Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Women in the Workplace

In my blog this week I am at the representation of women in the workplace, specifically in the office. I will ompare two images showing this: one from the 80s and one from now.

The first image shows an image of women at work in an office in the 80s. At this time the second wave of feminism was in motion and women wanted fuller equal rights. I think an important factor of this image is the way the woman is dressed: a bright blue power suit and heels. By having padded shoulders they were imitating men’s broad shoulders, thus making them equal as well as making them look powerful. However by also wearing heels and the suit being fashionable and bright it reiterates the fact that she is female; in the 80s women wanted equal rights but they didn't want to sacrifice their feminity to get it, this probably led to this post feminism image 'post feminist television heroines can be recognised by their economic independence while employed in a respectable profession, by their provocative clothing styles and by their acceptance of their choices and lifestyles by their friends' (Joke Hermes ‘The Tragic Success of Feminism’ in Feminism and Popular Culture). Between 1980 and 1985, the percentage of women in jobs increased from 15% to 71% and most of these women worked in offices as secretaries, just as this image shows. However, at this time there was still a lack of women in 'man's jobs' and high positions.

The second image is a representation of women in the workplace in contemporary America. The main point of this image is that men and women are equals in the workplace: the two women in the foreground and the two men in the background are basically in the same positions doing the same things; the fact that there is more than one woman in the picture shows that they are not a minority in the working world (unlike decades earlier). In some ways this picture is partly correct because women are getting closer and closer to equality; for example in 2006 women’s earnings increased to 77% of men’s compared to 66% in 2003. However, the rate of income for working class women in service jobs increases at a slower rate; as Nickel & Dimed demonstrates women are paid poorly and therefore have a very low standard of living. As you can see this image doesn’t present that side of women in work, it shows successful middle class women in the workplace; therefore this picture only indicates the ideology of equality.

No comments:

Post a Comment