Female Struggles Essay

Female Struggles Essay

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Patriarchal cultures are the universal reality of modern society. People who believe in equal rights for women try to expose the pitfalls of patriarchy. A role of the feminists is to fight patriarchy. In Salt Lake City, Utah where there are a number of people who belong to the Church of Latter Day Saints, also known as Mormons, patriarchy also exists. Terry Tempest Williams discusses patriarchy and women’s connection to the land in Refuge. Over time women’s status in society has become better, however in Mormon culture women’s rights have decreased. In Refuge, Terry Tempest Williams as an ecofeminist defies the traditional Mormon woman’s role.

In Refuge the gender roles are not as clear as in society. Williams chooses to display the gender roles more subtly. We learn that women are very close to other women. We see men doing manual labor. You see the mother as the nurturer and the father as the provider. Terry Tempest Williams gives readers insight on the culture but not explicit ideas about how gender in constructed in Mormon culture. Outside of Refuge, women have really lost rights in the last few years. In recent years women have lost the right to have priesthood and give blessings though polygamy has ceased (Stack 2003). These struggles are specific to Mormons but there are many struggles that women face all over the country.

The struggles that women face internationally are extensive. The female Mormons in Utah are not exempt from this struggle, in fact their struggles compare to women in the third world. In some Islamic states, the women have to cover their bodies so men can not see their bodies at all. Though Mormonism is not exactly the same, the status of women in the church has become progressively worse, making wo...


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... a family, and if finances allow, be a stay at home mom. While women are supposed to be prepared for a career – in case they don’t get married, spouse dies, etc., the first priority is supposed to be raising a family, and often career plans are “just in case” (4/13/05).

With the things that women know and do not quite know they make their opinions as all do. Even with the descent of women in Mormonism, through a thoughtful process, Sheena James herself chooses to be a stay at home mom in the future. There is no problem with this choice nor is it a problem for all women to make this choice; as long as there is a choice. Williams’ choice was not to perpetuate gender roles in her life. She still loves and appreciates her cultural practices though sexism exists in the culture. Being an eco feminist defies the traditional role of the woman as Williams does in Refuge.

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