In the analysis of the issue in question, I have considered Mary Wollstonecraft’s Text, Vindication of the Rights of Woman. As an equivocal for liberties for humanity, Wollstonecraft was a feminist who championed for women rights of her time. Having witnessed devastating results or men’s improvidence, Wollstonecraft embraced an independent life, educated herself, and ultimately earned a living as a writer, teacher, and governess. In her book, “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman,” she created a scandal perhaps to her unconventional lifestyle. The book is a manifesto of women rights arguing passionately for educating women. Sensualist and tyrants appear right in their endeavor to hold women in darkness to serve as slaves and their plaything. Anyone with a keen interest in women rights movement will surely welcome her inexpensive edition, a landmark documen...
The Victorian era was a time when the rights that women are so accustom to today did not exist. In fact, this era was especially known for the stern code of morality that was placed on women. Men acted more like property owners when it came to women. Men viewed women as only useful to serve a few specific purposes, and other than that, they were virtually worthless. Women like Louisa May Alcott, were seeking a chance to explore their individual freedoms apart from men. Women weren’t granted the right to vote until 1919; however, Louisa May Alcott expressed early interest in the subject of women’s rights, having lived through this demeaning era herself. It was almost 50 years after writing her inspiring and revolutionary novel, Little Women, that women were finally and truly recognized as equals and in which the passageway to women’s rights was rightly unveiled. Louisa May Alcott’s life in a 19th century restrictive society led her to write feminist novels that ushered in the era of women’s rights.
Women were silenced and oppressed in The Age of Innocence not only by men but by themselves; they succumbed to this injustice because it was the only thing they knew. Society not only shaped and molded the way a woman was to act, but also her innermost thoughts and desires. In this way, it was not only a woman’s voice that was silenced, but her mind as well. As Mary Wollstonecraft said, “I do not wish them to have power over men, but over themselves” . Because sometimes, a shout, a word, or a quiet whisper is all it takes to break the silence.
Women of the early 1900’s had a specific role to fill in the male dominated society. Women were nice “objects” to look at but there was no reason for women to give their opinion on anything, to vote, or to speak unless spoken to. There were few jobs that women were allowed to hold, these included working in the home, in a store, or on a farm. These few jobs which were deemed acceptable for women brought them as close to the male side of the world as they could get. Outside of a work setting, women did not join in with men in their activities. A woman’s beliefs, opinions, and choices were made by her husband or father. Women acted as a support system to the men in their lives. Zora Neale Hurston, who was born in 1861, jumped into this backwards society and started a revolution for female writers. Hurston’s novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, opened many women’s eyes to the lives that they were missing out on. This novel was written in a way that made women desire to change the way they were living their lives and to have their own lives that they governed.
The role of women has changed dramatically over time in significant ways that, while challenging, have proven ultimately to be beneficial to females as a gender and I would like to address some of these changes and have chosen a couple of works of fiction to support my claim. It is important to determine how much a woman’s role has changed in society, first to gage how far women have progressed, and sometimes to understand how much farther the role has yet to evolve. I myself, being female, in some ways applaud the brave women who have fought and sacrificed to overcome obstacles, because I am not so sure I possess the courage or their foresight to have done similarly. In other ways, I am comforted by knowing exactly what is expected of me
Throughout history, women have struggled with, and fought against oppression. They have been held back and weighed down by the sexist ideas of a male dominated society which has controlled cultural, economic and political ideas and structure. During the mid-1800’s to early 1900’s women became more vocal and rebuked sexism and the role that had been defined for them. Fighting with the powerful written word, women sought a voice, equality amongst men and an identity outside of their family. In many literary writings, especially by women, during the mid-1800’s to early 1900’s, we see symbols of oppression and the search for gender equality in society. Writing based on their own experiences, had it not been for the works of Susan Glaspell, Kate Chopin, and similar feminist authors of their time, we may not have seen a reform movement to improve gender roles in a culture in which women had been overshadowed by men.
Society continually places specific and often restrictive standards on the female gender. While modern women have overcome many unfair prejudices, late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century women were forced to deal with a less than understanding culture. Different people had various ways of voicing their opinions concerning gender inequalities, including expressing themselves through literature. By writing a fictional story, authors like Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Henry James were given the opportunity to let readers understand and develop their own ideas on such a serious topic.
During the 1800’s centuries, women have been forced to live life under a male domination. Women's were described as passive and as stereotypical during that time.
the disabilities of women are social and economic; the woman writer can only survive despite great difficulties, and despite the prejudice and the economic selfishness of men; and the key to emancipation is to be found in the door of a room which a woman may call her own and which she can inhabit with the same freedom and independence as her brothers. (144)
Virginia Woolf stressed the importance of having a room of one's own or a place to discover and explore the creative self. She encourages the young women to develop the habit of freedom and the courage to write exactly what they think. More than seventy years later, Woolf's words remain applicable. Women are still struggling to confront the courage and "…face the fact…that there is no arm to cling to…". For, while the societal barriers have disappeared, the mental barriers have not. Though few women are expected to be submissive and obedient, the ideology of the feminine role continues to starve women's souls. The pressure to get married and have children while pushing one's personal desires and passions aside persists.