Throughout History many stories are told of great and powerful men. Men who were warriors, politicians and kings. History often leads us to believe that women were hardly an existence in the past as many history books write only of great men, most men believed that they were superior to all women. However, there were indeed women in the past that held great power in their own way, Queen Victoria, Joan Of Arc, Indira Gandhi, Golda Meir and Margaret Thatcher are only some examples, but why has there been so little recognition of women?A reason being that the majority of recorded history was recorded my men and so they often failed to represent the female’s achievements and powers.
Mayfield Sue. (1988) Page3, Timeline: Women and Power. London: Dryad, Describes power and its connection to all women, “Power is not just about government and control. Ordinary people possess power… in the past women had great influence on society’s structures.
.. many women who have no public power may nevertheless have great power within family units as wives and mothers.There are rarely records of this sort, and it is often difficult to pinpoint or to measure it” Women are often underestimated in society as being the weaker sex and this underestimation is usual being said by men, however has Mayfield (1988) Page4, also describes, many societies are centred around women, “some societies are essentially matricentric (centred on mothers) even though the men may have outward control and power”. Biology favours the females. Women are by nature, the stronger sex. A woman’s life expectancy is greater than a man’s if both are fed and cared for equally.Radtke.
L, Stam. J, (1994) Page15. Power/Gender: Social relations in Theory and Practice. London, Sage. Describes how women are biological powerful. “Females are given by nature a powerful social role: females conceive, bear children and feed them from their bodies, and have always taken responsibility for maintaining them – that is maintaining the entire human race”. The male in this role has no obvious contribution to it apart from the role of sexual drive. This may be a reason for males, more than women, being driven to create an identity.
They have over the past thousands of years redefined themselves in a way that contradicts nature “men call themselves powerful, indeed dominant, but this definition is flung in the face of nature, not given by it. Male power is self-proclaimed based in the world; thus it can be realized only symbolically”. Radtke.
H, Stam,H (1994) Page16. Women’s power has grown considerable from 1900 onwards. This rise in power was due manly to significant events such as the two world wars, were women replaced men in the workplace.Women were then seen as being capable of doing such jobs. Major breakthroughs for women also include women over 30 years of age being allowed to vote in 1918, and in 1919 the first woman sits in Parliament. Women struggled and fought hard for such opportunities as these, these were the first steps to equality for women and these were all led by women.
Such examples of these are the suffragettes and the suffragists. These were among the first examples of what is now described as ‘girl power’.Now in the 21st century we have seen even more equality for women, with female politicians and managers and many females in powerful social roles, all women in Britain are now equal with men in terns of voting, all women have the right the right to vote. But it was only until after the second world (1945) that women were to been seen as suitable for such power involving roles. Research on youth culture shows that young women have been ignored in history in post-war Britain and that the culture process was completely male dominated.
In youth culture research, youth, culture and late modernity are three key concepts.Youth can be described as physiological development, it is around the time in one’s life of adolescence. Bolan,G. Fornas,J. (1995) Page3. Youth Culture in Late Modernity. London.
Sage. Also describes youth in terms of a social category, “framed by particular social institutes (school) and social acts such as leaving home, forming a family and finding a profession. Youth is something which is culturally determined in a discursive interplay with musical, visual and verbal signs that denote what is young in relation to that which is interpreted as respectively childish or adult”Culture can be described as people’s way of living, it has a broad term and can also be described as “a hermeneutic and semiotic concept of culture as symbolic communication – that is, human interaction through symbolic modes” by, Bolin,G. Forna,J. (1995) Page 4.
All human activities have cultural aspects as we all communicate through symbols and therefore a wide definition of culture can also be useful. In modernity there is the combination of several different themes.