Separate and Unequal
The changing gender composition of the labour force.
In the 20 century, the % of both women and men entering the labour foce increased, but
womens rate of increase far outpaced mens.
In recent years, women with children at home have been one of the fastest growing groups in
the labour force.
This dramatic increase in labour force participation has been true for allraces and ethinicities
and in both Canada and the USA.
The persistence of gender ideologies
Many north Amriecans still believe in the ‘traditional’ male breadwinner/female housewife
model even if our own lives no longer reflect it.
Workplace is seen as a masculine arena, where men could test and prove their manhood against
other men. Working enabled men to confirm their manhood as breadwinner and family
Workplace becomes a testing ground of masculinity.
If he makes less than his wife does, both partners may engage in deviance neutralization,
understanding her income or exaggerating his contribution to preserve the idea of
Tranditional gender stereotypes would have us believe that women would be content to marry
less attractive but financially stable men. American women now say that earning potential is not
at all important in their mate choise.
On the one hand, women continue to face gender discrimination: they are paid less, promoted
less, and assigned to specific jobs despite their qualifications and motivations, and they are
sometimes made to feel unwelcome, like intruders in an all male preserve. On the other hand,
men say they are bewildered and angered by the changes in workplace policy that make them
feel like they are walking on eggshells, fearful of making any kind of remark to a women lest
they be hauled into hauled for sexual harassment.
The persistence of gender discrimination in the workplace
For many years,, the chief obstacle facing women who sought to enter the labour force was
sex discrimination. E.g. women don’t really want to work, they don’t need the money, they
have diff aptitudes and interests.
The basis for the discrimantion may not rely on any stereotypic ideas about the differences
between women and men, and the discrimantion must be based on a bona fide
occupational requirement (BFOR). For instance, the job could be denied to a nine year old
boy because age is BFOR for the performance of the job.
Also, for instance some workplaces such as a waitress required female sexuality as a bona
fide occupation. Sex segregation
Refers to womens and mens concentration in diff occupations, industries, jobs, and levels in
Vertical segregation: refers to segregation associated with diff of education, experience, and
skill within the same field.
Horizontal segregation: refers to segregation within occupations in diff fields that are roughly
similar in terms of educational and skill requirements, for ex: truck driving and secretarial work,
or engineering and teaching.
Though women have been broadening their areas of employment, womens paid work remains
less diverse than that of men. And yet women have colonized mens arenas far more then the
reverse; in part this is cuz once again, his is recognized as better than hers. We give more value
(and pay) to occupations we associate with stereptypically ‘masculine’ characterics such as
strength, competition, and assertiveness than to occupations assocated with female traits such
as co-operation and nurturing.
Socialization cannot explain why a sex segregated labour market emerged, why each sex is