How the 90s Hurt Gender Equality Progress

How the 90s Hurt Gender Equality Progress

Aryan Sanghai

Prof James Gorham

LCS 121-P


April 15 2019 Sanghai


Yarrow, Allison. “How the 90s Hurt Gender Equality Progress.” Time, Time, 13 June 2018,

‘How the ’90s Tricked Women Into Thinking They’d Gained Gender Equality’ was a magazine article published by Allison Yarrow on June 13, 2018. The piece looks back into the recent past to educate the readers about gender inequality and the role of the 90s in its existence today. It begins with discussing the new opportunities – like postponing marriage and kids, seeking higher education and assuming economic roles and identities outside the walls of a home – the 90s brought for women. The article focusses on factors such as a woman’s increasing marital age, which jumped from 20 to 24 in the 90’s, and surge in economic power to highlight the fact that the fight against gender inequality was going in the right direction. The article even gives examples of successful women in prominent economic and political roles and connected their success to the meteoric rise of women empowerment in society. Yarrow mentions Sally Ride, Madonna, Janet Reno and Madeleine Albright to name a few. The writer then introduces the term “cultural feminism” and movements like “Girl Power” to epitomize the growing force that gender equality was. The climax of the article, though, portrays very contrasting views to the start. Yarrow claims that the more power women gained, the more was taken away from them due to pre-existing notions and pop culture that supports this gruesome hostility towards women. She goes on by explaining the role of the media in helping society to continue subordinating women like in the past and blames this decade for the rise of sexism based on careers, clothes and bodies as this accepted behaviour of the 90’s has rippled into contemporary society.

I believe that this source relates very closely to the different short stories we have read over the semester while it also has a few stark contrasts. Most of the stories we read were written in the 1800 and 1900’s, where the authors explicitly portrayed the inequality towards women by illustrating the female protagonists as domestic housewives and as weaker than her male partner. Examples are ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ and ‘Story of an Hour’. The goal of the magazine article is also to show this inequality but it does so in a much more implicit tone by first describing the rise of women empowerment and girl power before hinting at the fact that this success was actually harmful as their fame led them to being objectified and looked at only as sex-objects of men’s sexual fantasies. The article is trying to highlight the mindset that still existed in society in the 90’s even after centuries of battling for equal rights.

“The 2,500-Year-Old Roots of Gender Inequality – The Boston Globe.”, 4 Mar. 2017,

The article written by Kelly Kasulis revolves around the history of gender inequality and its roots dating back 2,500 years. A study was conducted on Neolithic Age graves from the Chinese Central Plains. In the study, from Queens College in New York City, they examined male and female skeletons to search for signs of stress. By examining different proteins in the bones, researchers were able to determine the person’s diet which was consistent during the Neolithic Age but changed in the Bronze Age when men ate millet and animal products whereas women survived on the “poor man’s food,” a.k.a. wheat. This was considered to be a hint at the difference in societal status between men and women. More evidence to support these claims were found when it was found that males were buried with more riches although female skeletons were shrinking in size and this was concluded to be due to malnourishment during their childhood. Anthropologists also believe that when families hit financial restraints, females would be deprived of food first, again highlighting the bias that existed against women even thousands of years ago. This article emphasizes the importance of understanding where the current social issues surrounding gender inequality originated.

This article resonates with a variety of the studied short stories as it focusses on gender inequality in the past. This article lays a solid platform for us to understand gender roles in the 1800 and 1900s when these stories were written. Oppression of women is a

common theme seen between the stories and this article. This article will be very beneficial in helping me write my paper as it gives me the history of inequality and from where it originated. Understanding its roots will improve my understanding of the topic and will help me write my essay with greater depth and analysis.

Sutherland, Ashley. “Higher Education Institutions Reflect Gender Inequality.” The Arizona State Press, 6 Apr. 2017, .

The article discusses how women dominate the education industry workforce but when it comes to positions of power, such as presidential positions at institutions, the numbers fall at staggering speed. Men are preferred in roles of academic leadership and this is seen across many industries in the economy. The profession of being a teacher is more often than not associated with females who are considered to be more caring and nurturing than men but stereotypes of men being more competent assure that the leadership roles are given to them and not women. The article gives great insight into what this means for female students studying women studies or are interesting in the education industry.

Understanding the dynamics of education is essential in the study of gender inequality. Over the semester we have seen in all the short stories studied that women often assumed powerless domestic roles as they weren’t given educational opportunities which would propel them to a successful career in the workforce. Education wasn’t considered important as women her married off at a very young age after which their life revolved around keeping her husband satisfied before her entire time and focus would be focussed on bearing a child and working on family responsibilities. Education has a huge role to play in

the removal of gender inequality as it would help women to equal treatment in economic and political positions. Lack of education is what makes women powerless to the constant hostility against them. Education would help give them a stronger voice and put them in a position of power where they will be heard. The influence of education on gender inequality will help me look at the issue in a broader view and in turn increase my understanding of the subject.

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