Gender Homophobia Term Paper

Pages: 4 (1254 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality


What issues involving straight women have been resolved since the 1920's in the United States, and which have not? What do you see happening in the future, and when?

At the beginning of the 20th century, it was an issue of public contention whether women should have the right to vote. It was argued that women would simply vote the way their husbands voted, and thus female emancipation was unnecessary and misguided. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, a woman is likely to be a candidate for president for one of the major American political parties. The basic right of a married woman to take an active voice in politics is now a settled question. However, the role of the husband in such an arrangement still remains questionable.

After all, Hillary Clinton came to public, political prominence partly because of her husband, despite her own considerable qualifications as a lawyer and a U.S. Senator. While First Lady, despite her intelligence and drive, Senator Clinton's hairstyle, ability to bake cookies, and other talismans that exemplified her ability to embody conventional feminine domesticity were continually debated in the media. While it is no longer accepted to ask if a woman's time of the month might make her temporarily unable to execute rational decision-making, it is still uncomfortable for many Americans to envision a woman in power. Femininity is seen as contradictory with assuming a mantel of authority, yet a woman must be conventionally feminine to be acceptable to the American public.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Term Paper on Gender Homophobia Assignment

This tension is seen in "Adam's Rib," a film that depicts two articulate attorneys on different sides of a case that is supposed to embody the male/female conflict in the eyes of the audience. On one hand, the woman is an equal sparring partner for the man, and has an unquestioned right to pursue a profession. On the other hand, her husband grouses that he prefers two sexes, a comment that essentializes the inherent qualities of women and men. Also, the female attorney wins in the courtroom, partly by using the defense that love and marriage is such an integral part to woman's identity that a woman cannot help but attack with a pistol when she perceives that her hearth and home is being impinged upon by another female. Then, although the husband loses his case in court, he manages to create a scenario outside of court to motivate his wife to exclaim that he has no right to turn a gun against her, simply because he suspects her of cheating on him, which essentially invalidates the point she was making in the courtroom.

The film is ambiguous as to who truly wins the debate, but suggests that when a woman attempts to take control of her professional life, her personal life and marriage may suffer. This embodies the tension between Femininity and authority being suffered by Hilary Clinton in her many media trials by fire. Senator Clinton must be feminine and she must be powerful, but she cannot be too feminine, or seem too powerful. Her alliance with her husband gives her public attention, yet it also causes many to damn her by association.

The correct model for powerful female heterosexuality thus still remains an open question of debate. Significantly, the lawyers do not have children in "Adam's Rib" as tending for children puts the woman in the uncomfortable place of choosing between career and family, as having children and pursuing a career were seen as incompatible for women in the past. Although better day care and changing societal attitudes mean that women no longer have to make an either/or choice between being a good mother and a good professional, Hillary Clinton's fitness as a mother has come under constant attack. Her attempts to… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Gender Homophobia" Term Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Gender Homophobia.  (2007, April 2).  Retrieved September 18, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Gender Homophobia."  2 April 2007.  Web.  18 September 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Gender Homophobia."  April 2, 2007.  Accessed September 18, 2021.