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Posted on May 7th, 2014, by

Another example of women’s role in American society can be found in Cowie’s Capital Moves. His book has a challenging look into the RCA’s history. He writes: “the core of the problem is that the wielders of capital have far greater ability than workers to transcend and use space”¯[1]. Cowie depicts the social situation in Camden, New Jersey, where the first RCA Company employed only female workers. Nearly 80% of RCA’s workers were women, and this situation could be traced throughout the whole history of the company. Women, however, were not satisfied with such exploitation and were forced to start vigorous strikes, which didn’t last long. The RCA moved to another spot, located in Indiana, and Camden women were eventually substituted by local female workers[2]. Such treatment of women cannot be imagined in the modern world. Nowadays, women sometimes occupy higher positions than men, and this tendency is long-lived.

As depicted in Cowie’s work, female workers in Bloomington also tended to fight for their rights. Women experienced job cut of workers, which made them organize various strikes. RCA was looking for a cheap female labor, which proves the inequality of male and female rights in America of late 30th. Nevertheless, Cowie ends his narration with a hint at international solidarity. Before the RCA’s shutting down, its workers got a great load of chassis with a note saying “to our RCA comrades”¯[3]. Inside there were drugs. In exchange for such a gift, RCA workers attached some Playboy Journals and sent them to Mexico. It may be viewed as an example of international solidarity in a certain way.

Stereotypes towards women

Ā Ā Ā Ā Ā Ā Ā Ā Ā Ā Ā  There have always existed many stereotypes in relation to the women’s role in society. These are: a woman’s destiny is home and family; a woman cannot be a good leader; female preoccupation with work has negative impact on their children and increases crime rate in society; women should not strive for success in business; politics is not intended for females, etc[4]. Thus, the main character of “the Jungle”¯ has a certain prejudice towards women’s role in society. He considers that women should stay at home with children, and he cannot even imagine children working. He doesn’t let his female companions to work, but tries to earn money all by himself. It might be considered noble, but there is also seen certain stereotyping of women’s role at those times. Some psychologies consider that such discrimination of male and female roles in society would contribute to social stability.

Although according to statistics, most men consider that a major role of women is to keep house and stay with children, in modern conditions of economical crisis it is almost impossible. Most American women have to work, and their work is an important value along with the traditional one ”“ family. On the other hand, there are certain conditions which influence the recovery of traditional gender views. This process is influenced by the weariness of emancipation that took place in the past, when American economics needed cheap labor force[5]. Such emancipation resulted in double pressure at home and at work for American women.


Are people free of stereotypes towards women nowadays? The most drastic changes could be seen in the XX century. People nowadays live in the epoch of enlightenment where equal rights of men and women are stated in Constitutions of various countries. Women nowadays are included into the economical life of society, have rights to vote and an opportunity to receive proper education. However, there is still some sort of discrimination of women nowadays, which is revealed rather in a subtle form, than openly.

In the course of history there can be seen certain transformation of views towards female social role. This transformation reflects changes in a social position of women along with changes in the self-evaluation of women themselves. Such factors as gender, age and education have a significant influence on the change of gender roles. Some researchers consider that during previous century the female status has changed too much, which can be seen in the relations between women and women, wives and husbands, mothers and children. This is enough to consider this period revolutionary, as it has made half of the human race independent.

[1] Cowie, “Capital Moves”¯, 185.

[2] Cowie, “Capital Moves”¯, 36.

[3] Cowie, “Capital Moves”¯, 201.

[4] America Reader, “Our Working”¯.

[5] America Reader, “Our Working”¯.

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