Gender role refers to those behaviors and attitudes that are considered to belong to one sex. Gender role is based on femininity and masculinity that differentiate women and men by giving men some roles and women which results to gender inequality. There some work in society that is regarded to belong to women such as cooking, taking care of children and other less important roles while men are given roles that makes them superior than women. Most of the gender roles associated with women makes them inferior and creates a room to be oppressed. Gender roles are constructed by society and attributed to women or men.
I will argue that many of the female characters in the Aeneid are portrayed as irrational, rebellious and pose various threats to the Roman cause. The actions of the women are often in deep contrast to the events fated to happen. This depiction of women is significant because it allows the men, who are often the cause of their irrationality, to be portrayed as the rational and restrained beings in this epic. Dido, the queen of Carthage and Aeneas’s unintended lover, is a prime example of how women are depicted in this epic. Her love for Aeneas makes her irrational and drives her to resist the plans set in motion by the Fates.
This image of women constantly succeeds in attracting men. Following, right before the competition starts for Penelope’s heart, Athena “endowed her with immortal grace to hold the eyes of the Akhaians…” (18.241-245). She makes Penelope more beautiful and appealing to the suitors, so that they will be compelled to fight harder. When she comes to greet the suitors, “weakness took those men in the knee joints, their hearts grew faint with lust; not one but swore to god to lay beside her” (18.265-267). What Athena does to Penelope works, and the suitors want to win the competitions so they can sleep with her because of her immortal beauty.
Furthermore, Feminist Criticism provides a better view of literature because it shows that women can be powerful. When Emilia finds out that her husband has been plotting an evil plan she says,” Tis proper I obey him, but not now”(Othello V.2.195). Emilia refuses to help her husband after she finds the cruel intentions he has despite the expectation of women always being submissive to their husbands. Women also have a voice and feelings, they are capable of defying their husbands commands when they know what he expects is simply wrong. In a literary article,The Role of Women in Othello: A Feminist Reading states that,” Society weighs heavily on the shoulders of women; they feel that they must support the men and defer to them, even if the actions of the men are questionable” (Literary Articles).
The position of women in the societies of Genesis and the Odyssey grant them little power. Despite the pervasive gender hierarchy present in the ancient texts, Rebekah and Nausicaa wield their intelligence and wit to influence those around them. These two women utilize deception and indirect communication in order to alter the lives of prominent men as their means of exerting control within their patriarchal society. Due to their actions, these women become essential to the narratives of Genesis and the Odyssey, for Rebekah is integral to the perpetuation of God’s covenant through familial lineage and Nausicaa is fundamental to Odysseus’ nostos journey. While Rebekah and Nausicaa differ in their specific reasons for their deceptions, they
Their tough archetypes were always present in many plays and reinforced the idea of male superiority. This fact held true, especially for a certain tragic classic by William Shakespeare. There was a misogynistic mentality towards women in Romeo and Juliet, evident through the way women were shown as objects, portrayed as weak, and made to seem unable to dictate their own lives. Men in Romeo and Juliet could be seen acting like owners towards women. Women were seen as nothing more than possessions, as illustrated when Romeo first described Juliet as, “My lady…/my love” (II.ii.10).
Consequently, Esch looks to the heroines in the stories of Greek mythology to stand in and act as her female role models. She is particularly drawn to female characters who, at some point in their stories, triumph over a male figure, or the concept of masculinity more generally. Mythology becomes so significant to Esch that she begins to describe events in her life in mythological terms, most notably the hurricane the arrives at the end of the novel. Esch’s recurrent references to myths, particularly the female characters, serve to emphasize the connection between femininity and strength that prevails even in her male-dominated environment. Esch is surrounded by male characters, including her father, brothers, and friends, who do not believe in the power of womanhood that is exemplified in Greek mythology.
David Bevington (an acclaimed literary critic) and Carol Thomas Neely (Department of English, University of Illinois) assert that the men in Othello, are perhaps most aptly defined by sexual anxiety. Critics point out that the men in Othello are crippled by their notions of women, their reliance on the adoration and loyalty of their wives, and the disgust of sexaulity all those who do not fall within the scope of wifely obedience and purity. Othello presents a demeaning profile of men
It’s no surprise, that Shakespeare’s Macbeth was clearly constructed as a rebellion against femininity roles of the time. During the Elizabethan era, women were raised to believe they were inferior to men since men obtained desired masculine qualities such as strength, and loyalty, whereas women were viewed as figures of hospitality (1; 6; 28-31). Obviously, not being tempted by the luxury of subservient women, William Shakespeare rebuked this twisted belief, applying that women deserve more respect than their kitchen tables. However, if transcending female expectations was used as a weapon than for good, is it still considered an act of femininity? Of course not!
In Homer’s The Odyssey, particular characters have some sort of disguise that allows them to deceive others. In the epic, there is also a demonstration of inequality between men and women. The idea of guile in The Odyssey was raised multiple times throughout the epic and it was often considered to be wisdom. From the beginning of the epic, we see characters praising men for their “wisdom” and women are oppressed for the majority of their actions, including lying. This patriarchal system that oppresses women for their actions, including shunning them for being deceptive, reveals the double standard in society, but also reveals the social statuses in this time period that oppressed women and bound them from being able to change the overall epic.
In the article “Religions: The Basics” by Malory Nye talks about female writers, inequality and the distinction between males and females. In the article it mentioned how the term Androcentricism assumes that the male’s perspective and experiences are the most vital and key point of reference. I agree with Mary Daly that the concept of belief in a male deity leads to profound sexual inequalities. The reason I agree with Mary Daly is due to the fact there is a lot of gender differences and that women are viewed as inferior, while men are more superior. It is surprising that in western culture, they can’t go a day without woman-male distinction.