Looking For Alibrandi Gender Roles

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The novel Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta and the magazine article, The Good Wife’s Guide, originally published in ‘Housekeeping Monthly’ in 1955, explore the gender roles of the stereotypical 1950’s housewife and how they should behave. These texts also investigate the idea that women are treated differently from men and some impacts that growing up in a sexist and single minded society can have on the youth of the community. Gender stereotyping someone is to discriminate them because of their gender, making the assumption that they obtain a certain characteristic or trait because of their gender.
The Goods House Wife’s Guide is an eighteen point list that depicts how a wife in 1955 should act and all of the things she needs to
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The novel Looking For Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta touches on the topic of gender roles, particularly within the Italian culture. Josie, the main character whose grandmother is Italian, is explaining to her Australian boyfriend Jacob about Italian traditions surrounding marriage, “[if their partner had died] Most Italians who are older, just say in their forties or fifties, they don’t remarry, unless they’re men of course. Men can’t go without...Without everything. But women, God no. People would talk. They’d say that she didn’t wait long enough or she's making a fool of herself... if she gets involved with a man within a year people say that she is a sex-maniac.” (pg 151-152) This is a perfect example of the double standards that still apply to some men and women today. In the Italian community it is perfectly acceptable, even expected that, should something happens to a man’s wife, he remarry. Because he simply “can’t go without” someone to look after him and make sure that he has everything he needs so that he has a comfortable and easy life. Whereas it would be outrageous for a woman to do the same, because her only role in life was to look after her husband and her husband is now gone. This quote is also suggesting that the wife is more of a maid than a loved spouse by alluding to the fact that once her husband is out of the picture the wife’s job is done and there is nothing for her to do with the rest of her now empty life but mourn the loss of her ‘loved’ husband. The only thing stopping an Italian woman remarrying is society. The women are so afraid of what other people will think and getting talked about that they choose to live the rest of their life alone. Society is constantly judging women on the decisions they
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