Feminism: Women and the Kitcen
The Kitchen Debate by Nixon and Khrushchev in 1959 has embraced many American ideologies at that time, and the role of women in the kitchen is one of them. In the 1950s, it was widely conceived that women ought to spend most of her time in the kitchen and doing various house works. Although Vice President Nixon did not explicit stated it, he has implied that the electronic appliances were so great that they are the equivalent of a woman. The Kitchen Debate further emphasized the fact that most American men at that time regarded their spouses as mere appliances in the kitchen instead of human beings. I believe that the underlying theme in the Kitchen Debate has a certain degree of influence on Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, a publication that has awakened the public feminist consciousness.
With the influence from The Feminine Mystique, American women have realized that, by tradition, they have been enslaved in the kitchen. In addition, they were more conscious of the unequal treatments they faced in work forces. With this new consciousness in their minds, they have pushed for more reforms in civil rights movements. In response to the changes in public opinions, the government has passed various gender equality laws, such as the Equal Pay Act in 1963, which prohibited different wage standards base on genders, and The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which eliminated discrimination by both gender and race.