Myths of Gender essay - Pham 1 Duy Stephen Pham Dr...

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Pham 1 Duy Stephen Pham Dr. Steinberg English Composition 3.37 13 November 2007 Essay #2: America – An Attempt for Equality Throughout the few centuries of American history, countless people have fought for freedom and equality; essentially, they have been fighting for the discontinuance of restrictions. However, in today’s society, there are two very significant myths that affect everyone’s beliefs and confine many to social and economic barriers. One of these includes the myth of individual opportunity, which states that every person in America has the same, equal ability to rise up in the economic ladder and become successful based upon that person’s personal effort. The other myth, which actually encompasses multiple ideas, is the myth of gender. This fallacy states that men and women are created to fill their respective, natural roles – men must be dominant while women must be passive. Another facet of the myth of gender is that women are created to be inferior beings, sometimes even sexual objects. Basically, these myths confine several different groups of people to certain molds, and thus diversity is not able to flourish. Consequently, change must occur. In order to stray away from these problems, society as a whole must follow a new, revolutionary law. This enactment would state that myths must not be followed, eventually allowing the obliteration of these numerous confining myths and permitting people to learn to end the idea of social restraints. In doing so, people will be able to recognize the truth and overcome several problems of reality. Limitations to different groups of people will be shattered, and humankind will be able to accept all types of variety and diversity – whether it is the diversity of social and racial groups finding success or the diversity of different genders and sexualities.
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Pham 2 The myth of individual opportunity can greatly hinder the economic distribution of citizens because it portrays a false idea that every single person has an equal chance. This myth is defined as the ability for every single person to excel up the economic ladder – meaning everyone has equal social and economic mobility, no matter what social status that person is born into. Harlon L. Dalton, a critic of Horatio Alger, discusses how this myth states “that every individual is judged solely on personal merit, without regard for sociological wrapping” (281). Gregory Mantsios also stated the following as a description of this myth: “Everyone has an equal chance to succeed. Success in the United States requires no more than hard work, sacrifice, and perseverance” (309). Ultimately, the myth conveys the idea that every American can find success, no matter what odds are stacked against him or her.
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