As with all theories, this feminist approach to Louise Halfe’s “Body Politics” does not come without its flaws. While it can be argued that this poem criticizes the performativity of feminine gender roles in a patriarchal society, this cannot be proven definitively without knowing the author’s original intentions. Furthermore, the poem does not give its readers enough information to conclude that the society the women live in is in fact a patriarchal society. This becomes evident, as there is no reference to any masculine figure – so any assumptions about the masculine-dominant culture are purely speculative. It is possible that Halfe wrote this poem in an attempt to challenge the gender binary, however one stands to question how successfully she is in doing so. In Butler’s theory, she introduces the idea that each woman’s feminism is her
In the 1970’s women were expected to stay at home and take care of the household. They were usually not expected to further their education, but instead take care of the children or tend to their husbands’ needs. In 1972 Judy Brady decided to let the readers of Ms. Magazine know how she felt about her “duties”. In her short essay, “Why I Want a Wife,” Brady uses pathos to connect and appeal to the reader’s emotions while explaining why she wants a wife.
Susan Griffin’s story Our Secret seems to be about a small boy living in the terrible world that is Nazi Germany, but the story is more about the pain and heartbreak that both citizens and soldiers carry with them still to this day. It was an event that changed the course of history all those years ago, and Griffin chose to reflect back on the world-tilting events of compliance to artificial selves that Nazi Soldiers did to fellow German’s and people from many other countries. They abused, both physically and mentally, by making these people commit acts that were both emotional and violence. This story shows that there are many different ways to write a story about history, and WWII journalism. When I was reading the story it put a different
Racial and gender biases have been constant issues throughout history. From the persecution of women in the early America to modern day victimization of people based solely upon race, gender and racial biases have shaped and continue shaping history in a major way. While modern America is known for being an all-welcoming country of free speech and mutual respects throughout races, hidden racial and gender biases are often overlooked, leading to the manifestation of these biases in people and their community. In The Bean Trees, a novel set in 1980s America, Barbara Kingsolver illustrates the presence of racial and gender biases and their effect on the community. Through the characters victimized by these biases, Kingsolver illustrates that
Throughout history and across cultures woman have lived under the parameters of a patriarchal structure. Stories like Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” and Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,”, inspired by two cultures (Caribbean and American) and different eras (1983 andvers 1893) reflect women's struggle within this structure. A structure in which women have blazed a trail and have fought for a space, the freedom and the respect within their community (Fix this sentence – it is grammatically incomplete). Despite that women should accept and follow patterns of a pre-established prototype of behavior, that do not allow them to development their intellectual capacities, limiting their professional and social role to wife or housekeeper,
For many years, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening was considered perhaps one of the most scandalous novels written by a woman about a woman’s sexual and spiritual liberation and independence. Much of Chopin’s fiction has been praised as a celebration of female sexuality, conspicuously highlighting the tension between erotic desire and the demands that come from marriage, family life, and society (Martin 1). Unlike other literary contemporaries, Chopin does not attempt to moralize her heroines’ moral frailty, and more importantly she unapologetically allows her heroines’ unconventional sexuality to thrive (Martin 6). Only recently has The Awakening been acknowledged as a well-crafted narrative of Edna Pontellier’s struggle between individuality and
A famous saying is “a closed mouth doesn’t get fed” that represents how if a person does not put words onto their thoughts then they will never be heard. Diane Ackerman writes, “ ...although it is possible to have a thought without words, it’s rarely possible to know what one thinks without bronzing it with words.” Ackerman’s claims are valid, words need to be used in order to hear a person’s thoughts.
Despite being used as props and blamed for their own exploitation, the heroines each manage to reclaim their sexualities from the men in their lives. After Jody’s death in Their Eyes, Janie rebels against her Nanny’s and Jody’s oppression, saying “Ah done lived by Grandma’s way, now Ah means tuh live mine” (114). Through her relationship with Tea Cake, she embraces the sexuality that has been repressed her entire life. Soon Hyo similarly reclaims her identity through her decision to no longer let Rick, or other men, take advantage of her; she shouts, “I will never, never again lay down for any man” (195). Helga also, in rejecting Axel Olsen’s offer of marriage rejects her supposed nature as a black woman. She tells him, “I’m not for sale. Not to you. Not to any white man. I don’t at all care to be owned. Even by you” (89). Although McDowell claims that women writers lash out against the stereotype of the hypersexualized female by deliberately desexualizing their characters, this is not exactly the case. Like Helga says, women’s sexuality cannot be bought or sold, only manipulated by those in power. The intersection of these three portrayals speaks to the volume of types of sexuality women possess. Rather than lash out against this stereotype, as McDowell claims, by deliberately desexualizing woman characters, these novels prove that by eliminating the dichotomy of innocence and sensuality through varied portrayals of women, you strike the stereotype at the root, blocking the male influence from contaminating the sexuality any
Real Women Have Curves is a breathtaking film. The philosophical positions I had picked for this film are The Seven Principles of Simone de Beauvoir for this movie. The film is about a Latina teenage girl by the name of Ana Garcia. Her sister owns a textile factory, and her mother wants her to work within her older sister Estela’s factory. Her mother does not want her daughter to go to college and only wants her daughter to get married. Ana broke away from the traditional role of stay-at-home-mom, taking care of their husband’s offspring and only taking care of the house of the family. The interesting part of the movie is that her father supports her decision of going to college, and following her dreams and becoming on what she believes on what she wants to be. However, his other belief about her going to college is that he does not want the family be separated and the family needs to be together. The Latina’s family traditions has the philosophical viewpoint that family is a union of collective minds, and should not be separate. That women are meant to be at
The narrator is portrayed as a young, upper-middle-class woman, newly married and a mother, who is undergoing care for depression. Jennie is portrayed as a regular housewife who happily assumes all the traditional duties of a housewife. Mary is portrayed as a regular nanny hired to take care of a child. Mary takes care of the narrator and John's baby. This story is about control and attacks the role of women in society. Women are expected to take care of their children, keep the house and do only as they are told. The author of this story suggests otherwise. The author implies that women can do a lot more and combined with men can contribute to
Many critics agree on one fact about Canadian author Alice Munro: one of her most notable qualities in regards to her work is the distinct use of realism in her writing. Her writing provides a strong sense of familiarity to the reader, while also containing stronger metaphorical meanings that one can note when they begin to closely look at her work. Her short story “Boys and Girls” portrays the socialization of a young girl, once very close to her father and unaware of any sort of gender bias within her society, into a young woman with a pessimistic view of femininity and her expected position in society. This story shows the socialization process in a way that makes it easy to recognize, illustrating circumstances that the reader can notice the blatant sexism and misogyny; however, its portrayal is extremely realistic, allowing the reader to recall how oblivious they may have been in the past during times that they have been impacted by social biases in our world. Critics of Munro typically agree on her overall theme of femininity and coming of age in her writings; “Boys and Girls” emphasizes the ways in which young girls are socialized into a seemingly natural understanding of the sexist expectations and gender roles.
American poet, Linda Pastan, in her poem “Marks” published in 1978 addresses the topic of women’s roles in the household and asserts that although mothers may be good at their household job, their desire to fulfill other careers is overpowering and necessary to thrive. Pastan supports her claim by using vivid imagery, such as describing the grades she gets from her life job, a repeating pattern in the sentence structure, when listing what each of her family members grades her as, and connotative diction, when describing her feelings about being targeted in such a hardening and impersonal way. The author’s overall purpose is to inform readers that women were and still are being stereotyped, so that they might think about how they treat
Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, argues that women are instruments of the patriarchy, that women know this, and that women allow the system of oppression to live on. Her fictions ask, “What stories do women tell about themselves? What happens when their stories run counter to literary conventions or society’s expectations?” (Lecker 1). The Handmaid’s Tale is told through the protagonist, Offred, and allows readers to follow through her life as a handmaid while looking back on how life used to be prior to the societal changes. The novel is set in a dystopian future that illustrates the collapse of the US government, a new theocracy taking over, and how the theocracy has supposedly solved the problem of fertility with the creation
Identity is often a cornerstone in a many important works of literature. The struggle of a protagonist to reconcile with their identity and the expectations or restrictions that accompany this struggle often mirrors real life endeavors and makes important critiques on social structure. The essay A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf makes an influential claim that a woman’s identity as lesser than a man’s in society prevents her from the opportunity to fill her role as a writer while the novel The Bell Jar written by Sylvia Plath describes a woman’s struggle to reconcile with her expectations as a woman in the 1950s. Both pieces make a statement about the impact of identity and its influence on the women faced with the consequences of these societal expectations.