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The Disadvantages the Amazon Rainforest Has Been Subjected to Historically R.A 5/Final Project

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 The Disadvantages the Amazon Rainforest Has Been Subjected To Historically

    Historically and currently the Amazon Rainforest is a resource that has been dominated by mankind. The last century produced an era of modernization for this land. However, the ground is one particular aspect that currently is at risk due to a recent study on the reserve of Michelin Ecological Reserve in Bahia, Brazil. Their main objective for this study was to investigate how contrasting land histories using low-impact logging, high-impact logging and the slash and burn effect in forest recovery both in quantitative and qualitative data [1]. These different methods of deforestation are, historically, what civilians did for industrial or agricultural purposes. To find their testing locations they asked local residents for locations pertaining to the three different land histories. They found land characterizing each land history and noted they all had one aspect in common: they were undisturbed pieces of land for fifty to sixty years. After researching each location they observed that the slash and burn method had the most aggressive disturbance and being intermediate in richness and diversity. Seventy-seven species and thirty-eight families were recorded. The high-impact logging was described as had mediocre disturbance with the lowest richness and diversity compared to the other two. Seventy-five species and thirty-two families were recorded. Low-impact logging had was the highest in richness and diversity with twelve species and thirty-five families [2]. This experiment gives representation to mankind’s long lasting influences on nature and how it affects generations afterward. The profit of clearing this land is not equal to the disadvantages that follow in the aftermath.

 Figure 1. The tan colored shade is representation of the Amazon Rainforest and depicts the Amazon Basin throughout the rainforest in blue.

Actions of the 1970’s colonization and industrialization have lead to deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. The act of cutting and burning trees down for profit have lead to more disadvantages towards the indigenous civilians and their environment than advantages. The Amazon rainforest, the largest tropical rainforest globally, has lost a significant fifth of trees in it’s location of nine different countries; the majority covering Brazil. The Amazon River, is also partnered with the rainforest and runs from Peru to Brazil and has also been subjected to downfall [3]. The migration of laborers gravitating towards the rainforest and not only their work, but their use of resources have left more direct, detrimental affects specifically towards: the land, the civilians, agriculture, animals, global warming and the government. The colonization and construction of the Trans-Amazon Highway has left Brazil’s civilians without water, lack of wood, increase in crime, shortage of health professionals, and no income for the city itself for maintenance [4]. It is logical with the increased fluctuation of workers, settlers and tradesman the city will not be able to sustain itself and it showcases in the problems listed. This microcosm can be visualized on a larger scale in reference to mankind’s footprint on the world and especially the Amazon Rainforest. The progress of humanity in terms of the Amazon Rainforest have lead to more disadvantages in a wide array of aspects than positive growth towards the environment and humanity.

Figure 2. Trans-Amazon Highway (Transoceanic Highway)

Logging is a selective process and when this process is introduced to a rainforest, it makes that site more susceptible to forest fires with twice as many trees cut down [5]. Other trees that are not selected are just as likely to be cut down with smaller trees with just as much risk. If enough small trees are cut down than it creates that newer generation of tree replacements to not grow to their full potential leaving barren land which creates a danger for forest fires. Having gaps between the trees lead to drier climates with the mix of sun a wind will make a forest fire likely to take place [6]. Not logging will create more coverage insure less damage takes place than in counter of a possible fire from man’s need for logging.

If ranches were distributed into smaller properties it would make deforestation more likely to increase and occur [7]. Many ranchers are faced with the temptation of buying land that is still covered in trees without consideration to buying already cleared land. Land use for these humans is for cattle and Fearnside states that they feel this is an improvement because of the overall transformation of the land. However, settlement is underdeveloped however it is important to note that balancing a population that can sustain itself in these conditions is important for preserving deforestation. Agriculture is a technique to sustain humans, however in the process we more through the need for untouched land.

 Figure 3. Cattle Ranching in the Boa Vista, Brazil. The slash and burn technique is common to clear land for ranches.

Animals rely on the Amazon rainforest for survival. It is their resource and when one takes a resource away the species goes along with it. A study was comparing different sites and studied the species that were in these different environments.  The slash and burn area, where farmers burned down trees for acreage, found that three species accounted for 50% of dominance [8]. Observing a  more impacted area led there to be less dominance by the replacement of several species from other successional species. This leads that different areas of impacts the type of species and dominance in each site.

Trees are our source of absorbing oxygen and a large mass of them, humans would be speeding up global warming from all the carbon emissions that go into the atmosphere. During the rapid development of the 1970’s, it created carbon emissions to be 128-207 million tC/year. This is also considered to be 1.8-3.0 percent of global carbon emissions from causes of fossil fuels and deforestation [9]. This is due to when clearing costs are lowered and the area is so concentrated in one area and not distributed equally. Thus, creating more emissions into the air and making a negative impact on the world.

In the 1970’s, land speculation was one of the motivators for deforestation. Ranchers the owners of the land, would us a tactic to make a large profit off their land. As land values increased quicker than inflation, ranchers were susceptible to holding onto the land for a few years and then profit from it [10]. Also, people outside the agricultural professions would purchase land and use land speculation as their tactic to profit instead of investing their money into the stock market for there is risk from tax authorities [11]. This tactic gives people the opportunity to profit majorly without giving any of the money back to Brazil which creates an outlet for many to sell with the outcome being deforestation.

The importance of understanding the long lasting affect of mankind’s impact on the Amazon Rainforest will show the disadvantages of the it being subjected to a destructive dominance. Natives and the environment having to suffer the consequences shows the capability of human power towards nature. By learning about the history of the Amazon and the role of deforestation it can provide insight on what not to do in the future. The study on land histories shows how history is still apart of today and that years later when we want to use our resources respectively, we cannot because they were not taken care of in the first place. Also, it shows that moderation will not go backwards and it shows with the soil. Once the soil is contaminated with the deforestation methods, especially the slash and burn and high-impact logging, it will not reverse easily. Important, impactful people made this happen to the Amazon, and it makes one wonder what were they important for?

Endnotes:

[1] Talora C. Daniela and Larissa Rocha-Santos, “Recovery of the Atlantic Rainforest Areas Altered by Distinct Land-Use Histories in Northeastern Brazil,” Tropical Conservation Science 5,4 (December 2012) 475

[2] Tropical Conversation Science, (December 2012) 479

[3] A.H Gentry and J. Lopez-Parodi, “Deforestation and Increased Flooding of the Upper Amazon,” American Association for the Advancement of Science, 210, 4476 (December, 1980) 2

[4] Marvine Howe, “An Amazon Town, Focus of Colonization Effort, Suffers a Boom,” The New York Times, 122, 41,984, (January 1973) 15

[5] Philip M. Fearnside, “Deforestation in Brazilian Amazonia: History, Rates and Consequences,” Conservation Biology 19, 3 (June, 2005) 682

[6] Conservation of Biology, (June 2005) 683

[7] Conservation of Biology, (June 2005) 685

[8] Tropical Conversation Science, (December 2012) 481

[9] Andersen, Lykke E., Granger, Clive W. J., and Reis, Eustaquio J. “The Dynamics of Deforestation and Economic Growth in the Brazilian Amazon,” Cambridge, GB: Cambridge University Press (December 2002) 166

[10] Conservation of Biology, (June 2005) 685

[11] Conservation of Biology, (June 2005) 685

Illustrations:

Figure 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_basin The tan colored shade is representation of the Amazon Rainforest and depicts the Amazon Basin throughout the rainforest in blue.

Figure 2. http://www.wilderutopia.com/international/destructive-progress-brazil-peru-transoceanic-highway-by-jack-eidt/ Trans-Amazon Highway (Transoceanic Highway)

Figure 3. https://www.allianz.com/en/about_us/open-knowledge/topics/environment/articles/150329-the-top-ten-drivers-of-deforestation.html/#!ma37b41a1-2c4f-4574-8544-66fccab6c005 Cattle Ranching in the Boa Vista, Brazil. The slash and burn technique is common to clear land for ranches.

 

A Penniless World

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A penniless world

Imagine working for twenty hours a day, having no place to sleep, nothing to eat, no family, no friends, and no actual existence. Imagine a ten year old girl being forced down the aisle with her future husband or a young boy working himself to the bone to receive nothing in return. Now take that imaginary image, and turn it into reality. When most people hear the word “slavery” they think of the 1700’s and cotton plantations or slaves constructing pyramids, but what most people do not realize is that slavery is still a modern day issue, and it is bigger than ever. Even though human trafficking takes place in all of the 197 countries, some of the highest slave rates are found to be in North Korea and China[1]. With quite developed history, slavery has taken various forms in a multitude of places, including Eastern Asia, due to the advancement of technologies and modernization of tools; it has resulted in dispersed detrimental effects on indentured servant victims and the economy around them. Although Asia contains the highest trafficking rates, women, men, and children have been subjected to slavery all over the world; human trafficking is just as critical of a topic today as it once was back then.

To begin, human trafficking is the process by which men, women, and children are illegally transported to different people and countries to be forced into slave labor or sexual slavery. Slavery is when a person or people are forced to perform tasks against their will or for little or no pay. Slavery is an old topic which started around the 1600’s and continued to the present day. In the 1600’s slavery began with the shipping and forced labor of African slaves in the Americas[2]. The slaves were forced to work in fields and on plantations for little or no pay. Slaves were being traded, bought, and sold all over the world. After the 1600’s more and more slaves were being bought and used. At the beginning of the 15th century the use of the transatlantic trade route began to take place. The triangular trade route was a route which connected much of America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Raw goods, rice, cotton, slaves, and many more items were traded back and forth. Asia traded gems, jade, and different types of cloths while slaves were traded out of Africa. Over the next three and a half centuries more than 10 million ships had forcibly moved Africans to the Americas, Europe, and Asia[3].

In the past, slaves were used for manual labor in fields, and on plantations. Overtime many machines and tools, like the plow, were designed to replace the indentured servants. With the creation of machinery and helpful tools, the use of slaves became less and less common. Eventually laws were put in place to abolish slavery, the 13th amendment was added to the constitution, and the use of indentured servants began to slow. Throughout the following centuries the idea of slavery became socially unacceptable, and many people turned against it, helping to maintain the slave free world. Unfortunately, a slave free world is the exact opposite of what we live in. Today, there are more than 48.5 million people whom are enslaved around the world[4]. But how can this number be so large even after we have technically abolished the use of indentured servants? This number has continued to grow, and will continue to grow because slavery today has taken on a whole new form. Modern day slavery forces a demand for different types of labor than those of the past. Modern day slavery consists of twelve year old girls being forced to wed a much older man, children whom are forced to work for little or no pay, and sex trafficking.

Although slavery takes place in all countries, a couple countries with some of the highest rates of slavery include North Korea and China. More than 100,000 North Koreans have moved to China, illegally, to avoid their current conditions. Of the 100,000 people that escape to China, 80-90 percent of the women become trafficking prisoners[5]. Part of the reason that North Korean women fall into trafficking is because of their status in the household. Usually, the women are forced to work for a low level, low paying job since the men occupy the higher status jobs. Many sellers and buyers work together in North Korea and China to enslave people. Many North Korean brides are shipped to China and forced into marriages and uncontrollable relationships. The prices of the women begin around 5,000 yuan, which is equal to $800.00, and can go up depending on the age, appearance, and other factors[6]. Women are brought into sexual slavery at as young as ten years old. The most common age for sex slaves are 13 to 16 years of age[7]. Eastern Asians are often times used for sexual desires against their will. This also coincides with their position in the household. Sometimes wives/daughters are even sold to sex trafficking by their own household if money is needed[8]. China and North Korea are both aware of the trafficking issues within their countries. Unfortunately North Korea has done nothing to change the situation and lacks motivation to avoid further slave labor. China on the other hand has taken steps toward the right direction and has attempted to avoid future human trafficking.

So how does all of this relate to us? Modern day slavery can take the unfortunate form of sweatshops. Sweatshops are often run by large companies who have the power to encourage the awful conditions. Sweatshops are factories and working spaces where people work for long hours on end and receive very little pay. Sweatshops are usually run by popular companies whom take advantage of smaller third world countries to get high amounts of product with little cost. Recently it was discovered that a popular name brand, Nike, was using this type of labor in sweatshops all throughout Asia. It was found that there were more than 50 sweatshops in China with more than 111,000 workers[9]. Western countries, which are generally more powerful, take advantage of the low value working conditions because it is a way for them to make more money. Slavery is encouraged by buying, wearing, and benefiting popular brands which use the pitiful labors. This form of modern slavery is one of the worst and most common forms of indentured labors.

Human trafficking not only goes against political security, but it also goes against human security. The people are subconsciously forced into indentured labors and become trapped in a penniless world of suffering. They are often times deprived of food until their work is completed. In the case of sexually indentured slaves, the effects include HIV and AIDS[10]. Some slaves are forced to consume drugs while other slaves are forced to work all day and night. Some of the unfortunate souls perform household chores before being sent home to a family to feed on a paycheck of nothing. Diseases spread around and when a person gets sick there is no treatment for them. Those who are able to break away from their imprisonment are often physically and mentally scarred for the rest of their lives. The conditions which the people are kept are dirty and unhealthy, but for those whom are responsible for the enslaved people, the demand for the product is much more important than the life of another human being.

 

Millions of helpless people are being trapped and forced into the dark despairs of a hidden, indentured world. People are forced to work all day and night and will get nothing in return. Girls at the age of ten are walking down the aisle to wed the husband whom bought her for sex. Slavery has developed in Asia and around the world due to the modernization of tools and technological advancements that have been made between the 15th century and the present day. This is a reoccurring issue that has continued to take on different forms and resurface again and again throughout time. This is an issue that must be defeated once and for all.

 

 

 

 

Sources

The African Slave Trade.-In a letter.” Times [London, England] 29 July 1893: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 6 Feb. 2017.

Carney, Judith Ann Rosomoff, Richard Nicholas. In the Shadow of Slavery. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Accessed April 22, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central.

Louise Brown, Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia (Great Britian. Virago Press. 2001). 1-20.

Nadeau, Kathleen M. 2002. “Reviews: Prostitution and Slavery in Asia: Does the Market Set the Captives Free? “Critical Asian Studies 34, no. 1:149. Academic Search Complete, EBSCO (accessed April 20, 2017).

New report documents nike’s continued use of sweatshop labor practices in asia. (2000, Apr 25). U.S.Newswire Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/450992791?accountid=14902

Shelley, Louise. Human Trafficking : A Global Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010

45.8 million people are enslaved across the world. (2016, May 31). U.S.Newswire Retrieved

from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1792507761?accountid=14902 (2017, January 19)

[1] 45.8 million people are enslaved across the world. (2016, May 31). U.S.Newswire Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1792507761?accountid=14902 (2017, January 19)

[2] The African Slave Trade.-In a letter.” Times [London, England] 29 July 1893: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 6 Feb. 2017.

[3]Carney, Judith Ann   Rosomoff, Richard Nicholas. In the Shadow of Slavery. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2010. Accessed April 28, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central.

[4] 45.8 million people are enslaved across the world. (2016, May 31). U.S.Newswire Retrieved

[5] Louise Brown, Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia (Great Britian. Virago Press. 2001). 1-20.

[6] Louise Brown, Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia (Great Britian. Virago Press. 2001). 1-20.

[7] Louise Brown, Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia (Great Britian. Virago Press. 2001). 1-20.

[8] Nadeau, Kathleen M. 2002. “Reviews: Prostitution and Slavery in Asia: Does the Market Set the Captives Free? “Critical Asian Studies 34, no. 1:149. Academic Search Complete, EBSCO (accessed April 20, 2017).

[9] New report documents nike’s continued use of sweatshop labor practices in asia. (2000, Apr 25). U.S.Newswire Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/450992791?accountid=14902

[10] Shelley, Louise. Human Trafficking : A Global Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010

China’s Economic Growth and Strides Towards Equality in Reflection of The Maoist Era

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China has reduced poverty so greatly that it has significantly reduced the global poverty rate. The World Bank found that between 1990 to 2013 the number of people living in extreme poverty was decreased from 35% to less than 11% of the global population. [1] This large reduction of poverty is mainly credited to China, among other East Asian countries. China has drastically improved their financial state, from being one of the poorest countries to being a leading, innovative economy. Senior advisor at the World Bank, Francisco Ferreira, says “The pockets of poverty that remain will become increasingly harder to reach and address,”. [2] By evaluating China’s path to overcoming extreme poverty we can learn strategies and models that we can apply to today’s struggling countries. The World Bank’s report predicts that at this rate, by 2030 the percentage of people living in extreme poverty can be reduced down to 3%. The country of China has truly shown the world just how poverty reduction can be accomplished and their successes can be used as an example to all other countries.

Most of this transformation happened during, or can be accredited to, the Maoist era. This was a crucial time in China’s history in which it underwent major industrial, educational, and social reform. The Government renovated their strategies and ideals to focus on maximizing production, distributing wealth and power, and strengthening and unifying the people. Despite its early economic success, the Maoist regime faced many challenges, and struggled to find a balance between politics and economics. This struggle proved to be necessary, and the result was that both areas, by inching along one at a time like a tug-of-war, were able to advance together over time. Over the last century, China has greatly reduced its poverty rates by making major industrial, educational and social changes, working towards equality and improving the quality of life for all of its residents.

Figure 1, Mao Zedong, 1893-1976.

Following the rule of the Communist Party of China beginning in 1921, Mao Zedong founded the People’s Republic of China in 1949. This was not an easy time in Chinese politics. It was in the wake of the Civil war, and the economy was in need of serious reform. That is exactly what Mao had in mind. He would attempt to unify the people and rehabilitate the economy by cranking up industrial production as much as possible. Eventually, he hoped to move towards distribution of wealth and power between the government and its constituents but revolutionary change was restricted by the need to preserve the economy. The Chairman had almost absolute authority which was quite contrary to China’s previous customs. In the CPC (Communist Party of China) and prior authorities, leaders were not glorified or celebrated. Instead they were thought of as just one of the people whom they represented. In Mao’s case, he was exalted comparably to the way Joseph Stalin was in the Soviet Union. [3] In many ways, Stalin and Mao were similar. In fact, Mao idolized Stalin for the way he had forced industrialization in the USSR in the late 1920’s. Mao’s regime intended to reform China’s economy by “applying the policies of ‘control of capital’ and ‘equalization of land ownership’.” [4] Of course, this would take quite some time, and they did not immediately take over capitalist property to apportion it. In the first few years there was great development under the People’s Republic of China.

Figure 2, Factory in Hong Kong, 1966, just before the beginning of the cultural revolution.

The first of the Five Year Plans was introduced in 1953.  It was not published when it was announced. It is thought of as an ambitious focus on improving the economy by stressing industrial productivity. It is believed that there was never an official plan with clearly established goals. [5] It was more about the principle of working hard to build, repair and thrive. The regime made people work hard, most in crowded factories. The Five Year Plans were very effective and it became apparent that they had exceeded their goals for rehabilitating the economy and overcoming the deficit. The Great Leap began in 1956. Its intent was to gradually begin the social reform seeing that they had made progress and seemed to be on the right financial track. By 1958, 80% of the enterprises that were owned by the central government were handed to local authorities. [6] The government began allowing people more control over industry and giving them positions of leadership. At this time, the stresses of industrialism were being felt, and the pressures and demands for achievement were more relaxed accordingly. Mao’s early efforts were all about increasing production and building China into a powerful industrial economy.

The agrarian revolution was another program that the People’s Republic of China started at this time. The idea was to produce enough agriculture to support the growing population and much more so that they could exchange goods for industrial equipment and technology. Though the push for agrarian revolution was not as forced, it was very successful and much less volatile than the system implemented to increase industrial production. China invests a lot into agriculture because they realize the central role it plays. “Much effort has been put into irrigation, pumping, and other water-control systems permitting both an increase in multiple cropping and heavier fertilizer applications.” [7] China is also proportionally stronger in the industries surrounding agriculture which probably plays a smaller factor in why they are able to produce so much. This includes the manufacture of tools used by farmers, fertilizers etc. The government makes commanding investments in agriculture in other ways as well. “Government procurement prices for grains and other major crops have been raised moderately since 1960, while prices of manufactures have tended downward, so that agriculture’s terms of trade have been improving.” [8] This is how China’s government controls areas of the economy by creating incentives to encourage output. Agricultural output was increasing at a rate of 3% yearly. [9] At this rate, agricultural demand is extremely high considering the large and growing population and the amount of goods that are exported daily. The government set quotas for farmers to encourage them to produce, as well as collecting a large 30% tax on the sale of goods exceeding quota. This way, the farmers are not restricted by limits and there is always money to be made. Meanwhile, the better each farmers did for themselves, the more the government would collect. This is how China wisely conditions their industries to ensure economic success on the whole. The Government had a lot of control which they used in this non-democracy to benefit the people, as well as the nation. Agricultural development was not always successful under Mao, however. “On this view, the only positive phases in the story of agricultural development are seen to be 1952-55 (before the High Tide), and the first half of the 1960’s, both seen as periods when markets and prices still played a significant role in the rural economy.” [10] The agrarian market was largely run by bureaucratic powers and “the potential of agriculture as a market for China’s own industrial goods (let alone imported ones) was obviously deliberately limited by Mao’s strategy of forcing agriculture to rely on internal sources to build up the necessary production capability to raise agricultural surplus further and to meet its own consumption and producer goods demands.”[11] Mao constantly feared external conflict and found it necessary for the nation to be self-sufficient and invulnerable. The agrarian revolution was in place up until Mao’s death (when a lot of social systems were rectified in his absence), at which point “Collective farmlands were officially redistributed (or “reparcelled”) to peasant families for individual farming in January 1984.” [12] Great agricultural development took place under Mao’s regime, most especially during the Cultural Revolution. During this time period, China discovered new equipment and technology and built a strong foundation in agriculture, positioning themselves for long-term growth and sustainability.

Figure 3, Communist propaganda poster from the Cultural Revolution named “Scatter the Old World, Build a New World”.

The regime made people work very hard. In the beginning it was necessary but as time went on, people grew tired of this and some began to resist. The Cultural Revolution was launched by Chairman Mao in 1966 and lasted in different forms until his death in 1976. His goals remained focused on productivity and profit. During the Revolution he attempted to rid China of the customs and ideas that he believed slowed the country’s economic progress. “The Cultural Revolution was aimed at destroying much of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), an entity that Mao had periodically scaled back through ruthless purges, and was also targeted against anyone suspected of being an “intellectual”.” [13] He encouraged young students to riot and build his ‘New World’. Hundreds of people were tortured and persecuted. Those who held high-ranking positions were publicly denounced and ritualistically humiliated. He led people to destroy educational institutions and revolt against the parties that the institutions represented. “During the Cultural Revolution…China had to face serious economic and social disruption.” [14] This was a chaotic time period with lots of conflict and violence. It began when Mao attempted to eliminate several rebellious groups, formed under Liu Shaoqi, that were raising disarray and becoming problematic. The Red Guards responded excessively which had undesirable effects on industrial productivity. There was a great deal of backlash from these groups. The manufacture and transportation of various goods was interrupted by shortages of fuel, raw materials and even food. Riots and strikes took place in factories, impeding production. Industrial machines and tools were damaged so they could not run. Rebellious groups throughout china fought back with demands and anarchic violence. Though records were not released during the Cultural Revolution, it is estimated to have brought down China’s industrial output by 10-20%. [15] This was not how Chairman Mao had expected things to go. The Revolution was quite harmful to China’s economy and threatened Mao’s power, but it was a necessary struggle for society and it helped them out in the long run. This happened because people were tired of working so hard for Mao’s regime that constantly had new plans to work even harder. Finally, Mao’s empire had begun distributing the power between the Chinese Government and its citizens. Mao was very powerful and was on the people’s side, or so they thought. At the time, he was viewed by many as China’s savior and was depicted in a godly manner. Giant posters of Zedong were displayed around China and the people were thankful to him. There were constant rallies with millions of Red Guards and civilians in attendance. Mao supported the troops’ cause and they supported his. Under Mao, people felt united and inspired. Seemingly everyone carried with them Mao’s “Little Red Book” or “Mao Zhuxi Yulu” which was a collection of quotations and ideas from Chairman Mao Zedong, created in 1964. “Mao is shown here to be a nearly perfect Machiavellian prince, hiding his intentions from those he chooses as enemies and lying to them until he can spring traps on them.” [16] In reality, his intentions were to boost the economy making himself, and his empire rich and powerful and almost nothing else. Eventually, counterrevolutionaries began to play a vital role in the economy. China’s economy was shifting increasingly into the control of its people.

Figure 4, Red Guards rally at Tiananmen Square waving the book ‘Mao Zhuxi Yulu’: Quotations from Chairman Mao, 1966.

This, of course, slowed the economy, but it was a give and take, working different aspects at a time to achieve balance. China wanted to be a strong, self-supporting country. The regime recognized that they could best do this by promoting both social change and production at once. China was starting to accept equality-based ideals in the interest of repairing socioeconomics. Mao’s regime repositioned itself to benefit the people and give them control and protection. Social change had to be accepted in order to maintain order and preserve the economy.

Healthcare in China improved dramatically as a result of the booming industries. This is an important part of the trend of reducing inequality. “Several factors account for the apparently close relationship between urbanization, industrial output, and hospital bed availability.” [20] The explanation for this is that with growth in these areas more hospitals were made available in heavily populated (productive) areas. “…the financial terms of access to curative facilities favored areas with high concentrations of workers covered by the 1951 Labor-Insurance Regulations.” [21] The government provided healthcare and insurance for ‘critical’ industry workers to protect the industries. All of these improvements in China are interrelated and seemed to rise and fall in correspondence with each other. As usual, China did a good job of controlling and incentivizing by providing health services proportionally to the working population. This was a huge stride for equality. Of course, it progressed as generally everything did in China throughout Mao’s reign. China put themselves in the position they are in today today by very effective planning from around 1950 to 1980.

Originally, Mao’s focus was on industrialization, which did not directly take away from other areas. Under Mao’s rule, literacy increased from about 20 to over 95%. [17] There were major advancements in the education system; more people became educators and new universities and other institutions for higher learning were formed. Strengthening the educational systems was originally a part of the plan to give the people more power, and it benefitted the country’s development in many areas. The plan for education started out quite successfully. It was not until the Cultural Revolution when the regime enforced new policies to regain control. Education was hit hard by the Cultural Revolution, and there was lots of conflict. The goals and agenda of education, instilled by the government, switched from academic achievement and research, to Maoist ideology. This was also reflected in the selection of students. The intention was to minimize disruption, maintain governmental control and progress the economy. They even discouraged the use of foreign language. All of this was in hopes to create power and effective control over the people. In 1966, Middle and Primary schooling were cut down from 12 to 10 years and students were required to work for 2 years either in factories or in the countryside before they were able to attend university. University programs were cut down to 3 years, even in medical schools, and all graduate level training was cut. [18] When Mao died in 1976, policies were completely reformed and educational systems were fully reinstated. This meant that all students could go to school. The objectives of the educational system were focused on advancing the sectors of modernization. These included: agriculture, industry, defense, and science and technology. [19] Though, it took a while for the institutes to regain their full enrollment numbers. After Mao’s era, and once new ideology was introduced, education began to thrive again; this time for good. This sectional improvement did not come during, but rather as a reaction to, Mao’s overbearing empire. His direct effect on education was not consistent because he did not prioritize education over politics. However, the policies that he had placed on education before he died undoubtedly caused the bounce-back effect, which led to the major reform.

In Mao’s absence, China was able to reflect upon, and redesign social systems that had suffered. Though it was a difficult and tumultuous era, it separated China from other countries and set them up to thrive. China has improved mostly over the last 30 years.  Today, China is roughly 18% of the world’s population which has decreased from 40% in 1830. [22] Since they have such a large population, lower transaction costs have helped to accelerate the economy. Although, this does not explain why other countries with large populations haven’t had the same consistent growth. Surely, it comes down to a combination of many factors. The World’s changes seem to have been very fortunate for China. These changes are advances in technology that make manufacturing much more efficient. These changes allow countries to quickly rise, or catch up, with others. “Chen said that the center of global textile manufacturing has moved from England to the United States to Japan to China within two centuries, reflecting how technological developments have enabled a sector in one country to quickly catch up with that of another.” [23] China got rich at the right time. Another reason China may be so successful is because their government is very involved in the economy and has lots of control. China is not a democratic country so leaders can quickly and effectively make decisions and changes to advance the economy without the public’s agreement. For these reasons, China has maintained steady growth since the reign of Mao Zedong.

In the wake of The Civil War, The Communist Party of China, founded by Chairman Mao, pushed for an extreme increase in production and labor. They were very successful in drastically rebuilding the economy and quickly becoming a leading, powerful nation that could stand on its own. However, people eventually began to push back against the high demands of the regime, causing massive conflict. This resistance was met with a campaign of propaganda and even more rigorous demands for conformance in which Mao’s leadership attempted to eliminate all of the practices that he thought hindered the nation’s ability to grow and develop. Since Mao was only truly interested in financial development and the overall strength of the nation, he targeted the education system, political leaders that did not accept his ideals, and all people that were deemed “intellectual”. During The Cultural Revolution, he made examples out of his enemies and rallied the youth to perpetuate his will through acts of violence and destruction. After Mao’s death, there was major reform in all of the areas that he had forcefully rejected. While Mao’s establishment was directly responsible for the advancement of  China’s economy, the improvements in social rights, equality and education were a result of people pushing back where they had previously been restricted. Although, none of these strides would have had such success without a strong and stable economy. The Maoist Era created the foundation for China’s economic growth in the 1950s, setting them in a position to thrive as a nation. By improving health care, education, and excelling in the ever-changing industrial market, China has made astounding advancements both socially and financially over the last century. Without the struggles of this this time period, China would not be as it is today: one of the world’s leading, most powerful, nations.

 

Works Cited:

[1] “China sets example for world to tackle extreme poverty, world bank official.” Xinhua News Agency – CEIS, October 02, 2016,(accessed January 15, 2017) https://search.proquest.com/docview/1825230932?accountid=14902

[2] Xinhua News Agency – CEIS, October 02, 2016.

[3] Lawrence Sullivan, “Leadership and Authority in China.” Blue Ridge Summit: Lexington Books (2012): (accessed April 26, 2017.) ProQuest Ebook Central 141. http://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:2362/lib/wsu/reader.action?docID=988790.

[4] T. J. Hughes, “China’s Economy-Retrospect and Prospect.” International Affairs 46, no. 1 (1970): 64. doi:10.2307/2614210.

[5] Hughes, “China’s Economy” 65.

[6] Hughes, “China’s Economy” 65.

[7] Lloyd G. Reynolds, “China as a Less Developed Economy.” The American Economic Review 65, no. 3 (1975): 421. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1804843.

[8] Reynolds, “China as a Less Developed Economy.” 421.

[9] Reynolds, “China as a Less Developed Economy.” 422.

[10] Y. Y. Kueh, “Mao and Agriculture in China’s Industrialization: Three Antitheses in a 50-Year Perspective.” The China Quarterly 187 (2006): 702. doi:10.1017/S0305741006000336.

[11] Kueh, “Mao and Agriculture in China’s Industrialization:” 703.

[12] Kueh, Mao and Agriculture in China’s Industrialization:” 703.

[13] Mark Kramer, “Mao and the Cultural Revolution in China.” Journal Of Cold War Studies 10, no. 2 (2008): 97-98. Military & Government Collection, EBSCOhost (accessed April 25, 2017). 97.  http://web.b.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=2b75b13e-ff28-488b-b202-a4fbe03fff82%40sessionmgr101&vid=1&hid=101.

[14] Hughes, “China’s Economy” 68.

[15] Hughes, “Chinas Economy” 69.

[16] Kramer, “Mao  and the Cultural Revolution in China.” 99.

[17] Philip H. Abelson, “Education, Science, and Technology in China.” Science 203, no. 4380 (1979): 505. http://www.jstor.org/stable/1747149.

[18] Abelson, “Education, Science, and Technology in China.” 505.

[19] Abelson, “Education, Science, and Technology in China.” 505.

[20] David M. Lampton, “The Roots of Interprovincial Inequality in Education and Health Services in China*” The American Political Science Review Vol. 73, No. 2 (1979): 470.  http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/1954891.pdf

[21] Lampton, “The Roots of Interprovincial Inequality” 470.

[22] Usman Hayat,  “What Explains China’s Growth, And Is It Sustainable? CFA Institutes.  (Dec. 2011) https://blogs.cfainstitute.org/investor/2011/12/06/what-explains-china%E2%80%99s-economic-growth-and-is-it-sustainable/.

[23] Hayat, “What Explains China’s Growth,”

Illustrations:

Figure 1, Mao Zedong, 1893-1976. Encyclopedia of World Biography. http://www.notablebiographies.com/Lo-Ma/Mao-Zedong.html 

Figure 2, Factory in Hong Kong just before the beginning of the cultural revolution, 1966. http://www.china-mike.com/china-tourist-attractions/hong-kong/history-timeline-part4/

Figure 3, Communist propaganda poster from the Cultural Revolution named “Scatter the Old World, Build a New World”. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/3/26/1192070/-China-s-Great-Proletarian-Cultural-Revolution-The-Origins-of-Ultra-Left-Ultra-Violence-pt-1

Figure 4, Red Guards rally at Tiananmen Square waving the book ‘Mao Zhuxi Yulu’ or Quotations from Chairman Mao, 1966. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/3/26/1192070/-China-s-Great-Proletarian-Cultural-Revolution-The-Origins-of-Ultra-Left-Ultra-Violence-pt-1

Final Research Assignment: Prostitution in France

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Paris has always been known as “the city of love” for many reasons; how beautiful and romantic the city is, and the amount of sex workers that are in the city. In France, many women work as sex workers because they get paid much more than what they would be getting paid for having a “real job”. That doesn’t make it okay for them to work like that though. Many women who are prostitutes are in dangerous conditions, not knowing what their nights are going to be like or whom they are going to be with. Many women continue to work regardless of the terrible conditions because they need to make a living somehow. Per the article, “it’s not against the law to take money for sex in France, the new legislation—passed on Wednesday by the National Assembly—makes almost everything connected with the trade, including paying the money illegal.” [1] This is supposed to cause less prostitutes in France, but no matter what there will always be women doing this kind of work. Most people believe women go into prostitution for their benefit and sexual desires but this is not true. Women and young girls get involved with prostitution because they need to find some substantial work. Prostitution has been relevant in society and culture, mainly focused on French culture, involving many young girls and older women. Women and young girls go into prostitution because they are born into poverty and can’t afford to go attend school, and need to find work to earn money for a way of living. These women are being forced into this labor because they need to feel significant and have a sense of worth in their lives. The book, Writing with a Vengeance, is an account of a young girl, Céleste, who goes through life and becomes a prostitute. Mossman, the author, writes, “in 1840 Céleste Vénard registered herself with the Parisian police as a prostitute in accordance with the regulations (Mossman, 6)”. [2] She was at a such a young and vulnerable age that she didn’t really know what she was doing. She needed to find a job and earn a living, and this was the only job she could find. Women are being forced into working in such a harsh way because they cannot afford to obtain a different job, since they aren’t qualified or they need more money than the job can provide. These women are being sexualized for money. Kilvington, Day, and Ward write, “the major problems of prostitution for the workers remain exploitation, stigma, abuse and criminalization.” [3] Women are performing this work in dangerous conditions that they shouldn’t have to endure.

Figure 1: A Prostitute in France Posing for Pictures

Prostitution in France stared way back, when many girls were being kicked out of their home due to various reasons, needing to find a job quickly that would support themselves and most times, their children or families. There have been many preconceptions about France and prostitution, being that women only do it for their sexual desires, but that is incorrect. Women get involved with it because they need to support themselves some way, and cannot get a job because they lack an education. Since prostitution arose in France, and other parts of the world, there have been many events, laws created or lacked, and different theatrical components that have influenced prostitution in many ways. Prostitution has continued today through these major events, making it become a long-kept idea that will never diminish. Prostitution was formed due to major events like, the creation of brothels, rise of diseases among prostitutes, the birth of the cabaret and the multiple wars, which all shaped it to a longer lasting idea today, that has gotten worse over time.

 Today, there are many women in France that go into prostitution because they cannot obtain a decent job since they aren’t qualified or they don’t have an education that can help them achieve a job. So, their last resort is prostitution. This happens from ages ranging from as young as 15 to as old as 40. Many women are struggling into finding work that can pay a decent amount and help them achieve a better life. In recent years, there hasn’t been much stop to prostitution in France. Many women work in brothels, private areas, or even in the public because those are only some of the places that they can go to perform these sexual acts without being criminalized. Brothels started to become regulated around the 1800’s, with many men and women engaging in them, both having different ideas entering into this place. Women are trying to earn a living by performing sexual acts in these regulated places, while men are going to brothels for social engagement. Governments in France knew that prostitution was a problem, but they also knew that they could never get rid of it completely. Since they couldn’t end the problem right away, they started to regulate brothels with the Morals Brigade. According to Rachel Fuchs, an author who wrote Gender and Poverty in the Nineteenth Century Europe, “the police in these countries attempted to regulate the pay and living conditions of prostitutes, licensing them to work in brothels or in certain areas of the cities (Fuchs, 193)”. [4] Everyone knew that prostitution was a job for many young, unsuccessful women, that they needed to regulate it somehow. They weren’t trying necessarily to get rid of it, but instead finding a way that would both benefit the social aspect of France and the young women who were selling themselves. This essentially didn’t end prostitution, but instead made it continue throughout time, leading to much worse events.

With so many women engaging in prostitution and men too, many diseases were going to be passed around from one person to another. With so many women working in the brothels, throughout the streets, and other areas, nothing was ever clean. Men didn’t care how clean these areas were, they were only there to have their satisfactions met. The police, or Morals Brigade, weren’t there to clean either. They were there to keep an eye out and make sure all prostitutes that were engaging in work, were registered with the police. There were so many germs flying around in these places that no one ever really cared to clean up after. Around 1850, many diseases were becoming aware among men and women. According to the Feminizing Venereal Disease, a book written by Mary Spongberg, she writes, “women were the main source of venereal “poison’ (Spongberg, 9)”. [5] These young girls and women couldn’t afford to see a doctor and get routine checkups. They had to rely on the police who “forced them to appear at dispensaries to have regular pelvic medical examinations for venereal disease (Fuchs, 193).” [4] If women didn’t show up to these appointments then they would be arrested right away and thrown into jail. No matter what, women couldn’t win. They were objectifying themselves by engaging in prostitution and weren’t given any rights. And then they were seen as objects because men didn’t care about them. All they needed was money, while men needed to satisfy their pleasures because they couldn’t receive these kinds of sexual acts from their wives. Women were putting their lives in danger, especially obtaining venereal disease or any other diseases that contributed to society. Since men didn’t care about them, they didn’t mind asking if they had any kind of disease. Women weren’t going to tell them either because then they couldn’t get paid. It was a cycle that kept going around and around, contributing to why women are still engaging in prostitution today. Getting a disease is not going to stop them from working, they will continue working while acquired with these diseases, because they have no other form of work. This continued throughout France and other parts of the world, with the creation of the cabaret and Moulin Rouge.

Throughout the next couple of years, after many diseases were being spread around, prostitution became more looked at as a theatrical idea. Now, in the 1870’s new ways of entertainment were being formed. Prostitution didn’t end, but started to become more as a way of life for many women. They started opening more theaters where men could go and watch women dance, and if they both enjoyed each other, women would go home with the men and get paid for sexual favors. This was a new form of entertainment in France.  Cabarets were theaters that included dances, shows, and much more. They were mainly focused on women who’d dance for men. These clubs would be for higher up men in society because they were a lot nicer than brothels. Brothels were for low-societal men who couldn’t afford much, but these women would work in the cabarets because they knew they’d get paid much more than working in the brothels. A paper written by Professor Holley, stated that “the cabaret reversed the growing pattern of bigger and bigger entertainment by focusing on intimacy and very specific artistic goals.” [6] These men would go to the cabarets to get away from their families and find a new form of intimacy. This ties in with the idea that women were still involving themselves in prostitution some way, making it a prominent idea today. The creation of cabarets didn’t end prostitution but made it easier for women to get involved. One cabaret that was

Figure 2: A Poster for the Moulin Rouge

most famous for women to get involved with was the Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge was another cabaret that had many women dance, perform shows, and showed many different forms of entertainment. An artist that would paint many pictures of prostitutes and different dancers that went to the Moulin Rouge and find different women to paint. According to France in the Age of Les Miserable, “Lautrec also frequented the theater, the circus, Parisian brothels and often dance halls along with prostitutes, who mingled among the clientele in search of business.” [7] He would find women to look for and paint, while parading with other women around the cabaret. The Moulin Rouge affected many women throughout France, and men. It was a place that many women could find a job at and still get paid a ton of money by involving themselves in prostitution. The formation of these cabarets didn’t end prostitution, but again, made it more socially acceptable. These women were selling themselves for money, so that they could live and enjoy life.

From the 1870’s till the 1930’s not much was happening with prostitution in France. It was still going on, around France, but no one was finding a way to end it. Then, in the 1930’s Hitler rose to power and started World War II. Though, much before the war there were some laws that regulated prostitution. According to the book, written by Colin Jones, Prostitution and the Ruling Class in Eighteenth-Century Montpellier, the government imposed many measures to try and end prostitution. These measures were focused on the middle class, and didn’t really end prostitution. They only reduced it. First, they write, “a series of laws between 1684 and 1687 attempted to eradicate the problem of prostitutes following the army (Jones, 8).” [8] They wanted to diminish the chance of obtaining a disease from these “sex workers”. They didn’t care about these women, but instead wanted to do everything that they could to get rid of them. Throughout the war, prostitution was becoming more prominent around France. Many women were getting back into business because they had so many men coming around their country that they found “new work”. Once the United States got involved, that’s when prostitution sky rocketed. Many Americans were looking for prostitutes to help end their sexual desires. A book, The Price of Discretion, written by Mary Roberts talks about how the Americans went to France and needed to have their desires fulfilled before going into the war. She writes, “in September 1944, while leading the 29th Infantry Division across Brittany to liberate France, the American general Charles Gerhardt decided that his boys needed sex. So, he instructed his chief of staff to start a house of prostitution”. [9] These men all thought that they needed sex before freeing France, so they’re general got it for them. This was a huge success for the prostitutes because they were finding more work. The beginning of the war caused them to go into hiding because there was a war happening around them. They weren’t safe from all the men protruding their town, but instead waited until men came to free France. Prostitution was never going to end. No matter what, women would find somewhere and some way to sell themselves for money. They didn’t have an education so, they couldn’t find a real job, making prostitution their last resort. Prostitution continued throughout time, making it much worse today because so many women are still engaging in this type of work.

Before 1980, France had occurred many problems with prostitution and today, still does. In 1960, there was an article published in The New York times explaining the measures they are taking to prevent prostitution and have women obtain a “more normal life.” [10] The article was written for people who were paying for prostitution and, or prostitutes in general. The purpose of the article is to inform people who are paying for prostitution that the government and police are taking serious measures to end prostitution. The New York times writes, “broader powers have been given to the police to control hotels and bars frequented by prostitutes. Such establishments may now be closed for periods of three months to five years and the proprietor faces possible loss of his driver’s license and passport.” [10] Anybody found with a prostitute will face huge consequences. Prostitution today has become a large part of French culture because of its past and present events. Many women become a part of prostitution, like earlier stated, because they need to find some substantial form of work, without an education. Prostitution in the early 1800’s was dirty, filthy, and very unsafe. It is still dirty, filthy, and very unsafe today because women do not know what they are getting themselves into. Women are being forced into working in such a harsh way because they cannot afford to obtain a different job, since they aren’t qualified or they need more money than the job can provide. These women are being sexualized for money. The British Medical Journal, written in 1957, wrote about prostitution saying that “Lombroso regarded prostitution in women as the equivalent of crime in men.” [11] This is comparing men committing actual crimes, like burglary or arson, to women who are trying to make money to support themselves. This is unfair. There was also another newspaper article, written by the New York Times in 1975, talking about several prostitutes that are calling federation and fighting for what they want. A quote written in the newspaper from a prostitute reads, “As a result, some of us have been getting arrested for or five times a night. Usually that means a $40 fine, or several nights in jail. What is particularly intolerable, is that then they send us to prison, they take our children away from us.” [12] Women aren’t receiving care from France, but instead being objectified. They need to end prostitution all around the world and finally come up with a plan that will end it. Some measures were taken, according to CNN, “The French National Assembly outlawed the hiring of prostitutes while eliminating penalties for sex workers”. [13] Prostitution is finally going to be recognized in the favor of the women, instead of the men. This is a huge event that is happening in France today because so many women are forcing themselves into this work.

Figure 3: A Group of Prostitutes in France

Starting around the 1800’s, major events throughout time have affected what prostitution is like today. With the creation of brothels, many more young women entered this type of work. These brothels were filthy, thus leading to the rise of diseases. Many men and women didn’t know who had which disease because no one would tell whom and the police wouldn’t regulate it very well. Though, the Morals Brigade affected prostitution by restricting women to sign a registrar stating what they were engaging in and such. As the amount of people who obtained diseases rose, the creation of cabarets and the Moulin Rouge made prostitution a more socially accepted idea, which caused it to spread even more throughout the years. Though, after a couple of years’ prostitution was on the down low because not many things were happening around the world, but then the second world war began and caused prostitution to rise again. Ever since the war, prostitution has been on the rise and continues today. These events contributed to what prostitution is today, causing it to become a way of life for women that is unacceptable.

Endnotes:

[1] Dickey, C “France’s New Prostitution Law Targets Johns, Ignites National Debate” 5 December 2013 https://search.proquest.com/docview/1662703172?accoundtid=14902

(assessed 20 January 2017)

[2]: Mossman, Carol. Writing with a Vengeance. Canada: University of Toronto, 2009

[3]:Kilvington, Judith, Sophie Day, and Helen Ward. “Prostitution Policy in Europe: A Time of Change?” Feminist Review, no. 67 (2001): 78-93.

[4]: Fuchs, Rachel G. Gender and poverty in nineteenth-century Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge university press, 2005.

[5]: Spongberg, Mary. Feminizing venereal disease: the body of the prostitute in nineteenth-century medical discourse. Basingstoke: Macmillan Press, 1997.

[6]: Holley, Professor David. “A Historical and Musical Perspective of a Struggling Era.” 2010.

[7]: “France in the Age of Les Miserables.” Toulouse-Lautrec: Painting prostitution as it was. Accessed April 28, 2017. https://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/rschwart/hist255-s01/courtesans/Toulouse-Lautrec-painting-prostitiution-as-it-was.htm.

[8]: Jones, Colin. “Prostitution and the Ruling Class in Eighteenth-Century Montpellier.” History Workshop, no. 6 (1978): 7-28. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4288189.

[9]: Mary Louise Roberts; The Price of Discretion: Prostitution, Venereal Disease, and the American Military in France, 1944–1946. Am Hist Rev 2010; 115 (4): 1002-1030. doi: 10.1086/ahr.115.4.1002

[10]: “Prostitution Curbs Posed in France” New York Times, November 28 1960 (Assessed February 6 2017) https://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:6117/docview/115114525?accountid=14902

[11]: “Prostitution.” The British Medical Journal 2, no. 5041 (1957): 399-400. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25383562.

[12]: “FRENCH PROSTITUTES FORM A FEDERATION.” 1975.New York Times (1923-Current File), Jun 18, 23. https://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:6117/docview/120383873?accountid=14902.

[13]: Yan, Holly. “France: Prostitution legal, paying for sex illegal.” CNN. April 07, 2016. Accessed April 28, 2017. http://www.cnn.com/2016/04/07/europe/france-prostitution/

Illustration Endnotes:

Figure 1: Edmonds, Mandee. “HIGHLY RATED FRENCH PROSTITUTE, ALICE MAROT ON A WINDOW SILL IN PARIS, FRANCE.” Pinterest. April 27, 2011. Accessed April 28, 2017. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/132152570289115315/.

Figure 2: Myers, Author: Nicole. “The Lure of Montmartre, 1880–1900 | Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art.” The Met’s Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. Accessed April 28, 2017. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/mont/hd_mont.htm.

Figure 3: Wallace, Tamra. “Paris Circa 1900’s.” Pinterest. October 31, 2012. Accessed April 28, 2017. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/419749627739426030/.

Women’s Suffrage: Violence and the Continuity of Gender Roles in The United Kingdom

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In 1558, during the sixteenth century, Queen Elizabeth I rose to power, succeeding Mary I of England, representing female dominance in politics. During this time period, both women and men held social titles, illustrating a sense of equality, yet it was uncommon for women to work outside of the household. Unfortunately, as time passed, men created and reinforced the idea of male dominance and gender roles, creating a world of inequality and female submission, which lead to a shift in society. Women held little to no political power, were either unable to work, or forced to work, earning a significantly lower salary than men, and became victims to men who asserted their dominance in physical ways. This can be seen through events such as the Industrial Revolution, Chartist Movement, Women’s Suffrage Movement, and assaults to women domestically and non-domestically. Despite the negative effects, women to this day, fight against the inequality, alluding to the future return of their once superior status.

The Elizabethan Era was a time in which there was a focus on those of wealth. Being as there was a female ruler, both men and women held powerful social titles; however, “investment and political involvement were restricted to a small number of Elizabethan women,1” setting the scene for the future political limitations for women. Women had the ability to contribute to household income because it was expected of them.1 While men had more prominent jobs such as politics, medicine, and technology, women were restricted to doing jobs such as baking, creating wax lights, spinning and dying cloth, and being an assistant to midwives,1 all activities that could be done without leaving their homes, or taking away from their more pressing responsibilities as a woman. Marriage played an essential role in the Elizabethan society. The free will of women was restricted based upon the discretion of their father. Because of this, women were not allowed to seek suitors on their own, meaning marriage relied heavily on parental—paternal—discretion due to not having time or opportunities to meet eligible men. It was common knowledge that fathers “must not contract his daughter in marriage until he knows she can be a good housewife, and govern the home,1” establishing the beginning of male dominance and gender roles. The roles between men and women during the Elizabethan Era was simple. Husbands and fathers were analogous to princes and states,1 being solely responsible for subordinates—wives and children—, while women were attached to high expectations within the household as the “queen bee.1” They were to avoid gossip, keep the house in order, and remain in the household, only able to leave for religious services, visits to the needy, and at the request of her husband1. Should they leave the house and be frequent travelers, they were suspected of whoredom. Not only does this give women a negative connotation for doing something they should have the free will to do, but because men were free to come and go as they please without any repercussions, emphasizes male dominance.

While in the Elizabethan Era women were restricted to working within their homes, the development of new technologies during the eighteenth century created a shift in the workforce, altering where women worked, why they worked, and the working conditions. In the early to mid-eighteenth century, households relied heavily on agriculture, as well as the creation of cloth and material for income. At this point in time, the roles of the women were similar to those of the Elizabethan era in which women were to tend to the household—children, farm, and gardening—but wives were “expected to pay their own way.[2]” If women could not assist their husbands, who remained responsible for household income, they were to get paying jobs.

Figure 1

Women still were limited on what they could do, so they were forced into domestic work, where they focused on rent and taxes, which “contributed a large portion of family income that gave them certain power and status.2” The pre-Industrial Revolution emphasizes how women, although little, had a power that men had no choice but to accept. However, in 1750, when the Industrial Revolution began, women began to lose power and control. Women were forced out of the comfort of their homes, and into factories, where this “enabled women and children to do the work of grown men.[3]” These women “worked to survive, yet they were still not paid a living wage since men had an interest in keeping them out of good, high-paying jobs,2” due to a male complaint, highlighting male superiority. Men argued that women were too “active outside the household and not confined,[4]” and should be domesticated. Because men craved dominance, they found “new ways to assert patriarchy,3”as a form of punishment towards the women who were living life outside of the norm. This is different from previous eras such as the Elizabethan and Victorian, where “ladies were placed on pedestals, seen as angels in the house2” for simply helping men where they could, to, in the eyes of men, being an inconvenience because they were neglecting their homes and children, in favor of ensuring a roof remained over their heads, something men believed was their responsibility alone. In the end, Industrialization did not create subordination, but intensified male domination.

Figure 2

In the midst of the Industrial Revolution, Parliament passed what is informally known as The Great Reform Act of 1832. This act was parliament’s way of representing the public, in which they believed would be a great benefit. This act not only saw the abolition of slavery[5], but acts such as the Factory Act— “women and young persons cannot work more than twelve hours a day3”—that would essentially restrict women further, and put decisions of their work and wellbeing under to their fathers and husbands. Because of this, men and women were coming together, with the hopes taking control from parliament, and bettering society and the government. In 1832, a “political movement whose original political charter included women’s suffrage[6]” commenced, becoming what is known as the Chartist Movement. One of their main points was that everyone had the right vote, including women, which not only pleased women, but angered men, setting the scene for future chaos. Unfortunately, men—included and excluded in this movement—were against women having a say in anything political, in which they argued as much. Because of this, those—men—involved in this movement, made the decision to remove the desire to give women similar rights to men, due to “the fear that it would hinder the gain of the male suffrage.4” The voice of a man was, and remains more effective than the voice of a woman. This angered woman because when they were finally given the chance to fight for their right, alongside men, they were essentially pushed into a corner, which proved that the opinion and actions of men were a bigger concern than that of women. What men failed to realize was that if women could not fight with them, and have their voices heard, then they would join together, attacking men and what they stood for.

The inequality and submission of women men created and in the sixteenth century, eventually pushed women to their breaking point. Due to the constant feel of inferiority and inequality, unions were formed not only because working-class women were “denied access to male dominated labor unions,6” but also because they had yet to obtain the right to vote, leading to the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Between 1905 and 1914, those involved in what is known was the “Votes for Women6” cause in Britain, partook in violent occurrences around towns to establish female dominance and be heard.

Figure 3

In 1912, a “bomb had exploded in the house being built for Lloyd George,6” and Emmeline Pankhurst, leader of Votes for Women, announced that doing so was to “wake his conscience.6” The government reacted to these acts of riot brutally, and this continued up until 1914, when World War I struck. Men all of all—legal—ages were sent out to fight, leaving women to not only care for themselves and their children, but to take over work. At this point, women had still not earned the right to vote; however, because of the work they carried out during the war, Parliament grew grateful, granting women over the age of thirty the right to vote, and eventually in 1928, all women had access to voting rights. Although women gained more access to power, men still found ways to emphasize their growing dominance, maintaining the idea of gender roles.

While historically, there is little to no documentation or evidence of abuse against women, there was a major shift in family structure and gender relations. The number of women employed—full time or part time—began to increase, more so than anyone expected. Prior to World War II, women who worked tended to have a marriage that ended due to gender roles remaining intact. Because of the “deep-seated stereotypes about gender roles and traditional attitudes toward family and working life,[7]” marriage to halved, divorce to tripled, and children born out of wedlock to quadrupled. Men maintained their belief that women were better for bringing up children in the home, and a happy family consisting of a mother who remained at home, taking care of the children, putting a hot meal on the table. In the early to later 1900s, domestic abuse against women was surfaced, becoming prevalent. The National Association of Probation Officers to the Home Office reported that dealing with the issue is hard because “there is no doubt that there is to a certain extent a cultural acceptance of wife beating.[8]” It is believed that a husband abuses his wife due to chronic unemployment, alcoholism, or gross social deprivation. As time shifted to the twentieth and twenty-first century, opinion of family structure and gender relations lead to the increase of assault reports, resulting in an epidemic.

As women became more brazen, speaking out against the actions of men, men who believed it was their right to put women in their place went from abusing their wives, to abusing those with little to no relation, or interaction with them. Every six to 20 seconds, an incident of domestic violence occurs in Britain. On September 28, 2000, policed received “more than 1,300 calls reporting domestic violence,[9]” in which only a small percent of abusers was arrested. On this day, an epidemic of staggering proportions became prevalent, forcing the London Metropolitan Police Racial and Violent Crime Task Force to acknowledge the problem and deem it “mind blowing.9” Because of this day, the government was forced to give women more protection, which did nothing to decrease numbers of incidents because “grim statistics remain unchanged.9” Often times when these crimes are reported, police take a dismissive attitude toward domestics, resulting in the lack of faith in the criminal justice system. This in turns makes women want to hide their problems, which causes the number in these statistics to increase because their incidents go unreported. This leads to women being assaulted by their partner “35 times before going to the police,9” which could be avoided if the criminal justice system took these incidents more seriously.

In September of 2015, the United Kingdom government declared that a task force would be established to tack violence against women, and “lad culture[10]” on UK campuses. A film about sexual assault was showed across universities in the United Kingdom, creating controversy about whether or not this issue should be taken seriously, or if too much reaction will create a poisonous campus culture. The issue of sexual violence on United States university campuses has been a serious issue for quite some time, but it was only a few short years ago, that the United Kingdom began to give it the attention it deserves. Statistics show that 31 percent of female students have experience “inappropriate touching or groping,10” which lead to the findings that seven out of the twenty-four Russell Group universities fail to make record of allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment on campus; five of these universities do not have proper guidelines on how to report allegations.10 Over twenty years ago, Graham Zellick, former principal of Queen Mary University of London, established the principle that universities should serious offences to the police, which was devised after the allegation of rape that King’s College London attempted to deal with internally, which is inconsistent with modern equality and human rights.10 Cases of sexual assault, have instilled fear and anxiety about the possibilities of university life, forcing this risk of every male student being a potential threat, and every woman a potential threat. Groups and campaigns have been created to discuss the need for universities to combat sexual assault, violence, and harassment. This epidemic raises historical questions about violence against women both on and off campus, and what roles the government plays in the violence becoming worse. Women in the United Kingdom went from being subjected to male scrutiny, fighting off society’s expectation of them, to being pushed into a life of inequality, at the hands of a man.

A once female dominated government and society, is now under full inequality due to men creating and reinforcing patriarchy and gender roles. This constructed a world of inequality and in turn, female submission, shifting society and the way it defines family and workforce structure. Despite women joining together to fight against men and what they stood for, male domination intensified, restricting the connotation and freewill of a woman. While society has moved passed a time where women held little to no political power, and only had the ability to work under the supervision and discretion of the male in charge of their wellbeing, earning significantly lower wages, women have now become a victim to men and their assertion of physical dominance, leading to the numerous records of physical and sexual assault towards women in today’s society.

 

 

End Notes

 

 

[1] Greaves, Richard L. Society and Religion in Elizabethan England. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1981. Accessed April 24, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central.

[2] Headlee, Sue E. Elfin, Margery. The Cost of Being Female. Westport: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 1996. Accessed April 24, 2017. ProQuest Ebook Central.

[3] Beard, C. Austin, “The Industrial Revolution,” Hathi Trust Digital Library. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89101141752

[4] Wasson, Ellis. A History of Modern Britain: 1714 to the Present (2). Chicester, GB: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015. Accessed March 22, 2017. ProQuest ebrary.

[5] Liberal Publication Department, “The Work of Liberalism Since the Great Reform Act: A Summary of Political History, 1832-1905. Great Britain 1905. https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=wu.89101141752

[6] “One Cause, Two Paths: Militant vs. Adjustive Strategies in the British and American Women’s Suffrage Movements.” Communication Quarterly 48, no. 3 (June 1, 2000): 240–55. doi:10.1080/01463370009385595.

[7] Siann, Gerda, Fiona Wilson, Sarah Riley, and Margaret Callaghan. “Gender at Work and at Home in Britain: Continuities and Changes.” Journal of Applied Social Psychology 30, no. 12 (2000): 2491-512. doi:10.1111/j.1559-1816.2000.tb02447.x.

[8] Wilson, Elizabeth. “Battered wives: why they are born victims of domestic violence.” The Times Digital Archive, September 4, 1974. Accessed February 3, 2017. http://find.galegroup.com/ttda/infomark.do?&source=gale&prodId=TTDA&userGroupName=pull21986&tabID=T003&docPage=article&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm&docId=CS218331940&type=multipage&contentSet=LTO&version=1.0.

[9] Seymour, Jane. 2002. “Domestic Violence Against British Women.” Contemporary Review 280, no. 1633: 83. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed February 17, 2017).

[10] Rachel Fenton, “We Can’t Run Away from Rape,” The Times Higher Education Supplement, November 19, 2015, https://search.proquest.com/docview/1746588993?accountid=14902., (accessed January 23, 2017).

Illustrations

Figure 1. https://www.bl.uk/georgian-britain/articles/the-industrial-revolution#

Figure 2. http://www.bl.uk/learning/histcitizen/21cc/struggle/chartists1/historicalsources/source2/reformact.html

Figure 3. http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/electionsvoting/womenvote/

DRA #4: Prostitution in France

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DRA #4

Hook: Today, there are many women in France that go into prostitution because they cannot obtain a decent job because they aren’t qualified or they don’t have an education that can help them achieve a job. So, there last resort is prostitution. This happens from ages ranging from as young as 15 to as old as 40. Many women are struggling into finding work that can pay a decent amount and help them achieve a better life. In recent years, there hasn’t been much stop to prostitution in France. Many women work in brothels, private areas, or even in the public because those are only some of the places that they can go to perform these sexual acts without being criminalized. Women are being forced into working in such a harsh way because they cannot afford to obtain a different job, since they aren’t qualified or they need more money than the job can provide. These women are being sexualized for money. Kilvington, Day, and Ward write, “the major problems of prostitution for the workers remain exploitation, stigma, abuse and criminalization.” [5] Women are performing this work in dangerous conditions that they shouldn’t have to endure.

Thesis (Paragraph #2): The rise of prostitution among young women in France is due to the lack of laws regulating the practice and, the rise of inequality among women from men. There have been many preconceptions about France and prostitution that women only do it for their sexual desires, but that is incorrect. Women get involved with it because they need to support themselves some way, and cannot get a job because they lack the education. There has also been a lack of laws regarding prostitution and hasn’t been stopped. These women are enduring such hard conditions, that one would think to try to stop it permanently.

Paragraph #3: Preconceptions about France and prostitution

Paris has always been known as “the city of love” for many reasons; how beautiful and romantic the city is, and the amount of sex workers that are in the city. In France, many women work as sex workers because they get paid much more than what they would be getting paid for having a “real job”. That doesn’t make it okay for them to work like that though. Many women who are prostitutes are in dangerous conditions, not knowing what their nights are going to be like or whom they are going to be with. Many women continue to work regardless of the terrible conditions because they need to make a living somehow. Per the article, “it’s not against the law to take money for sex in France, the new legislation—passed on Wednesday by the National Assembly—makes almost everything connected with the trade, including paying the money illegal.” [1] This is supposed to cause less prostitutes in France, but no matter what there will always be women doing this kind of work. Most people believe women go into prostitution for their benefit and sexual desires but this is not true. Women and young girls get involved with prostitution because they need to find some substantial work.

Paragraph #4: How women get involved into prostitution

Prostitution has been relevant in society and culture, mainly focused on French culture, involving many young girls and older women. Women and young girls go into prostitution because they are born into poverty and can’t afford to go attend school, and need to find work to earn money for a way of living. These women are being forced into this labor because they need to feel significant and have a sense of worth in their lives. The book, Writing with a Vengeance, is an account of a young girl, Céleste, who goes through life and becomes a prostitute. Mossman, the author, writes, “in 1840 Céleste Vénard registered herself with the Parisian police as a prostitute in accordance with the regulations.” [3] She was at a such a young and vulnerable age that she didn’t really know what she was doing. She needed to find some form of work that allowed her to work at a young age and earn some sort of living. Most of these women that are going into prostitution are from families or environments that are hurting them emotionally and physically. Among these women, most of them are being raped or beaten from someone in their family. Céleste didn’t have a father figure in her life, except her “mother’s lover” [3], Vincent, which “attempted seduction and rape.” [3] Vincent tried to force Céleste to have sex with him because she was going into prostitution and that she wanted it. Yes, that’s her way of living and finding money but it is not okay to force it out of her and rape her. These girls are coming from some sort of broken relationship that they then go and find some way to heal it. This was another reason that many young women fall into prostitution. First, money, and second, a torn relationship. Céleste didn’t necessarily have the best relationship with her mom, in fact it was terrible. Mossman writes, “…consented to give the written parental permission required for minors.” [3] After her mom gave her consent, their relationship was broken. Céleste went on and became a full-time prostitute. These women are enduring horrible conditions because they have no other way of finding a job because they lack the proper education. These women are also coming from harsh conditions before they even go into work. They’re coming from broken families that lead them to fend for themselves and try to live a new life. Those are the main reasons why prostitution started to become more relevant in society and, continue today.

Paragraph #5: Laws regarding prostitution

Before 1980, France had many problems with prostitution and today, still does. In 1960, there was an article published in The New York times explaining the measures they are taking to prevent prostitution and have women obtain a “more normal life.” [2] The article was written for people who were paying for prostitution and, or prostitutes in general. The purpose of the article is to inform people who are paying for prostitution that the government and police are taking serious measures to end prostitution. The New York times writes, “broader powers have been given to the police to control hotels and bars frequented by prostitutes. Such establishments may now be closed for periods of three months to five years and the proprietor faces possible loss of his driver’s license and passport.” [2] Anybody found with a prostitute will face huge consequences. The article was written on November 28, 1960 and read after it was printed. The author of the article is probably American since the article is from the New York Times. I think he may have a biased opinion on the situation happening in France because he isn’t in the country experiencing what is happening. The article is just meant to inform people on the consequences and give an insight on what is going on in other countries. One unspoken assumption the article contains is that there seems to be a lot of prostitution in France and that people haven’t been doing anything about it. In France, prostitution was so relevant that they weren’t sure what to do. So many women and young girls were getting involved in it, that they couldn’t stop mass movements of it. Soon enough, they presented laws that prohibited it, and tried to end prostitution. According to the book, Prostitution and the Ruling Class in Eighteenth-Century Montpellier, the government imposed many measures to try and end prostitution. These measures were focused on the middle class, and didn’t really end prostitution. They only reduced it. First, they write, “a series of laws between 1684 and 1687 attempted to eradicate the problem of prostitutes following the army.” [7] They wanted to diminish the chance of obtaining a disease from these “sex workers”. They didn’t care about these women, but instead wanted to do everything that they could to get rid of them. This also relates to the idea that men were treated better than women during these times, and still are. They continued to write laws that tried to end prostitution, they write, “the second aspect of government measures in the 1680’s was concerned with the honour of families.” [7] Again, the government did not care about the women, but the face of their families. They wanted everyone’s family to look great and act like they didn’t do anything wrong. They wanted the perfect family. These women who are involved in prostitution obviously didn’t care about what their families though. They needed to find a way to make money fast, and carry on with their lives. These laws did not end prostitution because it is still occurring today in many places around the world, especially in France.

Paragraph #6: Inequality among men and women with crime and prostitution, and how prostitutes are being treated

Today, many people define standards for men and women. Women are expected to act like a charming lady while men are to show how masculine and tough they are. This is unacceptable. Women, are also treated way differently than men. Men are treated like kings, always in charge and controlling everything around them. This is a prominent issue in prostitution today. These women don’t know where they’re going when they are “picked up” and don’t know anything about these men. They have a sense of fear in them, not knowing what their nights are going to be like. The British Medical Journal, written in 1957, wrote about prostitution saying that “Lombroso regarded prostitution in women as the equivalent of crime in men.” [8] This is comparing men committing actual crimes, like burglary or arson, to women who are trying to make money to support themselves. This is unfair. There was also another newspaper article, written by the New York Times in 1975, talking about several prostitutes that are calling federation and fighting for what they want. A quote written in the newspaper from a prostitute reads, “As a result, some of us have been getting arrested for or five times a night. Usually that means a $40 fine, or several nights in jail. What is particularly intolerable, is that then they send us to prison, they take our children away from us.” [9] The authorities do not see these women as women, they instead see them as sex objects because they do not believe that they are real people. This is wrong, they have lives, children and families that they need to support, but instead are being treated wrongly. When they are taken away for multiple nights, it puts a huge damper on them. A few nights can mean losing hundreds or thousands of dollars for them. This is all unacceptable. These women aren’t being treated fairly among their male race, and are also not being treated right by the authorities.

Paragraph #7: What’s happening today with prostitution

Conclusion: How to end prostitution and why it’s important in society

[1] Dickey, C “France’s New Prostitution Law Targets Johns, Ignites National Debate” 5 December 2013 https://search.proquest.com/docview/1662703172?accoundtid=14902

[2] “Prostitution Curbs Posed in France” New York Times, November 28 1960 (Assessed February 6 2017) https://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:6117/docview/115114525?accountid=14902

[3]: Mossman, Carol. Writing with a Vengeance. Canada: University of Toronto, 2009

[4]: Gaissad, Laurent. “From Nightlife Conventions to Daytime Hidden Agendas: Dynamics of Urban Sexual Territories in the South of France.” The Journal of Sex Research 42, no. 1 (2005): 20-27.

[5]:Kilvington, Judith, Sophie Day, and Helen Ward. “Prostitution Policy in Europe: A Time of Change?” Feminist Review, no. 67 (2001): 78-93.

[7] Jones, Colin. “Prostitution and the Ruling Class in Eighteenth-Century Montpellier.” History Workshop, no. 6 (1978): 7-28. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4288189.

[8] “Prostitution.” The British Medical Journal 2, no. 5041 (1957): 399-400. http://www.jstor.org/stable/25383562.

[9] “FRENCH PROSTITUTES FORM A FEDERATION.” 1975.New York Times (1923-Current File), Jun 18, 23. https://ntserver1.wsulibs.wsu.edu:6117/docview/120383873?accountid=14902.

DRA #5: Final on Women’s Rights in India

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Due to the demolition of British rule in 1947, the constitution of India was written and adopted between 1949 and 1950. Indian women have long fought for the reform of their rights to achieve equality, the constitution of India provided the centerpiece for the spark of reform. As the origins of the constitution developed, the expectation for equal rights were brought to national attention. Indian women have fought for equality in their country for over seventy years, and although the constitution was enacted and provided some change, Indian women still have a long way to go to achieve equality.

The timeline of women’s rights in India can be traced through the country’s development and creation of their constitution. The origins of the Indian constitution are most prevalent in the mid 1940’s and can be traced to the overall shift of power.  As Britain withdrew their occupation from India in 1947, Indian parliament set out to establish a constitution for their newly independent country.  Though the constitution is well written, most key elements are borrowed from other county’s governments such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Specific clauses drawn from United States policy that directly refer to equal rights include articles 14-16. [1] These articles include the following topics: no one should be discriminated against on the basis of gender, caste, race, and religion, all those in the work force will be treated equally, and everyone should have equal opportunities for admittance at public areas as well as the banishment of favoritism based off of caste, religion, or gender. These directly derive from the United States Constitution of “all men are created equal”, however India goes further into specifics due to their unique caste and religious systems. [1] The Constitution of India, developed off of their newfound independence, allowed them to create their own set of specific laws and ideas as a free country. As Radha Kumar writes, “The experience of colonial rule was one of the most important formative influences on the feminist movement of the early twentieth century.”[2] The country of India was no longer under direct colonial rule and had a historical document directly pertaining to women’s equal rights. The figure 1 shows the actual constitution of India in its native language as well as it translated in English.

Figure 1: The constitution of India (specifically the Preamble)

The Indian constitution served as the center piece admist the growing reform of Indian women’s journey to achieve equality. This is evident as the constitution states, everyone should be treated the same regardless of some defining factors such as race, gender, religion and caste system. Further more “treated equally” pertains to everyone held the same before the law, being admitted to public areas, access for education, and to be treated without discrimination. For example author Radha Kumar explains this as, “throughout the period most campaigns for an amelioration of women’s conditions were based on the liberal-democratic premise that it was both wrong and unfair that certain categories of human beings should be treated as inferior to other categories.”[2] Though women were being told by their own country that they should be treated as equals, they still weren’t seeing such things being put into action; there were not as many results as originally hoped. Though some progress was made on the education frontier for women in India, they were still going through difficulties accessing education and being treated fairly in the work force. For example A.R. Kamat states that, “a substantial advance in women’s education, as also in other spheres of education came about only after independence.”[3] Now the sole fact that they have a constitution, which states they should be provided with equal opportunity, empowered women to make their ideas for reform more prevalent.

The constitution of India paved the way for current reform in India. One of the ongoing conflicts that addresses the inequality women face is the difficulty to access education. To illustrate this, the International Program Center reports, “The Indian government has expressed a strong commitment towards education for all, however, India still has one of the lowest female literacy rates in Asia. In 1991, less than 40 percent of the 330 million women aged 7 and over were literate, which means today there are over 200 million illiterate women in India.”[4] The government and its laws claim to be completely invested in the process to educate women. However, the amount of illiterate women signifies they are still not provided with adequate educational resources. Additionally, this lack of education is directly correlated with women having poor statistics in several other apsects of life. This would include, “illiterate women having high levels of fertility and mortality, poor nutritional status, low earning potential, and little autonomy within the household… this also negatively impacts the health well-being of her children.” [4] However, although women in India lack the access to education, and are shamed for wanting to be educated, the Indian government has realized its duty to provide equal resources for all its citizens. Over the last five years, the Central Government of India aimed to decrease the illiteracy among female Indians and spread educational access throughout India, especially more rural areas. [5] While this effort to improve women’s education in India is admirable, by observing the recent statistics of illiteracy and its negative effects, the long fought battle to achieve more widespread education in India is hardly making a noticable impact on life for women. Overall this shows the constitution of India attempting to be put into effect by lawmakers, but women still being met with inadquete attention and their equal rights. The second image to the left shows more statistics regarding women literacy rates in India and compares their literacy rates to the rest of the world.

Figure 2: the phrase expresses statistics of women literacy rates in India from 1951-2011.

The journey for women’s rights has been an extensive process and though improvements have been made the struggle is still present. For example, in 2012 a woman riding a bus in New Delhi was gang raped and had her internal organs  damaged. She later passed away from her injuries. [6] This incident ignited outrage in India as well as other parts of the globe. The event provided people with a reason to critize and speak to the utter lack of safety for Indian women. The brutality of this crime encouraged Indian people as well as others to look deeply into what women have to endure in India. The constitution states everyone should be treated equally and held accountable to their criminal actions. During this heinous act, the woman was not treated as an equal. Though the constitution was developed because of the independence/nationalistic approach and this development lead to reforms, women still have to fight. Though women’s rights in India have made tremendous progress, they still have a while to go before they achieve what is written in their country’s constitution. Figure 3 shows women protesting in the streets of New Delhi about the rape and murder of teenage girls.

Figure 3: women protesting the sexual assault and murders of teenage girls

[1]Pal, Uma. “Right to Equality-A Fundamental Right”. Legal Services India, July 29th, 2014, http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/print.php?art_id=1688. (accessed April 17th, 2017).

[2] Kumar, Radha. The History of Doing: An Illustrated Account of Movements for Women’s Rights and Feminism in India 1800-1990. New Dlehi: Zubaan, 1993.

[3] Kumat, A.R. “Women’s Education and Social Change in India” Social Scientist. Volume 5, Issue 1 (1976). Pp 3, 18, 27.

[4] Velkoff, A. Victoria. International Program Center, October, 1998, https://www.census.gov/population/international/files/wid-9801.pdf. (accessed March 28th, 2017). Pp 1.

[5] “Manmohan launches National Mission for Female Literacy” The Hindu. September 10, 2009, http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Manmohan-launches-National-Mission-for-Female-Literacy/article16880456.ece#, (accessed  April 13th, 2017).

[6] Mosbergen, Dominique. “Delhi Bus Gang Rape Victim” Huffington Post, December 26th, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/20/delhi-bus-gang-rape-victim-intestines-shocking-details_n_2340721.html, (accessed April 30th, 2017).

Geographic Focus: India

Revised List of Search Terms: Indian Wom?n, Constitution of India, Equality, History of Indian Women, Women Empowerment of India, Dowry Prohibition Act, Reform for Indian Women

Source Database: Searchit and ProQuest

Date Limiter: 1940’s-Present

Research Question: How did the origins of the constitution of India came about? What impact did the constitution have on the reform of women’s rights? What issues for women in India are still prevalent today?

Additional sources used for previous research/thought processes:

[7] Otto, Jan Michiel. Sharia Incorporated: A Comparative Overview of the Legal Systems of Twelve Muslim Countries in Past and Present. Pp 1-676

[8] Basu, Aparna. “Feminism and Nationalism in India, 1917-1947”. Journal of Women’s History. Volume 7, Issue 4 (1995). Pp 95-107

[9] Leonard, Karen. “Women in India: Some Recent Perspectives” Pacific Affairs. Volume 52, Issue 1 (1979). Pp 95-107

[10] Mittal, J.K. “Right to Equality and the Indian Supreme Court” Pacific Affairs. Volume 14, Issue 3 (1965). Pp 422-458

Illustrations

Figure 1: The Constitution of India, January 22nd, 2016, https://www.theindianpanorama.news/world/the-constitution-of-india-5049/

Figure 2: Describing Statistical Information About Women in India, Regarding Literacy Rates, 2017, http://www.indiawomenstat.com/default.aspx

Figure 3: Demonstrators from All India Democratic Women’s Association (New Delhi) protesting against the recent rapes of teenage girls  May 31, 2014. http://time.com/2869075/india-rape-women-hanging-uttar-pradesh/

 

 

 

The Disadvantages the Amazon Rainforest Has Been Subjected to Historically R.A 5 and Final

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        The Disadvantages the Amazon Rainforest Has Been Subjected To Historically

    Historically and currently the Amazon Rainforest is a resource that has been dominated by mankind. The last century produced an era of modernization for this land. However, the ground is one particular aspect that currently is at risk due to a recent study on the reserve of Michelin Ecological Reserve in Bahia, Brazil. Their main objective for this study was to investigate how contrasting land histories using low-impact logging, high-impact logging and the slash and burn effect in forest recovery both in quantitative and qualitative data [1]. These different methods of deforestation are, historically, what civilians did for industrial or agricultural purposes. To find their testing locations they asked local residents for locations pertaining to the three different land histories. They found land characterizing each land history and noted they all had one aspect in common: they were undisturbed pieces of land for fifty to sixty years. After researching each location they observed that the slash and burn method had the most aggressive disturbance and being intermediate in richness and diversity. Seventy-seven species and thirty-eight families were recorded. The high-impact logging was described as had mediocre disturbance with the lowest richness and diversity compared to the other two. Seventy-five species and thirty-two families were recorded. Low-impact logging had was the highest in richness and diversity with twelve species and thirty-five families [2]. This experiment gives representation to mankind’s long lasting influences on nature and how it affects generations afterward. The profit of clearing this land is not equal to the disadvantages that follow in the aftermath.

Figure 1. The tan colored shade is representation of the Amazon Rainforest and depicts the Amazon Basin throughout the rainforest in blue.

    Actions of the 1970’s colonization and industrialization have lead to deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. The act of cutting and burning trees down for profit have lead to more disadvantages towards the indigenous civilians and their environment than advantages. The Amazon rainforest, the largest tropical rainforest globally, has lost a significant fifth of trees in it’s location of nine different countries; the majority covering Brazil. The Amazon River, is also partnered with the rainforest and runs from Peru to Brazil and has also been subjected to downfall [3]. The migration of laborers gravitating towards the rainforest and not only their work, but their use of resources have left more direct, detrimental affects specifically towards: the land, the civilians, agriculture, animals, global warming and the government. The colonization and construction of the Trans-Amazon Highway has left Brazil’s civilians without water, lack of wood, increase in crime, shortage of health professionals, and no income for the city itself for maintenance [4]. It is logical with the increased fluctuation of workers, settlers and tradesman the city will not be able to sustain itself and it showcases in the problems listed. This microcosm can be visualized on a larger scale in reference to mankind’s footprint on the world and especially the Amazon Rainforest. The progress of humanity in terms of the Amazon Rainforest have lead to more disadvantages in a wide array of aspects than positive growth towards the environment and humanity.

                Figure 2. Trans-Amazon Highway (Transoceanic Highway)

    Logging is a selective process and when this process is introduced to a rainforest, it makes that site more susceptible to forest fires with twice as many trees cut down [5]. Other trees that are not selected are just as likely to be cut down with smaller trees with just as much risk. If enough small trees are cut down than it creates that newer generation of tree replacements to not grow to their full potential leaving barren land which creates a danger for forest fires. Having gaps between the trees lead to drier climates with the mix of sun a wind will make a forest fire likely to take place [6]. Not logging will create more coverage insure less damage takes place than in counter of a possible fire from man’s need for logging.

If ranches were distributed into smaller properties it would make deforestation more likely to increase and occur [7]. Many ranchers are faced with the temptation of buying land that is still covered in trees without consideration to buying already cleared land. Land use for these humans is for cattle and Fearnside states that they feel this is an improvement because of the overall transformation of the land. However, settlement is underdeveloped however it is important to note that balancing a population that can sustain itself in these conditions is important for preserving deforestation. Agriculture is a technique to sustain humans, however in the process we more through the need for untouched land.

Figure 3. Cattle Ranching in the Boa Vista, Brazil. The slash and burn technique is common to clear land for ranches.

Animals rely on the Amazon rainforest for survival. It is their resource and when one takes a resource away the species goes along with it. A study was comparing different sites and studied the species that were in these different environments.  The slash and burn area, where farmers burned down trees for acreage, found that three species accounted for 50% of dominance [8]. Observing a  more impacted area led there to be less dominance by the replacement of several species from other successional species. This leads that different areas of impacts the type of species and dominance in each site.

Trees are our source of absorbing oxygen and a large mass of them, humans would be speeding up global warming from all the carbon emissions that go into the atmosphere. During the rapid development of the 1970’s, it created carbon emissions to be 128-207 million tC/year. This is also considered to be 1.8-3.0 percent of global carbon emissions from causes of fossil fuels and deforestation [9]. This is due to when clearing costs are lowered and the area is so concentrated in one area and not distributed equally. Thus, creating more emissions into the air and making a negative impact on the world.

In the 1970’s, land speculation was one of the motivators for deforestation. Ranchers the owners of the land, would us a tactic to make a large profit off their land. As land values increased quicker than inflation, ranchers were susceptible to holding onto the land for a few years and then profit from it [10]. Also, people outside the agricultural professions would purchase land and use land speculation as their tactic to profit instead of investing their money into the stock market for there is risk from tax authorities [11]. This tactic gives people the opportunity to profit majorly without giving any of the money back to Brazil which creates an outlet for many to sell with the outcome being deforestation.

The importance of understanding the long lasting affect of mankind’s impact on Brazil will show the disadvantages of the Amazon being subjected to a dominance. Natives and the environment having to suffer the consequences shows the capability of human destructiveness. By learning about the history of the Amazon and the role of deforestation it can provide insight on what not to do in the future. It shows how impactful the important people are, but then it makes one wonder what they were important for?

Endnotes:

[1] Talora C. Daniela and Larissa Rocha-Santos, “Recovery of the Atlantic Rainforest Areas Altered by Distinct Land-Use Histories in Northeastern Brazil,” Tropical Conservation Science 5,4 (December 2012) 475

[2] Tropical Conversation Science, (December 2012) 479

[3] A.H Gentry and J. Lopez-Parodi, “Deforestation and Increased Flooding of the Upper Amazon,” American Association for the Advancement of Science, 210, 4476 (December, 1980) 2

[4] Marvine Howe, “An Amazon Town, Focus of Colonization Effort, Suffers a Boom,” The New York Times, 122, 41,984, (January 1973) 15

[5] Philip M. Fearnside, “Deforestation in Brazilian Amazonia: History, Rates and Consequences,” Conservation Biology 19, 3 (June, 2005) 682

[6] Conservation of Biology, (June 2005) 683

[7] Conservation of Biology, (June 2005) 685

[8] Tropical Conversation Science, (December 2012) 481

[9] Andersen, Lykke E., Granger, Clive W. J., and Reis, Eustaquio J. “The Dynamics of Deforestation and Economic Growth in the Brazilian Amazon,” Cambridge, GB: Cambridge University Press (December 2002) 166

[10] Conservation of Biology, (June 2005) 685

[11] Conservation of Biology, (June 2005) 685

Illustrations:

Figure 1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon_basin The tan colored shade is representation of the Amazon Rainforest and depicts the Amazon Basin throughout the rainforest in blue.

Figure 2. http://www.wilderutopia.com/international/destructive-progress-brazil-peru-transoceanic-highway-by-jack-eidt/ Trans-Amazon Highway (Transoceanic Highway)

Figure 3. https://www.allianz.com/en/about_us/open-knowledge/topics/environment/articles/150329-the-top-ten-drivers-of-deforestation.html/#!ma37b41a1-2c4f-4574-8544-66fccab6c005 Cattle Ranching in the Boa Vista, Brazil. The slash and burn technique is common to clear land for ranches.

RA #4 Slavery Reformed

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Hook: Imagine a 10 year old girl being forced down the aisle with her future husband or a young boy working himself to the bone to receive nothing in return. When most people hear the word slavery they think of the 1700’s and cotton plantations or slaves constructing pyramids, but what most people do not understand is that slavery is still a modern day issue, and it is bigger than ever. In 2016 there were more than 45.8 million people around the world that were involved in slavery. Although human trafficking takes place in all of the 197 countries, the highest slave rates are found to be in North Korea and China[1].  Although Asia contains the highest trafficking rates, women, men, and children have been subjected to slavery all over the world; human trafficking is just as critical of a topic today as it once was back then.

Thesis: With quite developed history slavery has taken various forms in a multitude of places and in result dispersed detrimental effects in different ways on its victims and the economy around it.

To begin, human trafficking is the process by which men, women, and children are illegally transported to different people and countries to be forced into slave labor or sexual slavery. Slavery is when a person or people are forced to perform tasks against their will or for little or no pay. Slavery is an old topic which started around the 1600’s and continued to the present day. In the 1600’s slavery began with the shipping and forced labor of African slaves in the Americas [2]. The slaves were forced to work to work in fields and on plantations for no pay. Slaves were being traded, bought, and sold all over the world. After the 1600’s more and more slaves were being bought and used. Around the 18th century human trafficking became even larger as slaves were one of the many goods being traded between Asia, America, and Africa.

Over time slavery became abolished. Although human trafficking did slow and become less obvious, it did not stop. Now, modern day, slavery still consists of indentured labors and low or no pay for the prisoners, but today’s slavery is much more different. There are multiple different types of slavery including sexual slavery, child slavery, and domestic slavery. People are forced to work and construct objects which will later be sold for profit and they will receive none of the money. There are also some people who are forced into being sex slaves which is a topic that is becoming more and more alarming. Some people are even forced to work as domestic slaves whom are forced to perform household tasks with little to no pay. Slavery is not gone, in fact it is discretely flourishing, and it will continue to grow if attention isn’t brought to the subject.

Two countries that have the highest human trafficking rates are China and North Korea. More than 100,000 North Koreans have moved to China, illegally, to avoid their current conditions. Of the 100,000 people that move to China, 80-90 percent of the women become trafficking prisoners[3]. Part of the reason that North Korean women fall into trafficking is because of their status in the household. Usually, the women are forced to work for a low level, low paying job since the men occupy the higher status jobs in the household. Many sellers and buyer work together in North Korea and China. Many North Korean brides are shipped to China and forced into marriages and uncontrollable relationships. The prices of the women begin around 5,000 yuan, which is equal to $800.00, and can go up depending on the age, appearance, and other factors [4].  Women are brought into sexual slavery at as young as 10 years old. The most common age for sex slaves are 13 to 16 years of age [5]. China and North Korea are both aware of the trafficking issues within their countries. Unfortunately North Korea has done nothing to change the situation and lacks motivation to avoid further slave labor. China on the other hand has taken steps toward the right direction and has attempted to avoid future human trafficking.

But what are the effects of human trafficking? Human trafficking not only goes against political security, but it also goes against human security. The people are subconsciously forced into indentured labors and become trapped in a penniless world of suffering. They are often times deprived of food until their work is completed. In the case of sexually indentured slaves, the effects include HIV and AIDS[4]. Some slaves are forced to consume drugs while other slaves are forced to work all day and all night. Diseases spread around and when a person gets sick there is often times not treatment for them. Those who are able to break away from their imprisonment are often physically and mentally scarred.

ConclusionTo conclude, millions of helpless people are being trapped and forced into slavery. Children are being worked to the bone to make a cute decoration. People are being forced to work all day and night and won’t receive anything in return. Girls at the age of 10 are walking down the aisle to wed the husband whom bought her. This is a reoccurring issue that has continued to take on different forms and resurface again and again throughout time. This is an issue that must be defeated once and for all.

[1] Louise Brown, Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia (Great Britian. Virago Press. 2001). 1-20.

[2] The African Slave Trade.-In a letter.” Times [London, England] 29 July 1893: 13. The Times Digital Archive. Web. 6 Feb. 2017.

[3] Louise Brown, Sex Slaves: The Trafficking of Women in Asia (Great Britian. Virago Press. 2001). 1-20.

[4] Brown, Louise. Sex slaves: the trafficking of women in Asia. London: Virago, 2001.

[5] Shelley, Louise. Human Trafficking : A Global Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010

[6] 45.8 million people are enslaved across the world. (2016, May 31). U.S.Newswire Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1792507761?accountid=14902 (2017, January 19)