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The War on Women in the United States: Beliefs, Tactics, and the Best Defenses
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part i THE BATTLEFIELDS This part will cover the cultural, social, historical, and economic forces that hamper gender equality and will draw on author expertise from sociologi- cal, feminist theory, and cultural viewpoints. The following chapters cover macro-level issues impacting women’s rights, such as cultural gender roles, history, and political and economic factors that function at the cultural level. Context such as gender roles, past historical and political precedents, and how the culture of the United States communicates and supports gender differentiation provides the backdrop in which laws and public debate at the national level occurs. This part serves to describe the framework in which gender inequity occurs and is addressed: the battlefi elds in which the battles and skirmishes are fought. Gender roles are not constructed in a vacuum and, as such, are diffi cult to understand and deconstruct without acknowledging that roles are tied to more than current expectations based on gender. Gender is not just a con- struct of present expectations and stereotypes. Gender roles and modern concepts of gender differences are strongly rooted in historical, religious, and philosophical underpinnings of societies. Cultural gender roles are com- municated from day one, starting with the “pink or blue” dyad for newborns, and continue in public school classes (home economics versus shop) to de- mographic gendered occupations and training programs (nursing versus en- gineering). Media, stereotypes, and gender roles all suggest that differences in men and women in the stages of work, home, and politics are natural and expected. Cultural gender roles funnel men and women into different social