gives us insights on social questions to be looked at before the establishment of the law. After discussing the two different sides, theories will be applied to this analysis to enable a clear view to be established.
1. Virtue Ethics Theory
Women virtues are one of the extraordinary things about women. These include their abilities to handle a number of things in perfects ways without confusion or interruption. Women are generous, caring, practical and nurturing. Additionally, they make good friends, wives, sisters, mother, and daughters in the event that their virtues exist in the right manner.
Virtue ethics theory insists on the emphasis of these virtues as the things to focus on for virtuous women. The golden mean is the aim here as it involves consideration with no extremes emphasizing on moderate and appropriate degrees of consideration. A virtue Ethicist can base his/her argument by stating that woman's virtue are best seen when brought out the inappropriate and proper way, and in the proper environment (Lie & Brym, 2006). For example, as a mother in the home, as a teacher in a school, and as a nurse in the hospital. These roles represent the excellence of women for many years, and the society improves its functionality and efficiency in the presence of women.
In the same perspective, politics is ugly, contentious, violent, and confrontational. Women, therefore, are less likely to perform in this harsh environment due to their inability to change and adapt to harsh environments. Women virtues cannot be nurtured and developed in the political environment. Enabling women to vote will be forcing them to a field that is different from their natural human skill set and will prevent them from bringing out their best side in other areas in the society. Therefore, their virtues will not be used in the most appropriate way. The decisions resulting to moral disaster are not efficient. Therefore, virtue ethicists will indicate that giving women a chance to participate in political representation is wrong and detrimental to the society and the woman.
2. Deontology theory
Deontologists dispute a number of cases on women characterization. Moreover, a deontologist will dispute the ideas the women embody some virtues that re distinctive from those of the men. The virtue perspective cannot be applied in this theory. Men cannot be defined according to virtue like being a father, brother, or husband. A deontologist will wonder why women are classified solely by their roles in the society and not free, creative, and independent human beings. Women may be better wives, mothers, sisters, and any other thing described, but this does not stipulate that they cannot have any other characteristics apart from those related to their virtues (Lie e...
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