Critical Essay about Sexism and Feminism: “Adoration” piece of art from Paul Peel Canadian (1860-1892)
Sexism is the discrimination based on one’s gender typically against women. This paper will critically look at sexism and feminism on the basis of the origins of such piece of art as “Adoration” which was done by Paul Peel Canadian (1860-1892).
From the Adoration piece of art, one can easily come to the conclusion that women had to do a lot in the society, especially in comparison to men. The lady in the painting is holding what seems to be a farm tool in the field, and also appears to be taking a break. She is probably tired from spending the whole day in the field, and multitasking the field work with taking care of her child. The child is sitting on what could be hay for cattle, which she probably has to go and take care of in the evening after she lives the farm. While taking care of the cattle, she would also have to be minding the baby, since there were no baby sitters during those times. “After feeding the cattle, the woman in the painting probably also had to milk the cow if she had a female cow that had reached an age it could give birth” (Iwanaga, 92).
After such work in the field and the farm, she would then be expected to prepare food for her husband and child, prepare warm water for him to take a bath, and later be ready to submit to her duties as a wife in giving her husband his conjugal rights. This art describes a political time when women were expected to have little say of how things were run in the society, since their place was in conducting household duties.
Sexism has affected women in the world in different sectors with the views of achieving certain goals. For instance, some job opportunities are believed to be ‘man’ jobs, especially by the male sex and this creates a serious gap between men and women. Moreover, as much as women in the modern time have pursued different professional courses, including those believed to be traditionally reserved for men, women still face challenges. “The challenges include male chauvinism, either when finding jobs relevant to their profession or in their workplace if they are lucky enough to acquire the jobs relevant to their profession” (James & Dillon 28). However, due to the challenges that women have because of male chauvinism, women therefore have created a women’s movement that is to advocate for the rights of women on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men. With this feminist movement, women have been able to be at least considered in some positions dominated by men like the presidency positions. “It is only through women empowerment that these factors will affect social, economic, and political operations positively” (Sakar, 34).
Sexism has created a threat to our society in the past and even today for those who still practice it. A woman who goes through such a situation in her life would have a psychological state that promotes the stereotype. Through this, young girls will be brought up by those women who have gone through sexism against them, knowing that they are totally different from the male gender and they can never be the same. This would affect the young girl by creating hatred for the male gender. This generation will therefore face challenges due to the level of stereotype.
Sexism has a wider personal, social, and psychological suggestions for an individual. Most victims of this situation experience it in many ways, for instance, through listening to sexist jokes being ruled out in discussions, hearing sexist language, sexual acts, and violence. “Therefore, continuous experience, such as these in academic environments will result in women believing they are inferior than men, and will result in young girls and women not achieving their full potential” (Harper 25).
In real sense, women have high potential that they would use to better their lives as well as the lives of other women of our society from the different challenges and obstacles they face. “Their potential can help the society to curb such issues of sexual molestation of young girls, early childhood marriages/pregnancies, and female genital mutilation among other challenges that affect women and men’s relatives” (Harper, 23). It is therefore only through women empowerment, both men who support gender equality and women, that the situation of our society improves as well as create a sensible society for the coming generations. Women empowerment is the easiest way of reorganization of powers that confront male supremacy. “By doing this, a larger number of people in our society, including women will be able utilize their human power, either physically, intellectually, and financially to better the economy as well as the social status of the society” (Sarkar 19).
During the ancient times, such as the time period when the “Adoration” painting was done by Paul Peel Canadian (1860-1892), women were considered to be really inferior, and they were not allowed to participate in some occassions or vie for any leadership posts. For instance, in the past, women were not allowed to become political leaders, members of the clergy or undertake professional duties such as managers of companies or doctors. They were made to believe by sexists, and their duties were based on their homestead; giving birth to children and raising them, home maintenance, and farm work among other homestead chores. This really created a big gap between women and men even to current generations.
Socially, in the early days, women were institutionally dependable of producing both goods and human beings and they were compelled to do both responsibilities. However, how women were nurtured during those times have great similarities on how young girls are being nurtured. In those days, young girls used to spend their time with their mothers, learning different activities that their mothers were obligated to, such as cooking, farming, taking care of children, and washing among other activities. Currently, we still see such similar rearing happening to young girls who are given dolls and kitchen toys to act the various roles mothers play in the society. On the contrary, boys are given toys like cars, since it was believed to be an activity that was only practiced by men (Iwanaga 87).
Embracing such activities to date will limit women to their womanly duties, and they will be limited to fully exploit their potential. Therefore, what young boys and girls learn and trained on when growing up usually become an essential platform of gender identification, which in turn may influence their judgment and beliefs in their lives. It is very important that all women are given equal opportunities like men, for instance, education for them to be able to exploit their potential and also create a wide social platform that would stop the discrimination of women, especially in developing countries. When we compare the past and today, it is clear that women are capable of undertaking ‘men’ jobs and performing them satisfactorily to make ends meet children (James and Dillon 350).
In the early days, women were only responsible for domestic management, and this would begin as soon as they are married off by their fathers and brothers when they are young girls. Their fathers and brothers mostly used to marry of the young women in search for wealth of fame in certain communities. However, some decades later, women empowerment started becoming a strong force to reckon with and therefore young women had the opportunity to make choices of whether they wanted to be married off and start a family or pursue a career. “Although this happened, most of them chose to start a family since that is how they had been brought up by their mothers” (Harper 102). In later years, through women empowerment, women began to try pursuing their careers as well as managing their homes. This gave women at least some limelight that they were capable of competing with men in different disciplines for them to be able to try to live a civilized life like other men. “Currently, a professional career woman is no longer considered mutually exclusive, as the concept of fatherhood was also beginning” (Moran and Harris, 138). This is where a man with a child or children had a responsibility of providing for his children as well as spending some more time with their children (James and Dillon 351).
Today, the level of feminism has spread across the world and the girl child is valued as the boy child. Through this, the girl child has been able to get equal opportunities just like the male counterpart and has increased a healthy competition in different fields, therefore making the quality of services rendered in these disciplines to be high. In different parts of the world, there are women running big business and are performing well as well as those who are running economies and are also doing well children (James and Dillon 349). It is therefore through empowering women that we can have a high competition on everything that is being rendered for the people in the society to be highly satisfied.
Harper, Amney. The Relationship between Experiencs of Sexism, Ambivalent Sexism, and Relationship Quality in Heterosexual Women. Michigan: USA, 2008. Print.
Iwanaga, Kazuki. Women’s Political Participation and Representation in Asia: Obstacles and Challenges. Copenhagen: NIAS, 2007. Print.
James, Sharon L, and Sheila Dillon. A Companion to Women in the Ancient World. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2012. Web.
Moran, T., Robert, Harris, R., Philip & Moran, V., Sarah. Managing Cultural Differences: Global Leadership Strategies for Cross-cultural Business Success. London: Routledge, 2011. Print.
Sarkar, Siddhartha. International Journal of Mainstream Social Science: Vol. 1, No. 1. Boca Raton: Universal-Publishers, 2012. Print.