- Politics and Social Issues
The DIVIDE in America, Part II
Gender Equality................A Still Continual Contention
The Issue of Gender Equality
In Part I of this hub, I addressed how the issues of women's reproductive freedoms/rights, amnesty, and the election of President Obama divided Conservative and Liberal Americans along political and ideological lines. In Part II of this hub, I will address how the issues of gender equality, welfare/ social programs, and race further divide and are a source of political and even ideological contention between Conservative and Liberal Americans.
The issue of gender equality has been a heated contention in American society for quite a long time. The contention relating to gender equality exploded during the late 1960s and early 1970s with the advent of the Women's Liberation movement which granted women more equality in the work place, liberalized/ broadened their roles, and granted them full reproductive freedom and rights. Conservatives argue that women and men have always been equal but in different capacities. They maintain that there are clearly demarcated roles for men and women, indicating that such is preordained. They assert that woman's most important role is being the nurturer and assistant to her husband and family. Liberals contend that women and men are not equal in many cases. They maintain that women are still discriminated against and oppressed not only in the corporate world but in the domestic sphere also. They assert that women and girls are still viewed as and treated as nonentities, even as personae non gratae in some sectors of society. They insist that women are more than wives and mothers, they are individuals who have the right to pursue any area they are interested in and capable of doing.
Conservatives maintain that feminism has resulted in the debasement and disrespect of women in society. They assert that feminism and placing women in nontraditional roles is a transgression against the natural order of things. They further argue that there are things that women simply are not physically capable of doing such as more rigorous jobs such as fighting in combat and heavy work. Liberals assert that feminism elevated the status of women in this society. They further argue that there was far more debasement and disrespect of women before the advent of feminism and more gender equality. They insist that the liberalization and broadening of women's roles is normative occurrence as people have more enlightened and progressive. They maintain that it has been proven that women can do many of the things that men have traditionally done- and exceedingly well.
Conservatives remark that feminism and gender equality has weakened the role of men in society. They even argue that feminism is responsible for the increase in female headed households as many women feel that they do not need men in their and their children's lives. They assert that feminism and gender equality is responsible for destroying the family as they know it. Liberals maintain that feminism and gender equality has not weakened the role of men in society. In fact, they contend that feminism and gender equality has lifted many of the financial and psychosocial burdens of men, placing men and women on more of a leveling playing field. They explain that the increase of female headed households have nothing to do with feminism but with other psychosocial and other sociocultural factors separate from feminism. They aver that feminism and gender equality has not destroyed the family but strengthened it immeasurably to the benefit of its members.
Welfare/Social Programs................Contention Magnified
The Issue of Welfare/Social Programs
The issue of welfare/social programs is an extremely contentious issue of division between Conservatives and Liberals for some time. Conservatives maintain that welfare and other social programs are responsible for the increase of taxation, especially for the middle classes. They feel that they are working hard for those who refuse to work honestly but instead would rather be on the socioeconomic dole. They maintain that welfare and other social programs have a created a generational and permanent society of a dependent underclass. Liberals assert that welfare and other social programs has created a safety net for all Americans. They insist that welfare and other social programs are essential to provide protection to Americans in times of need. They further contend that only a minute percentage of people are on welfare and that those on welfare are there temporarily until they get on their feet again.
Conservative remark that welfare and other social programs have created entitlements. They argue that as a result of welfare and other social programs, there are some people who feel that they should have a reasonable quality of life without exerting the necessary effort to acquire such a life. They state that welfare and other social programs have not created the great society but the great societal abyss from which America can never return. Liberals counter that banks, corporations, and other big business receive more welfare and assistance in terms of bailouts than the average welfare recipient. They maintain that it is the banks, corporations, and other big businesses who feel entitled as they are the ones who get away with things that middle class, working class, and poor Americans cannot get away with. They claim that welfare and other social programs increase the quality of life of many Americans.
Conservatives feel that the creation of welfare and other social programs resulted in repetitive bureaucracies to keep taps on the various sectors of these programs. They relay that these programs resulted in creating people who scam the system at the expense of the taxpayers. They maintain that the dismantling of such programs will return America to socioeconomic greatness in that people will develop a work ethic and know the value of work. Liberals believe that welfare and other social programs did not increase bureaucracies. They cite that the creation of banks, corporations, and other big businesses resulted in instituting bureaucracies to keep tabs on these entities. They vehemently contend that the biggest and most egregious scam artists are the banks, corporations and other big businesses, not individuals. They contend that if there is a dismantling of welfare and social programs, there will be no protection of those who may experience socioeconomic downturns and those in need will be in a very precarious socioeconomic predicament.
Ah,The ISSUE of Race................Oh No, NOT AGAIN
The Issue of Race..................Contention Galore
Americans have always been divided over the issue of race. Furthermore, the issue of race is a controversial contention among Americans. It is a subject that creates a very visceral response, either in the affirmative or negative. No one is neutral or in between regarding this issue. Conservatives maintain that since President Obama was elected twice, it proves that racism is a moot issue. They further cite that Blacks and other non-Caucasian people have opportunities which are unparalleled in history. They feel that the issue of race presently is just a subterfuge for Blacks and other non-Caucasian to avoid being responsible and accountable regarding their life options and choices, adopting the victimology mode. Liberals maintain that racism is alive and well. They assert that although there are Blacks and other non-Caucasian in visible and high powered position, the average Black and non-Caucasian do not have the opportunities and choices that Caucasians have. They assert Blacks and other non-Caucasians routinely experience differential, even disparate treatment in their everyday lives.
Conservatives state that if there is racism, it is the Caucasian who is experiencing racism as a result of affirmative action programs. They contend that less qualified Blacks and other non-Caucasians are hired for jobs over very qualified Caucasians. They maintain that the affirmative action argument that Blacks and other non-Caucasians should receive preference for jobs because of past discrimination is a moot issue in addition to be grossly unfair. Liberals argue that it is quite ludicrous that Caucasians are discriminated against since they are the most powerful group in America. They strongly aver that it is Blacks and other non-Caucasians have to be more qualified than their Caucasian counterparts just to be considered for the job in question. They further add that Caucasians have always received affirmative action but they refuse to admit that fact.
Conservatives vehemently contend that Black and other non-Caucasian leaders always use the race group whenever negative occurs in their respective communities. They assert that Black and other non-Caucasian leaders are only furthering dividing America with their baseless accusations of racism when there are other influential non-racial factors that causes such negative events to occur. They argue that Black and other non-Caucasian leaders should channel the energies of their respective constituents into more beneficial, constructive, and more profitable activities. Liberals state that Black and other non-Caucasian leaders have to defend, speak up for, and represent their respective racial group as the dominant culture will not-at least not in an objective manner. They maintain that many of the concerns and issues brought up by Black and other non-Caucasian leaders are legitimate ones. They contend that Black and non-Caucasians leaders are helping their constituents improve their quality of life and communities.
There are many key issues which are the source of contention and division between Conservatives and Liberals. Each political and ideological faction has a right to their respective viewpoints and perspectives. However, that should not prevent them from seeing a commonality as human beings and working jointly together to create an America that approximates the true meanings of its creed.
© 2015 Grace Marguerite Williams