Women in Florida

581 words | 2 page(s)

The thesis of Joan S. Carver in the article “Women in Florida” is that it was only starting with 1960 that women finally received a chance to acquire more power, which is remarkable considering that women always constituted the majority of Florida’s population. Yet the author arrives to a rather depressing conclusion that despite the progress of women in the society since 1960s, there are still barriers remanining, which prevent women from achieving fully equal status to men.

The author makes numerous points to support the idea and to show the historical conditions surrounding the changes around the status of women. Initially, the author showcases how Florida was different from other typical Southern states. Florida had received a large influx of non-southerners after World War II. In such a way, the state ended up being divided between the more conservative part in the north and more progressive population in the southern and central parts of the state. The author believes that the first signs of the possible shifts in the society can be traced as far back as 1890. It was in the wake of the 20th century that women started forming organizations and trying to make their voices be heard in public. The suffrage movement started in earnest 1912. In the period between 1915 and 1920 due to the efforts of activists, 23 municipalities gave women the right to vote. Alas, from 1920 till 1960, very little was to advance the role of women in the political sense. Despite such pieces of legislature as the requirement of equal representation of men and women in the executive committees, women largely remained in the background of the state’s political arena.

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There are no clearly defined factors, which contributed to Florida moving to the forefront of women’s struggle for equality and recognition as the fully-fledged elements of the American society. If in 1950 the women constituted 31.4 percent of labor force, the percentage grew to 52.6 percent in 1975. Significantly more women started attending colleges and university not to mention that one could observe a sharp increase in female law students. Consequentially, more and more women were being elected into various institutions including federal ones. Changes in legislation also started appearing actively. A woman ceased to be a dependant entity and did not have to appear in court to prove her competence when dealing with her property. Even the Constitution changed the term from men to natural persons so as to introduce adequate gender equality.

Despite all advancements, the author does not allow the readers to forget about persisting issues that push gender equality further from being fully fulfilled. For instance, the 27th Amendment is shown to be stuck with the Senate even though the federal Congress let it pass. Despite the attempts of ERA and considerable finances spent on the promotion of the amendment, only minor support was gained. Granted that the article was written in 1979, it serves at the same time as the document of its time. As of 1979, women still had a long way to go towards the equal status despite swift shift within the previous two decades. The author voices hope that the situation will keep changing meaning that there will be in-migration of people with a more progressive outlook on the gender issues in the country so that the northern part of the state would not remain an impenetrable challenge. The article perfectly showcases different statistics so as to show how many troubles the women’s movement had to deal with in order to achieve minor success at the very least.

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