"Women / Feminism" Essays

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Confusing Gender Roles Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (933 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


" (The Associated Press)

Oh yeah, these are the types of things that I would want a little brother or sister to have. Give me a break here because even the notion of a kid getting these drugs seems mind boggling. "Researchers say youngsters generally get illegal anabolic steroids on the black market from relatives or friends, from the local gym and over the Internet. At least one study indicates some parents and coaches supply steroids to teen athletes." (The Associated Press)

I suppose there is a constant in all of this. We as a society have in fact gradually cut through some of the more blatant gender roles that have historically been a foundation of stereotypical labeling. But, as the U.S.A. Today has made clear in my minds eye, both boys and girls want Olympic medals, perfect physiques and all of the trappings that come with those things. It is not a gender specific need to seek some internally defined perfection in our culture. Basically, it does not matter if these needs are being felt by a boy, a girl, or Barry Bonds.

In conclusion, even though I feel that I have a much better understanding of the changes gender roles play in our culture since having read parts of 'Signs of life in the U.S.A.,' I still can not believe that some pig-tailed little girl may be shooting up the same stuff that has landed Jose Conseco a best selling book and several riod-rage stints in jail. This story was probably the most eye-opening news article in regard to the re-invention of identity codes that I can recall. Prior to this article I had really never even considered this to be a female gender related concern. "Other than pedophilia, this is the most secret behavior I've ever encountered." (The Associated Press)

Works Cited

Girls are abusing steroids too, experts say. Ed. MSNBC. April 25, 2005. MSNBC.com. Retrieved on 29 Apr. 2005, from http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7633384

Maasik, Sonia, and Jack Solomon. Signs Of Life In The U.S.A. ADD CITY: ADD PUBLISHER, ADD YEAR.

The Associated Press. "Girls Are Abusing Steroids Too -- Often To Get That Toned Look" USA Today 25 Apr. 2005, Online. Retrieved on 29 Apr. 2005, from http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2005-04-25-girls-steroids_x.htm?POE=NEWISVA… [read more]

Dracula There Are Numerous Themes Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,095 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Then again he writes an image that is extremely uncharacteristic of Victorian women and again uses the word voluptuous:

"She still advanced, however, and with a languorous, voluptuous grace, said, 'Come

to me, Arthur. Leave these others and come to me. My arms are hungry for you. Come, and we can rest together. Come, my husband, come!' There was something diabolically sweet in her tones, something of the tinkling of glass when struck, which rang through the brains even of us who heard the words addressed to another"

(Stoker Chapter 16 pp).

Lucy had become sexual enticing and filled with "hunger" for her man, something he would only have experienced in his dreams or imagination, but hardly in Victorian reality. She was as much a raving vixen as the three that had visited Harker. Lucy is so filled with sexual energy that she pleads for gratification, and promises Arthur his own release, one that may overwhelm him. Lured by sexual desire, Arthur, "seemed to move under a spell ... moving his hands from his face, he opened wide his arms" (Stoker Chapter 16 pp). Not only is poor Arthur lured, but the other men as well have a difficult time resisting Lucy's sexuality. She had become a true temptress in every sense of its definition and the men were left vulnerable and weak from their own desires. This oversexed woman, who was everything she should not be, had turned the men into everything they should not be, which was out of control.

Thus, the men conclude that she must be destroyed, for that it is the only way to restore her purity, "my friend, it will be a blessed hand for her that shall strike the blow that sets her free" (Stoker Chapter 16 pp). Moreover, it becomes important to make certain that Mina does not fall victim to the dark forces and lose her virtuous state as well. However, it can also be seen that the men fear their own downfall from grace and virtue, for how can any mortal man resist such temptation.

Laura Sagolla Croley writes that Bram Stoker's 1897 novel, "Dracula," reflects the cultural changes in Victorian England (Croley pp). It is theorized that vampirism is used to represent the threat of the "lumpenporletariat" in producing social problems (Croley pp). Says Croley, "Vampirism connotes foreignness, homosexuality and depravity," and the Count transgresses boundaries that are near and dear to the late Victorian frame of mind (Croley pp). The novel betrays a "fear of cultural decline occasioned by these sorts of transgressions, and struggles throughout to preserve boundaries and restore cultural order (Croley pp). Stoker casts the vampires as not only representing, but "causing the cultural decline effected ... By a disregard of middle-class norms, including domesticity, motherhood, and female sexual purity" (Croley pp).

Bram Stoker's novel, "Dracula" is as much erotica as it is adventure. It also represents the Victorian culture regarding sexuality and women's roles in life and society. Similar to "Peyton Place" some fifty… [read more]

Is it Feminist to Pose in Playboy Hustler? Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,420 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Feminist to Pose in Playboy

There is much division among women and feminists alike concerning the issue of pornography. However, if one believes in the freedom of women, then one would have to agree, if only in principle, that posing for Playboy or participating in the adult cinema genre, is as feminist as burning a bra.

Wendy McElroy… [read more]

Boccaccio Giovanni Boccaccio Wrote Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (829 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


The author refers to what is called Boccaccio's adaptation of the vida of Guillem of Cabestaing in which the woman takes full responsibility for her unfaithfulness, where the possibility of violence against this woman is altered by her own words and her own actions: "Publicly assuming her own choices and decisions, she denies having been the object of her lover's violence and, as a consequence, wants to be considered as the only one to be blamed and to deserve punishment" (Roberts 82).

Many of the stories in Boccaccio are versions of French fabliau, described by E. Jane Burns in terms of imagery, The imagery that Burns finds in the French fabliau she discusses is an imagery that shows the distinction made between men and women:

To "know" women in this standard fabliau paradigm is to define female nature as irrational, pleasure-seeking, and wholly corporeal in opposition to the rationally endowed, thinking male. The fabliau inherits this gendered dichotomy that pits knowledge against pleasure from the Genesis narrative in which the fleshly Eve seduces the first man away from his more rational bond with God (Burns 28).

This can be manifested in the wayward wife who takes responsibility for her own straying, showing a different kind of rationality than the male shows, and often as a pleasure-seeking creature mirroring the biblical idea that women need to be controlled and kept from indulging in their inherently carnal nature. Oddly, this image is counter to the prevailing view of men as self-indulgent and carnal and women as long-suffering, an image that developed after the medieval period. What interests Boccaccio is his contemporary world, for he shows people as he believes they are based on his observations, even if what he sees would differ from the ideal suggested by religion or the social order either one. As Robert Edwards writes, "The figures portrayed in his tales are rooted in the particularity of families, towns, and regions, and their exemplarity depends on action rather than character or type" (Edwards 13). Chaucer did much the same thing, though many of the stories told by both do have a less contemporary setting even though the characters reflect contemporary attitudes and may even be seen as even more modern by later generations who recognize similar characteristics in themselves.

Work Cited

Capellanus, Andreas, The Art of Courtly Love. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990.

Edwards, Robert. Chaucer and Boccaccio: Antiquity and Modernity. New York: Palgrave, 2002.

Roberts, Anna. Violence against Women in Medieval…… [read more]

Pre-Civil War Slave History Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,550 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Harriet Jacobs & Peter Cartwright float

The Abolition of Slavery: Perspectives from a black woman slave (Harriet Jacobs) and white man preacher (Peter Cartwright)

Nineteenth century proved to be challenging times for the American society, wherein the issue of black slavery had elicited and created two opposing factions: one group opposing the practice of black slavery, and the other, supporting… [read more]

Ignorance Bliss? A Comparison Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,139 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


In Joyce, the young man leaves home to find an artifact for a lovely girl, as if he is on a quest and returns home in shame. The title of the story gets its name from the fair, not from a place name near the home. But in "The House on Mango Street," the narrator begins recollection by thinking of the different street names on which her family lived. She is looking for a home, not a sweetheart, even though her ideal of a home may begin just as elevated as Joyce's vision of a young, pure girl.

In Joyce's vision of "Araby," the young man's ideal of the purity of a woman seems to have its roots in the heavily Irish Catholic religion of the young boy's cultural environment, more than a sense of home. Religion also plays a role in Cisneros's version of her adolescent's coming of age tale, but more as a stress upon the need for the narrator's large, Hispanic Catholic family to stay together, even in a hostile street, culture, and America -- a family ideal that is betrayed when the girl is disappointed that the reality of home ownership is not all her parents hope it will be, like on television. Likewise, Joyce experiences his adventures in "Araby" like a fall into knowledge from Eden, when the promises of the fair are not fulfilled.

Both Catholic 'falls' significantly symbolized by a loss of money as well as ideals. Joyce's young man miscalculates how much money he will need to get to and from the fair. Cisneros' narrator remembers how a nun from her school shamed her unintentionally when she asked her where she lived. Because the girl lived in an apartment over a dilapidated laundry, she felt rage and shame between how things ought to be and how they were in reality.

Joyce ends his tale on a defeated note, after another, less friendly outsider in the form of an English woman the boy sees at the fair mocks him, as the innocent young girl was shamed by the nun's innocent question. But Cisneros ends her tale on a fierce note. The girl is determined to forge on and find a home, even if the Mango home has peeling paint and barred windows and admit she lived at such a place marks a turning point for the narrator. Forced into reality, the girl must build her own, she realizes, perhaps away from the protective love of her parents. Likewise, Joyce's narrator realizes that no young woman or fair is pure in desire -- the woman, the Araby fair, and his own life and state of finances are subject to the demands of the real world. The characters realize that there is no single, good place or person in the world, and that like all adults they are left to their own devices, to live and learn as best as they can.

Works Cited

Barnhisel, Grey. "An Overview of Araby" From Short Stories for Students.… [read more]

Communication and Gender Term Paper

Term Paper  |  9 pages (3,692 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Gender & Communication

An Observation of Public Gender Interactions

Over the 4th of July weekend I went with my family to our summer home on the lake in a wooded area. The community there has only about 150 locals who stay year round, but in the summer about 1500 summer residents. The night after we arrived, we went to a… [read more]

Old Saying, "History Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,209 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


¶ … old saying, "history is written by the victors." Such a saying is interesting, and when one looks at American history, appears to be true. In fact, it is only in the past few decades that most general American history textbooks addressed troubling social issues such as slavery, the treatment of Native Americans, or the struggle for sexual equality. However, when looked at in a different context, the quote has new implications. If history is, indeed, written by the victors, then what does the fact that so much of history has been written by men mean? Furthermore, does the fact that most of society no longer regards mankind as the conqueror of womankind mean that a gender difference in who is writing history has more or less importance? For such a complicated question, the answer is a surprisingly simple maybe. Because a historian's gender is less important than her secondary characteristics, on an individual level it does not matter whether men or women are writing a particular American history.

Given that gender equality is one of the major struggles facing American women, regardless of race, since the beginning of America, it may initially be difficult for one to understand why gender is less important than a historian's secondary characteristics. However, it is precisely because of the intensity of the so-called gender wars in America that gender is less important that a writer's other characteristics. It is those secondary characteristics, such as race, socio-economic status, and religious and political affiliations, that determine a writer's personal beliefs and biases. Because it is rarely a writer's gender, but their secondary characteristics, that determine a writer's gender and other biases, it is unimportant whether a history is written by a man or a woman.

Take, for example, the different perspectives that could be taken by two writers, both women, about women being granted access to higher education in the 20th Century. The first woman writer is a member of the middle-class, and she and her husband both have to work in order to keep their family in the middle class. That historian may begin her history with women getting equal access to higher education, which led to more women entering the workforce in higher-paying jobs. In addition, that historian could accurately show that, traditionally, as women have entered an occupation, it has become devalued by society, and the members of the occupation have then suffered a relative decline in pay. As a result, the historian could conclude that women's access to higher education has led to a society of families that cannot maintain a middle-class lifestyle without two incomes. In contrast, if that same history were written by an upper-middle class writer, whose husband is able to stay at home with her children while she pursues her career, it would look dramatically different. The second historian would emphasize that access to education gave women the ability to compete with men in traditionally male fields, such as academia. In fact, current statistics reveal that… [read more]

Glass Ceiling the Barriers That Hinder Career Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (944 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Glass Ceiling

The barriers that hinder career advancement of women are complex, and have become important issues for most corporations and the government (Adaire, 1994). "Glass ceiling" is a term that describes numerous barriers that prevent qualified individuals from advancing higher in their careers. While many women hold management positions, few have made the breakthrough to top-level, executive positions.

According to statistics, women executives exist across corporate America, and many believe that they may actually be more effective managers than men (Patterson, 2005). In fact, women managers are consistently rated higher than their male counterparts on 37 of 47 critical management qualities such as leadership, social skills, problem solving and decision-making, according to a study by the Hagberg Consulting Group, a management-consulting firm in Foster City.

However, some of the traits that make women successful middle managers may hinder their ability to become executives (Patterson, 2005). Many believe that this is because women focus too much on details, speak elliptically and do not take as many risks, according to the Hagberg study. Men have more of a tendency to see the big picture. The research included 396 women and 1,600 men, in addition to 360-degree feedback from supervisors and subordinates.

Despite female managers' high ratings in the study, relatively few have achieved a senior level in their companies (Patterson, 2005). Among Fortune 1000 companies, only seven have female CEOs, according to a recent article in Barron's magazine. According to Catalyst, a research firm, women hold 10.6% of board seats at the nation's 500 largest companies, a small increase from the 8.3% they held in 1993. Also, women who hold director-level positions say they lack the influence their male counterparts have on such critical issues as management succession and executive compensation.

Women often say that the reason they do not advance as far as men is that men prefer to promote after their own image (Patterson, 2005). Too few women have the authority to hire, fire or determine compensation, and there simply are not enough role models or mentors for them at the executive level, says Barron's research.

In addition, there are other potential reasons for women's failure to break the glass ceiling (Patterson, 2005). The results of the Hagberg study indicate that qualities that make women successful at the mid-management level are also harmful to their careers. The main hindrance seems to be women's perceived discomfort with risk-taking. The Hagberg study suggests that women, because they are so detail oriented, want all the data before they make big decisions. This conservative decision-making style, which has helped women reach middle management, may discourage them from accepting career-advancing, high-risk assignments.

However, taking risks and accepting the consequences is a required skill in corporate America's top executives (Patterson, 2005). "When you're in senior management, you're expected to act boldly, so failures are very likely and…… [read more]

"Yellow Wallpaper" by Gilman and "A Doll's House" by Ibsen Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (877 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Gilman and Henrik Ibsen

Women empowerment through psychological and metaphorical dissociation from the self: literary analysis of "Yellow Wallpaper" by C.P. Gilman and "A Doll's House" by Henrik Ibsen

The history of women's literature reflects the increasing number of literary works that depict the social oppression and submissiveness of women in the society. Through different portrayals of women, literary works succeeded in illustrating the oppression, discrimination, and submissiveness of women in the society. While some works merely centered on the social problem of women oppression, others attempted to provide a resolution wherein the problem was resolved by the author through the female character or protagonist. More often, literature resolved women oppression through a congenial manner, wherein males learn to acknowledge the rights and privileges of women. However, there were also radical resolutions proposed by authors through their literary pieces. In these radical resolutions, women characters often resolved their dilemma by assuming a strong stand against male dominance and patriarchal society, and in the process, alienating herself from the society.

In this paper, the process of alienation from the society and sometimes, the self, is evident in the works of Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Henrik Ibsen, 19th century writers who wrote the "Yellow Paper" and "A Doll's House," respectively. In these works, female protagonists were shown to experience alienation, though not from the society; instead they sought alienation from their selves in order to emancipate themselves from the oppression and discrimination that they felt in the society they lived in and marriage they were engaged with. This paper posits that Gilman and Ibsen's works reflected the theme of dissocation of the self of each author's female protagonist: while Gilman's female Narrator subsisted to insanity (psychological dissociation) in order to escape the prison-like conditions of her marriage with John, Ibsen's Nora resorted to separating herself from her husband (metaphorical dissociation) Torvald in order to gain her freedom as a woman, not as a wife, once again.

In "Yellow Wallpaper," the woman Narrator was portrayed by Gilman as an individual whose illness -- temporary nervous depression -- had been triggered because of the feeling of 'pressure' that she had to live up, being a wife to her husband John. The process of psychological dissociation was explicated in the story when she began experiencing a feeling of being "imprisoned," having been restricted by her husband to remain in her room to "take a rest," to alleviate her nervous depression. The unnamed female protagonist, who is also the Narrator of the story, desired to gain freedom not only from the confines of her room, but also out of the unfulfilling marriage she was…… [read more]

Novel Toni Morrison's Sula Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,399 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Toni Morrison: Sula

Toni Morrison's Sula is one of her masterpieces and a work that turned her into one of the most powerful African-American writers of our times. What strikes the readers about Toni Morrison's protagonist is Sula is her non-conformist, new-age consciousness that turns her into an evil figure and an unsuitable heroine. For a book of this stature, most readers wanted a heroine they could identify with- someone who was basically good despite her minor flaws and few blunders- someone like Nel. But that is not to be. Sula is the protagonist of the novel and she is by no means a traditional heroine. In fact for many, she is an evil woman who refuses to conform to societal expectations of her and does some truly inexcusable things such as sleeping with her best friend's husband.

Sula is the story of two black women coming of age in Ohio sometime during the two world wars. Sula is wild and aggressive woman with an individualistic streak and a strong desire to break free of tradition and rules. Nel on the other hand is the compassionate gentle figure who can best be described as a 'nice' person. But Sula is not interested in being the conformist. She is an independent woman whose personality is largely shaped by the place she lived in. It is for this reason that Morrison devotes four long pages to describing the area where Sula grew up- known as the Bottom. Bottom is a hard land given to black slaves as a gift from white masters who claimed that it was the best land around.

See those hills? That's bottom land, rich and fertile."

But it's high up in the hills," said the slave.

High up from us," said the master, "but when God looks down, it's the bottom... Of heaven -- best land there is" (5).

But Bottom was not even half as good as it was made out to be. It was harder to cultivate and to live in such a place, one needed to develop strength. In short, one needed to be as hard as the land itself to survive and Sula certainly had that hardiness in her personality. Like the land that refused to change despite numerous efforts to cultivate it, Sula also refused to accept other people's influence on her life. She was happy just the way she was and even though she becomes an evil figure by the middle of the novel, there is no significant change in her till the very end. Sula knew that in order to survive, she had just herself to rely on: "there was no other you could count on... no self to count on either." Two incidents that played an important role in her development include her mother's comments and her friend Chicken Little's death. When Sula overheard her mother Hannah say.".. I love Sula. I just don't like her" (57), it must have done some repairable damage to her personality and made her… [read more]

Fortunes of Beauty Daniel Defoe Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,318 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


Free will, in order to be an exercise, rather than just a concept, must contain within it the idea of movement and life. The beauty of a Greek statue is passive. It is beautiful because it is passive. If the statue ever lost its beauty and became anything other than beautiful, it would at once become an entirely different entity. Much more so than today, the men and women of Defoe's era understood the immutability of the ideal. They comprehended the same fact that was comprehended by the Ancient Greeks, that belief in any ideal concept required the understanding that such a concept must possess an abstract existence -- an existence beyond the ever-changing tumult of the flesh and blood, steel and stone world of human reality. By acknowledging the tangible reality of these absolutes, they were recognizing the actual existence of "models" for human and divine behavior. As such, the "model" for beauty was necessarily passive in nature. Everything about the Western system of belief depends on the existence of these timeless, and immutable, archetypes. Woman, the object of the adoration of man, had to be more perfect -- in an absolute sense -- than man himself, otherwise why should he worship her? It was the same with Roxana -- in order for her beauty to exercise the kind of control it did over the minds of men, it too had to be somehow worthy of all this honor and attention.

According to the view that prevailed until almost our own time, the male was the thinker, and the female was the "feeler." Man was governed by reason and woman by emotion. The best of emotions are perfect ideals: hope, faith, and love. Woman's fall was occasioned by the failure of woman to recognize her own perfection. The Christian God had made all human beings in his image. The Ancient Greeks gave their gods and goddesses physical forms that were as nearly "perfect" as possible. Woman, even more than man -- chose to question the "reality" of the Cosmos. When Eve tasted of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, she surrendered her naive faith for worldly desire. The desire that informed her decision was none other than an overriding belief that change was possible. She had failed the first test of humanity -- the ability to understand that Eden -- and indeed all of God's world -- was absolutely perfect, and required no change; no action, on the part of human beings, or anyone else. In giving the Forbidden Fruit to Adam, Eve was planting in his mind the sacrilegious idea that the world in which they both lived was less than perfect. In so doing, she robbed both herself, and the first man, of the opportunity to get through life without pondering its purpose. There had been no goals because there had been no need for them.

The same was true of Roxana. If she had just allowed herself to be "beautiful" she could have enjoyed all… [read more]

Bill of Rights (Civil Liberties) in 1787 Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,371 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Bill of Rights (civil Liberties)

In 1787, when the U.S. Constitution was adopted, only white men were allowed to vote. Women were included in the large category of people with virtually no rights, such as the insane, the African - Americans or the Native Americans. A gradual increase in women's participation to public life, along with higher education for a larger category of women led to the beginning of the Woman Suffrage movement.

It was probably in 1848 that the first public appeal for woman suffrage was made. This was on account of Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who lived in Seneca Falls, NY. The small town adopted a "Declaration of Independence," stating that "men and women are created equal" and endowing the female population of the town with fundamental rights, such as the right to education and the right to vote.

The woman suffrage movement spread throughout the Untied States, but subsequently faced a tough opposition. There were several causes that led to a continuous struggle for the fundamental right to vote for almost 100 years. First of all, the perception of the 19th century society was that the woman's role was clearly traced out ever since her birth: she was to attend to the family, have children coordinate the chores around the house etc. Anything that was perceived as leaving this pattern was born to raise the eyebrows.

Second of all, the perception was that the right to vote could be further used to obtain several rights that women did not have at the time. Just as in the case of the African - American population, the right to vote was seen as an asset and, even more dangerously, as a weapon.

Third of all, the sexist view of the manly society of the 19th century was that the women were less intelligent and less prepared than men to face the vote and that they were less capable of casting a sensible vote.

In 1866, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony founded the American Equal Rights Association, supporting "suffrage for everyone, regardless of race, color, or sex." Subsequently, two important societies were formed in support of the women's right to vote.

One of them was National Woman Suffrage Association, led by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, while the other was the American Woman Suffrage Association, led by Lucy Stone. The former perceived the fight for the right to vote at federal level, with a federal approach residing in change to the 15th Amendment. The latter believed that the right to vote could be easier implemented at state level and then expanded to the entire country. In 1890, the two associations merged into the National American Woman Suffrage Association, led by Elizabeth Stanton.

Their actions, especially the National Woman Suffrage Association's demands, radicalized as they demanded the right to vote. Elizabeth Stanton attempted to vote in the 1872 presidential election, but was arrested for voting illegally. However, she had made her point: the… [read more]

Color Purple and the New Dress Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,679 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Woolf and Walker

The relationships between women in "The New Dress" and the Color Purple play two very different roles and are used in different ways by Walker and Woolf. For Woolf, the relationships serve to ignite the main character's own insecurities about herself, her appearance, her nature, and her background. In "The New Dress" the communication between characters, in… [read more]

Loneliness to Insanity Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (2,075 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Faulkner writes, "her front door remained closed," and with these words, he both instigates and reveals an extended period of limited knowledge" (Curry pp). And Gilman opens her story by revealing the confinement of her protagonist by describing the "ancestral halls ... A colonial mansion, a hereditary estate, I would say a haunted house ... But that would be asking too much of fate" (Gilman pp). By open her story with these lines, Hume writes that the narrator suggest that her tale may be gothic, but immediately dismisses the notion" (Hume pp).

Faulkner reveals the confined solitude when he writes, "after her sweetheart - the one we believed would marry her - had deserted her. After her father's death she went out very little; after her sweetheart went away, people hardly saw her at all" (Faulkner pp). And throughout Gilman's story, the narrator reveals that her only visitors are her husband and her sister-in-law, and says, "I sometimes fancy that in my condition if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus - but John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition" (Gilman pp). Both women have been forced into confinement by the culture of their societies.

According to Hume, when Gilman writes that "if only this house had been haunted, if only the yellow wallpaper had been a supernatural horror, she implies, perhaps she could explain her nervous condition, her sick state of mind" (Hume pp). Yet her husband and those like him do not believe that she is sick or even capable of understanding her sickness, which suggests, says Hume, that what "the narrator elects to do is what Gilman did ... attempt to create an elaborate and deceptive narrative, one appearing as twelve journal entries written over several months" (Hume pp). Although many critics argue that the entries recount the narrator's descent into madness, Hume believes they are better understood as part of both Gilman and her narrator's attempt to sabotage and triumph over the certainty and authority of John and those wise men of medicine (Hume pp).

Both protagonists are capable of violence. In Gilman's story, the narrator has been locked up and so cannot harm anyone, especially her child, and stresses that she "cannot be with him," because it makes her "so nervous" (Gilman pp). In Faulkner's story, readers learn the protagonist had killed her lover when the townspeople find his body, "lain in the attitude of an embrace, rotted beneath what was left of his nightshirt" (Faulkner pp).

Both women had been prevented from taking active control of their lives, thus, leading to forced solitude, then insanity.

Work Cited

Curry, Renee R. "Gender and authorial limitation in Faulkner's 'A Rose for Emily.'" The Mississippi Quarterly. 6/22/1994. Retrieved July 22, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library Web site.

Donaldson, Susan V. "Making a spectacle: Welty, Faulkner, and Southern gothic." The Mississippi Quarterly. 9/22/1997. Retrieved July 22, 2005 from HighBeam Research Library Web site.

Faulkner, William. "A Rose for… [read more]

Handmaid's Tale to the Woman Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (665 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


'Then Leah said, 'God has rewarded me for giving my maidservant to my husband.' So she named him Issachar." [Genesis 30:18] -- (Chapter 15)

The Commander reads this verse from a Bible that he keeps locked so that no one else can interpret it in their own ways. This verse, in context deals with the wives of Jacob and how they gave their maidservants to him. It is seen that they were blessed with sons. Leah is seen in the verse claiming that because she gave her maidservant to sleep with her husband, God blessed her and she became pregnant. Thus in the Republic of Gilead, the men governing the place have portrayed that it is of high honor that a woman serves to be a maidservant. Thus fertile women were made handmaidens and their job was to sleep with men to provide them with children. Offred states that her body was looked upon as just a uterus. Truly the role of women is not to just bear children. There is a lot to the purpose of why women were created but the Republic of Gilead, insists that women are just to bear children. Love is therefore not an option for the women and they are denied the three rights that is given to every woman and man as Faith, Hope and Love as seen in 1 Corinthians 13:13. Through this misinterpretation of the extremist group running the Republic of Gilead, the role of fertile women was restricted in society and they were deprived of having emotional feelings for anyone. Love was something to be made unknown to women. The Republic of Gilead aims to restore the pre-feminist world and thus they think that as God made woman for the sole purpose of reproduction, sex was only used as a tool for reproduction and the role of handmaidens was…… [read more]

Glass Ceilings Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,291 words)
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Glass Ceilings

The concept of glass ceiling is traditional and the general purpose of the ceiling is to stop women working in the organization from reaching a level higher than they are permitted by that ceiling. In the state of Wisconsin, 58% of working women reported that this exists in their company. (Companies must take lead from state on breaking glass ceiling)

There are many prejudices that exist in humans and most of them are regarding some groups not being as capable as others - blacks, lower castes and class, people of faiths other than the one we practice, etc. Well what is to be done about these beliefs? Aggressive women say that white male will make up only 15% of the entrants to the workforce. Another statement is that 80% of women leave jobs because of the glass ceiling or that talented women end up starting their own companies. This is apparently leading to a rapid growth of companies being owned by women. (Companies must take lead from state on breaking glass ceiling) Part of these reactions is possibly coming for reasons similar to aggression that was seen when the issue for women getting the right to vote came up. Whether the above facts are true or only partially true is immaterial, but the issue of glass ceilings is now an issue that causes working women great suffering.

Now let us look at some women who succeeded in going beyond the traditional glass ceiling. Pamela Thomas Graham is now the President and COO of CNBC. She was the first to become a partner at McKinsey & Co. In 1995 and then shifted to CNBC and has now risen to her present position. According to her the young women of today should feel inspired by the fact that in a relatively short period of time, position has changed. Things are easier for women than they were twenty years earlier, and the change will continue as long as the women keep pushing. She feels that the situation is becoming easier, but women have to keep pushing for change. Another woman, who is also an entrepreneur, having co-founded some three companies feels that for entrepreneurs it is important to first gain credibility, and that does not matter whether a person is a male or a female. The factor of being a woman is to just be a woman and not keep talking about being a woman. That talk is like carrying "a chip on the shoulders" and does not do other women any good. This sort of behavior affects other woman. She is Judy Estrin, President and CEO of Packet Design Inc. (Open to Women? Are we living in a meritocracy or a machotocracy?)

These are two women who are in relatively smaller organizations and feel that there is a certain amount of discrimination which should go. Another person is a professor and she talks about the new economy being robust and women still not getting full benefits. She feels that she… [read more]

Antonia: Introduction Etc. The Landscape Term Paper

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Such intangible ideas are what the men would call "trifles," but they really have deeper meaning.

3. The Wright house is seen as not a very happy place because of the people who lived there and the unhappiness that existed between them. This unhappiness is manifested first as Mrs. Hale indicates that she has not seen her friend in some… [read more]

Economic and Psychological Effects of Postponing Childbirth Term Paper

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Economic and Psychological Effects of Postponing Childbirth

In today's world, an increasing number of women, especially those in the United States and Europe, are opting to postpone having a child well into their thirties, forties and even past the age of fifty. Between 1970 and 1990, the rate of first births for American women increased by more than 100% for those between thirty and forty years of age and by 50% for those between forty and forty-five (Berkowitz, 1990, p. 659). Medically speaking, many doctors and OB/GYN's consider thirty-five as being quite young and see nothing wrong with a woman having a child beyond the age of forty as long as the mother-to-be is healthy and realizes that the chances of getting pregnant by her own egg supply is greatly diminished after the age of forty. However, there are numerous economic and psychological factors, such as the cost of fertility treatments and the inevitable "ticking" of the biological clock, that women in these age groups must face in order to decide whether or not to become pregnant after the age of thirty.

Fertility Treatments:

As a result of delaying childbirth until a woman is in her thirties or forties, many have turned to taking hormonal fertility drugs, hoping that it will enhance their ovulation and increase the chances of becoming pregnant. These drugs often work properly and can correct a woman's problems with ovulation to produce more eggs which increases the chance for conception. There are basically four types of fertility drugs used today -- Clomid (clomiphene citrate), a synthetic anti-estrogen, Follistim (follitropin), Humegon (menotropin) and Fertinex (urofollitropin), all of which greatly increase the incidence of conception but also come with certain physical risks.

Unfortunately, fertility treatments can be extremely expensive, especially for women who are not financially well-off. Generally, fertility treatments are done cyclically in tandem with ovulation and menstrual cycles. Each cycle can go as high as $7,000 for the use of certain drugs and as high as $11,000 for in-vitro fertilization. Of course, many insurance companies do not cover such fertility services which makes it mandatory for each woman or couple to explore their financial options (Kearney, 1998, p. 156).

Procrastination and the Biological Clock:

The psychological ramifications of procrastination, i.e. waiting for a long period of time before deciding to have a child, can be quite devastating. For example, a woman may feel that she has waited too long which may cause her to feel extremely depressed. To make matters worse, A.D. Domar points out that there is "increasing evidence that depression may contribute to infertility. Women with a history of depression have twice the infertility rates of women without a history of depression" (2000, p. 808).

One additional psychological…… [read more]

Twelfth Night Shakespeare's Play Term Paper

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Viola, by comparison, remains steadfast in her love for him. She goes so far as to recognize that if it is Olivia he wants, to see him happy he will try to help him attain her affections. She says, "I'll do my best / To woo your lady: [Aside] yet, a barful strife! Whoe'er I woo, myself would be his wife." (Act I:v, line 40) While Olivia overestimates the amount of time she should grieve for her brother, her feelings of grief are real. Because they are genuine feelings, they can be assuaged, as when the Fool comforts her by pointing out that since she believes him to be in heaven, it might be time to rejoice for him now instead of continuing in grief. Maria may be the one who sees past self-deceptions the most clearly. She sees Malvolio for the schemer he is, capitalizes on that trait, and wins for herself what Malvolio wanted: a marriage that elevates her class status. Maria does not fool herself about her husband-to-be, recognizing that he has flaws -- he drinks too much. However, laughter is important to both of them, and they see a kindred spirit in each other that allows them to cross class lines.

Viola uses deception to her advantage to keep herself safe in a potentially dangerous situation -- a woman alone in an unknown land. Viola's subterfuge suggests a possible weakness in Olivia's character, as she is easily able to shift her affection from "Cesario" to Sebastian, but the implication is that Viola and Sebastian are similar in character and personality as well as in physical appearance, and it seems an easy shift. Nevertheless, Olivia gets what she needs out of life at the time: a path out of her self-imposed and extreme level of grieving for her brother, and the love of a man who will love her as she is and not because he has fallen in love with the idea of being in love.

All three women show an ability to maneuver through life when appearance and reality may be two different things. Orsino appears to love Olivia with a love that surpasses all understanding. It appears that way to both of them, but when he meets Viola as a young woman, he realizes that loving a complex individual has more appeal than obsessively loving the fantasy that was his love for Olivia. Viola experiences appearance vs. reality in a different way. She disguises the reality that she is a young woman for the appearance of a man. Once again reality proves more satisfactory than her false appearance. Once she reveals who she really is, she finds that Orsino can reciprocate her love for him, something that never could have happened if she had maintained the fiction of being Cesario. Olivia thinks she has fallen in love with Cesario but gladly give up that illusion for the reality of Cesario's twin brother, Sebastian. Maria deals with the issue of appearance vs. reality with humor… [read more]

Impact of Miscarriage on Women Men and Families Term Paper

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¶ … Miscarriage

The impact of a miscarriage can be great, largely due to the fact that the reality of death before birth tends to be an affront to society's beliefs and expectations regarding the cycle of life (Kader pp). Moreover, family, friends and society in general tend to minimize its personal significance and emotional relevance to the woman or… [read more]

Room of One's Own Term Paper

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ROOM OF ONE'S OWN: VIRGINIA WOOLF room of ones own," is a narrative account addressing the inadequacy of women's contribution in fiction writing. Virginia sets off with her well placed and very peculiar facility of words declaring "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction." A vivid and playful sarcasm, interwoven into a drama surrounding imaginary characters then comes into play; and grasps the readers' attention right from the beginning.

The narrator sits on the bridge of the river at "Oxbridge" (a fictional University meant to suggest Oxford and Cambridge) and ponders over the subject she had been asked to speak on, that is, women and fiction. Using perks of little metaphors: "thought... had let its line down into the stream" she explains how in the middle of her musings, she is interrupted by "The Beadle," a University Security Guard, who informs her of the rules forbidding women from walking on to the grass. By putting up this imagery she brings out the inhibitors that keep women off of an unabated chain of thought; she uses the tool of sarcasm over which she commands, to hint on the lack of independence, leisure time and the cords that tie her up into someone subjugated, rendering her unable to think and create independently.

She mulls over her loss of "little fish" (some ideas that came to her mind before being disturbed) remarking that "no very great harm" had been done; in such a finely chosen prose she skillfully creates the element of playfulness and humor masking the sarcasm upon the frailty of a woman's creative impression in but a simple process of thought.

What follows is a highly provocative scrutiny of social and material conditions that have kept women behind, in the realm fiction writing. Listing the prerequisites of creative productivity women are denied of namely leisure time, privacy and financial independence, Woolf makes use of her plottings and transitional variations giving an almost judgmental feel to them. "Ladies are only admitted to the library if accompanied by a Fellow of the College or furnished with a letter of introduction." This phrase denotes the deprivation of independence and the dependability of women on men even to access libraries, Woolf's storyline and situational statements are loaded with mocking and somewhat ironic element that leave a profound affect on the reader, inviting them to ponder over the crippled stature of women and how they react to such a conduct: "Never will I ask for that hospitality again," she vows in anger.

Woolf has created a transition of sequence from a luncheon at Oxbridge to a dinner at an ordinary Women's university, highlighting both stark and grim contrasts between male and female congregations, with wine and water, from bright lights to low flames and enchanting to a downright gossipy conversation. "Everything looks slightly less hopeful from this perspective, and we see that with reduced privilege comes a corresponding atrophy of one's sense of power and possibility… [read more]

Gender Over the Course of History Term Paper

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Over the course of history, social mores regarding genders and human sexuality have greatly changed. When one examines the progression of man's development through time, the evolution is undeniable though not always consistent. What is a woman? What is a man? Are these questions purely biological and answered by the presence of a chromosome, or are these questions of social decision? While biology rules the sexes, society structures the ever-changing definitions of gender, of male and female, man and woman. Changes in society as well as culture have brought about these transitory roles, furthered by the demands placed on individuals by the basic needs of their lives.

In hunter-gatherer societies, the subsistence level of existence preempted the modern discussion of egalitarian legal respect, and basic common sense intervened. In both monogamous and polygamous societies, the need for food had to be met; at the same time, the development of a greater society demanded a sexual reproduction that kept little children in the household, whatever its form. With adults who are biologically enabled to care for young children and others who lack mammary glands and might not be as demanded during early years of life, the segregation was natural: a woman could stay home while a man found food. While this need existed across the board of human development, it was handled differently in progression by different societies. Histories of the Amazons and Sumatra tell of matriarchal social rule, while Islamic society still supports a paternalistic society.

Similarly, change is evident in popular western culture regarding the socio-political approach to genders. Where polygamous societies existed long ago, monogamy stands in its stead today, firmly entrenched in the legal framework of society and balanced by its foundational religions. Just as a law once existed that forbade interracial marriages, previous assumptions of the deviant have been disregarded in favor of larger social movements. The ideology of the 1960s and culture of self-promotion, passion, and anti-establishment ideas were fodder for the revolutionary mind that promoted free sex for all, even at the expense of individual safety; ultimately, the movement carried such weight that, despite its detractors, it was realized. Same-sex marriages, civil unions, and the push for homosexual and transgendered equality is a modern-day example of this movement.

The largest difference between the modern-day approach to gender and that of the past is the specification of social roles previously denoted for males and females. Previously, the male served as the primary bread winner for the family, while females were forced to take care of household matters, constructing the domestic world that included everything from childcare to social construction. Their role was primarily to mold a child's character and introduce him or her to the larger world of society through hands-on lessons in family values. Today, women join the university ranks and workforce with the same degree as their male counterpart; the larger society, still struggling to catch up, has created a world of day-care and universal kindergartens to keep up.

With the growth… [read more]

Slut! Growing Up Female Term Paper

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Oddly enough, most men can brag about their sexual experience while women are supposed to be 'good' and chaste. In a study conducted by educators Ward and Taylor, it was found that regardless of race or ethnic background, "boys were generally allowed more freedom and were assumed to be more sexually active than girls." (Tanenbaum: 23)

The other similarity in all the cases was the age of the victims. In most cases females were under 30 years of age, a disturbingly large number of them were high school students. It reveals that extent to which school environment in America is promoting labeling. We have school authorities that are so apathetic to the whole issue that they have only caused the problem to aggravate. Their indifference has turned the school environment favorable to the practice of labeling. High school girls are still in their impressionable years. What school authorities fail to see is the extent to which the negative impact of labeling can cripple their personalities. A girl who is a victim of labeling wants to wear just the same clothes that other girls do, wants to have a boyfriend and simply wants to have a normal life may fail to do all this because she is considered a slut. Her whole high school experience is destroyed by the negativity that starts surrounding her, as she becomes victim of labeling. These girls have to behave differently than they would have otherwise simply because some group chose to target them and labeled them sluts with or without any evidence. Even in the cases where a girl has been more aware of her sexuality than others and at a much younger age, the punishment has usually outdone the sin. There is no end to labeling once it starts. We can never fully assess the impact of labeling because only a victim understands and sees the extent to which it is affecting and controlling their lives and behavior. As the author recalls her own experience,, she writes: "I have learned that once a person is labeled anything, she becomes a caricature rather than a full-fledged human being with both talents and flaws" (Tanenbaum: 43)

In most desperate situations, the girls had to seek help from the judiciary. I personally believe this is the right step to take since school authorities so obviously turned a deaf ear to their complaints. Secondly when the court gets involved, it gives a message to the school authorities as well as the 'labelers' to become more conscious of their actions. In the long run, such cases may even lead to reduction in the practice of labeling. But the downside of going to the court may sometimes prevent a girl from taking this step. If the court rules against the victim as we saw in one of the cases mentioned in the essay, it can actually result in more serious problems for the victim at schools. However the option of going to the courts should always remain open so that… [read more]

Hospice Situation Term Paper

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¶ … hospice situation the focus in terms of death and bereavement is usually upon the dying patient and the immediate family. When the patient has died, grief normally becomes lost in elements such as funeral arrangements and accommodating family members who traveled for the sake of the funeral. When all the administration and arrangements have been finished, those closest… [read more]

Gilman Charlotte Perkins Term Paper

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman

One of the most expressive pieces of fiction to address the issue of the place of the female artist in a society that generally represses woman is the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and the relationship between the need for artistic expression and the ability to support oneself is evident in that story. Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote this story over a period of years, from 1890 to 1894, and she would later refer to these as the hardest years of her life. She had a nervous breakdown and left her first husband and child to live alone in California. During this period, she also started to give lectures on freedom for women and socialism. She kept a boardinghouse, taught school, and edited newspapers. Her husband married her best friend, and Gilman relinquished her child to them. The tone of the story can be attributed to the difficulties and tensions in her own life, and it is possible to read this story as a projection of her own fears and concerns onto her protagonist.

The protagonist is a woman who has been confined to bed after giving birth and who feels more and more imprisoned by her life, seeing her husband and his sister as her jailers, and identifying with the yellow wallpaper in which she sees a vision she only slowly comes to see as a vision of herself and her existence. The story has added power derived from the relationship between the protagonist and the author, who experienced similar revelations about her own life and who also found herself tested psychologically by her situation.

Mary Jacobus finds that the story reflects not only aspects of Gilman's life but her method of "reading" a situation, just as it uses the protagonist to represent the act of literary criticism in a pathological form:

If Gilman creates a literary double for herself in the domestic confinement of her hysterical narrator, her narrator too engages in a fantastic form of re-presentation... Just as we read the text, so she reads the patterns on the wallpaper; and like Freud she finds that "it is difficult to attribute too much sense to them." Hers is a case of hysterical over-)reading. Lost in the text, she finds her own madness written there. (Jacobus 231)

This is a further link between the character and the author.

Gilman was a noted lecturer on the role of women in society and wrote the book Women and Economics, arguing "that sexual and maternal roles of women have been over emphasized to the detriment of their social and economical potential, and that only economic independence could bring true freedom" (di Grazia para. 3). Gilman herself was a socialist with unconventional views. She struggled in her own life with memories of her childhood desertion and with poverty and recurring depression ("Charlotte (Anna) Perkins Gilman (1860-1935)" paras. 1-5), and this links her directly with her main character in this story. Her socialism also links her with… [read more]

Jane Addams Term Paper

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Jane Addams

An Agent for Meaningful Social Change, Yesterday and Today

The variation of the established type is at the root of all change."

Jane Addams (Spirit of Youth 8)

Jane Addams was a pioneer in social work, an active opponent of war, and a driver of reforms in politics and education during the last quarter of the nineteenth and… [read more]

Celia Rowlandson American History Term Paper

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Celia had no rights at all. As a slave, she could be physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually abused and have no say about it.

The fact that Celia was able to keep her sanity and raise two children after being raped and debased says it all. Should she have kept on offering herself to the master once finding someone to truly love? It would have kept her alive. Yet, it would have destroyed whatever self-esteem and respect she had left for herself. Celia was in a no win situation from day one. No matter what way she turned, no matter what decisions she made, nothing good could come her way.

Once Rowlandson was returned from her three-month ordeal, she was able to go back to her earlier life style. Yes, she was considered inferior because of her gender. However, she also was treated relatively well. Even if Celia would have not been killed, her life would have been a living hell.

Unfortunately, Celia had two major strikes against her. If she had been a white female and killed her attacker, she still would have been punished. How long did it take the courts to agree that some women are justified in fighting violence with violence, if forced to commit a sexual act? For decades, women were seen in the wrong: A man does not consider sexual relations unless the woman encourages him! Most likely, if white, Celia would have been put into jail, but not hanged for retaliating against a white man.

From its earliest years, laws in America have encouraged the victimization of slaves by slave owners to improve the owners' economic and social gain. Ethical justification for sexual exploitation of slaves, women in particular, arose from 15th century Christian missionary attitudes that stereotyped the sexual habits of Africans. Bias about black male sexual abilities and black female promiscuity are still visible today. It was not until slavery was abolished, that slaves had legal recourse for rape. Even after the abolishment of slavery, the American legal system perceived the rape of black and white women differently; sexual assaults against the former were not taken as seriously.

Over the years, women have been reluctant to tell anyone about being raped -- due to the judicial system and also the emotional trauma. Also, they often believed their attackers' threats of great harm should they do so. Likewise, even though incestuous sexual abuse has been common throughout history, daughters who endured ongoing sexual abuse from their fathers had particular difficulties sharing their suffering with others.

Even when victims told neighbors or family members, others' knowledge of the assault did not necessarily result in legal action. Family and friends could still believe think the risks of prosecution outweighed potential benefits. Some did not want to bring charges that severely punished the rapist, some were concerned the jury would not believe the victim's story, and some worried that a trial would embarrass or dishonor a victim and her family.

It has always been more… [read more]

Race and Revolution Term Paper

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In one conceptualization, Part I explains the life of the prewar colonial woman. Part II ranges through the changes that would occur for women during and immediately following the revolutionary war.

Mary Beth Norton renders an eloquent argument that women's lives were forever changed by the Revolutionary War. In fact, by way of a critique, Chapter 1 was extremely interesting as Norton explains the differences between rural women of the colonies with urban women.

Here, Norton paints the lives of rural women of the North in comparison to women of the rural South. Indeed, there are many similarities between the two, a realization that is quite eye-opening to the first-time reader. In addition, Norton explains the even harsher life of the female slave, as compared to the male slave, yet another eye-opening observation.

In a way, there is an underlying sentiment that life was very difficult for both men and women during this period of time. A reader can easily appreciate Norton's realization that men also experienced plenty of toil during this time in history. In other words, there was plenty of hardship to go around. One main theme that the reader quickly notices is how important spinning was to the women of colonial America. The first chapters detail how women would have to spin to make clothes for themselves and their families (and sometimes very large families).

According to Norton, to pass the time, women would often spin in groups. This domestic activity gave these female slaves a sense of companionship. This community would lay the important groundwork for their support of the men during the Revolutionary War.

The second part of the Norton's work educates the reader on how women formed formal spinning groups that actively worked to help the patriots. In a way, women now took up spinning as a part of the campaign for freedom against the British -- very similarly to the Indian revolutionary movement of homespun.

Sewing gave women a sense of nationality as they could actively contribute to the defense of colonial liberties. Norton explains in the first chapters how women needed a certain degree of conversation. Slave women, according to Norton, loved to talk, most pronouncedly while they spun.

In Part II, Norton explains how politics is all anyone could talk about during this era, so why would women want to be left out? Indeed, they were not left out of the conversation, and they were even more than willing to take part in the action. After all, it was their families who were at stake. Women actively took part in the mobs and spoke out against loyalists - partially to avoid from themselves becoming targets of the patriotic fever that swept much of the colonies. Just as in any other civil war, not all women agreed. Political differences caused breakups and differences in friendships and marriages.

Norton successfully paints the image of women who are now mostly forgotten, and does so in a secondary text fashion that is both alive and… [read more]

Patriarchy to Another it Starts Term Paper

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Desiree, for example, sees herself through her husband's eyes. As long as he loves her and she is his wife, she is "somebody." But once he doesn't love her anymore and doesn't want her, she sees her life and the life of her child as worthless -- even though her mother loves her and wants her back. In "No Name Woman" the main character cannot bring herself to accuse the man who put her in the position of having a child who was not her husband's. Having grown up in the system, she knows she is going to be blamed anyway. If she did accuse him, she would still have to live with the stigma forever afterwards. Perhaps, the consequences of making an accusation are just too great. Unlike Desiree, whose mother wants her back, No Name's family behaves hatefully towards her, disowns her, and refuses to ever speak her name again. The father of No Name's child joins the other villagers in destroying everything the family owns, but she still does not reveal who he is. She, too, decides that life is not worth living -- neither hers nor her child's -- and kills herself. Whether the man raped her or she loved him or simply was attracted to him sexually, she values his life more than her own.

Patriarchy sharply defines masculine and feminine roles, and one of the most highly valued characteristics of femininity is self-sacrifice. "Real women" are unselfish and put men first. Both stories take place in male-identified cultures where men are supposed to be strong, forceful, decisive, and aggressive (they earn money) while women are supposed to be weak, dependant, supportive, and cooperative (they don't earn money). Men have the upper hand. In both stories the theme seems to be that women make good scapegoats. In "Desiree's Baby," nobody knows that there is black blood in the father's family or that his mother was part black. So even though she is lighter skinned than her husband, it must be Desiree's fault. In "No Name Woman" the villagers don't go looking for the man and hunt him down. They go straight to the woman to destroy her. In patriarchal societies, women are seen as more vulnerable and powerless; thus, they make easy scapegoats for whatever goes wrong. Not only are they easy to blame, but they can be counted on to go along with it. Desiree and No Name certainly do. In a male-dominated society, that is, one in which men hold nearly all the positions of power, and women are overwhelmingly subordinate, men are in the position to do the blaming. Women are not, so they get the other role.

Patriarchal societies are always male-centered. The media, for example, generally ignores the female half of the human race and her accomplishments. In stories where a woman is the main character, she is usually cast as a victim, not a hero (and this is true of the two stories we are examining here). The male… [read more]

Antigone: A Feminist Heroine Term Paper

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. . thrust to the world below a child sprung from the world above, ruthlessly lodged a living soul within the grave then you've robbed the gods below the earth, keeping a dead body here in the bright air, unburied, unsung, unhallowed by the rites. (Lines 1186-1191)

The play Antigone, then, is not so much about Antigone's feminist heroism as it is about Creon's stubbornness; blindness, and hubris. Antigone, for her part, is a good, loyal, and dutiful sister, but she is not a demonstrated feminist. In today's parlance, Antigone could be considered to be "a champion of human rights" and of human equality, although not of women's rights or equality in particular.

Works Cited

Butler, Judith. Antigone's Claim: Kinship Between Life and Death. New York:

Columbia University Press, 2002. 16.

"Feminism." Webster's New American Dictionary. New York: Merriam-Webster, 1995.

Fleisher, Georgette. "Butler: Is It All Greek?" The Nation. December 11, 2000. 42.

'Heroine." Webster's New American Dictionary. New York: Merriam-Webster, 1995.

Stange, Mary. "Women's Roles." The Burial at Thebes. Retrieved October 13, 2005,

from: .

Sophocles. Antigone. In The Norton Anthology of World Literature, Beginnings to A.D.

100, Vol. A (Pkg. 1). Sarah Lawall et al. (Ed.).…… [read more]

Feminists Unfortunately, When One Hears Term Paper

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20). Being a human being first, I believe that a humanistic approach to any civil rights issue is the only appropriate and logical approach that I can take. Being a male, I am aware that there are some societal structures that favor me because of my gender, but I am unable to endorse any theories of feminism that automatically render me an oppressor simply by referral to my genitalia. For those reasons, I am an equity feminist.

In addition, I believe that the concept of gender is broader than simply male and female. Persons are not defined merely by their sexual organs. In fact, sexual organs do not even determine sexuality, much less the other personality characteristics that define a person. However, in our rush to label people and feelings, certain emotions and believes have come to be identified with the feminine. For example, a person who enjoys nurturing children is considered feminine, while a person who is eager for disputes is labeled masculine. Of course, a person who is strong under pressure is "being a man," while someone who breaks down under stress is said to "cry like a girl." The gender stereotypes are old and have consistently been proven wrong. I think it is impossible to label a person masculine or feminine on the basis of their personality. Again, we are people first, and making behavior gender-dependent is demeaning for both sexes.

Therefore, I cannot say whether most young men have feminine sides, or even whether or not I have my own feminine side. I am a human being. I love, I hate, I hurt, I nurture, I feel pain, and I feel anger. I will not debase myself or others by labeling those emotions with a gender.

Works Cited

Crown, Ali. "Choice is the Power of Feminism." Feminism and Women's Studies. 2005.

Eserver. 7 Nov. 2005 http://feminism.eserver.org/theory/feminist/Crown-Choice-is-Power.html.

Christina Hoff Sommers. Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

Wikipedia. "Feminism." Wikipedia.org. 2005. Wiki Media. 7 Nov. 2005 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist.… [read more]

Female Smokers in High School Term Paper

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¶ … Female Smokers in High School and Female Smokers in College

The fact that smoking is widely and scientifically known to be dangerous to one's health, the haunting question remains as to why young people continue to smoke and endanger their health. Not unlike decades past today's teenagers smoke to cope with stress brought about by depression, anxiety and low self-esteem, to control weight, to combat boredom, to appear adult like, and in keeping with peer pressure. Unfortunately today there is no real gender difference between male and female smokers, teens or adults. After nearly 20 years after the launch of the infamous ad campaign directed toward women to get them smoking, "You've Come a Long Way Baby," women are now smoking at almost the same rate as men. In order to unravel the female smoking phenomenon research endeavors must be designed to investigate every possible relationship between women and the act of smoking. To this end the present research investigation sought to determine whether or not there is a statistically significant relationship between high school females who smoke and college females who smoke. The resulting data analysis information provided some necessary insight as to the woman smoking phenomenon and a possible indication wherein strides are to be taken to curb the need for women to smoke.

Results and Discussion. In any research endeavor that is quantitative by design only that which resulted in statistical significance at a pre-determined alpha level can be discussed and a possible explanation levied. That which did not result in statistical significance at a pre-selected alpha level must remain silent as one cannot discuss that which did not happen, only that which did happen. The present research investigation, along with the resulting data analysis, garnered sufficient evidence to draw the following conclusions:

There was no statistically significant mean difference found at the 0.05 confidence level in the number…… [read more]

Forrest Gump and Streetcar Comparing Term Paper

Term Paper  |  6 pages (1,868 words)
Bibliography Sources: 2


He neither forces her to depend on him nor rejects her when she finally does so. In a way, although Jenny is the representation of the post-War construction of femininity, she is actually more pre-War than Blanche. (It is only fair, of course, to assert that Blanche -- in reality -- is just as post-War as Jenny; but in her mind Blanche is the representation of the pre-War construction of femininity; and the same could be said for the exterior that she projects as well).

It may be said then that both Jenny and Blanche arrive at a kind of pre-War femininity: both become really and truly dependent. Blanche becomes dependent on the doctors who come to take her away, and Jenny becomes dependent on the man who has always loved her. Forrest's simplicity allows Jenny to make the decision herself, whereas Stanley's aggression only pushes Blanche off the cliff. But, in a sense, both women fall into the arms of a man -- one is a stranger, and the other a friend.


In conclusion, Blanche and Jenny are two women of the post-War South; the former wants to belong to the pre-War South and the latter wants to be part of the modern South. Yet both end up returning in a way to the image of pre-War Southern femininity by becoming dependent rather than independent. Blanche, of course, tries to maintain an air of independence (at least from Stanley's uncouth world). Ironically, it is Stanley who thrusts her irreversibly into the pre-War world of Southern manners that exists for the most part only in her mind. Jenny, on the other hand, comes to that kind of construction out of need. She returns to Forrest because he is precisely so unlike the Stanley of Blanche's nightmare. Forrest represents simplicity, humility, and selflessness -- traits that ultimately draw the post-War Southern female back to wanting to embrace the pre-War Southern construction of femininity.

Works Cited

Horowitz, D. Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique.

Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1998. Print.

Williams, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. UK: Heinemann, 1995. Print.

Zemeckis, Robert, dir. Forrest Gump.…… [read more]

White Heron Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (665 words)
Bibliography Sources: 0


¶ … White Heron

Sarah Orne Jewett is well-known for showing New-Englanders' rough and unique character that was attained by their lives in the harsh and unfriendly climate with fewer means to survive. In "A White Heron" she reveals such a personality and uses the character Sylvia's crossing towards self-discovery and self-determination to call attention to the significance of being honest with oneself and values and not being tied down by the society and its rules. She rejects the idea that a woman's fulfillment is achieved by becoming a companion to a man and she keeps her love of nature and freedom from a hardhearted man by not telling him about the white heron that she saw after climbing the great pine-tree.

In the beginning of the story Sylvia is shown to be very innocent and terrified of men and of the mere thought of "the great red-faced boy who used to chase and frighten her made her hurry along the path to escape from the shadow of the trees"(Jewett). She becomes "horror-stricken to hear a clear whistle not very far away. Not a bird's-whistle, which would have a sort of friendliness, but a boy's whistle, determined, and somewhat aggressive "(Jewett). And when the hunter appears and talks to her she does not talk to him nor looks at him too closely. Then gradually it is seen that Sylvia begins to mature and starts to let go of her childish dread of men. She is seen to overcome her fear and she becomes a bit attracted to the hunter as she "watched the young man with loving admiration. She had never seen anybody so charming and delightful; the woman's heart, asleep in the child, was vaguely thrilled by a dream of love"(Jewett). She even starts to follow the man as per tradition in those days and never leads the way but follows and never speaks openly to him. She even smiles when she reaches the place where she was frightened by the…… [read more]

Gender and Space Term Paper

Term Paper  |  2 pages (744 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1


Gender and Space in the Burlington Arcade

The scholar Jane Rendell asserts in her essay entitled "Industrious Females' and 'Professional Beauties'" that when discussing the ways that physical space is 'gendered,' it is common to assume that patriarchy constructs domestic space as entirely 'female' and the public, commercial space of commerce as entirely 'male.' However, one challenge to this set of assumptions can be found in the form of shopping areas, where most employees and customers are female. Rendell examines one relatively affluent district in 19th century London, known as the Burlington Arcade. This area, rather than simply constructed as male, was depicted in the literature of the time as a safe place for females to move freely about, and do their shopping. To deal with the possible social anxiety of blurring the notion patriarchy may have had about the domestic woman entering public space to engage in financial transactions, one popular depiction of the arcade showed "each shop" as "reminiscent of a miniature home, representing gendered images of domesticity and feminine purity," where respectable women presumably went to buy goods from other respectable women to beautify their homes.

However, the association of women offering goods for 'sale' also had a shadier side -- arcades were also known as common sites of prostitution. Before it became a shopping area, the Burlington Arcade of the West End was famed as a district where popular brothels were located, because of its proximity to many bachelors' homes. Women as mediums of exchange in financial, sexual transactions, furthermore, Rendell suggests, are not limited to images of shop girls and prostitutes, but even wives and daughters who function as commodities in exchanges between men. To understand the 19th century's cultural associations of maleness and femaleness, Rendell underlines, one must understand London's urban architecture as well as literary or artistic documents of the period.

It is interesting to reflect upon Rendell's observations in light of contemporary culture, where shopping areas are also traditionally configured as female. In malls, grocery stores, and other major commercial establishments, women are often the primary sellers and buyers. Male incompetence at shopping, or male exasperation with shopping as a woman tries on many dresses while the male waits are other common, cultural stereotypes…… [read more]

Fannie Lou Harner and Others Term Paper

Term Paper  |  7 pages (1,979 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Fannie Lou Harner and others who were active in the African-American Freedom Movement between the 1950's and the 1970's. The writer illustrates the differences that occurred in those time frames with regards to society and the needs that the women in the freedom movement worked to fulfill during those times.

There were four sources used to complete this… [read more]

Domestic Violence in America vs. That of Other Nations Term Paper

Term Paper  |  5 pages (1,642 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Domestic Violence in United States vs. Other Nations

Every day, women are subjected to extreme acts of physical violence by an intimate partner, in fact, domestic violence is a phenomenon that stretches across borders, nationalities, cultures and race (Meyersfeld).

Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of coercive control that may consist of physical, sexual, and/or psychological assaults against intimate… [read more]

Dracula by Bram Stoker. Bram Stoker Term Paper

Term Paper  |  3 pages (1,036 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


¶ … Dracula by Bram Stoker. Bram Stoker's "Dracula" is a classic Victorian-era novel that allows the reader a glimpse into the mores of Victorian England. The novel is a horrific tale of Count Dracula, who lures men and especially women into his lair and turns them into blood-sucking vampires (the Un-Dead), who roam only at night and suck the blood of innocent victims to survive. He is evil, but underlying his evil are the mores of Victorian England, which created sharp stereotypes for women that were nearly impossible to bend or break.

The author gives away much information about Victorian attitudes toward women through his characters. In fact, the novel is often seen as an analogy of the two distinct roles of women in society: mother/wife, or whore. Early in the novel, Stoker makes this apparent when he introduces some of the count's accomplices. Harker's journal notes, "The fair girl went on her knees and bent over me, fairly gloating. There was a deliberate voluptuousness which was both thrilling and repulsive, and as she arched her neck she actually licked her lips like an animal" (Stoker 45). Throughout the novel this type of division between innocence and "voluptuousness" continues. There is no gray area for the women in the novel, they are either good or bad, virgin or vixen, wife and mother or whore. These are the classes women had to choose from in Victorian society, and the rules were rigid. Once you crossed the line from virgin to vixen, you could never be a true "lady" again.

Stoker introduces the two women, Mina and Lucy, as chaste and good ladies who hold a decent place in society. Mina is a working class schoolmistress, while Lucy is an upper-class lady of leisure. The most either can hope for in their lives is to marry and become respectable wives and mothers. Lucy writes to Mina, "You and I, Mina dear, who are engaged and are going to settle down soon soberly into old married women, can despise vanity" (Stoker 64). Thus, Lucy writes what most women felt in Victorian times. Their only goal was to remain true (pure) to one man, raise children, and be seen but rarely heard. Anyone who strayed from this cultural norm was somehow wanton and suspect.

The theme of voluptuousness continues throughout the novel, and it could be an analogy for "whore." When Lucy succumbs to the count and becomes a member of the Un-Dead, her entire being changes. Stoker introduces her as a wanton vixen. He writes, "Lucy Westenra, but yet how changed. The sweetness was turned to adamantine, heartless cruelty, and the purity to voluptuous wantonness" (Stoker 225). Later, the count indicates what many men must have felt in Victorian times. He sneers, "Your girls that you all love are mine already; and through them you and others shall yet be mine -- my creatures, to do my bidding and to be my jackals when I want to feed. Bah!'" (Stoker 326). Thus,… [read more]

Abuse Violence Between Cohabitating Couples Term Paper

Term Paper  |  4 pages (1,403 words)
Bibliography Sources: 1+


Intimate Partner Violence

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) is a department within the Center for Disease Control (CDC) - and both of these agencies are under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Within all that bureaucracy there are very good statistics given by the NCIPC, and a wealth of worthwhile information… [read more]