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Index of a Civilized Society

2006-07-29 15:15

  Index of a Civilized Society

  One of the greatest socialists said that the status of women in a society is a pretty reliable index of a civilized society. If it is true, then the present status of women (which seems equal with men's though in fact women's status are much lower than men's in many fields), in my point of view, should make us ponder about whether our society is civilized at all.

  Traditional ideology is so deeply rooted in people's minds that it is rather hard to be uprooted. Twenty or thirty years ago,it was believed that a woman must either get married young or risk becoming a spinster. Those who did not get married were thought to be inferior and abnormal.  Fortunately,  today's women have numerous options open to them besides early marriage. Actually, a single woman is no longer looked down upon by societ—in civilized region, to say the least.  However, in those backward areas, things don't go as we expect.  I was a larmingly shocked by last winter vacation's experience. I went to Huizhou, a small town next to mountain Huang, with my friends. I still remember the array of memorial archways inside the town. A local told us that they were all in memory of those so called "virtuous" women, whose husbands died early or left the town, never coming back and they stayed unmarried for the rest of their lives. In fact, I was shocked at the maintenance of these meaningless gateways, which serves as a symbol of despise on women. How can the locals regard them as glorious women?

  Another important factor that hampers the development of women's status is women's counterpart men. Men's resistance to women's equality is partly caused by their awareness that what the male does is no longer indispensable and women may be superior in some fields. Actually, they have proved to be brilliant in the fierce competitions time and again.  Moreover, with the rapid development of technology, few tasks involve much physical strength.  Therefore, women can do more work than men sometimes.

  As a matter of fact, the society itself also lays a heavy burden and unequal standards on women. Although remarkable progress has been made in achieving better social status and sharing more equal rights for women in the past decades, their roles in their families remain basically unchanged. The double burden of working inside and outside home renders them no possibility to make full use of their talents and hinders them from taking the leadership. We should admit that women are favorable for occupations such as services, which are paid less than male jobs and have less opportunity to be promoted to top management positions. Women often drop out at critical points in their careers for the sake of their families and children. The decade from twenty five to thirty five has proved to be vital in achieving success or securing a promising post, which is also the years when women are likely to have children. Thus, they are left far behind men in the competitions for fame and power.

  In modern society, we do see women powers, such as Mad am Thatcher, Hillary Clinton, and Wu Yi, the vice Premier of China who played an important role in these critical days against SARS. But why have they drawn people's attention? Just because they are women and female leaders are too rare to be seen.

  Taking into account all the relevant factors, we may safely conclude that we won't make progress in the achievement of women's status and their equal opportunities if people's traditional ideas,  men's  attitude,  society's burden remain  unchanged. The picture isn't quite rosy. Equality with men continues to be the goal of modern civilized society.

  简  评

  文明社会发展到今天,女性的地位是否彻底地改观了?如果女性的地位是一个社会发展水平的标志,那么我们的社会正处在哪一个阶段?

  文章首尾呼应,最后一段总结扣题,是文章的可取之处。开篇引用名人名言导入文章中心句(thesis statement),看似提出质疑,实际观点明确。而结尾综述总结论证,再次明确自己的立场,指出“……we won't make progress in the achievement of women's status and their equal opportumtms if people's traditional ideas,men's attitude,society's burden remain unchanged.……Equality with men continues tO be the goal ofmodern civilized society.”

  文章条理清晰,从传统观念的束缚、男性群体对女权运动的反作用和女性的双重社会责任带给她们的困惑这三个方面充分论证了女性的不平等地位。文章的不足之处在于,第三段关于男性在女权运动中的作用论述不够深入。通常在面对一个相对较难阐述的问题时,可以借用比喻或恰当的例证,使论述更容易理解,更有说服力。

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