Friday, February 28, 2020

In what ways have feminists challenged some of our basic assumptions Essay

In what ways have feminists challenged some of our basic assumptions about the family - Essay Example Women, from time immemorial, suffered political and social oppression in the form of sexism. Women being submissive to the traditional family roles endured pain and troubles in all societies. The awareness of their plight, through the feminist awakening, made women change their attitude towards different family roles. Through the awakening aroused through the feminist movements women of modern days feel that both husband and wife have equal roles in a family. Both husband and wife should go for job, do household chores and take care of children. This is against the traditional assumptions about a family. Traditional family roles left no rights for women to work and earn. Women were confined to houses where they do all household works and take care of children. The traditional role of women is socially constructed. In the traditional structure of family women enjoyed few rights. According to the traditional family structure women had to remain as a shadow of men. Women had no voice in the family. The traditional role of women and the sufferings they underwent is covered in feminist literature works. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman explains the traditional role of women in the family. The protagonist in the novel is the example of the sufferings of women. The novel is the story of repression of women. In the story the husband’s domineering nature has imprisoned the wife into a domestic prison. In this sad story, the narrator the young woman is driven to insanity by her dominating husband. The subjugation that prevailed in the society made women treated as subhuman. They were just considered as vessels of fertility and had the mere privilege of a set of ovaries and a womb. The central character of the novel, the narrator fought for the same cause. The narrator attempts to become a strong individual even though she was being locked in a male dominated world. Her husband John’s dominating nature was the one that was preventing her from become self motivated. Even though the narrator is constructed as immature, we can see that this nature is enforced by the society around her. The narrator is found to be an independent woman who was restricted within the house by her husband. Her life was like that of a butterfly that is trying to get out of the cocoon to show its true colors. We can see the narrator striving, throughout the play, and finally loosing control over her self. She falls into depression and eventually becomes mad. She was submissive to her husband and was enthusiastic and smart. We can say that the narrator was always right in her attitude as this was the best she can be towards her dominating husband. Towards the end of the play however she is not able to control any more and get lost in the pressure. This was the plight of women in the traditional families. The protagonist represents the negatively privileged women of that period. She was found subordinate to her husband John who believed that women are frail and can never make decision of their own. Her house appeared as a prison for her all through these days. She wanted to write; may be she wanted to pour out her depression into words. She was of the belief that more mental and physical activity would solve her problems. She, however, did not get a chance to outpour her feelings. The period in the novel represents the period when women are inferior to men physically, mentally and intellectually. The cultural, racial, religious and other pressures subdued women to a

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