The Role of Men in Adrienne Rich's Of Woman Born

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The Role of Men in Of Woman Born

Adrienne Rich, via Of Woman Born, has created a wonderfully complex description and analysis of the condition of being a woman in our patriarchal American culture, or at least in the middle-class, white portion of it, as she acknowledges in the introduction to the 1986 edition of the book. Since I happen to fit into this category, I find this book to be very personally satisfying, although I can certainly imagine that Rich's writings wouldn't be completely applicable to all women in America. Rich examines the various issues surrounding multiple aspects of being a woman -- motherhood, relations with men, relations with children, relations with the patriarchy at large, etc. -- with a thoroughness that I find enlightening, honest-yet-hopeful, and refreshing.

There were passages throughout the book that I found exciting because they confirmed or bolstered many of the ideas I've had about being a woman in this culture. I have long suspected that women and children are often fearful simply because they are the vulnerable members in a mal...
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