Thursday, December 11, 2014
Order and Freedom
In “The Crucible,” Arthur Miller states, “It is still impossible for man to organize his social life without repressions, and the balance has yet to be struck between order and freedom.” Arthur Miller describes the idea that even in a Democratic society, there must be a distribution of order and freedom. Miller is correct in his statement that American society lacks a fair and equal balance between order and freedom for all Americans. As long as there are oppressed groups in America, the disbalance between order and freedom persists.
The imbalance between order and freedom due to oppression was exemplified in 1980 by Jerry Falwell. As a rich, white male in America, Falwell was clearly in the most privileged group, and therefore he wanted to maintain his privilege by restricting the rights of others. At this point in time, Falwell aimed to put down the gaining of rights for women. Falwell argued that feminists were immoral and trying to destroy the tradition of the American family. Falwell shamed feminists as people who were destroying American tradition with their pursuit of things like welfare, the right to an abortion, and birth control. As it continues to be a majority of white males controlling the government, they continue to create laws (order) which restrict basic freedoms for oppressed groups, such as women. In many states, the government has restrictions on abortion. These ridiculous laws restrict the freedom of women to have control over their own bodies and their future. While a teenage boy may go out and have sex without consequence, a teenage girl might get pregnant and be forced to face the consequences for the rest of her life. In this regard, America has not yet found a balance between order and freedom for women.
Although many conservative lawmakers are anti-abortion, those same lawmakers are often against the support of women who are pregnant or who have children. In today’s society, women are finally accepted into the workplace. However, maternity leave is not paid in many workplaces. Even though women having children is literally vital to our society, pregnant women are often not supported by their place of work or the government for their time away. In this way, the lawmakers once again neglect the needs of the women who are vital to America. When the children are born, working women often must struggle to find affordable, flexible child care. American lawmakers once again restrict the opportunities of working women. The order in America clearly prevents women’s freedom and abilities to be successful.
Until there is complete distribution of power based on sex, gender, and class, there will be an imbalance between order and freedom. Currently, the white, males who make up the majority of the government are making decisions that do not directly affect their lives. In today’s Congress, 90% are male and 87% of white. These lawmakers do not have the perspective of other classes, races, and genders. With these statistics and biased viewpoints in the American government, a balance between order and freedom is entirely unattainable.