In his essay, Selections from Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom, Leslie Bell investigates the rapid change in women rights the past decades that leaves some women confused about their identity today. This issue is important to psychotherapists like Bell because women part of minority societies are starting to experience an identity crisis. In this paper, I will analyze Leslie Bell’s claim that splitting occurs because women have a tough time finding an identity because of cultural pressure and fear being controlled by men, offering the counterargument that it is because of cultural misunderstanding of nowadays values and freedoms for women.
Every major transition in life comes with great responsibilities which are accompanied with “uncertainty and anxiety” Leslie Bell, “Selections from Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom,” in The New Humanities Reader, ed. Richard Miller and Kurt Spellmeyer (Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning, 2015), 37. Jayanthi and Alicia, the women Bell investigates, are young and in their twenties and are just starting to experience the world out of their parents and cultures perspective. They both are part of very different minority cultures. Bell states that women develop split personalities because they “feared losing their identities and independence through being in an intimate relationship” (Bell, “Hard to Get,” 30). She is exaggerating the fact that women fear being controlled by men, but underestimating the fact that these women often fear their cultures and their parents beliefs. These women come from cultures that are uneducated about freedom rights that they end up splitting their personalities.
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...about freedom of sex but does not understand that it is also about respecting women and giving them equal opportunities. This notion made Alicia split her personality and be an extreme “Good-Girl” (Bell, “Hard to Get,” 36). An independent strong woman can only build her own identity through experience which was the opposite of what Alicia was trying to do when she chooses one extreme personality. Jayanthi, on the other hand, a women of minority background with boundaries for women rights, should not think that whatever is the opposite of their parents and traditional believes is who they should become. The collision of cultural boundaries with women rights makes some women confused about who they are. Women often split not because of cultural pressure, but because they come from cultures that have a very limited acceptance or understanding of freedom for women.
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