Discussion Respond to the Discussion This unit contains one



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Discussion

Respond to the Discussion

  • This unit contains one Discussion Board question.

  • Read this question carefully so that you can post a response that addresses all aspects of the question.

  • You should also respond to at least two classmate’s postings for each thread; each response should contain a minimum of 100 words.

  • The Discussion Board grading rubric in the course syllabus will help you understand how this assignment will be graded.

Question 1:

America slowly got better

Edward Jackson

12/1/2012 10:36:46 PM






How does being an immigrant complicate or enhance the life experience of being an American woman?
Being a female immigrant, depending on your class status and level of education (or who you were married to), could mean struggling just to barely afford food, clothing and shelter, to having an arranged marriage, or to having to work the streets.  Being an immigrant was about being a stranger in a strange land.  There were new customs and a new culture you would have to adapt to.  But most of all, being an immigrant meant that you were living in the land of opportunity; supposedly, where anyone could be successful.

America had just gone through the Civil War (ending in 1865) in which the whole country had been set back in national resources...but now, was a time for industrial and economic advancement.  Every foreigner that came to America had high hopes of starting a new life, and perhaps even getting rich.  Of course all that glitters is not gold...and many of the immigrants (including women) found that living in America could be quite harsh.



What kind of unique problems or challenges do immigrant women face in the late 1800s and early 1900s?
Immigrants found out that even though America was the land of opportunity, in many cases, this meant the land of opportunity for men.  So, one of the first problems women were faced with was how society treated women; many traditional values still existed for where the woman was seen as the homemaker and the man as the breadwinner (even though this wasn’t always true).  But, as our text tells us, that was all about to change. 

Women sought to be independent.  Women wanted to be contributing members of society.  What better way to do that than to provide something Americans needed (clothes).  Women began making significant contributions to America in factories, specifically garment factories.  Some of the problems that existed were wage abuse, occupational injuries, and sexual harassment by their employers.



How did Settlement Houses help women?
Settlements were basically support groups for women; settlements like the Hull House in Chicago, the Robert Gould Shaw House in Boston, and the Lincoln House in New York City.  They helped women with trade or vocation skills, home skills, education (like learning English and our customs), provided daycare, and even fought for the fair treatment of women in the workplace.  These settlements were “clubs” to basically help women leverage the playing field with men in American society.  Settlements helped to forge progress in America, as well as to help make women overall more assertive.

Reference: DuBois, E.C. & Dumenil, L. (2012). Through Women’s Eyes: An American History. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.


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Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net  university page

http://eddiejackson.net/web_images/factories.jpg








RE: Immigrant women and life in America

Edward Jackson

12/2/2012 2:35:02 PM






You are right about what the naturalized citizens thought about the ever flowing stream of immigrants coming into America.  It wasn’t too long before anti-immigrant legislation started being created and passed.  The first one was the Page Law of 1875.  The Page Law specifically targeted Asians; and just a few years later, in 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act completely banned further Chinese immigrants, as well as their families, from coming to America as laborers  (DuBois & Dumenil, 2012).

It took a lot longer to pass legislation against the European immigrants (it wasn’t until 1921 and 1924); nonetheless, it still happened.

The settlement houses were a godsend to immigrant women.  They provided an instant support group for women.  Settlement houses helped women adapt and integrate into American culture.  I wonder what would have happened if there hadn’t been any settlement houses available?

Reference: DuBois, E.C. & Dumenil, L. (2012). Through Women’s Eyes: An American History. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

---------------------------------------------------------
Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net  university page

http://eddiejackson.net/web_images/ChineseImmigrants.jpg









RE: Immigrant Women

Edward Jackson

12/2/2012 4:18:52 PM






My assessment of how poor the conditions could be for immigrants is exactly like yours.  According to our text, immigrants were surprised of just how harsh the living standards were.  The poor living conditions, coupled with anti-immigrant sentiment, were quite a lot to bear.  Of course even just beyond the living conditions, there were issues of sexual harassment, risk of injury on the job, as well as wage abuse by employers.

But even with all of these problems, women remained hopeful; women remained vigilant.  The settlement houses really helped.  The houses helped women adapt…but really, it was the overall time period that was driving women’s right in a progressive direction.  Many smart and assertive women were pushing forward with women’s rights. 

Women like Jane Addams, who not only ran a settlement house, but who was also an advocate and active participant in assessing social issues (like poverty) that affected women exponentially more than men.  She released an essay, “The Subtle Problems of Charity”, describing the social issues surrounding benefactors and their money going to the worthy poor (DuBois & Dumenil, 2012).

Reference: DuBois, E.C. & Dumenil, L. (2012). Through Women’s Eyes: An American History. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s.

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Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net  university page











RE: America slowly got better

Edward Jackson

12/3/2012 3:44:35 PM






I believe America got better in spite of the circumstances. What were the circumstances? Exploitation and greed…and trust me, we haven’t change (by we, I mean the business tyrants of this country). The rulers of capitalism and corporatism know the only way to make obscene amounts of profit is by exploiting people – and to this day, it still happens.

It happens in small amounts all of the country. Wal-Mart abuses their employees by not giving them the wages and benefits they deserve. Corporations lay off employees by the thousands, just so that they continue reporting all time profit increases. Even places like UPs and FedEx forcing employee to work under 30 hours…or allowing employees to work over 40…but not give them benefits – because they aren’t “officially” 40 hour employees.

Of course, this is nothing compared to the abuse that is going on outside our country by Americans. Corporations have found a way to circumvent almost all state and federal laws; that’s by outsourcing all our jobs overseas. While overseas, companies have next to zero labor laws, almost no environmental laws, and violation of human rights happens daily. One example is Foxconn (http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/02/ff_joelinchina/) – which is only one of many. Foxconn is very similar to our own history around the turn of the century. Employees live at work (all cramped up in a dorm style rooms)…forced to work long hours (35 hour shifts), and they are committing suicide at work (so much so, they had to install nets around the building). Their wages, living conditions, and overall working conditions, could all be much better.

So, it’s not so much that America got better, is that America got better for Americans. The people at the top just found new ways of hiding the atrocities they commit against humanity.

This picture isn’t from the early 1900s, it’s from 2010:

http://eddiejackson.net/web_images/foxconn-undercover-3-05182010-1274139182.jpg


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Eddie Jackson
GOK - Philosophy Major/Liberal Studies
http://eddiejackson.net university page




Directory: data -> college -> 12 American Women -> unit04
12 American Women -> Assignments
12 American Women -> In Unit 6 you examined how women’s gender roles, racial identity, and sexuality began to be redefined
12 American Women -> Discussion Respond to the Discussion This unit contains one
12 American Women -> In Unit 1, you examined American women in early American history. You were also introduced to the goals and structures of this course
12 American Women -> Discussion Respond to the Discussion This unit contains one
12 American Women -> Discussion Respond to the Discussion This unit contains two
12 American Women -> Discussion
12 American Women -> In Unit 5 you examined how women took a more permanent place in the public sphere. Unit 6 evaluates how women’s entrance into the public sphere ultimately changed American society
12 American Women -> Unit 1 will help you to understand the goals and structure of American women


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