Discrimination denies women their individuality. With virtually no limitations placed upon them, men are able to take up any course in life they choose. Women, however, cannot do so. Instead, they perceive from an early age that their individual potential is limited and that their choices have been narrowly defined to a specific set of approved occupations. The result of these forms of discrimination are obvious, they allow men to maintain control over their own opportunities and guarantee their continued place within society’s power structure.
Social approval had long been given for men to abuse women who were seen to be stepping out of their social place. All of these behaviors can be seen as acts of discrimination against women because they have categorically denied them the chances to develop into their individual selves. Societies have chosen to give men greater levels of responsibility, education, employment, and power upon the basis that they are men, at the expense of women. Rather than giving both genders access to the institutions and infrastructure of society, we have allowed more than half of us to live a segregated life. These types of discrimination seem to serve the functioning of society where clearly defined roles and expectations are of primal importance.
What these forms of discrimination achieve is the maintaining of men within their positions of power. Whether based upon biblical reference which places the woman in a subjugated role, or on physical strength, or even on perceived mental / emotional capacities, the effects of discrimination against women have been horrible. The true tragedy of discrimination against women, or anyone for that matter, is that the total effect is to place artificial barriers along their life’s path. Being denied a job because you don’t have the required skills is acceptable discrimination. But, being denied a job because you happen to be a woman is unacceptable discrimination. Men are given the opportunity to define themselves on the basis of their occupation and personal achievements. Women, on the other hand, are forced to define themselves as attachments to their husbands and families.