Babandeep Final History Paper 4

Submitted By Babandeep1
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NORTH COUNTRY: MANPOWER AND THE WRETCHED STATE OF WOMEN IN THE WORKFORCE

Babandeep
History 1014: Themes United States History
December 3, 2014

Throughout the 20th century, women were often seen as eye-candies and mannequins at work, and in many cases, they even encounter sexual molestation. Discrimination and harassment against women is still prevalent in the workplace. During the year 2013, Courts enforced 7,256 charges of sexual harassment, out of which, women comprised 82.6 % of victims, while there were 27,687 cases of gender discrimination.1 Our era has seen new conventions and legal philosophies, which are steering towards female emancipation. Government have passed laws such as Title VII, of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on “race, color, religious belief, gender, or national origin of the person.” 2 These laws empower women and aim to forestall them from facing any discrimination or hostility at work. Civil rights provide protection to women, but it fails to provide the sense of equality that women deserve. During the 20th century, our society has envisioned a vast movement for Equal Right Amendment (ERA). The ERA was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed equality between human races and women, under law. The bill failed in 1982, when it did not receive enough state votes for the confirmation.3 To a historian, North Country can present insight about gender inequality in the late 20th century. It also sheds light on the historical issues which stand to influence our times, by leading to the conception of new laws and rules. The movie reveals the pathetic condition of women in sexist jobs and how they were socially rejected in a society that looked down on them. The film is crucial, “ because it reaches audiences who might have never read Class Action nor grappled with the issues of sexual harassment in any other context.” 4 Gender inequality, social disparity and harassment against women is still prevalent and pervasive, due to males desire to prove their masculinity and to ensure continued dominance over women, by establishing themselves as superior to women and barring them from opportunities. The movie North Country, directed by Niki Caro, was released on September 12, 2005. It is an Oscar-nominated film based on the Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. Case. The lawsuit filed in 1989, on behalf of Lois Jenson and her female colleagues. Plaintiffs alleged that Eveleth Mines violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Minnesota Human Rights Act, by discriminating against women on the ground of their sex, including engaging in acts of sexual molestation.5 The case went to trial in 1982 and led to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit finding that the mining company was liable for a hostile work environment. They decreed in favor of the total group of female workers, “ and told the company to develop a policy and educate employees about sexual harassment.”6 It became the first sexual harassment case that leads to a class action status. The movie North Country depicts the pernicious effect of male power and control over women, as a central issue of discrimination. Josey, the film’s main protagonist, is portraying the role of Lois Jenson. In the opening scene, Josey’s husband beats her just to prove his authority in their relationship. Wayne, her husband, beats her out of frustration because he was out of work. Josey, along with her kids, leaves her abusive husband and returns to her family in Minnesota. She needs a job to support her family. Women were expected to do the household chores. In rare cases, some women had to work, because of their poor economic background, the employment opportunities were limited to lighter jobs, such as serving or hairdressing. Josey managed to get employment in mining. Before working in the mines, Josey…