How Women Related to Each Other within the Baby Boomer, Generation X and Millennials Generations?
What Effect does Patriarchy, Misogyny, and Sexism Have on How Women Relate to Each Other within the Baby Boomer, Generation X and Millennials Generations?
Women have always related to each other different through different times in history. In this paper, the author explores this issue in the context of the Baby Boom, Millennial and Generation X.
While no consensus exists to prove how long the Baby Boom period lasted, it is estimated to have been between post- 2nd world war (1946) and 1964. It covers the people in the USA who were born during this time. Men had gone to war. Therefore, jobs previously belonging to the males were now available for the females. It was also a period characterized by high population growth especially when the soldiers returned to their homes. In particular, the Baby boom was more than a decade long. Therefore, by the time the last female Baby Boomers were born, the others were already adults. Accordingly, discrimination against women contributed to a closer relationship between women in that era. The women had been discouraged from wartime jobs. Men were earning a higher income than women. The jobs expected to fall on the side of women were limited. Some men did not return from war. Therefore, women had to look for work to cater for their families (Gale Group 1). Consequently, women united and were now closer as they perceived themselves as being victims of circumstances. Many women supported their fellow in finding jobs and other opportunities to sustain their families.
As earlier mentioned, the female Baby Boom consisted of two cohorts of women. Therefore the relationships between women (these two groups) were closer. This owed on the fact they were faced with the task of providing for the family and had just discovered they could compete with men. The first group joined the workforce during a time when the labor market was on the rise. This group was welcomed warmly to the market by other women. It was a group that was well educated though did not have degrees. This team earned around 1900$ continuous annual pay. By the end of 1980, the second mass of female Baby Boomers settled in the market. The labor system was rough. The men were back, and the economic system was on the rocks. This, however, did not stop the group from pursuing their goals in a common perspective. Moreover, the period was characterized by extensive education: these women went ahead to attain degrees. They also took up male –related courses and graduated in them for example, management. This mass was a planner in the sense that many of the women at this time did not get married. Furthermore, many of them delayed having children. The women who sought previous men- handled jobs earned a better salary, however, those who aimed at the usual- female jobs earned lesser than the previous group. They received 1600$. Nonetheless, successful women began to create awareness programs and support groups to assist those who were still left behind (Bean 365). This explains why many of them joined paid employment and educational opportunities.
Regarding generation X, there is no written accord to proof the number of years it existed. It is, however, approximated to have been between the birth years of 1960-1980. The children born in that period are currently between the ages of 46-56. Most of the time, the Baby Boom, and the millennial generation outshine it. It is the first group to relate with the Internet. Female millennia, however, is not as productive as they had been in the Baby Boom generation (Miller p1).
In 1990, 50% of women thought they were in a worse financial position than they had expected (p2). The Girls and young women were divided between the conventions of their parents and the new labor market. Married women, especially those with children did not combine marriage with work. Unlike the Baby Boom, women in this generation did not control child bearing and more often than not, men replaced them at their workplace. Unlike Generation Y, the next one, the X was not as educated. The women who worked were lesser (only half) compared to three - quarters in the next generation. The women in that generation earned 68% as much as men, however, the Y’s group, earned 83%. Pregnant women born in that era, who work full - time today, have been reported to leave work to cater for their families, but after two years do not return to work. Those who do, however, work part- time. They never return to full time function. The actual relationship between women in that era can be described as individualistic. This was because everyone was concerned with her own work or family issues and did not mind about what another went through (Kramer, & Harris 98).
Kramer and Harris (2) discuss the findings of a study to determine whether men think women to be equal to them. In the study, men over-estimated the intelligence of fellow men. It continued even when it was clear that a female student was better than a male student.This was a sad event, where the researchers commented that if female discrimination is to come to an end; it will not be anytime soon.
In essence, sexism has affected the women of this generation. They seem to have come to a point where they believe that they are weaker than men. As they raise kids, they have formed groups and related to them as homes. This “homes” satisfy them. Later on, they have come to the realization that reliance on the husband can fail them and have opted to seek jobs. These women have joined hands and created organizations such as National Organization for Women (NOW) to protect them from employment discrimination. In 1971, Women’s Equality Day was established also aiming at controlling male chauvinism, sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny including at workplaces.
Millennial are people born from (1980- early 2000). From the Baby Boomers that brought about Social Revolution, Millennial have been able to create a diverse range of revolution as well. For example, technology. Technology has been accessible by almost everyone, talk of phones, televisions, and vehicles. It is chiefly the generation of computers (Miller 2).
Most of its constituents today are teenagers or 20 somethings. This group consists of people who probably played games using computers while young. Communication has been another aspect commonly used in identifying this group. While the X generation sent e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp has been the life of the Millennium. Of all the other generations, this is the most affected by internet addiction. Addiction to television, pornography, drugs of even oneself. Narcissism has affected so many people in this generation. People are so addicted to their appearances that they are frequently on mirrors or taking pictures and posting them to have comments from other people. People in this era are changing what they don’t like about themselves using some harmful means. This is a period where online is the place of business. Marketing, negotiations and pays are done online. It is a period where dangerous groups have risen. Equal groups have been established to curb them. For example, hackers have been put to place to control terrorist’s organizations. In this era, women are mostly relating through social media platforms including Face book, twitter, Instragram, Pinterest among others. In addition, physical contacts or relationships are rare. Today, if these women want to raise their grievances or to support their own, they will post comments on these platforms. We can therefore, say that social media created a rift or gap in the relationship of women towards work.
In this most developed era, some men still do not believe in women being equal to them. Women have reacted to this by running for posts previously dominated by men. This has once again affected women relations. For instance, many women have joined the Computer technology world. Also, some women have formed study groups where they learn about their rights and are championing them more than ever. Furthermore, the Millennia women have started asking for help from the already settled Baby Boomers (Kramer &Harris 119). This owes to the realization that they can only be understood and supported by their fellow women.
The number of women in the workforce is encouraging. The women with children and still working are at a 70%. It is complimentary that women no longer have to control child- bearing so as to work. Many have learned how to combine work and raise their children at the same time. They have gone ahead to employ other women. 57% is the percentage of working women(US Labor Department, 2016). This was not so in the Generation X.
The stigma against women has been reinforced by the persistent belief by men that women cannot be equal or work like them. Some women have experienced first- hand discrimination making them defensive. It has made them relate with their gender on a higher level of understanding than before as a way of defense or protecting their interest. Sexism has given birth to prejudice. Accordingly, most women in the workforce tends to support other women. Given a choice between two equally qualified people, but of different gender, professional women will hire the woman.