Men Victimized or Women?

Men and women have been victimized over the years in many ways because to state it quite simply they are just not the same. Men will never be able to get pregnant and women will never be able to not be women and have the associated hormones, periods, etc without some serious drugs or surgeries. This has led to a lot of disenfranchisement over the years and one or the the other sex being victimized throughout most of history. “Men weren’t really the enemy – they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made men feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no real bears to kill.” (Betty Friedman). Men were not the victims like the women were. In some countries women are still being victimized. Women were limited in areas that men excelled, like work, or education. These limitations kept women from providing the needs of their families, which in a way held them hostage in their own home, and by their husbands, whom didn’t give the chance to become truly independent.

Women the Real Victims

First, let’s consider all of the things that men could do that women could not, such as being a part of the workforce. Most women from the 19th century were not allowed to work, and those who did were limited in the choices of careers that they could choose to work in. When they were unable to work they had to rely on men to support them. The women that did go into the workforce were mostly nurses, or teachers. People never really saw women doing anything else as far as working goes. Even when the women were working they still had to rely on men to support them. Back in the 19th century women made way less than the average man. Even today women make approximately 83 cents for every dollar that a man does. Even the jobs that women did get were low paying and had no possibility of future advancement. After women got the right to work and started alongside men, they had horrible working conditions. They worked in factories that would overwork them and were sometimes hazardous to them.

Second, let’s refer to the education gap between men and women. Many women that lived during the nineteenth century did not get an education past the basic grade school education. The women that came from families that were wealthy often attended school further than most did. It wasn’t the same kind of schooling that the men were getting. Most of the women that pursued to educate themselves went to school to learn how to better perform womanly duties. They would be taught how to sow, and take care of their children and husbands. They would be taught how to cook for their families. Then there were some women that continued going to school for the accepted jobs that women could pursue like nursing or teaching. Even the ones that kept going to be nurses and teachers didn’t always get all the way through school to become what they wanted. When some women got married they would often quit going to school so that they could take care of the household. The ones that kept going had to deal with the fact that they might be looked down upon by a society that didn’t appreciate what they had to offer.

All of these were leading to the ways that women suffered from discrimination. Along with the limited education they would receive and the horrible working conditions and low pay wages, they were not allowed to own anything of value. If their parents died, anything that they owned would go to the eldest male child. If there were only women, then the woman would have to give everything that they inherited to their husbands. They were demoed the right to vote. They were often looked down upon in society, and would be judged critically. If they were to get a divorce from their husbands, the husband would get everything from the children to the house. Once a woman got divorced, it was unlikely that they would get married again. If a woman had sex before marriage they would be looked down upon like a street walker. Women from the 19th century had to dress and look a certain way to be accepted by others.

Men and their Toils

On the other hand, men can say that they were victims because of the fact that they had to support their families. Men in the 19th century would have two choices when they reached a certain age. They would either go right to work, or get a higher education. If they chose to go right to work they would often work in the factories or the mines. If they chose to pursue a higher education then they go to learn traits or skills that would help them to attain a good career later on. A lot of times they had no choice because the paths that they took often depended on the wealth of the family that they were coming from. A lot of men that came from a wealthy family would continue to pursue education because they could afford to. Then that left the men that came from families that struggled with money issues to go right to work. The men that came from poor families often had to work to support their families until they got married and started their own family that needed to be taken care of. However, this didn’t make men the victims. Women wanted to work to be able to help support their families, hence them fighting for their rights. Women wanted the opportunity to become doctors or lawyers, and pursue decent careers of their own.

Women had it Worse

Men had all the freedoms in the world compared to women. They could vote, they worked and got paid decent wages, and had the opportunity to get a decent education. Supporting their family should have been the least of their worries. All of which women did not have the privilege of being able to do. Still, women today have limitations in what they are allowed to do. In some nations women are not allowed to leave their home without a man by their side. It is against the law for women to have a driver’s license in some countries. Men have never truly been the victim when compared to women. The bottom line is women were victimized more which is why most people forget that men were even victimized to begin with. Most people just look at how much more women were victimized rather than men and call that the level of victimization for women. This is a good way to look at it although it isn't entirely accurate.


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