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The Importance Of Sexism In Little Women

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The kinds of books children and young adults read today are read because they offer either important lessons or qualities that the children and young adults should portray. Books that children read reflect on the social structure on our world. A significant social issue today is one of gender inequality where men and women are still not seen as equals at home or in the workplace. This inequality reflects the sexism that occurs against women. Sexism is discrimination and stereotyping based on sex, most commonly against women.The sexism between men and women that exists today reflect the female stereotypes often seen in literature new and old. Literature published in the nineteenth and twentieth century, like Little Women and Peter and Wendy,…show more content…
Little Women follows the lives of the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, through their transition from childhood to adulthood. Throughout the novel, their mother teaches them important life lessons through their experiences and the mistakes they have made. Many celebrate Little Women as a feminist novel considering the seemingly feminist character of Jo. However, readers cannot regard this novel as a feminist one since it allows for the continuation of a sexist society. The main protagonist, Jo, wishes to achieve great things in her life, but society 's norm restricts her. Jo, who is quite bright and ambitious, wishes to attend college, but cannot pursue that dream since she is a girl (Alcott 30). Jo envies her neighbor Laurie since society expects him to attend college since he is a boy. Jo 's parents expect Jo to conform to the norms and not express her true self since society expects certain things of women. The norms prohibit her to act as she pleases and must act like every other young adults. When Jo changes her ways of acting, her father praises her saying, "I see a young lady who pins her collar straight, laces her boots neatly, and neither whistles, talks slang, nor lies on the rug as she used to do. ... She doesn 't bounce, but moves quietly, and takes care of a certain little person in a motherly way which delights me" (Alcott 235). Jo 's parents do not prefer…show more content…
Barrie 's Peter and Wendy delights countless children since it was first published in 1904. Thanks to the Disney movie, this story is still well-known to all. Peter and Wendy follows the Darling children adventures in Neverland with Peter Pan. Neverland is a wonderful place full of pirates, fairies, and mermaids. However, Peter and Wendy projects female stereotypes that still live on today. The entire story of Peter and Wendy runs on the basis that Peter and the Lost Boys need a mother. So, Peter goes to find the Lost Boys a mother and brings Wendy Darling to Neverland to be their mother. Peter rejoices when he brings Wendy to Neverland exclaiming "Great news, boys, ' he cried, 'I have brought at last a mother for you all." (Barrie 36) Wendy did not fly to Neverland to go on adventures, rather she came to Neverland to be a mother to Peter and the Lost Boys. The boys wish for a mother to read them stories, but being there are no adults in Neverland (except the pirates) Peter must provide the boys with someone who can give them type of attention. To Peter, Wendy is just a mother and cannot do what all the other children can do since she is a girl. This is apparent throughout the story as the boys go on adventures while Wendy stays home and takes care of chores. The worst part of this is that Wendy accepts her role of "mother" in Neverland. "...It was all especially entrancing to Wendy, because those rampageous boys of hers gave her so much to do. Really there were
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