Categories
Women

“he Woman Hanging from the Thirteenth Floor Window”

What would you do if you were given what you thought was the perfect life and it suddenly seemed to turn upside-down? Would you jump to your death or climb back up? “The Woman Hanging from the Thirteenth Floor Window” by Joy Harjo is a poem about a women who is lost in this big world we live in and trying to find herself while hanging from a thirteenth floor window. While this woman is hanging there she starts to have flashbacks about her life starting from her childhood up until now.
The author goes into detail about why this woman is thinking about killing herself because of all the pressures of trying to be some she is not is catching up to her. This poem represents everyday people and how they first have to overcome themselves and their lives before they can truly move on. This poem is about a woman not trying to commit suicide but women who represent bigger picture.The woman represents anyone and everyone who has ever had problems piled up on them, the author uses ethos, pathos and logos to persuade how our social roles constrains who we are as people and because of this the women is hanging by a short thread trying to find herself and put all the piece to the puzzle of her life back together again. This woman hanging from the thirteenth floor is in Chicago, living in an Indian part of the city. “She sees Lake Michigan lapping at the shores of herself.It is a dizzy hole of water and the rich live in tall glass houses at the edge of it” (Harjo 311).
The quote describes how the woman is so frustrated with her like that she takes something so beautiful like Lake Michigan and she turns it into everything she despises. This is a woman not just hanging from the thirteenth floor window, but also from a thread. She is a woman with many responsibilities, she is a mother to three kids, was a wife to the two husbands she has had and a daughter to her parents.This poem is about a woman who is always being stretched between two different people, she fills the responsibility that her family needs her to fill. As this woman is hanging from this thirteenth floor window she is thinking about her life and how her life is no longer just her life “She thinks of Carlos, of Margaret, of Jimmy. She thinks of her father and of her mother. She thinks of all the women she has been, of all the men.

She thinks of the color of her skin, and of the Chicago streets, and of waterfalls and pines. (Harjo 311). This quote describes this woman with many different faces, with various personalities trying to find her-self. This poem is not telling a story of a woman hanging to her death, but a story about a women hanging by a thread thinking about her life, her past, her present and her future. Trying to figure out if she will be a failure to everyone and fall to her demise or will she be able to take all the pressures of the world and make herself stronger and clime back up that wall and be a success.In the poem “The Woman Hanging From the Thirteenth Floor Window” Joy Harjo is using rhetoric to try and pull the reader into the poem and get us to read in between the lines. Harjo does a great job of using all three ethos, pathos and logos to create a mood of hopelessness in the reader to attract the reader to the story thought the reader’s life experiences.
The author Harjo uses Emotion based appeals to show the readers that they can connect to the characters’.She does this by showing the women and how her childhood wasn’t that good and how her life is falling apart as we read, she has no husband yet she has bin married twice and the only thing keeping her alive is her kids, “She sees other women hanging from many-floored windows counting their lives in the palms of their hands and in the palms of their children’s hands. ” (Harjo 311). In this quote the woman represents any and every woman that has ever felt like she cant go on because she feels like the weight of the world is on her shoulder.As the story progresses we start to see how the woman feels and we can start to put ourselves in her shoes. The author uses ethical based appeals to help the reader relate to superstations and being stressed. It is significant that the woman is hanging from that floor of this building in Chicago because many buildings do not designate a thirteenth floor due to the fact that the number thirteen is always associated with bad luck.
She tries to convince us as readers that the women will “fall to her death” by adding superstitions that many people believe in.The author uses the woman to get the readers respect so she can convince the reader to respect her so that she would be someone worth listening to. The author also uses logos in her poem. Harjo uses logical based appeals by persuading the readers by the use of reasoning. The way she uses logos in the poem is by implying that if the women can overcome all the diversity in her community, and let her past slip away and only live in the present and take the good from her life than the woman will live. If the woman can do that than she will fall off the wall and never be abele to clime back up.The author does a grate job of getting to the readers emotions in this poem because everyone will always have problems in their lives and will always have to deal with the pressure of life.
The end of this poem is a paradox and leaves you with you own conclusion depending on how you see people. “She think she remembers listening to her own life break loose, as she falls from the 13th floor window on the east side of Chicago, or as she climbs back up to claim herself again. ” (Harjo P. 312). This quote gives the hope that the woman chose to reset her life and to survive.It leaves the reader thinking about how they should change their life or how there will always be stresses in life but to never let that make you loose yourself This poem shows use how our social roles constrain who we are as people. The poem teaches use how there is always something or someone to live for and how a story may not always have one specific ending but it is how you interpret the ending that makes the story what you want it to be.
You learn that your actions don’t just affect you but they affect the world.In this case the woman hanging from the thirteenth floor chose her kids over herself because they were what she lived for. The hole story really takes place in the mind of ever person who has ever bin stressed and said to themselves is my life really worth it to save or not. So at the end in this poem “The woman hanging from the thirteenth floor window” by Joy Harjo the woman chose to forget everything and clime back up the wall. Life is all about choices and how those choices can shape a persons life.Works Cited Harjo, Joy. “The Woman Hanging From the 13th Floor Window”.
Pearson Custom, NJ: Needham Heights, 2003. 310-312.

Categories
Women

Differences between Men and Women

Oftentimes, the difference between men and women is classified as two different cultures that can never be connected with each other. The statement that “men are from Mars and women are from Venus” had been the favorite phrase to define the difference between the two sexes. Aside from biological differences of men and women, there are also many distinctions that limit the two sexes to deeply understand each gender. Apparently, the society has been living in a world with full of issues in masculinity and femininity.
The physical difference between men and women has gone to many conclusions and argumentations that these two gender also have differences in characters and personalities. The men’s ego to achieve their goals by themselves as a symbol of competence and power has been recognized by the society even in the earlier centuries. The emotional detachment of men has been the first in the list of complains of women toward them. Masculinity has been defined as a sense of pride for the cluster of the society who provides the economic well being of the family.
If women are known for their ability to talk about anything, men rarely talk about their problems and emotions. On the other hand, women are described based on all the exact opposites of the characteristics of men. Beauty, communication, love, and relationships are only few of the things that women value too much. If men are emotionally detached, the quality of relationships reflects the feelings and emotional side of women. Men’s great concern is the financial status; however women concern more on physical attractiveness and the quality of relationship that they would invest with their loved ones.

For men, money and career reflects their masculinity, women viewed these issues as rejection of men to them and their relationships with women. The greatest challenge for women’s lives is to maintain their sense of self while expanding out to serve the needs of other people. This role of women makes this gender good mothers, partners, and peers. The care for others is the strongest trait of female. Men, on the other hand, tend to act, think, and feel in a way that expresses themselves as the primary and the other people as secondary only. (Evatt 16)
In Deborah Tannen’s Genderlect Styles Theory, she states that “male and female conversation is a cross-cultural communication”. According to her, men are focused on status while women are focused on connection. This two different perceptions drive men and women apart and most of the time causes conflicts for both gender. Tannen suggests that men and women are from diverse cultures that cannot understand each other. In order to understand the theory better, Tannen gives five major areas to explain the difference between men and women. In her theory, she explains that men and women deal with things differently.
Men tend to defend their masculinity in public and always aim to win the conversation but appear to be uncomfortable in speaking in private. Disclosure of feelings would take a long time for men, and women oftentimes initiate the disclosure. In contrast, women are reserved in public but more comfortable in intimate settings. (“Communication Theory”, 2008) In telling a story, men would narrate a story wherein they are the hero, but women would rather tell a story about other people. In some instance, men would tell a joke but women would narrate a story wherein they act foolish and let them put themselves on the level of the listeners.
In other words, women always consider other people while men focus on themselves alone. Even in private conversation, the way men and women deal with the situation. Active listening and cooperative overlapping are women’s way to treat the speaker so as to encourage and agree with that person. Men oftentimes regard an interruption to have power over the speaker in the conversation. Men use silence as a weapon and power over the people that they are communicating with. Moreover, women ask questions to build a rapport or connection but men would refuse to ask for other people’s help because they consider asking as a form of verbal sparing.
Women consider conflicts as threat to relationships, however men consider them as normal scene in the world that is full of competition. Gender differences have become a discourse between men and women. The idea that men are fundamentally different from women has become an important thought for the society that recognizes the all the gender issues. These differences have brought the two genders to two different planets that can never be merged into one. The society has formed a vast gender gap because of the stereotype judgment that men often seek for power while women always seek for connection.
In most aspects, men and women are considered as fundamentally different from each other. Apparently, the stereotype judgment toward each gender has passed from generation to generation. However, this gender issues, according to genderlect styles theory can be resolved if the two different genders would try to understand each others language. The differences are human nature of both sexes and those can be understood if they are willing to learn each others’ characteristics. Oftentimes, social and political factors are neglected in analyzing why men often seek for power and women always care for others.
Caring for others has been a connotation for women, but the society sometimes overlooks the effort that men do for other people too. The gender distinctions have grown to be a societal conflict and apparently gave men and women names to be acted upon. The typecasting has been the society’s basis to address a gender and assess the personality only based on what the culture has formed toward both sexes. The other factors in the society provide an underlying explanation why men and women act and talk the way they do. The power that has been associated for men is sometimes the goal of women for competing in the male and female society.
The people often recognize the boundary between the two sexes but fail to search for the possible solutions to overcome the gender distinctions. Apparently, the society fails to recognize the other factors that cause men and women to act like what they have expected that makes the gender conflicts bigger. The stereotype that women are oppressed because their only function is to provide domestic services for other people may also open their minds and awaken the society that this role of women give them a total independence because they could work for other that make them whole as women.
Perhaps men have found the happiness through achievements in the world of competition and would learn respect for the neglected dimensions of caring for others and concern for their partners. Women may have found ways to celebrate their femininity by caring for others and building a rapport for a quality relationship while men have found ways to guard their masculinity by having constant achievements and providing economic well being for their families.
As a whole, men and women have differences that cannot be understood by the minds that have a strong belief about the incurable gender distinctions. However, these differences can also create a perfect connection instead of gap that provides a wall between the two sexes. Apparently, men and women have created with special tasks to perform and these fundamental differences are possessed in order to perfectly play their roles in this world. Languages and cultures can be learned as well as the gender distinctions that have been a societal issue in the world that is full of stereotype and typecasting.

Categories
Women

Sexual Assault Against Women

Sexual Assault against Women I choose this topic because sexual assault is one of the most offensive crimes committed in our society. Not only is it a threat to the community, but it has a physically and psychologically effect on the victim in many ways. For the last couple of decades, sexual assault, rape, and child molestation has become the focal point of public concerns today. According to a 1993 National Crime Victimization Survey conducted by the U. S. Department of Justice, about 500,000 rapes or sexual assaults occur each year (Statistics, March 2010).
The Department of Justice states that, “rape crimes have risen nearly three times as fast as the total crime rate”, although other studies have shown statistics that are in conflict with these numbers; due to the victims that do no report their attacks. For example, the National Women’s Study claims that about 683,000 rapes of adult women occur annually, while the Federal Bureau of Investigation reports 103,000 such rapes each year (Statistics, March 2010). Most lawmakers agree that sexual violence is a problem that requires a lot of attention and investigation.
In the mid-1990s, a number of violent crimes were being committed by recently released sex offenders. The media attention motivated many states to pass laws that specify that communities must be notified about paroled sex offender living in their communities. This caused a fear of the people in the community that released sex offenders may commit assaults in their community as well. Alice Walker’s The Color Purple is an excellent account of the life of a woman who must suffer not only social ostracism due to gender and skin color but also women who suffer greatly at the hands of men.

This is true in terms of infidelity, physical and verbal abuse, and sexual abuse. The Color Purple revolves around the life of Celie, a young woman growing up in the poverty-ridden South. In order to find herself and gain independence, Celie must deal with all manner of abuse, including misogyny, racism and poverty. When she is a young girl of just 14, Celie is sexually assaulted by a man she believes is her father. She had two children by her rapist, both of who he takes to a Reverend.
When her mother dies, this man known as “Pa” marries Celie to a man she will only refer to as “Mr. ” (Walker, 1985). This is just a fine example of the recollection of a victim. The Violence against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 marked a turning point in our national response to the problems of both sexual assault and domestic violence. For the first time it considered the ways in which sexual assault and domestic violence were similar: they are both crimes of violence against women, rooted in historical and cultural traditions and attitudes.
VAWA also addressed the ways our laws failed to prosecute and punish perpetrators of these crimes of violence, while often increasing the trauma experienced by victims. The act included measures designed to protect crime victims’ rights and provide crime victims with compensation, establish hotlines for sexual assault and family violence victims, establish sex offender registration and community notification, protect women from “date rape,” and coordinate law enforcement and social services to deal with crime in a unified manner.
VAWA is a wide-ranging law which, among other things, mandated research into sexual and domestic violence, funded community efforts against sexual and domestic violence through grants, proposed changes in the evaluation and determination of evidence, affirmed victims’ rights of privacy and equal protection under the law, recommended compensation of victims, and authorized enhanced penalties for repeat sex offenders. Law enforcement officers are highly trained and are fully aware of this Act and how it works.
It is the duty of the officer to enforce these laws. One intervention method for the offenders that would restore justice practices is the gaining popularity of “chemical castration” which is the use of Depo-Provera; it decreases the level of testosterone that men produce (encyclopedia, 2012). Lowered testosterone levels decreases the sexual thoughts and fantasies of the offender. The way this method would impact the victim is by given them a piece of mind of knowing the offender is being mentored and knowing that this could happen to another person.
The way the Criminal Justice system can work more efficient to help the victim through a rape or sexual assault is not blame the victim; this was a strategy that was used in pasted which would make the victim feel as if it is their fault. For example, the victim goes to a party and becomes overly intoxicated and wakes up to find herself assaulted sexual, in the past the victim would be the blame because she became overly intoxicated.
But what should be done is to encourage women not to precipitate the crime through careless behavior. But blame the offender, because they are the predator in crime and they should be removed from society. As a Criminal Justice professional I would provide more effective assistance to the victim by offering services such as hotline information, victim advocate services, and assist them with police reporting process. Or even offer counseling service and self-defense strategies.
Things that could be done to reduce victim blaming are training within the Criminal Justice system and educating the public on victim blaming as well. ? REFERENCES encyclopedia, T. f. (2012, May 05/31/12). Chemical Castration. Retrieved from Wikipedia: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Chemical_castration Statistics, U. S. (March 2010). National Crime Victimization Survey. National Crime Victimization Survey, 2008- -Statistical tables, 26 – 49. Walker, A. (1985). The Color Purple. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Categories
Women

The Changing role of women in Britain since 1900

Target 1: How useful is source A as evidence about attitudes towards suffragettes in 1908? Explain your answer using source and knowledge from your studies.
The attitudes towards suffragettes in 1908 were mixed; everyone had their own opinions of them. Some people were very supportive on what they were doing and some of them had a very negative response.
In source A there is a picture of a ‘suffragette demonstrations in London 1908’. Underneath the source the source it states “Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst leading a demonstration which 200,00 people are said to have attended.”

This source does not give enough evidence to prove this statement. I explain why.
In this picture it shows me the suffragettes having a peaceful demonstration they are smiling and at the same time getting what they want to say across, from my knowledge and understanding suffragettes were seen as violent and they were seen as a very confrontational group. In the source booklet under The WSPU- the suffragettes it tells me that In 1903 Emmeline Pankhurst and her daughters formed a breakaway group called the Women’s social and political union (WSPU), that was to campaign for the parliamentary vote for women on the same terms as it was granted to men, or would be in the future, their motto was “deeds not words” yet the photo paints a different picture.
In source booklet source 6 under Suffragette tactics it tells me that in 1908 the suffragettes would start occasional attacks on properties such as breaking windows, etc. But yet again from source A I cannot see this.
The source also states, “200,000 people are said to have attended” From source A it seems to me that at least only 1,000 people attended. In this source I can see only one policeman and he looks quite peaceful and undisturbed. If this were a demonstration where 200,000 people are said to have attended there would be hundreds of policemen on sight. This photo is very unreliable to its statement. The source says that Ms Pankhurst lead the campaign yet there is no proof to prove this.
This is supposed to be a demonstration but from my understanding a demonstration is 1) an outward showing or feeling. 2) A public meeting or a march for political or moral response. 3) A show of military force.
If this was a demonstration you would have seen exactly what they were demonstration from the use of banners and posters or even photos but I cannot see any of this.
This photo (source A) is very unreliable and does not give enough evidence to represent that it was a suffragette demonstration in London 1908.
This source is not useful evidence about suffragettes in 1908.
Target 2:Source D and E are both from 1910, yet they give different views about the campaign to gain women the vote.
Which is the most reliable source for investigating people’s attitudes in 1910 towards the campaign?
Source D is an article from the daily sketch (newspaper) in 1910. It is about a demonstration made by women in 1910.
This article is anti-suffragette; it’s against women for what they are doing. This article is about a suffragist attack on the House of Commons. The title “DISCRACEFUL SCENES”, and “120 arrests” gives you a dreadful view of the suffragettes. This source is also very negative against women because it puts them down. In the first passage it states “they caused even more violent scenes then before”. This gives you the impression that they were always violent and aggressive and that’s all they were good for. Also in the first passage it states “It was a picture of shameless recklessness”. This makes the women look disgraceful and outrageous.
In Passage two the first four lines say, ” One campaigner sprawled in the mud to the obvious disgust of decent men and the obvious delight of others”. This gives me the idea that some people found it a revolting and thought they were shameful, but yet some people saw it a something very positive.
This source is very negative towards the suffragettes and makes them appear violent and shameful. This really affected the way people viewed the suffragettes.
Source E is in favour of the suffragettes and are for the vote for women.
This source is a postcard issued by the suffragettes in 1910.
This postcard shows what a women may be, such as a mayor, a mother a doctor or even a teacher and still not have vote, then goes on to show what a man may be, such as a convict a lunatic, unfit for service or even a drunkard but yet still get the vote. Women were put in a lower category then these types of men; Suffragettes saw this as an insult.
However I feel that both Source D and Source E are very reliable for investigating people’s attitudes towards the campaign, but I think the most common attitude towards the suffragettes at that time was Source D.
Source D gives the most relevant information and is the most reliable source because these were the negative attitudes shown towards the suffragettes at this period of time. The community didn’t like to see women behaving as men or behaving inappropriately it made them look bad. This source investigates the minority of people’s attitudes towards suffragettes in 1910 but at the same time remains relevant for the investigation of people’s attitudes towards suffragettes in 1910.
Target 3: Without the First World War women would have not gained the right to vote in 1918″ Do you agree or disagree with this interpretation?
I agree with this interpretation.
I believe that women would have never gained the vote without the First World War. So many men had gone of to war that the women were needed to fill their places this increased the number of women in the industry. The war made it adequate for women to work such jobs. People believed that women shouldn’t be prohibited from doing work they are fit for. While the men were sent of to war, women showed how equally they worked to men, the leaders saw this as an opportunity to show what women were capable of, they showed how capable they were of doing what was seen as a man’s jobs. The suffragettes broke the stereotype of how people viewed women, women were seen as housewives, they stayed home and cook and look after the kids. Men also thought that they didn’t have the intelligence or intellect to do a “mans job”.
In Source 27 on the source sheet written by E.S. Montague, Minister of munitions, in 1916 he states that:
“Women of every station…. have proved themselves able to undertake work that before the war was regarded as solely the province of men…. Where is the man now who would deny women the civil rights which she has earned by her hard work?”
Women were showing themselves how equally skilled they were to men, and that both sexes were equally alike. People started to see the women as people that played a likewise part in society as men and that they deserved the vote. People believed that the women earned their rights through their hard work.
In Source 29 on page 68 it also state that:
“… Many women had witnessed the suffering and anguish of men of men as they had not seen in the previous wars and had also worked side by side with comrades and friends. It was inevitable that this would start to change mutual perceptions of and the granting of the votes at last (to women over thirty) seemed totally appropriate.”
This gives me the impression that people did see the women working really due to the war and did all they could to gain the vote and the only resort and the most appropriate was to give them the vote.
In Source 19; Page 66 we are shown a female tram driver it does not give us a date but it shows it shows us that women were enthusiastically involved in a man’s role. This acts helped change the way people viewed suffragettes.
Before most people attitudes were biased towards giving women the vote, but after the war people attitudes change and
However in 1918 the barrier against women’s suffrage was broken and a partial victory won, under the Representation of the People Act, women over 30 years of age were given the parliamentary vote if they were householders, the wives of householders, occupiers of property with an annual rent of �5 or more. About 8.5 million women were put under this new law. It was not until ten years later, however, that all women could vote on equal terms with men, at the age of 21 and over, the new bill becoming law on July 2, 1928.

Categories
Women

Woman as the Other and as the Other Woman

Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986), French existentialist, writer, and social essayist, passed on just over two decades ago. Putting it this way makes her ideas so much more alive. She did not just write about how she lived. She wrote, and she lived what she wrote about: she refused to be the Other, but she was also, in a manner of putting it, the Other Woman.

Simone’s Life and Love(s) in Philosophy Simone de Beauvoir is now noted and appreciated as a philosopher. She was not always considered a philosopher however, but a writer, and has only been given the distinction of being a noted philosopher in more recent years.

Her works became considered “philosophical” only after her death. Beauvoir was born in France in 1908. She belonged to a bourgeoisie family, and had one sister. As a teenager, she declared herself an atheist, and devoted her life to feminism and writing (Marvin, 2000). Apparently, her parent’s disposition and stature were a major influence on her. Her father was extremely interested in pursuing a career in theater, but because of his societal position (and with a noble lineage), he became a lawyer (which was expected), and hated it. Her mother, on the other hand, was a strict Catholic.
Some authors have noted that Simone struggled between her mother’s religious morals and her father’s more pagan inclinations, and this purportedly led to her atheism and shaped her philosophical work. As a child, Simone was religious and had a relationship with God. She wrote in early work about her thankfulness that heaven had given her the immediately family that she had, but this feeling (at least the religious aspects of it) dissipated as she aged (Flaherty, 2008). When she was around 15, Simone de Beauvoir decided she would be a famous writer.
She did well in many subjects, but was especially attracted to philosophy, which she went on to study at the University of Paris. There she met many other young creative geniuses, including Jean-Paul Sartre, who became her best friend and life-long companion. The group of friends that she spent her time with was considered a “bad” group, a circle of rebels. Such perceptions did not matter however for Simone and Sartre whose fondness for each other only grew over the years. Their works were frequently linked as they read and critiqued each other’s writings, and she was sort of considered as his ‘student’ — the Other.
However, she was not just the Other, she was a significant Other, as it were. Their relationship became intimate and Sartre even proposed to her. She however declined the proposal because she felt that marriage was such a constricting institution and that they should, instead, be free to love “others” (Flaherty, 2008). After graduating from the university, Simone lived with her grandmother and taught at a lycee, or high school. She taught philosophy at several schools throughout her life, which allowed her to live comfortably. She spent her free time going to cafes, writing, and giving talks.
In Berlin, she spent time with Sartre and they got linked with two female students, the sisters Olga and Wanda Kosakiewicz. Sartre initially pursued Olga but later had an affair with Wanda. Note that he and Simone had agreed that they would be free to love others. During this time, Simone got very sick and spent some time in a sanitarium. By the time she left the sanitarium, Olga was married, and Wanda and Sartre were no longer lovers (Flaherty, 2008). This phase in her life, one could perhaps say, highlighted her journey as the Other Woman. Simone traveled around the world later in her life, lecturing.
She came to the United States in the 1940s and met another man, Algren. He proposed to her, but she opted to stay with Sartre instead. Also during her travels, Simone participated, with Sartre, in the 1967 “Bertrand Russell Tribunal of War Crimes in Vietnam. ” There she met several noted leaders, including Khrushchev and Castro; however, unlike Sartre, she did not particularly enjoy being in the public spotlight. (Gascoigne, 2002) In 1981, when Sartre died, Simone wrote a memoir about him. After this, she continued to take drugs and drink alcohol, which contributed to her mental decay.
She and Sartre had always taken drugs and alcohol. Simone frequently became drunk throughout her life. She died in 1986, and was buried beside Sartre’s remains (Gascoigne, 2002). Beauvoir’s Views: My Reflections Beauvoir strictly considered herself a writer, not a philosopher. Others did not see her as a philosopher because, in what may today be described as sexism, she was a woman and thus inferior in some ways. Moreover, she was also seen as merely a student of Sartre and not as a philosopher in her own right. On top of it all, she was a woman who wrote about women.
It must be pointed out that this field of study was not truly accepted in the academe until very recently; hence, Beauvoir’s work was not accepted as being philosophical during her time. She was indeed heavily overshadowed by Sartre, especially because some of her work reflects his (Bergoffen, 2004). Beauvoir’s philosophical ideas focused on how truths in life were revealed in literature. She wrote several essays, including “Literature and the Metaphysical Essay” (1946) and “Mon Experience d’Ecrivain,” which translates to ‘My Experience as a Writer’ (1956).
Her works include both fiction and non-fiction, all in regards to studying literature in reaction to human relationships and thoughts (Bergoffen, 2004). Truly life is mirrored by literature, but literature is also a part of life, and life can be shaped by literary work. In the life and works of this trailblazing feminist writer-philosopher, one can see the reality of literature as a potent force not only of self-expression but also of life changing. Feminism was of primary importance to Beauvoir, and she is considered to be one of the pioneers of the movement.
In fact, Beauvoir is best known for her feminist work, “The Second Sex,” now a classic of feminist literature (Eiermann). In this work, she looks at the role of women in society, and the advantages and disadvantages that she, herself, faced. It was initially not thought of as a philosophical work because it dealt with sex, which, during the Victorian era, was not a subject openly discussed. In reality, the book closely examines patriarchal society and its impact on women, and calls for women to take action against these oppressions.
It fired up women of later generations to fight for political, social, and personal change. The book remains debated to this day because of the way it addresses the issues, but it is still considered a major early book on feminism (Bergoffen, 2004). Here she put an exclamation point on her observations of Woman in society being seen and treated merely as the Other. Beauvoir is also known for an earlier work, Force of Circumstance. “Within this piece she discussed vital issues of the day-confusion and rage regarding human freedoms and the French/Algerian War” (Flaherty, 2008).
Human freedom was a big issue that was crucial in Beauvoir’s work. She was particularly concerned that people needed to be free. This is reflected in the way she lived her own life, and in the way she lectured others. She walked her talk, and was for some time describable perhaps (albeit from a rather sexist perspective) as being the Other Woman, with no rancor, in Sarte’s life. She Came to Stay (1943) is another work that deals with freedom. This is a novel that deals with “reflections on our relationship to time, to each other, to ourselves” (Bergoffen, 2004).
The work doesn’t fit a traditional philosophical framework, where questions are brought to a close and fully answered. Instead it only explores questions by looking at the lives and interactions of the main characters. In this novel, a murder is committed because of a character’s desire for freedom, and the novel examines if the murder was just or not, among other issues surrounding the situation. This work is frequently considered her first true philosophical work (Bergoffen, 2004). How many times have this student been asked this question in real life by friends and particular circumstances: freedom or life?
There is something profoundly unsettling in the questions that Beauvoir’s works raises. In She Came to Stay, purportedly a fictionalized chronicle of Beauvoir and Sartre’s relationship with the sisters Olga and Wanda, we are treated to an exploration of complex personal relationships. Olga was one of her students in the Rouen secondary school where she taught during the early 30s. In the novel, Olga and Wanda are made into one character with whom fictionalized versions of Beauvoir and Sartre have intimate relationships.
The novel delves into Beauvoir and Sartre’s complex relationship. She wrote about her life, and she lived her writings. With what she wrote, she pursued her questioning, her philosophizing. Pyrrhus and Cineas (1944) is Beauvoir’s first philosophical essay and a major turning point in her life as a writer. This essay looks at questions like “What are the criteria of ethical action? ” “How can I distinguish ethical from unethical political projects? ” “What are the principles of ethical relationships? ” “Can violence ever be justified?
” The essay looks at the moral, political, and other implications of these questions, and further explores the notion of freedom, relationships, and violence. Simone was not sure if violence was truly justified, but concludes that it is ‘neither evil nor avoidable. ’ The questions are not truly resolved in this work, much like in her previous work (Bergoffen, 2004). Then there is Ethics of Ambiguity (1947), which further looks at ethical questions regarding freedom, and the difference between childhood and adulthood.
According to Beauvoir, children ‘live in mystery,’ and they should. However, she posits that children should also be forced to be adults and there could be violations of freedom involved in this. This work expands on the idea of freedom from the previous work, and looks at new dimensions of it (Bergoffen, 2004). Two themes seem to appear most prominently in the work of Beauvoir: Freedom and Feminism. The Feminine is made an agent of freedom and is problematized so in the work of Beauvoir. Today, many still turn to her work for we can see the realities that her work reflects.
We still find Woman as the Other — in some societies with her multiple burdens given her second-class status. Even in the supposedly modern nation that is the U. S. we find gender an unsettling concern in electoral politics. More broadly, freedom remains a problematic ideal in the globalizing world. Many states (e. g. , North Korea, China, Cuba, the young Republics in Eastern Europe) remain unstable at their core having had to grapple with forces of change and freedom from within and from outside their societies and territories.
At another level, the world is not lacking with individuals and groups with their various advocacies aimed at expanding the limits of freedom in civil society. Today the woman question has become the bigger concern that is Gender. This student now more fully realizes that gender is a social-psychological thing while sex is a biological or physical matter. The Woman is more than her body after is all. To be Woman is a choice, is a matter of freedom. The definition of gender lies not in the body. Gender is the realization of what you think and feel you are, and what you prefer as a lifestyle, to put it broadly.

Categories
Women

Why Women Should Be Able to Vote

Today, I am speaking for the affirmative to why women in Australia should be given the rights to vote for many obvious reasons. My reasons being; firstly, we should all be treated equally with justice or else Australia would not be considered as an egalitarian society. Secondly, other countries have benefited their society by passing women’s suffrage. Lastly, women are just as hard-working as men and deserve as much as men do. To start off, I without a doubt believe that women should be able to vote as Australia or we would not be known as an egalitarian society.
Egalitarian means to treat everyone equally regardless of their gender, social class, nationality, education, family, appearance or job. Why should we call ourselves an egalitarian country if we’ve even consider to not give women political privileges such as voting or contributing to ideas based on gender? Women are counted as citizens of the country. They still pay taxes and obey the law. Yet, their ideas and voices are being crucially mocked and ignored.
By allowing women to vote, contribute ideas and analyse problems, we would have more intense debates and more conflicts in arguments. However, we would also be aware of more common problems and needs of the people that need to be met. My next reason why women should be allowed to vote is that countries allowing women’s suffrage have benefited from these actions. The first country allowing this to be passed was our neighbouring country, New Zealand in 1883, and then followed by Denmark, Norway, Germany and Finland in the mid-1900s.

Australia can grow by following the footsteps of these countries as they now have a wide variety of ideas beneficial to both men and women because it serves the citizen’s need which should priority. It also gives women, hope and role models to look up to. Lastly, women should be able to vote because we are just as hard working as men. A majority of women are capable of doing tasks men can do. Women are very committed to their family.
How can a woman financially support her family if she does not get paid as much as men due to men’s bias? Women are expected to only do large amount of cooking, cleaning and looking after kids. It would only be fair if they were able to vote as their votes would contribute to what is best for the country and its future. In conclusion, I strongly believe women having the right to vote will increase our economy as its extremely beneficial for the people’s rights, needs and the future of Australia being known as an egalitarian country.

Categories
Women

The Inhabited Woman

The novel, classified as a semi-biographical one, is the author’s first bestselling novel. It can be considered as a contemporary classic. In fact, Randall (2004) reiterated, “The Inhabited Woman grabs us from two unexpected directions: its consciousness of the centrality of woman in struggle, and its retrieval of the cycles of birth and rebirth which are such an important part of indigenous cosmology” (Forward, p. 6). On the one hand, throughout the novel, Lavinia (one of the main characters) struggles with being a business-minded woman in an architectural industry composed primary of men.

The plight a woman’s struggle first took shape in Chapter One when a battle was referred to as the roots of a tree of which the writer entered into through its circulatory system (Belli, 2004, p. 7). As with any circulatory system, there must be a constant blood flow that helps all the parts function properly. If the blood flow is interrupted, then problems begin to arise. Thus, the other hand, the roots of the tree must be healed in order to make the system work. Hence, the writer refers to time spent in Europe (Bologna) as a place where Lavinia’s artistic nature was tame.

However, she had left that place to have opportunities to showcase her innovative side (Belli, 2004). The parallelism between the protagonist, Lavinia, and the author is striking and obvious. Both women are well-educated members of the upper class who were raised in a world of political turmoil. Significantly, they have a choice of not paying attention to the glass ceiling that these politics entail or allowing it to be their ruin. Both women choose a life far from the one of limited opportunities and poverty.
Instead, the women pursue a life of luxury, education, and continuous learning. In order to acquire a true reflection of how Gioconda and Lavinia were alike, their lives must be examined. Gioconda lived a comfortable, protected and sheltered life. She was educated in the best of schools as well as given a sheltered life away from bullets and bombs. Gioconda was also loved and nurtured by her parents. Later on, Gioconda joined the Sandinista movement. Sadly, this took her away from luxurious living and eventually forced her to be exiled in Mexico in 1975 (Wikipedia, 2008).
Lavinia, similar to Gioconda, lived a sheltered life until she joined the revolution and fell in love with a war hero. Over the years, countries around the world have been in constant struggle to gain a free government; a democratic government free from dictators and tyrants. Many books have been written about this topic. Few books have focused on the author’s feminist struggle for freedom and democracy, and in the process, a struggle for self identity and self worth. As Lavinia’s journey through a life of opportunities begins, she goes to a job interview.
It is a typical interview symbolic of a male’s ego and testosterone. Julian sees Lavinia as a woman that can explain architecture blueprints in simple terms but as a sex symbol, all the same (Belli, 2004, pp. 13-17). Lavinia’s goal was to prove she had a great deal of knowledge of architecture and could succeed on her own merits. Thus, although she thought of men and sex throughout the book, Lavinia predetermined that marriage, for her, would be placing limitations on one’s self—unless, of course, the right man came along (Belli, 2004, p.
22). Nevertheless, the fact remains that the novel was full of sexual context. One example is an office romance that was present in the early stages of the book. A man and a woman were having sex openly, as if they were wild animals. Belli (2004) wrote, “I know only that they make love to each other like healthy animals, without garments or inhabitants. ’ ‘That is how our people loved before the strange god of the Spaniards forbade them the pleasures of loving’” (p. 41).
Despite being forbidden of this fruit by a god, as in the holy bible when Adam and Eve were forbidden of eating from the tree of good and evil by the Lord (Genesis, King James Version), one can say that Lavinia’s people had disobeyed a god. As a result of this disobedience, (Adam and Eve) they were forced to go forth out of their comfort zone and learn how to live on their own (Genesis, KJV). Thus, just as Adam and Eve had to learn (as children do from their parents), so were many lessons taught in the novel.
In one incidence, while Lavinia was watching one of her sex partner’s named Felipe sleep peacefully, she referred to him as a child (Belli, 2004, p. 42). This is important because Lavinia thought of her seeds as the seeds of oranges that are capable of falling on good soil and bearing fruit (children). She also considered the Earth as an orange because it is round and flat. Yet, symbolism used to compare child bearing to orange trees blossoming is of extreme value because Lavinia mentioned Ute, the woman who taught Felipe to love.
In fact, Lavinia indicated that Felipe considered Ute as the “Mother and lover in one woman…” (Belli, 2004, p. 47). Thus, just as an orange tree must bear forth fruit that produces a continuous cycle of orange trees, so must women bear forth children who will, in turn, grow up to replenish the Earth. Another reason why much symbolism exists in the novel is because of the realism. Lavinia read a book that “…said that Jules Verne had never left France, and yet he had still managed to reach the moon with his imagination and predict many of humanity’s deeds and discoveries” (Belli, 2004, p. 55).
This is what Lavinia desired out of life. Consequently, the mind (or imagination) can open up doors to endless opportunities and countless lessons. Unlike the body which comes to a closure upon death, due to the mind, legacies can live on. Lavinia’s grandfather tapped into this concept as he gave Lavinia some final words that included “…Now that I am nearing Omega, I leave you this legacy: nothing that is done in the name of universal culture is ever a waste…” (Belli, 2004, p. 56). Thus, through these words Lavinia was taught that no matter what the struggle or the triumph, a lesson is available to be learned.
Yet, the reader can learn from the symbolisms that exist in the novel. One such lesson came as Lavinia’s grandfather died on New Year’s Eve by sneezing to death (Belli, 2004, p. 56). Just as her grandfather had talked about Alpha and Omega (the beginning and the end), the lesson here is that just as one year comes to an end, another one begins. Although Lavinia’s grandfather died out, history still lived on through his granddaughter. That history included Lavinia coming in contact with members of the National Liberation Movement (NLM) that showed up at her door one day, wounded.
It is a history that also includes Lavinia referring to her admiration of Che Guevara of Italy, her grandfather’s fascination with Fidel Castro and the ideal of revolution, and even the NLM members’ being referenced to tropical Quixotes by Lavinia (Belli, 2004, p. 71). Yet, the reality of all lessons is that there are often harsh ones to be learned. Lavinia had to witness the same people she had helped (two men and one young woman) bodies being shown as bloody and dead in the paper when she returned to work.
Just to not be discovered as a helper to these individuals, Lavinia had to tell a lie to a co-worker in regards to which of the men was Fermin (Belli, 2004). Just before the book takes a turn where Lavinia changes from that lively woman with endless opportunities to do anything or be anything in life, she manages to sum of what the reader considers as the main theme of the book: Man with his deeds can change features, appearances: he can sow or cut down trees, change the course of rivers, make those huge dark roads that trace snaking paths along the earth.
But he cannot move volcanoes, life up the canyons, interfere in the dome of the heavens, prevent the formation of the clouds, change the position of the sun or the moon. (Belli, 2004l, p. 85) This exert is symbolic of how since the beginning of time man-kind has altered things. In the bible when the City of Babel was being built were the people wanted to come together and build a tower to heaven, rather than use stones that were already made by God, man created bricks for building (Genesis 11:1-9, KJV).
Yet, man-kind had been told to fill the earth. Since they would not do it themselves, the Lord sent angels to scramble their languages and force them to do so (Genesis, KJV). Due to the fact man-kind sowed a bad seed, there are many languages today and the reason why there are many wars. In the bible, when the City of Babel was being built, God realized that man-kind would not think there was anything they could not do if they were to succeed at this.
So, God had to take action against it (Genesis 11:1-9, KJV). Throughout the novel, no matter what happened, Lavinia could always use her imagination to make things as she wanted to. However, no matter what, it did not change the fact she went from being the leader of her own life to being lead (by Sebastian and Lorenzo) and then to even turning to God for instruction. Due to these factors, one might consider Lavinia as putting profession first, politics second and religion last.
In this scenario, Lavinia encountered the struggle of woman to find their place in the world—a struggle that often finds woman having to pay the ultimate price of disobedience. References Belli, G. (2004). The Inhabited Woman. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. Randall, M. (2004, Spring). The Inhabited Woman: Foreward. (Contributor). Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. Wikipedia. (2008, February 13). Gioconda Belli. Retrieved March 23, 2008, from website: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Gioconda_Belli

Categories
Women

The Emancipation of Women

The emancipation of women, i. e. their liberation from religious, legal, economic, and sexual oppression, their access to higher education, and their escape from narrow gender roles is not easily achieved. The struggle for sexual equality has a long history and is likely to continue for some time. Even if it should soon be won in the industrial nations, it may well rage on in many “underdeveloped” countries. In traditionally patriarchal societies any improvement in the status of women has far-reaching consequences and produces fundamental political changes.
Therefore it is always resisted by the established powers. However, it seems certain that they will ultimately have to relent, because the emancipation of women is both necessary and desirable. It will provide for a greater degree of social justice and thus benefit everyone. Indeed, from the beginning, the great “feminists” or champions of women’s rights have always insisted that they worked in the interest of the whole human race.
The feminist movement therefore has always been a humanist movement.Some of its representatives were reformers, others revolutionaries, but virtually all of them worked for a better, more equitable, and more humane world. Much can be learned from their experiences. They often suffered ridicule, persecution, and defeat, but also won admiration, support, and victory. Gradually, they achieved many of their goals. Their opponents, on the other hand, learned that a just cause cannot be suppressed forever. Where needed reforms are consistently blocked, revolution becomes inevitable.In India, we have anti-dowry laws, and we have laws to punish assault on women.

Some of these laws are very stringent. So much so that if a lady wishes to misuse these laws (and I am sure that there are quite a few cases of such misuse happening), the affected parties will be in serious trouble for some time at least. However, I believe that society has accepted harassment of women in households to such an extent that stringent laws will provide affected women with a way to get some relief.If you read some of the horror stories that are inflicted on women in their marital households, these stories will make your skin crawl and you will not be able to believe as to how ‘normal’ people can sink to these levels of barbarity.
Just one link to portray the extent of domestic violence as a statistic. The reader can do a bit of Goggling and find numerous examples (especially if one does not want to believe the previous The measure which made this particularly horrible was that cases of adultery / pre-marital sex (deemed a crime) needed less stringent proof.So one has the gruesome spectacle of a victim reporting a rape, unable to get the 4 male witnesses, then being accused of adultery and being convicted of that.
One would expect that this would lead to a reduction in the reporting of rapes, and there seem to be a number of cases where something like this happened. In addition, we have other cases of biases against women being depicted in incidents such as honour killings, forced marriages, marriages at small ages, low education levels, and other such tendencies that a strongly patriarchal system imposes.Now, with the changes in the Hudood Ordinance having been passed by one house of parliament, there is a stronger chance that at least some of the biases can be reduced.
I would think that this is a long process, and there will be numerous times when religion will be used to justify these biases. As to the argument that such acts destroy marriages, I believe that in this era of publicity to women achievers, to TV serials/movies showing successful and talented females, it is going to be more difficult to keep a lady quiet in a stressful marriage.Earlier, it used to be easier as there was much more pressure on the lady to keep the marriage going, if necessary to accept punishment and harassment.
That is going to be less and less likely. Now with women working more and having the ability to take care of themselves, I predict that unless the Indian male gives up some of his heavy biases (again, not all males have such biases), we are going to see more marriages collapse.