Inequality for Women

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Many US Women’s experiences have been shaped from the intersecting power inequalities that they have faced throughout their lives. These inequalities bring criticism, cruelty and sometimes death; however these women continue to fight for their rights through protests, activist organizations and by remaining composed when faced with adversities. At the start of “Shanghai Girls” by Lisa See, we are introduced to two sisters May and Pearl, whose lives change for the worse when the realities of living in a sexist society impacts them personally. When May and Pearl’s father says, “I’ve arranged marriages for you” (See 20) , they must accept. This is because despite their education, without a male figure, such as their father’s ability to support them, they would only end up as beggars or prostitutes. While the sisters were traveling to meet their husbands in Los Angeles, there was immediate racism/xenophobia; particularly against the Chinese immigrants. Pearl states, “We were treated more poorly that the cargo that travelled with us.” (See 90) This is seen through the “manhandling” by the guards and the fact that they were separated from the Caucasians, whom were let into San Francisco without questioning. Upon the sister’s arrival to Angel Island the unjust treatment continues. Not only are they kept in the same clothes for 5 days, but they are forced to live in prison-like conditions. Because of classism, it is important for the sisters to wear their best dresses when going for interrogation, as “those who are well dressed leave sooner... (See 96)” They would not get in if they were farmers and looked like peasants. Sexism is repeated once again when the sisters are forced into interrogation rooms with all white men. When Pearl ... ... middle of paper ... ...better. It is important to know about this history and to view it from women’s perspectives. We become empowered by those who fought before us and it helps us to remember that women need to be represented equally in all cultures. Women’s voices have been silenced in the past making it difficult to expose their tribulations. Reading about this history today reveals the truth about what they faced, and as a result, we gain a greater appreciation for these brave women who fought, so that the women of today may have equal and impartial experiences. Works Cited Delphy, Christine. A War for Afghan Women? September 11, 2001: Feminist Perspectives. 302-315.Print. Pahe, Erna. "Speaking Up." Roscoe, Will. Living the Spirit. New York: Gay American Indians of S.F., 1988. 106-114. Print. See, Lisa. Shanghai Girls. New York: The Random House Publishing Group, 2009. Print.
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