Psychology Gender Essay

Pages: 5 (1785 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 0  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Children

Psychology-Gender

A whole array of classical English, Russian, Polish and French writers populated my parent's library and I owe a great deal of my understanding of the world and my formation later in life to those books. Although I was a gregarious person and always enjoyed the company of my friends, these books were my best companions. I read some of them over and over again and never got tired or bored. The said writers were accompanied by American writers that were bringing a different kind of flavor to my readings, but never really balanced the score in their favor, although Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were always among my favorites.

Jane Eyre is the classical Bildungsroman, one that made one of the strongest impressions on me as a child and then as a young girl. The main character, Jane, lived in a period when women were confronted with strong prejudices related to gender roles. They had a long way to go before they saw the dawn of a new era of equal rights.

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The fact that I was growing up in a world that had little to do with the prejudices of the early 1800s England did not diminish the impact the little girl's struggle to build her life had on me. She was from the very beginning surrounded by inequalities of all kinds. Before acknowledging that being a female gave her little opportunities to gain a life on her own, she had to confront a society based on values that gave little chance to those less fortunate who were coming from poorer families and who lost their parents at an early age. Her physical appearance was that of a plain girl and this was her fortune or misfortune, depending on the point-of-view one could adopt when analyzing her course in life.

As I mentioned before, I used to read a book, mostly novels, tens of times at different stages of my development. It was like adding layers of paint to a portrait or a landscape that completed the picture. That is how I developed a more complex understanding of a subject and I formed a personal opinion related to my personal aspirations.

Essay on Psychology Gender Assignment

As a child, Jane Eyre has to suffer because of the loss of both her parents. From the point where she becomes an orphan, she will have to overcome a multitude of obstacles that could bring down even the strongest of the strong. Not only does she survive them all, but they only make her tougher and more decided to carry on and determine her own way, instead of just accepting defeat. Her determination to carry on alone is more than a good enough reason for every child or teenager to take the book in his or her hands and get to know this character better.

As a child I was not acquainted with notions like prejudice, discrimination, sexism, feminism and diversity, but I was introduced in the world of gender psychology through books like Jane Eyre. Jane is not a beauty that, like Thomas Hardy's Tess D'Urbervilles, for example, will fall the victim of her own beauty. Jane is not a woman who strikes though her beauty, nor does her spirit become impressive from the very beginning for those who meet her. She has qualities that help her overcome prejudices and hardships that are either coming from society as a whole or from the milieus she is living in. but, as tough and deserving of a better life as she will prove to be, she will have her props.

As a child and then as a teenage girl, I was strongly influenced by this character in my beliefs about justice and the right to pursue my own happiness. Regardless of the moral standards and prejudices of her time, Jane put up with obstacles that could be transferred into our times with a little imagination.

First, her cousin was displaying an aggressive attitude towards her, while his mother who was also raising her was tolerating his behavior, at best. The aggressiveness of the boy and his mother intentional blindness almost bring the little girl on the verge of losing her sanity. The following years she spends in a boarding school are another source of hardships that will last over several years, but in the end of her school years, she will even get the chance to teach for a couple of years at the very school she was attending as a student. Religious hypocrisy and class prejudice are only two supplemental elements that Jane confronts at her new school. From the point-of-view of her chances to make a living, Jane has very few options. Fortunately, she is intelligent and inclined to teaching and that is how she comes to teach after having graduated from the boarding school.

Unlike Jane, I was not an orphan and I did not have to go to a boarding school, but like most of my colleagues, I had to study in order to get an education that would enable me to earn a decent living. I did not truly feel gender discrimination acts that directly affected my life until later in my life, as an adult. I was always encouraged by Jane's courage and her decisiveness not only to survive, but also make a better living and not submitting to a stronger will.

The third stage of her development, the part where she falls in love with Mr. Thornfield, is symbolic for her determination and way of dealing with a potential male partner that is not only physically stronger than her, but who is apparently holding all the upper hands. Although not the typical male hero, he is the wealthy and gradually charming man. He swipes the young girl off her feet, but he does not make her lose her head. At the culminating moment, in front of the altar in the church, she does not lose her mind as a result of finding out that he almost became a bigamist by marrying her and after that she is strong enough not to become his mistress as a replacement of a marriage that was legally impossible.

With the hindsight that I have now, I am able to understand that she came out well in the very end only because she was fortunate enough to meet a suitor who was not prone to becoming a criminal by taking advantage of her innocence. It is true that she was not the kind of girl who would have easily given up when confronted with his strong masculinity, but on the other hand he could have forced her into having sexual relationships and there could have been little chances for her to prove that he assaulted her. My first mistake as a young girl was to assume that the world was filled with men like Mr. Thornfield, ready to rescue me in case I was not able to rescue myself. The false image of a world where there is always a man who will step in sooner or later and who along with true love will bring peace and prosperity in a girl's life was of course not very beneficial for an impressionable teenager like me.

Another deficit supplied by the image of the male hero in novels like Jane Eyre came from the fact that they were invariably at least ten years older than the poor heroine who happened to fall in live with them. As a consequence, I was always more inclined to develop a crush on my older male counterparts, like my professors or the male friends of my parents, than look for the boys next to me in my school, for example. That was normal up to a point, since girls were always believed to develop in their mental, sexual and social abilities a few years earlier than boys. But there is a difference in constantly falling in love with men that could be your father when you already have a father and do not need another one and in looking towards the older boys in your school as potential romance partners.

Although most countries have equal rights for men and women and condemn discriminatory acts based on gender differences, today's world is far from being free of gender stereotypes. Women have gone on the moon, alongside men, they have lead countries and fought wars and yet magazines and commercials are still abundant in images that reduce women to their roles as sexual objects and children caregivers. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with a women who decides that the best education she can offer her children is coming first from her decision to stay at home and not take a full time nanny to take care of her children, this is still far from being considered a matter of choice and something that is entirely reserved for the unanimous decision of the husband and wife. There are many aspects that make Jane Eyre more advanced in terms of her independence… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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