Invisible Gender Rules

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Invisible Gender Rules

Changing oneself is very difficult to achieve, but a complete change of a group of people is next to impossible. For women, the past many years have changed lives, careers and family life. Yet the women's

revolution did not remove discrimination from society, it only changed certain discriminatory actions into others. Fatima Mernissi wrote the short story "The Harem Within" about a young girl living in a Harem where her primary role is to become a slave to her husband, being both uneducated and unlike herself. Proceeding a few years ahead, Clarice Lispectors short story "Preciousness", introduces another young women with similar problems in the completely opposite place, for this young girls Harem is the society and expectations of her peers. Gender roles are very specific to different cultures and religions, yet what continues to be a problem is that discriminatory rules and regulations that are present. No matter how advanced a place can become, there will always be the discriminatory idea that one gender should be a certain way despite who they really are and who they would like to become Both women and men are subjected to this harsh reality.

Women and men have evolved for many years now, whether it is style, personality or religious beliefs there is always room for change. Although the women's' movement was arguably very successful, there are very many young women who still have personal and emotional problems brought up because of society. Lispector depicts these problems through her character in her short story "Preciousness" by describing the adolescent emotional growing pains ...

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...ate ways, they both relate to each other in very similar aspects. Lispector and Mernissi tell stories of young women struggling to become someone important, they are not sure if they should become what the rest of the world would like them to be compared to the way they feel they should be. This is truly a fact of life and it can relate to most people in this world who have struggled with this concept of belonging. Even though our hearts can tell us what is right and wrong, there are always temptations to become something your not in order to make things easier for yourself.


Lispector, Clarice. "Preciousness". The Longman Anthology of World Literature Vol,

F.Ed. David Daursh New York: Longman, 2004.771-777.

Mernissi, Fatima. "The Harem Within". The Longman Anthology of World Literature

Vol, F.Ed. David Daursh New York: Longman, 2004. 777-781.
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