These were the roles suggested to them by their society. Man lacking such attributes was considered as a not mannish person. Some ancient heroes like Hercules and Achilles fit in such mannish roles. On the other hand, fragility, tenderness, depending or emotional nature were the qualities or roles ascribed to women by the society. She was expected to run home, do house chores and bear children.
It is a patronizing retort to a woman when a male says that all are created equal. He, from his realm built by discrimination, looks down upon the struggles of the oppressed, in particular, those of women. The society has been branded by a belief that “a man’s sense of self is defined through his ability to achieve results…[whereas] a woman’s sense is defined through her feelings and the quality of relationships”, as defined by John Gray, the author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. However, scathingly repulsive, or inherently unjust, the sad fact remains—this is the truth. Written in the unspoken doctrines of the society, males are perceived as the breadwinners, the providers and protectors of the inferior females.
For many centuries in our society women have been confined into a stereotypical idea of a patriarchal society. In today 's society the idea isn’t as much viewed upon with all the rights women have been given, but the concept still lingers in some of men 's minds. More so, than today, in the 19th century women were obligated to abide to the principle of gender roles and a male dominated culture. Women were seen as to be a slave and to act a certain way towards men as well as be able to gratify man 's lust of expectations of a perfect woman. These presumptions of women had been very much portrayed in short story , The Chaser by John Collier, in which a boy name Alan Austen seeks for a love potion from an old man, for a girl he likes name Diana.
The role of women in society has become a question of interest for writers for some centuries, since these have traditionally been depicted as mere objects of pleasure, that also were responsible for the household chores, as well as nurturing and taking care of the children. Furthermore, the way women were represented was completely opposite to men, as if gender determined one’s personality, intellect or skills. Women were seen as the weak ones, too emotional, incapable of reasoning and dependent on the males of their family (and afterwards, their husbands). On their behalf, men were the rational and intelligent part of the relationship, strong and the leaders. This opposition is clearly represented in the stories “Woman Hollering Creek” by Sandra Cisneros and “Girl” by Jamaica Kincaid, two authors that focus on the female character and approach the topic exposed before.
Such a notion not only served it a greater social purpose as it gave more power to men who were seen as natural leaders, but at the same time formed gender identities while preserving the archetype of femininity and masculinity. According to Barbara Welter, a historian and author of The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860 (1966), the nineteenth century American society was a reflection of gender stereotypes where roles assigned to sex held women in the cultural manacles of subordination and limits. The work illustrates the gender boundary between men and women, while focusing on the hailed pure image of a housewife, who suppressed her instincts aspirations, and accepted the chores dictated by the cultural division supporting the policy governed by social hierarchy resulting in misogyny. In this fundamental for this thesis discourse, Barbara Welter provides various exemplars of limiting women’s development and pointed the route regarding little room for intellectual maneuver what translated into docile behaviour. The author writes that “submission was perhaps the most feminine virtue expected of
Oppression of women The role of women in the society has changed as a result of self-expression through literature. Men had power over the women and controlled the economic and social aspects of the contemporary society. Women were mainly associated with marriage institutions and took over the secondary roles, while the social expectations were high. The pressure in the gender disparity was dominant and as women started advocating for equality, with roles changing from simple and instinctive to complex and difficult. The theme of oppression of women in marriages and their social roles is most dominant in most literary works, and women are seen as objects of adversities despite the high social expectations in women Gilbert and Gubar analyze
There was this stereotype for women in the past were they were characterized as weak, domestic, social., dependent, pure, timid, not sensual an emotional, susceptible to hysteria. This stereotype meant that the role of women in society was mostly to marry young to become a wife and be financially supported by her husband. All these women were bound to the property law which stipulated that a married women did not have a separate legal existence from her husband. A married woman was to stay home and focus on caring for their husband, children and the house, this was considered as the ideal American society. Motherhood was the highest calling a women could aspire in that period.
A woman has no identity “apart from the one that man gives to her.”(260) Even in literature women are depicted as the inferior beings, passive and helpless victims at the mercy of men. The reason being that literary tradition is also primarily patriarchal. The concept of ‘proper woman’ as presented in the male authored text was of a selfless, self-effacing, submissive creature: who was prepared to internalize the idea of her own inferiority, an ‘Angel in the house’ who accepted without questioning the gender defined roles assigned to her by the patriarchal society. (Armstrong
The sexism is a major issue in society has attracted considerable attention in many cultures because of different roles in society between men and women.. Men are known as a person who has a high position in the society and wise knowledge as well as professional education. Women are considered as a housekeeper or babysister who does not need to go out the society to strive to make a living. That is the reason why women do not need a high social position or high education as men. If women also want to prove themselves and go out to do their own business, they have to ensure that they have enough time to complete and take care thoughtfully both duties. The position of men always is put in front of women in all aspects.
The conventional perception of gender roles in a socio-cultural setup cast men as rational, strong, protective, and decisive beings thereby casting women as emotional (irrational), weak, nurturing, and submissive . Therefore, women are expected to fit themselves in this frame, where in every sense they are inferior to men and lose their personal identity. Thus, women remain as mere object or property to men. Taslima Nasrin, on account of her personal experience of childhood sexual abuse and the deteriorating status of women in Bangladesh, contributes considerably to the feminist thought. In most of her writings, Nasrin gives evidences of her feminist leanings as she delineates situations pertaining to subjugation and marginalization of women