Barbara Ehrenreich Ladylikeness

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Ladylikeness vs. Toughness The essay, “What I’ve Learned from Men”, by Barbara Ehrenreich is an impressive piece of writing focusing on a significant theme which is still present and is witnessed to this day. The theme that the author discusses is the on-going gender issues shedding light on the differences between men and women. Throughout the essay, Ehrenreich argues about the one thing women need to learn from men: how to be tough. She support this argument by providing a personal experience, taking her back to the time when she didn’t acknowledge the quality of being tough and falling victim to sexual harassment. She then explains this act as “behaving like a lady” and continues to support her claim by stating facts describing how…show more content…
Also the author was able to strengthen her argument by adding supporting views from authorities (Jean Baker Miller), which emphasized how women tend to avoid the appearance of power as she never take credit for her achievements and usually blames it on being lucky. At the end of the essay the author advocates several strategies women should pursue in order to get tough such as “taking credit when credit is due” (Par.10), because taking credit when it is deserved is a sign of confidence and determination, also she explains how women should express their anger in different ways rather than just smiling. Finally she reruns the scene when she was sexually harassed in a way displaying her as a tough woman, not as a “lady”. Being tough is an essential quality women should possess in order to succeed in society but also being ladylike…show more content…
As I recall, I did agree on the argument Ehrenreich proposed but not to the full extent. I somehow disagree with the fact that being ladylike can’t allow women to be as successful and recognized as men are. Ladylike women have the same influential power as tough ones but it is expressed in a different manner. Ehrenreich defined the term ladylikeness as a “persistent servility masked as niceness” (Par.4), ignoring other ways of anticipation for this term. In my opinion, being ladylike is a silent but deadly approach a woman might use to influence others and eventually reach her purpose. This ability depends on the woman’s intelligence in manipulating situations where cussing, throwing tantrums, breaking and smashing objects and showing anger isn’t required in this complicated and advanced process. Those actions are what men excel perfectly in, while women transcend in being ladylike. As a wise man once said, “If you can’t accept yourself for who you are then how do you expect someone else to accept you?” At last, every gender has traits and character which distinguish one from another, although changing those traits to the better may lead to success (going from ladylike to tough), yet not changing them and accepting yourself while learning how to channel and control those traits may lead to success as

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