What Happened to Feminism?

The scene in this cozy Atlanta living room would — at first glance — warm an early feminist’s heart. Gathered by the fireplace one recent evening, sipping wine and nibbling cheese, are the members of a book club, each of them a beneficiary of all that feminists of 30-odd years ago held dear.

The eight women in the room have each earned a degree from Princeton, which was a citadel of everything male until the first co-educated class entered in 1969. And after Princeton, the women of this book club went on to do other things that women once were not expected to do. They received law degrees from Harvard and Columbia. They chose husbands who could keep up with them, not simply support them. They waited to have children because work was too exciting. They put on power suits and marched off to take on the world.

Yes, if an early feminist could peer into this scene, she would feel triumphant about the future. Until, of course, any one of these polished and purposeful women opened her mouth. Continue reading “What Happened to Feminism?”

Why Aren’t More Women at the Top?

female leadershipWhy aren’t more women leading U.S. companies? That question has been asked ever since women began flooding the workforce in the 1970s. Unfortunately, it remains just as relevant today: Women make up 3% of the top corporate officers in the companies that comprise the Fortune 500. And only 6% of the CEO slots in Internet companies that are financed by major venture-capital firms are held by women.

Sometime during the 1980s, the book-publishing industry caught on to this trend, and a cottage industry of career books was born — each one cheerily promising women that they could beat those dismal statistics, if only they would follow 10 simple steps. Continue reading “Why Aren’t More Women at the Top?”

What is the Glass Ceiling?

The Glass Ceiling

Toussaint discusses the history of women’s economic oppression, including the recent phenomenon of “the glass ceiling.”
Since the landing of the Mayflower, the fabric of American society has shifted with increased scientific advancements which have affected the daily lives of Americans. While these changes have boded well for the level of human comfort, there still remain certain aspects of American society that have resisted progress.

The Age of Reason denounced the concept of the Divine Right of Kings and introduced to us the concepts of individuality and human rights. These ideologies led the country now known as the United States of America to declare its independence from Britain in 1776. The American British colonies’ bid for autonomy result- ed in increased freedoms, yet those freedoms have tended to apply to a restricted class of citizens. Historical data reveal to us that American men have had a longstanding claim on the reigns of power and influence; although there is a slight shift in the status quo, the overwhelming tendency is toward a male-dominated society. The ensuing result is that women are, and continue to be, second-class citizens with restricted physical and intellec- tual freedom when compared to that afforded to men. Continue reading “What is the Glass Ceiling?”