Female issues

The number of mutilated woman and girls in Africa and the Middle East is increasing due to population growth, according to Win News. But internationally financed population, health and safe motherhood programs ignore Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and have failed to implement effective preventive education. Education should be provided to the woman and men in the participating countries so the risks of this mutilation can be understood fully. FGM is painful, dangerous, and disrespectful to the woman/child and her body and I belive evry woman has the right to education to help make this critical decision.

The mutilation most often performed is Clitoridectomy or Excision- cutting off without anesthetic, the clitoris and most of the external genitalia. This is practiced in a broad area from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Coast. The most dangerous operation, Infibulation is customary in Sudan, Somalia, N. Kenya,, W. Africa and all along the Red Sea coast. After the clitoris is excised and all external genitalia are carved away, the bleeding raw edges of the libia majora are held together by thorns or other fasting devices, until a scar forms to close the entrance to the vagina.

The legs of the little girl are tied together for several weeks until the wound heals; a tiny opening is created by inserting a splinter of wood to allow urination. Thus virginity, which is considered especially important by Moslem men, can be proven. These dangerous operations result in permanent damage: hemorrhage and shock, which may be fatal; many infections including tetanus, scaring which obstructs normal childbirth and may result in the death of both mother and child; infertility due to infection.

And that’s not all, FGM causes urinary and menstrual problems, frigidity, painful intercourse, and many, many needless deaths. The highest childbirth mortality is recorded in areas where FGM is practiced. Some may argue that this is their culture, we cannot judge, or interfere, and I agree. I do not feel that these are bad people, and I do not think we should outlaw this practice. I know that this is a way of life to them. But the decision is not being made by a educated adult.

The operations are being performed on children only a few days old up to puberty. These children do not realize that their life could be at stake just so their future husband will be satisfied. They live a life of pain for the mans happiness. FGM is desecrating the woman’s body and ultimately her soul. practice of female genital mutilation or FGM. According to human rights organizations, there are between eight and ten million women and girls in the Middle East and in Africa who are at risk of undergoing one form or another of genital mutilation.

Cuban women

As research on women has progressed, we have learned that there is no uniform relationship between level of economic development and women’s labor force participation. We have also discovered that women have not been and are not as passive and subservient to men as cultural constructs, literature, and discourse convey. Although women in the 19th century worked, like 20th century women in most of the world, they earned less than men. The feminization of poverty is not new.

It also proves to be persistent, even when women produce for the global economy and even when men’s work evolves around their wives. Women’s active role in the economy is not rooted in feminism. Nor is it the result or basis of “liberation. ” Rather, it typically is grounded in social, economic, and political necessity. By becoming more involved in the public sphere, by becoming more active in civil society and the communities where they live, women throughout Latin America are helping to bring about change.

For the revolutionaries in Cuba, “the revolution accomplished many of their goals: capitalism was abolished and socialism was installed, eroding class distinctions and eliminating private property, the working conditions improved, women’s rights improved, labor unions were recognized, the military became more modern and advanced, political order was restored, and the status of the country improved from dependent to independent”(Alexander, 76). For the people of Cuba, therefore, the revolution can be viewed as a success, but for America, the result was a failure.

Latin America is one of the poorest and underdeveloped sections of the world. Because of this fact, it is difficult for its nations to compete and thrive in the world market with modern nations as they struggle to industrialize and improve their status. Cuba’s progress towards equality for women “can be summed up in a few eloquent statistics. In 1953 Cuban women made up only 19. 2% of the workforce, but by 1999 this figure had increased to an impressive 43. 2%. Today 60% of university graduates are women and of these 49% are science graduates.

As for medicine, traditionally a bastion of male domination, no less than 74% of the graduates are women”(Berbeo, 24). Women in pre-Revolutionary Cuba had “achieved a more respectable status vis-a-vis men than women in any other Latin American country, with the possible exceptions of Argentina and Uruguay”(Alexander, 82). With regard to political rights, Cuban women received the vote in 1934. Among the Latin American states only women in Uruguay, Brazil, and Ecuador obtained voting rights earlier. Rates of abortion and divorce in pre-Revolutionary Cuba were among the highest in Latin America (Berbeo, 25).

In education the percentage of female students from ages five to fifteen approximately equaled that of male students. “According to Cuba’s 1953 census, the percentage of illiterate males (26 percent) exceeded that of illiterate females (21 percent). Within Latin America only Argentina and Chile had higher female literacy rates (85 percent and 79 percent respectively)”(Fernandez, 45). With regard to work positions and social status, the percentages of Cuban women working outside the home, attending school, and practicing birth control surpassed the corresponding percentages in nearly every other Latin American country.

Before the Revolution women had been elected to Cuba’s House of Representatives and Senate. They had served as mayors, judges, cabinet members, municipal counselors, and members of the Cuban Foreign Service. “The Constitution of 1940, one of the most progressive in the Western Hemisphere with regard to women’s status, prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex and called for equal pay for equal work”(Hewitt, 101). Susan Kaufman Purcell has attributed the relatively higher status of pre-Revolutionary Cuban women, when compared to women in most other Latin American countries, to three factors.

First, the Catholic Church played a lesser role in the colonization of Cuba and remained less powerful and influential on the island than throughout the rest of Spanish America. The patriarchal traditions of the Church, particularly in the nineteenth century and before, tended to subordinate women and confine them to childbearing and child rearing in the home” (Alexander, 98). Such an influence proved to be somewhat less important in Cuba than in neighboring Latin American countries.

Second, unlike most other Latin American countries, Cuba never developed a dominant hacienda system emphasizing traditional patriarchal authority. Rather, Cuban plantations employed a wage-earning labor force. This agricultural structure engendered a stronger, more independent role for women in society. Finally, the island’s proximity and economic ties to the United States substantially influenced Cuban culture”(Alexander, 99). North American social traditions, which have been considerably more sexually equal than those of much of Latin America, affected significantly Cuban social traditions, especially in the urban areas.

To be sure, pre-revolutionary society retained certain extreme inequalities between the sexes. Despite the early date in obtaining relatively advanced legal rights, pre-revolutionary women were far from equal partners in governing the state. Women “seldom [ran] for office nor [did] they appear often as members of boards, commissions, or other appointive positions at the policy-making level”(Hewitt, 122). Nearly all women in politics or public office found themselves associated chiefly to subordinate roles.

Moreover, although Cuba was “less influenced by the Catholic Church and somewhat more socially equal than other Latin American states, an authoritarian and patriarchal family structure, part of the island’s Hispanic legacy, did indeed influence society to a considerable degree. This was particularly the case in the isolated, rural areas, which encompassed more than 43 percent of the population”(Fernandez, 57). Within the Cuban family a double standard prevailed that required “good” women to demonstrate unquestioned fidelity, while allowing, indeed encouraging, infidelity among men.

Cuban society taught young boys to demonstrate their machismo: a Latin notion of male superiority and aggressiveness demonstrated by virility, strength, confidence, courage, and power. Young girls, however, were expected to be gracious, attractive, retiring, virtuous, and virgin. Prior to the Revolution most Cubans believed that the woman’s place should center on the home. Although in practice only upper-class women had the security necessary to focus all their attention on the family, middle-class women tended to imitate this ideal whenever possible.

By the late 1940’s however, Cuban society had accepted the idea that upper-class and upper-middle class women might choose to work in the absence of financial need, provided the labor occurred in a ‘respectable” professional or bureaucratic setting. “At the same time lower-class women, who often had to perform low-status menial labor outside the home, could rarely afford what was seen as the luxury of unemployment. Organized childcare in pre-revolutionary Cuba remained extremely limited” (Berbeo, 30).

Often, lower-class workingwomen took their older daughters out of school to supervise younger children and, in essence, to serve as surrogate mothers. This contributed to a high dropout rate among girls. Unquestionably, women in pre-Revolutionary Cuba held an inferior position in the labor force. “In 1943, for example, women comprised only 10 percent of this force. Ten years later the figure had increased to 13. 7 percent. Thereafter it grew steadily, though slowly; by 1956 to 14 percent and by 1959 to 17 percent.

Although dramatically underrepresented in white-collar and blue-collar jobs, women did account for approximately 46 percent of Cuba’s professionals and semiprofessionals. Of course, 60 percent of these women worked in the traditional occupations of nurses and teachers. In 1957 women filled more than 48 percent of jobs in the service sector. About one quarter of workingwomen were employed as domestic servants. Indeed, more than 90 percent of all domestic workers were female”(Aguilar, 16). Fewer than 3 percent of Cuban women, however, worked in agricultural, fishing, construction, and transport industries.

As was true throughout the region, most Cubans tended to view higher paying positions as male jobs. Nevertheless, in 1956/57 Cuban women did have the benefit of more job security and stability than men and were less affected by unemployment. On the eve of the Revolution the number of women in the work force was increasing steadily. And the legal status of women had improved substantially beyond that of women in many other Latin American countries. “By 1990 with a population of 10 million in Cuba, women accounted for 39% of the workforce, and 58% of them were in technical positions.

In addition, 55% of university students were women, and they also accounted for the majority of medical students in Cuba. In a period of less than half a century, women’s employment increased almost 400%”(Aguilar, 13). Women have played a defining part in the changes that have taken place in the economic, political and social life of Cuba since the revolution of 1959. They have been the main agents in the process of transforming the traditional roles assigned and assumed by the sexes. They have been working in the process of building relationships based on equality, respect of the differences and full realization of everyone’s potential.

Women have been active in the theoretical and political struggle to alter the fundamental problem of the status of women in Cuban society and this has been the starting point to begin the struggle for full equal rights and opportunities. Equality for women has therefore been included as one of the strategic objectives in the development of human and social justice of the Cuban Revolution. The Federation of Cuban Women, or the FMC is an NGO which was established by women in 1960 with more than 3 million members, “which constitutes 85. 2% of all women over age 14″(Aguilar, 11).

It has been recognized by the Cuban government as the national mechanism for the advancement of women in Cuba. This was due to the work the FMC has done at the grass roots level, the authority it has gained by its work with the government on women’s issues and the role it has performed in introducing the gender approach in the institutional agenda and in public policies. The main objectives of the FMC are to equalize the power between men and women. “As of the moment there are 35% in the Parliament, 16. 1% in the State Council, 61% Attorneys, 49% Judges, and 47% Judges in the Supreme Court”(Aguilar, 12).

At the levels of leadership and decision-making, 32% are women. Of the members of the National Assembly, 27. 6% are women. But these percentages should continue to increase in the number of women in these sectors”(Aguilar, 12). If taken into account the fact that there are more women than men in the areas of health and education, then there should also be more women in leadership positions in these areas. In Cuba there is no quota system for women. They are one third of the leaders in Cuba, but we believe we should continue to grow systematically and progressively, and why not over 50%?

So these are issues that we should resolve in stages. The national plan of action is based on these expectations. “The Cuban Government is of the view that individuals enjoy full civic and political rights within a socialist framework. Although members of the Government and its sympathizers are well taken care of, there is no real opposition outside that framework. There is limited freedom of association, and freedom of speech is restricted to certain political parameters. In this sense, women’s general political and civil rights are not respected.

Although there is vibrant discussion within the officially accepted civil organizations, the lack of organizations that are financially and ideologically independent of government denies the possibility of a watchful, creative civil society. The need for civil and political rights to be extended must be emphasized, if women are to have full participation in civil society and government”(Alexander, 185). The Communist system in Cuba provided Cuban women with an economic and social safety network, which put them in a better position statistically than most of their Latin American counterparts.

In terms of education, participation in the workforce, and professional and technical training Cuban women are way ahead of women in most other countries. Non-discrimination against women at the workplace is a constitutional right. However, women’s participation in the Cuban economy has not decreased, rather, during the last four years, “the female work force has increased by 36%” and at this pace women’s participation in the economy of Cuba will keep growing (Alexander, 136).

Female pioneers of Softball

For this Women of Diversity Group Project, my group chose to write about female pioneers in sport. Within that category I chose female pioneers of softball. During this paper I will discuss the history of the sport and female participation in the sport. I will also give some statistics and make comparisons between females and males involved in softball and baseball. Softball was developed as an indoor game in 1887 by George W. Hancock in Chicago. He used a 17-inch ball with outward turned seams. In the Spring of 1888, Hancocks game moved outdoors. It was played on a small diamond and called indoor-outdoor.

In 1889 Hancock published the first set of rules because of such high popularity in the sport. In 1895 a fire department officer with the name of Lewis Rober decided that he needed an activity to keep the firefighters active during their free time. Rober was unfamiliar with Hancocks version of the game and in 1895 adapted the game for outdoor play. Rober used a 12-inch ball with a cover like a baseball. In 1900, Rober named the league Kitten League Ball. Later in the century, the first womens softball team was formed in 1895 at Chicagos West Division High School.

The team did not receive a coach for competitive play until 1899. At that time it was very difficult to develop interest among fans. About five years later womens softball received more attention when The Spalding Indoor Baseball Guide devoted a large section of the guide to the game of womens softball (Cohen 52). In 1933, the Chicago National Tournament also advanced the sport. At this competition, the male and female champions were honored equally. Also in 1933, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) was founded to govern and promote softball in the United States (World Book).

The ASA set up a committee that established one set of rules now used by teams in all parts of the world. The International Softball Federation was founded in 1952 to govern International competition. The Championships in 1965 developed womens softball by making it an international game a step towards the Pan American Games and the Olympics (World Book). Eleven years later, women softball players were given the closest equivalent to Major League Baseball with the 1976 formation of the International Womens Professional Softball League.

The contracts of the players ranged from $1,000-$3,000 per year. The contracts were disbanded in 1980 because of financial ruin. Vicki Schneider, a St. Louis Softball Hall of Famer and former professional player, recalls this league as being the high point of her career (World Book). Throughout the years womens softball, both fastpitch and slowpitch, has constantly been growing and becoming more competitive at an earlier age. The ASA reports that it annually registers over 260,000 teams combining to form a membership of more than 4. 5 million (Cohen 51).

Increased media coverage and the Olympics have greatly contributed to the progression of Womens Softball. Vicki Schneider also commented that there is obviously some special appeal of fastpitch sofball that has allowed it to steadily grow in popularity through the years. Throughout history softball has come a long way. In 1943 Philip K. Wringly established the All-American Girls Softball League which was the forerunner of the AAGBL (All American Girls Baseball League) (Cohen 49). Also at this time, women who signed up to serve in the armed forces during WWII brought their love of softball with them.

They brought gloves, bats, and balls for use in their spare time. In 1943 Time Magazine estimated that there were 40,000 semi-pro womens softball teams (Macy 89). At this time womens baseball had basically the same rules as womens softball except the distance of the baselines and pitching distances were longer in baseball and in baseball there was leading off unlike in softball. In 1950 Margaret Dobson was the womens fastpitch tournament batting champion for softball with a . 615 batting average. Betty Chapman, in 1951, became the first African American professional softball player (Macy 123).

She played outfield on the Admiral Music Maids of the National Girls Baseball League of Chicago. Although it was called Baseball League the women actually played softball. In 1975 the International Womens Professional Softball League was formed. Player contracts ranged from $1,000-$3,000 per year. In 1980 the League folds due to financial problems. The women who played Professional baseball during the war were placed with many rules upon them. These women had to go to Charm school to learn how to walk sit and speak with poise and class.

The stronger and better women became at baseball, the more men would be concerned about their femininity. Even the media put focus on the women being soft and vulnerable. When men played baseball they did not have to go to masculine school to learn how to be more masculine. Putting these restrictions on women was not fair and just showed how unequal women were from men. After researching and writing this paper on the Pioneers of Softball, I have learned about many issues that women faced in trying to become professional.

I found it hard to focus just on the pioneers of softball because so many of the softball players also played baseball, especially when the men went to war. Also, many of the women who played baseball changed over to softball after the war. I learned a lot about the struggles and accomplishments of women in Softball and even Baseball. The Silver Bullets are just one Professional womens baseball team. It would be nice to once again see another professional womens League either in softball or baseball.

Pocahontas and the Mythical Indian Woman

Pocahontas. Americans know her as the beautiful, Indian woman who fell in love with the white settler John Smith and then threw her body upon the poor white captive to protect him from being brutally executed by her own savage tribe. The magical world of Walt Disney came out with their own movie version several years ago portraying Pocahontas as a tan, sexy Barbie doll figure and John Smith as a blond-haired, blue-eyed muscular Ken doll.

Although Disney attempts to instill racial tolerance, inter-racial friendship, and nonviolent resolutions in Pocahontas, they contribute to the inaccurate Indian woman stereotype that has evolved from such stories. While it can be argued that Disney has liberties to change a story to suit their movie needs, or that they as producers only mirror popular beliefs, Pocahontas reflects the Americanized concept of an Indian woman, which, although fortunately unsavage, hinders the comprehension of Native American women then and now.

One may think that Pocahontas is only a child’s story created for entertainment and that children outgrow the image of the Indian princess or realize there are women that do not fit the other category of Indian squaw. However, once logic and reason begin to develop, the childhood Indian vision remains mythical. As Rayna Green explains in “The Pocahontas Perplex,” “we cannot ignore the impact the story has had on the American imagination” (183). Instead of mentally revising our perceptions of Indians and Pocahontas, we have based an American culture on a fairytale, told to suit white consumption.

Evidence that Americans have not outgrown the fantasy image of Pocahontas is revealed in that few Anglo adults know the true story of Pocahontas and can only associate her with the Americanized, Disney-like image. Americans are obsessed with the notion of a Native woman saving a white man. According to Louise Barnett, author of The Ignoble Savage, in stories, poems, and songs from the past, Indians often identify themselves as being intellectually inferior to whites and are noble because of their desire to die for whites which conveniently makes them, as inferiors, the sacrifice in a tragic romance (94).

In fact, Disney falls for this portrayal of female Natives when the animated Pocahontas heroically covers Smith’s body with her own, defying her father the chief, by suggesting he should kill them both if he is determined to kill Smith. Sadly, Pocahontas is not alone in her famed status due to her willingness to sacrifice herself to save a white man. Barnett explains, “a number of unlucky Pocahontas figures populate the frontier romance, saving white beloveds only at the cost of their own lives” (93).

Fortunately, Pocahontas’s life was spared despite her willingness to sacrifice, although her later affiliations with a white man and Europe led to her death from disease. The notion of females rescuing white men and assimilating with their culture have traditionally been connected, which resulted in greater Indian deaths due to their exposure to a foreign culture from which they had not yet learned to protect themselves. On the other hand, these new Native women are not always the primary characters of the fiction, but their presence is necessary for the text to evolve.

Although similarities exist between the mythical Indian woman and the characters developed in modern fiction, the new portrait being painted of Native women shows them as strong, spiritual, and powerful, even if they choose to use their power in a destructive manner. Keeping with tradition, Indian women are still caretakers and healers but while they keep their positions as saviors of men, Indian women are illustrated saving Indian men rather than white males.

Whereas the Indian women previously saved white men from the savages of their own tribe, they are now saving their own race from the destruction of the white world. Native women healing sick Indian men recurs as a common theme throughout multiple Native novels. Furthermore, it is generally the men who are spiritually or mentally sick: few emotionally ill women are portrayed coming back to the reservation in hopes of connecting to the past or finding themselves. For the most part, the female characters have already identified themselves and discovered their relationship to their world and community.

Momaday’s The Ancient Child, Silko’s Ceremony, Erdrich’s Tracks, Hogan’s Mean Spirit, and Alexie’s Indian Killer illustrate a different, realistic and modernized Native American female. In Indian Killer, an Indian college student illustrates a modern Native woman. In comparison to all of the female characters presented in this paper, Marie is the most determined to set the record straight. Marie says, I’m not an Indian warrior chief. I’m not some demure little Indian woman Healer talking spider this, spider that, am I?

I’m not babbling bout the four directions. Or the two-legged, four-legged, and winged. I’m talking like a twentieth-century Indian woman. Hell, a twenty-first century Indian, and you can’t handle it, you wimp. (Alexie 248) Marie’s boldness and honesty contribute to her effectiveness as a powerful character while dispelling traditional Indian misconceptions. In contrast to the stories written in the past about Indian women, more recent stories are questioning the Pocahontas stereotype and providing alternative methods of classifying female roles.

Modern Native American fiction is redefining the Indian woman image because the novels give female characters control of the story, portray her ability to hold power over men other than through sexual appeal, refuse to let women become victimized by rape, include women that display supernatural powers and healing, and show women as activists. Louise Erdrich’s Tracks provides the best contrast within the same text of two female characters who choose to use their powers in very different fashions.

Fleur Pillager is most closely associated with the power of the “Bear Spirit” (Barry 29) and her association with the bear suggests that she shares the powers of the bear. Fleur takes the form of animals: “we followed the tracks of her bare feet and saw where they changed, where the claws sprang out, the pad broadened. . . we heard her chuffing cough, the bear cough” (Erdrich 12). Later, when Fleur has suffered from a prolonged labor, a bear enters her house, causing her to finally give birth. Just by her association with the bear, an animal sacred to Natives, Fleur’s power is unquestionable.

In addition, Fleur is also powerful because of her relationship with Misshipeshu, the lake monster. According to local legend, Fleur has drowned twice in the lake, but ironically, it is the men that try to save Fleur from drowning that end up dead. Nanapush explains that the locals did not like to think about how she did it, but “she kept the lake thing controlled” (Erdrich 35). Although people are scared of Fleur’s powers and deem them evil, evil personifies itself in Pauline, not Fleur. Pauline tries to murder her unborn, illegitimate child by starving herself, then falling on an axe handle.

Later, in labor, Pauline refuses to push the baby into the world. “I told Bernadette I had decided to die, and let the child die too” (Erdrich 135). After the child is born, Pauline refuses to take the baby to her breast and leaves the house and baby behind. The life force within Pauline does not exist to help life come into the world, as Pauline can only ease a person to their death. In contrast, when Fleur goes into premature labor and Pauline is the only one with her, Pauline stands by, helpless. She watches as Fleur tries to breathe life into her half-dead baby.

Instead of physically assisting, Pauline immerses herself in prayer as the weakened Fleur puts wood on the fire and boils a mixture to feed to the baby and herself. Whereas Pauline deserts her own child, and will not help to save another’s dying child, Fleur gambles with the sprits in hope of buying back her child’s soul. Despite Pauline’s conversion to Christianity, her loyalty is to the devil rather than Christ. At night, he comes to her, tells her lies and convinces her to do evil in the name of the Lord. ” He sat in the moonlight, on the stove and looked down at me and smiled in the spill of His radiance and explained” (Erdrich 137).

Pauline’s blindness to evil allows her to become an agent for Satan. In addition, she turns to Christianity not because she believes, but rather because she feels the dying Chippewa culture will be to her disadvantage. Pauline switches sides halfway through the novel to gain the upper hand. She does not respect the power or use it properly. In fact, she forces herself to suffer, believing it will increase her powers. She inflicts injuries upon herself such as smashing ice with her bare hands until they bleed. She also refuses to urinate during the day, wears her shoes in reverse, wears uncomfortable undergarments and goes without bathing.

Her actions are not honorable because they are for no greater cause than to satisfy her own greedy cravings for power. Her manipulative tendencies are destructive without motivation for true personal benefit. For example, Pauline places a love spell on her young, innocent cousin Sophie, and upon Fleur’s lover Eli, causing them to have an affair. Later, during one of her religious hallucinations, Pauline murders Napoleon Morrissey, the father of the child she attempted to abort.

She strangles him with her rosary and then Pauline uses her faith to justify the murder. I]t suddenly was revealed to me that I had committed no sin. There was no guilt in this matter, no fault. How could I have known what body the devil would assume? ” (Erdrich 203). Pauline drags his body to the woods, and deserts it thinking, “they could find him or not for all I cared” (Erdrich 203). In Tracks, Pauline and Fleur take control of the story. Yet while Pauline alters the story through her lies, Fleur shapes the story by her actions. When Fleur’s land is threatened by loggers, she defiantly stays on her land, ignoring the order for her to move.

Furthermore, Fleur steals the loggers’ tools and uses them to plot against the loggers. Nanapush recalls the day the loggers arrive to ask Fleur to leave her property and house. As the trees begin to fall one at a time, Nanapush realizes that, Each tree was sawed through at the base. . . . With one thunderstroke the trees surrounding Fleur’s cabin cracked off and fell away from us in a circle, pinning beneath their branches the roaring men, the horses . . . Then the wind settled, curled back into the clouds, moved on, and we were left standing together in a landscape level to the lake and to the road.

Erdrich 223) The loggers, left in a state of shock and pinned under trees, surround the clearing of Fleur’s home where she stands viewing the destruction she coordinated. Yet Fleur’s response to the loggers taking her land keeps her from being the victim. Fleur and Pauline illustrate that Native American female characters can be powerful but utilize their powers in different ways. Native women are also illustrated as powerful healers and prove themselves in shaman positions. In Silko’s Ceremony, Ts’eh as a character has a minimal role and rarely speaks, yet she contains the power to help Tayo.

Support can be found that Ts’eh represents Thought Woman, but regardless she represents a “regenerative spirit” (Nelson 15) that has the ability to heal and counter evil. In “Grandmother Storyteller,” Kenneth Lincoln refers to Ts’eh as a “lovely medicine woman” who “comes and goes like a spirit” and translates Ts’eh to mean ‘water'” (246). Due to her knowledge of plants, animals and landscapes, Ts’eh’s connection to the earth and her love for life are part of her healing powers. Nelson points out that even when Tayo makes love to Ts’eh, her body takes the shape of a landscape in his mind (21).

Paula Gunn Allen theorizes in her essay, “The Feminine Landscape of Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony,” that Tayo’s illness is caused by the separation of “unity of person, ceremony, and land and his healing is a result of this unity” (234). Throughout Ceremony, Tayo searches for his place and sense of identity. Other medicine men fail to help him, but the power of a woman induces his rebirth and renewal. Ultimately, Ts’eh’s love heals Tayo and becomes the foundation of the unity he seeks and needs for survival.

Tayo explains that even when apart from Ts’eh, “[t]he feeling he had, the love he felt from her, remained” (Silko 217) and then later, “[t]he breaking and crushing were gone, and the love pushed inside his chest, and when he cried now, it was because she loved him so much” (Silko 227). According to Paula Gunn Allen, Ts’eh is, the “wonder” being, a female creator, who has powers to “bless the earth and the beloved with healing, with rain. It is loving her that heals Tayo” (234). Furthermore, the strength of Ts’eh’s love allows Tayo to face and escape from the evil of his friends that has previously been a controlling influence.

In a similar manner, in The Ancient Child, Grey contains the healing powers necessary for Set’s salvation. Momaday describes Grey as she continues on the path to be a shaman: “[a]lready she had considerable power, but she would have more” (173). Members of Grey’s own family begin to fear her abilities for Milo admits he “was afraid of her growing power” (169). Once Grey completes her training as a medicine woman, she uses her energies to rehabilitate Set’s empty soul. Her powers begin to affect him before he comes to see her. In fact, Grey hints that Set has little alternative in coming to her.

The text reveals, “It was something, his coming, that she could bring about _ had indeed already brought about – by the sheer strength of her will and her belief” (Momaday 248). The ability to attract Set without using cunning sexual appeal affirms Grey’s confidence in her powers. Set may have the power of the bear, but he comprehends that Grey’s dominance is greater than his, especially while he is ill. Set tells Grey’s mother, “I can be well and strong with Grey’s help-she knows how to help me. I have become stronger since I have been here, because of Grey” (Momaday 295).

Both Set in The Ancient Child and Tayo in Ceremony realize their restoration has resulted from an undefined, feminine healing power. The female as deliverer contrasts to the Christian concept of individual salvation, as the female’s focus is to help now, not to secure their position in an afterlife. Ts’eh and Grey are saviors as healers, but their powers are diverted into restoring men of their own race, and they assimilate these men to Native ways rather than being absorbed into white culture themselves. The love and unselfishness displayed by Ts’eh and Grey makes them symbolic mothers who choose to nurture spiritually ill men.

Although their respective novels portray them healing only one man, the reader understands that their powers are capable of saving others. Furthermore, the men they salvage directly affect others within their communities. The men they heal become spiritually balanced, contribute to the community, and are capable of helping others who are sick. Many races of women have been and are objectified as sexual objects of masculine lust and consumption. Indian women are no exception and perhaps due to their minority status and historical servitude to white men, have suffered as sexual objects more than white females.

Murphy and Dwight illustrate the sexual infatuation with Native women in The Ancient Child. Murphy jokes about his son raping Grey: “I surely do admire the looks of that Injun gal, I surely do. And she surely can ride, can’t she, son? ” (Momaday 93). Although Grey is raped, she does not play the role of victim. Momaday explains her condition following the rape. She was naked and mangled. She must have been deep in shock. . . and it was not over; it was going on. . . . No, she must not faint, she had to hold on, to deal straightly with this emergency, horrible and violent and dehumanizing as it was.

Even to this she must find the appropriate response. (97) Grey’s response is to attack her own rapist. After she has gained the upper hand and tied his naked body up with bailing wire, and set pitch fork tines at his throat, she tells him, “I’d really like to kill you, Dwight” (Momaday 99). Despite the fact that he is no longer able to harm her, she continues to torture him. “She inserted the left outside tine into Dwight Dick’s left nostril; the next tine then came to rest at the outer corner of his left eye, against the ball, between his eyelids” (Momaday 100).

While Dwight is contorted in this helpless position, Grey uses a pair of curved cutting pliers and circumcises him. Kathleen Donovan, a feminist critic, is appalled at Momaday’s portrayal of Grey’s response to her rape. According to Donovan, the pain of Grey’s rape is not discussed in the novel, and “the narrative assumes a masculinist stance that the proper response for a woman in this situation is to return violence with violence” (92). Donovan has a valid point that a woman might not think of her revenge as she is being violated.

Yet the fact that Grey chooses to find justice on her own terms, and immediately following her own violent rape, reaffirms Grey as a powerful character who is invincible to a crime that could destroy a woman. Although Dwight steals a part from her unwilling body, she also takes from him without his permission. Unlike Shakespeare’s Shylock, Grey attains part of a pound of flesh as payment. In addition, after the rape, Grey has attained the horse she wanted, previously owned by the Dicks. The insinuation exists in the text that Grey bought the horse through sexual favor but Momaday never clarifies this detail.

If Grey did not sexually barter for the horse, she may be the only raped woman in the history of fiction to circumcise her attacker and then take his horse without being jailed for her actions. Later in the novel, wearing only a turtle mask, Grey inquires if Dwight’s “injured member” is better. It is a comic scene as, “Dwight Dicks . . . was struck dumb.. his eyes and mouth wide open. . . . She sat naked above the great, red, dumbfounded man, her coppery body glowing with sweat, her breasts heaving, the unearthly turtle mask tilted downward” (Momaday 200). This is another affirmation of Grey’s power.

By asking about his injury, she reminds Dwight not only of his circumcision by her, but of the power she had over him and still retains. Her naked body, seated on what had previously been his horse, reinforces her triumph over him. So while Grey could be emotionally scarred from her rape, Dwight’s symbol of manhood is scarred physically, a constant reminder of the rape he perpetrated that turned into his own rape. Therefore, although Grey’s response to her rape is uncommon or even unheard of, she illustrates that a minority woman may still be raped, but her reaction does not have to be one of silence, shame, or victimization.

The women of Afghanistan

Although the women of Afghanistan are currently allowed to go to school, the country’s new government is not doing enough to help them with their education. The Afghan women are faced with poverty and other difficulties because the previous governing group, the Taliban, viewed them as ignorant and unable to think for themselves. Unlike women in North America, Afghan women have very few opportunities with an education. Without an education, they have little to no chance of success. As some say, when you educate a woman, you educate her whole family.

This means that if a mother is educated, her children will be much more likely to earn to read and write. As a result of the previous Taliban rule, most women and their children are illiterate. Under the Taliban, the voices and rights of the Afghan women were oppressed. One main thing, which was ignored, was the right of women to be educated. The women were taken out of school almost immediately after the Taliban came into power in 1996. While under Taliban rule, if any women were caught in school, they were punished very harshly, even small girls.

Before the Taliban rule, the women who were high ranking teachers, doctors, and held many other occupations were removed from their positions immediately. However, the Taliban could not stop some determined women. These women defied the Taliban in many small ways, thus proving their independence. Some women chose to help other women by secretly teaching them in their own homes. Not only did these women choose to risk their lives, but the lives of their students were also in great danger. These students were often forced to hide their lessons in copies of the Koran (Logan, Harriet p 35).

When the Taliban suspected women of going to school, they would often follow them to and from their teacher’s home. When the Taliban confronted the students, the teachers were unable to do nything to prevent the harassment. If they did, both they and their students would be arrested and put in prison. These women proved their independence, sometimes in small ways, but to them, it was the only way that they could assert their independence. The current generation of the country now has a distorted view on the value of education. Even though the Taliban is no longer in power, the Afghan people are still unaware of the value of education.

In a country as poor as Afghanistan, education is a critical part of life. The future generations have been held back by the rule of the Taliban. The new eneration must realize the importance of education and how it can help to improve their lives for the better. Although the Taliban are no longer in power, the people of Afghanistan are trapped in a life filled with poverty and little chance for change. Only with the education of both men and women can Afghanistan reduce its poverty rate. As a result of their illiteracy, many women are unable to get a job and support their families.

This contributes largely to the country’s poverty problems. Many families rely on their mothers for their financial support. Many boys have had to work to support their families, starting at a very young age. One reason for this is that finding a job if you are a woman is very difficult. Imagine how hard it would be to find a job if you are uneducated. Many women’s husbands have died in previous wars such as the Afghan war. The financial responsibility of many Afghan families has recently fallen on the mothers and other women of the family.

This confronts many women with the difficulty of finding a job and finding a way to care for their children. However many women are unable to get a job and support their families. This contributes largely to the country’s poverty problems. Many families rely on their mothers for their financial support. Many boys have had to work to support their families, starting at a very young age. Even if the women were able to find a job, how would they be able to care for their children during the day when they work? This situation is often a reality for many Afghan women.

The question of how they will be able to pay for their family’s needs without a job often haunts the lives of women with families in Afghanistan. These women have no way to care for their children. Unlike the United States, there are no daycare centers or nursery schools where they can leave their children. The government needs to build childcare centers so that the women can have a hance to construct a better life for themselves and for their children. Although women are legally allowed to receive an education, there are still some who are against the idea and have decided on showing their views by bombing several schools.

One example of this is in a northern Afghan town called Sar-i-pui. In this town, school supplies used by the girl’s school were put in a courtyard and burned. This way of expressing their opinion has been fatal to some innocent people. The people who have been responsible for these bombings are often Taliban activists who feel that it s their duty to spread the message that women should not be in school and that they should return to their rightful place in the home to care for their children. Some fundamentalists think that these women deserve to be punished by Allah, as well as on Earth.

However, although many women’s schools have not been bombed, it is the threat of the bombings which has held many women back from going to school (Rhode, David Vandals). Many women feel that they will most certainly be killed if they go to school. Unlike western women, the women of Afghanistan feel that school is a place f danger rather than excitement. While the police and government are trying to prevent these acts of violence, the country still suffers from the influence of previous Taliban rule.

For example, there have recently been several attacks on girl’s schools. One attack was in a village just south of the country’s capital, Kabul. On a note found 50 feet from the attack, citizens were told to fight against American forces, or they would face further deadly attacks. Although the Taliban is no longer in power, their supporters still live on. The government feels that Taliban activists committed these attacks. This could be a time of many social changes and developing economic opportunities for Afghan women.

However, until there are changes in the Afghan hearts and minds, the whole nation, men and women alike, will be unable to reach it’s full potential. Due to the quick pullout of the Taliban, the government is quite unstable. After September 11th, the United States and other western forces began an attack on Afghanistan. This left the responsibility of rebuilding the government to the powerful countries of the world. While the government is helping, they should and could be doing more to support the women of heir country.

President Karzai has recently revoked the current laws of education, which the Taliban had inforced. These women have had their lives held back because of the ignorant behavior of the men of the Taliban. Young girls now believe that they are not worth anything more than what a man will think of them, when in fact, they are often smarter than most of the men in the country. In the 20th century, western women fought for and attained many political, economic, and educational opportunities. Let us hope that the 21st century provides the women of Afghanistan with the same changes.

The Glass Cileing

Professor Diana Bilimoria hit it on the nail when she proclaimed, “Even when women do all the right things, and have all the right stuff, they continue to be blocked from the innermost circles of power” (Daily). The increasing number of working women with an education and experience in the business world continue to encounter this blockade mentioned by Professor Bilimoria. Suzanne M. Crampton and Jitendra M. Mishra find that the promotions to managerial positions achieved by women have, unfortunately, not kept up with the increase of women in the work force. This barrier that keeps women from promotions is called the glass ceiling.

Glass ceiling is a term coined in the 1970’s to describe the invisible artificial barriers, created by attitudinal and organizational prejudices, which bar women from top executive jobs” (“Glass Ceiling Separates Women for Top”). Robert B. Reich, Secretary of Labor, informs his readers that the expression “glass ceiling” first appeared about ten years ago in a column entitled “Corporate Women” in the Wall Street Journal” (iii). Since the mid to late eighties, the term has been applied to identify situations where women have bumped their heads in efforts to reach high-level positions.

One source reports that the results of a Labor Department study prove that the “glass ceiling” prevents women from achieving promotions in management and leadership positions (Crampton). Women’s “highest levels tend to be in staff positions, such as human resources, or research or administration, rather than line positions, such as marketing, or sales, or production” (Reich iii). Crampton finds that out of all management positions of modern organizations women hold only sixteen percent of them. Even worse, women reside in 4 percent of the highest-level positions in management and administration (Crampton).

Even with the help of affirmative action, the glass ceiling still does not shatter. Affirmative action was developed in reaction to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act declared that discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or sex was illegal. The President’s call for affirmative action acted as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Act. The Random House Dictionary defines affirmative action as “the encouragement of increased representation of women and minority members, especially in employment.

With the establishment of affirmative action women have gained advancements and prestige in the business world; however, the phenomenon known as the glass ceiling hinders women from achieving promotions to high-level positions in corporate America. Similar to how the government recognized affirmative action as a solution to enforcing the Civil Rights Act, it recognized the need for a solution to the glass ceiling situation. Reich believes that due to the efforts of Secretary Elizabeth Dole and Secretary Lynn Martin “the Department of Labor became closely involved in identifying and publicizing the glass ceiling problem” (iii).

Senator Bob Dole proposed the Glass Ceiling Act in order to address the situation. The Glass Ceiling Act designed a commission, known as the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission, to study and propose means for eliminating the glass ceiling (iii). Fortune magazine periodically ranks and publishes a list of America’s largest companies. Many women advocates use these reports as tests to see where women stand in the selected companies. Crampton reports “of the Fortune 50 companies, only 1. 3 percent of corporate officers are women, while 1. ercent are women within the Fortune 500 companies.

Among two-hundred of America’s largest companies, women hold less than a quarter of executive jobs and less than five percent of the vice-presidents are women. ” One may think well at least women have broken through the glass ceiling and that advancements have been made. However, in the past ten years no more than two women have served as CEO’s for a Fortune 500 company (Daily). The number of women who serve on the boards for these major corporations “comprise a relatively modest percentage of all board members” (Daily).

A catch-22 is established because most male board members once served as CEO’s, and that experience is sometimes an unestablished rule to becoming a board member. If few women can make it to the top, how will women ever make it on the boards? The women that are board members usually serve on more than one, or two boards; the statistics are unable to convey that the same few women make up that “modest percentage” (Daily). Kaufman relays that the Bureau of Labor estimates that in five years women will make up forty-eight percent of the American work force.

Advocates for women’s progression in business occupations would hope that with the increase in working women, the number of women in CEO positions would also increase. Unfortunately, this view does not seem too promising. In Fortune magazine’s survey of America’s largest companies “only sixteen indicated that they thought it very likely or somewhat likely that their company would have a female CEO within the next ten years, while eighteen percent believed it was very likely within the next twenty years” (Crampton). Several key factors hold fast the glass ceiling and prevent women from progression.

Discrimination against women still plays a large part in enforcing the artificial barrier. Crampton reported that a recent study found that 79 percent of the CEO’s believed that “prejudice and stereotypes are among the most identifiable barriers to women’s advancements. ” “Discrimination can occur in the form of organizational structure policies, informal networks, and cultures that are so male-dominated that they become barriers for women to rise in the organization” (Crampton). Women can hope that over the next couple of years discrimination will begin to disintegrate, which will allow for more penetration through the glass ceiling.

Even though women cannot control the prejudices held by men, women can try to break and rid of the gender stereotypes. By disproving that not all women fit the stereotypes, career women may be able to aid their advancement to higher positions. “Females are often thought of as being dependent, passive, fragile, non aggressive, non competitivewomen lack career commitment, ate not tough enough, don’t want to work long and unusual hours, are too emotional, won’t relocate, lack quantitive and analytical skills and have trouble making decisions” (Crampton).

Since men and women’s characteristics differ in certain aspects, the male-dominate business world believes that woman lack the “qualities that are considered beneficial to be effective managers, and traditionally masculine traits have a higher perceived value” (Crampton). Women are not even given chances because of pre-established beliefs even when they may be more qualified and better educated than their male counterparts. This situation occurs more often than not, and companies create excuses that will appear legitimate.

Catherine M. Daily informs that when Mr. Preston, the CEO of Avon, resigned, numerous top female executives within the company possessed the qualities and experiences to fill the vacancy. However, the board elected an outside director, Charles R. Perrin, to replace Preston (Daily). Even though discrimination and stereotypes essentially preserve the barriers, other factors contribute to their upholding. Another controlling factor that reinforces the glass ceiling is the lack of mentors.

Women’s biological features, which men do not possess also hinders women from reaching high-level positions. “Women have to deal with the complexities of the dual role as working woman and mother” (Crampton). Even though women almost make up half of the work force, they alone are still expected to carry out all of the household chores and duties. Most women leave work only to go home and run around, clean and cook. “Combining of a family and a career and the behavioral expectation placed on woman” at times seems impossible (Crampton).

The role of women

Thousands of years ago, the Goddess was viewed as an autonomous entity worthy of respect from men and women alike. Because of societal changes caused by Eastern influence, a patriarchical system conquered all aspects of life including religion. Today, the loss of a strong female presence in Judeo-Christian beliefs has prompted believers to look to other sources that celebrate the role of women. Goddess religion and feminist spirituality have increasingly been embraced by men and women as an alternative to the patriarchy found in traditional biblical religion.

Within a few thousand years the first recognizable human society developed worship of the Great Goddess or Great Mother. For these people, deity was female. The importance of fertility in crops, domesticated animals,wild animals and in the tribe itself were of paramount importance to their survival. Thus, the Female life-giving principle was considered divine and an enigma. This culture lasted for tens of thousands of years, generally living in peace. Males and females were treated equally.

Their society was matrilineal–children took their mothers’ names, but not a matriarchy (Christ 58-59). Life and time was experienced as a repetitive cycle, not linearly as is accepted today. However, Easterners soon brought modern civilization to this culture, including war, belief in male Gods, exploitation of nature, and knowledge of the male role in procreation. Goddess worship was gradually combined with worship of male Gods to produce a variety of Pagan religions, thus losing some of its singular focus on the female as a deity.

Goddess Worship during the Christian Era was molded by more dominant outside forces. As Judaism, Christianity & eventually Islam evolved, the Pagan religions were suppressed and the female principle was gradually driven out of religion. Consequently women were reduced to a level inferior to men. The God, King, Priest & Father replaced the Goddess, Queen, Priestess & Mother. A woman’s testimony was not considered significant in courts, women were not allowed to speak in churches, and positions of authority in the church were (almost without exception) limited to men.

A feminine presence was added to Christianity when the Virgin Mary was named Theotokos (Mother of God). However, her role was heavily restricted and included none of the fertility components present in Pagan religions. A low point in the fortunes of women was reached during the Renaissance, when hundreds of thousands of suspected female witches were exterminated by burning and hanging. These combined factors propelled women who did not find traditional structures, views, and rituals fulfilling to return to a feminine based spirituality more suited to their specific needs.

At the turn of the century, scholars began writing about a Mother Goddess. By the 1950s, Gerald Gardner claimed initiation into a coven of English witches in England. He began publicizing this \”Old Religion\” of Wicca. Gardnerian Witchcraft recognized a Goddess of Earth-moon-sea as well as the Horned-hunt-sun God (Corbett, 290). Women could be High Priestesses, but much sexism still prevailed. Wicca schismed after Gardner’s death, but these traditions continued to be founded by and named after men.

Meanwhile, women in the US and elsewhere were beginning the feminist movement. Defining patriarchy as the oppressive force they were battling, they began reexamining all aspects of their lives, including religion. In the 1970s, women began using the concept of \”Goddess\” as part of the feminist movement. DianicWicca began: a women-only version that eliminated the God and all male aspects, as well as many traditional Wiccan elements such as hierarchies, secrecy, and formality.

During the 1980s, while the name Wicca remained, many groups began using the term \”neo-Pagan\” which retains the God as well as the Goddess, but incorporates the increased status given to the Goddess and women. The Goddess is oftenidentified with the Earth and elements in nature explicitly. It has been referred to as \”eco-feminism\” to reflect this increased emphasis. This stems from the Wiccan ideology that people have a unique responsibility toward the environment because of our ability to make conscious choices (Corbett 292).

Goddess worship broadened to include African, Asian, and Native American ideals beyond the classic Wiccan deities. It became\”politically correct\” by beginning to include gays and lesbians (formerly neglected with the emphasis on male-female fertility) as well as the ecological movement and an openness to people of color and other minorities. Now considered the fastest growing religion in America by some scholars, neo-Pagans were represented at the World Council of Religions in 1993. Despite the spread of feminist and goddess belief, many witches still face discrimination because of their faith.

People outside the neo-Pagan community still often confuse Wicca with Satanism, feeling that witchcraft is not a valid religion and should not be afforded the same protections as more ‘mainstream’, consensus religions. However, Wicca and other goddess religions are not Satanistic. Satanism focuses on the Christian idea of the devil, whereas these spiritualities predate Christianity and have no link to those beliefs (Corbett 292). Another common misconception is that witches cast spells in order to hurtothers for their own or someone elses benefit.

This myth has developed through years of media and literary misrepresentation. While Wicca does not have many concrete beliefs, a universal code for behavior does exist. Best exemplified in the Wiccan Rede (An ye harm none, do what ye will) and the Threefold Law (Whatever we do returns to us three times over, be it good or ll), personal freedom and choice are essential to Wiccan morality and ethics (Corbett 292). Modern Goddess worship today can best be described as a renaissance of Paganism.

Its worship of Goddesses and Gods occurred in the middle of this century with the reemergence of Wicca. With the rise of feminism, new traditions within Wicca were created in which the Goddess grew in importance, and the role of the God shrank into obscurity. The Goddess in both Goddess Worship and Neo-Paganism is often visualized in three aspects: Maiden, Mother and Crone (Corbett 290). Her aspects are mirrored in the phases of the moon: waxing, full and waning. The Maiden represents youth, emerging sexuality, and the independence from men found in virginity.

The Mother symbolizes feminine power, fertility, and nurturing. The Crone is the wisdom and compassion which evolves from experience, and the one who guides women through the death experience. Although not all followers of the goddess are Wiccan, virtually all Wiccans are worshipers of the goddess (Corbett 291). Beliefs of Goddess religion and Feminist Spiritualities are not absolute or definite. No official doctrine exists uniting the many branches and forms falling under these categories of faith. Almost all include a female creator, usually with some male counterpart.

Feminist spirituality acknowledges that female power is independent from all outside forces. It is an important and intense entity that can be called upon through rituals, dance, prayer, chants, or meditation. Its message clearly states female ambition will not be subjugated in a mans world. Images are of paramount importance to these religions. The portrayal of women in a positive way reinforces autonomy, beauty of the female figure, and elegance of each womans soul. It calls participants to recognize the goddess within and celebrate their own connections to time and nature.

Goddess images resacrilize the female body, enabling women to take pride in themselves and encouraging men and children to respect their feminine power (Christ, 165). Symbols and rituals are an essential component in goddess religion and feminist spirituality. They demonstrate our interconnectedness to all that is, and also how diversity and difference should be celebrated. Symbols evoke respect for the Goddess, Her role in nature, and the female form in general. Rituals reinforce these values as an outward sign of commitment and remembrance.

This combination of rituals and symbols brings Her power into believers lives. Ritual also creates long lasting moods and motivations which shape wisdom and become second nature for practitioners (Christ, 25). A very ancient tradition which creates a sacred space for the Goddess is the creation of a home altar. Images, candles, books, and symbols can be incorporated to personalize and add meaning to the space. Rituals may be done in solitude or within a gathering of believer to invoke the power of the Goddess.

Other times, pilgrimages are taken to sacred places which have made a personal impact on the believer. Because there is no liturgy or official order of worship, these rituals can be molded to suit individual needs. The rituals may change each time to allow for innovation and spontaneity. Certain groups follow an established traditional pattern for times, dates, and practices of the rituals (Christ 29). Holidays and festivals are integral to goddess worship. They are special times of reflection on our connection to the cyclical patterns of nature and time.

Some Goddess holidays and festivals are celebrated at corresponding times and dates to Judeo-Christian feast days and holidays. This correspondence originates from the alignment of religious holidays to the natural rhythms of seasons and nature including the equinoxes, the solstices, and the holidays falling exactly in between, dividing the year into eight seasons. Others are held in relation to new and full moons, recognizing the nexus between womens cycles and the position of the moon (Christ 28-29). The ethos that these symbols and rituals create provides a sense of reality and a plan of action to live by.

Individual choice and societys reactions and decision making are heavily emphasized. Carol P. Christ lists nine touchstones which can be consulted when attempting to maintain the ethics held in Goddess worship: nurture life, walk in love and beauty, trust the knowledge that comes through the body, speak the truth about conflict, pain, and suffering, take only what you need, think about the consequences ofyour actions for seven generations, approach the taking of life with great restraint, practice great generosity, and repair relations between all people peacefully (167).

These touchstones are not commandments, only a guideline for virtuous and moral living. Organization and practices often coincide. Since there is no official leader or hierarchical system, counting members is nearly impossible. Reluctance to identify with the feminist spirituality movement stems from the negative associations people make with witchcraft. However, an estimated 50,000 American believers have been recorded (Corbett 294). Practitioners often gather in small groups (between three and twenty people) called covens.

Others are solitaries who practice alone depending on location, personal choice, or other circumstances. Covens are usually all female, but some are mixed or male only. Many of the larger organizations have adopted home-study programs, museums, libraries, and stores for those interested in learning more about the beliefs of Goddess religion. Others hold conferences and celebrations to join the smaller, fragmented groups. Some groups strive to emphasize one specific aspect of their beliefs, such as Dianic Wicca does with feminism (Corbett 294-95).

Although the popularity and acceptance of feminist spirituality seems to be increasing, Wicca and other groups are still not afforded the same status and recognition as other religions. Many misconceptions still exist today about the beliefs, practices, and organizations which are categorized as Goddess religion. The followers of these traditions do not see themselves as contradicting more mainstream religious beliefs. They view their spirituality as a refocusing and reprioritizing of values forgotten by a patriarchical society over thousands of years.

Borderline Exploitation

When it comes to the news, television, fame, advertising, the whole lot, I like to give credit where credit is due. I think that the primal coverage of the events that took place on September 11, 2001 was done well. Peter Jennings was amazing, giving the American people the perfect mixture of professional and human reaction. I love watching basketball games and the sportscasters always know exactly what is going on, no doubt. I am thrilled that Matchbox Twenty (the band) is finally getting the recognition that I think they deserve. But when I think about whom in the media I actually respect, it is all coming up men!

A woman could not have done as good a job as Peter Jennings because she would have either been too young and not esteemed, or she would have already been forced into early retirement because she was beginning to look too old. And in sports casting, all those women need to know is how to read. So many have even admitted that they dont know much about sports. And they chose to admit that in an issue of Maxim where they also all posed in rather scantily clad outfits and not exactly in reputable positions. And of course, fame. All Britney Spears has to do is take off her clothes and shake her derrire, and she is suddenly a millionaire.

Lets not worry about whether she actually has any talent! Bands like Matchbox Twenty, Blues Traveler, and Barenaked Ladies are only now finally getting some of the recognition that they deserve, after years and years of hard work and honing a brilliant talent. Why is it so difficult for a woman to get respect in the media? Because people like Anna Kornacova, Britney Spears, the actress that plays the older daughter on 8 Simple Rules to Dating My Teenage Daughter, cars show models, Jennifer Lopez, the Coors Light twinsexist. These women possess little or no legitimate talent, yet they are all financially successful!

But these women are not respectable. These women are all selling their bodies and good looks, not their talent. Perhaps because their talent is lacking, but either way it sets a precedent that even if a woman is intelligent or talented, she must be attractive. Well, the thing is, if we all had nothing to do all day but eat exactly what our private chef has made, do exactly what our personal trainer says, and were constantly surrounded by hair and make-up professionalswe would all look like Elizabeth Hurley. But there are real women who exist, and they are having trouble getting into any form of media.

Except maybe radio, newspaper, and internet. Those all have something in common, dont they? When legitimately talented or intelligent women do break into the media, it is a very big deal. We do not show less attractive or slightly overweight women in a positive light (hello? The Anna Nichole Smith Show). So it is an important thing that no one asked Camryn Manheim of the television show The Practice to lose any weight (although producers probably did until her This is for the fat girls speech given after winning a Golden Globe) and she was still a success. It is rare.

And it was not until around 1998, I believe, that America embraced the first well-known plus size model, Nelle. She is not like Carmen Electra, considered a plus at size 8! She is a real plus size 14. I would like to give respect to the women who ignored pressures to conform: Ani DiFranco, Camryn Manheim, Bette Midler, Rosanne Barr, Winonna Judd, Ellen Degeneres, etc. The way America uses women is borderline exploitation. Whether the individual is paid or not, they are still being used and setting an unrealistic precedent for the every day, average woman.

Women are used sell a product: To sell alcohol (The Coors Light twins, St.Paulie Girl, all the Budweiser and Jeiger Meister servers, shot girls at bars), to sell mens products like deodorant or cologne (Axe deodorant), to sell mens accessories (Dockers pants) etc. And once women have even stepped their big toe into the entertainment industry, they feel the pressure. Pressure to lose weight, change their hair, change their style, wear more provocative clothing, say and do more provocative things, find a high profile boyfriend, etc. My favorite kind of woman is so insecure with herself, she sticks up for Britney Spears by saying to a Britney hater, If you had that body, you would dress like that too.

Fact is a lot of women would. A lot of women do. But a lot of women dont. And more importantly, most women dont have that body. And even some who do have phenomenal bodies also have enough self respect and morals to keep it covered up. It is like the Doritos model, it is false advertising. I want to see a Doritos commercial with a huge fat woman thigh expanding on her couch. It is a lot more accurate than some hot model pretending like she eats Doritos. And if she does, pretending that she does not vomit them later.

Some women, already great, have the healthy drive to do the above said things (make changes): Sandra Bullock, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jennifer Aniston, Madonna, and Helen Hunt. Some women have the extra time and feel the pressure so strongly they make the above changes rapidly and we dont know whether it was a healthy change or a harmful one: Renee Zellwelger, Minnie Driver, and Leanne Rimes. Some women take an obviously unhealthy route: Whitney Houston, The Barbie Twins, Nikki Taylor, and a million nameless models and actresses. And yet some women have shared their struggles with the women of America.

Talk show hosts like Rikki Lake and Rosie ODonell went public with their goal of weight loss. And they went up and down and no one really knew how. Talk show host Jenny Jones went public about her breast implants. And when they leaked and caused her physical harm, she wanted the public to know. She was looking out for others. Its been Oprah, however, that has really shared with us her struggles in life. From dieting to dating, she gives it to us straight. And she is not one to compromise. Not when it comes to getting married or rapidly losing weight. She is setting a good example for the young women of our society.

Even while we have women like Oprah, those Britney Spears girls will always exist. Their defense, It is my choice. You dont like it, fine. I am not doing any harm. But in essence, harm is being done. Whether they like it or not, women in the spotlight are role models. When they lend themselves to societies obsessions (50s-80s legs and tight sweaters, late 80s-early 90s big breasts and big hair, late 90s midsection and sporty clothing, and early 00s small waist and bumpin BOOTY! ) it puts pressure on all women. And whether we like it or not and whether we admit it or not, it affects us.

The last time my boyfriend saw his cousin, he told her how amazing she looked, raving about how she had lost weight and looked great. That was 5 years ago at a wedding. She died a month after that wedding of Bulimia. No one noticed how pale she was or how her eyes had bags under them and the sockets were sunken in. All they noticed was how thin she was, and that made her more attractive. My boyfriends story is not an uncommon one. If women in media do not respect themselves and do not demand respect from others, it leaves the women of American society searching for how to do it themselves.

I understand that it is all relative, and times may change, but it is hard for now. And I understand that there are pressures on men, just like there are on women. But we are a far way off from going to see a movie about an older rich, gorgeous, successful woman falling in love with a young, lost, low income male prostitute or guy from the Bronx? And for the same reason, we will continue to go see movies about naked women. I say that the nudity is what they are about because usually its the only good part of the movie. (Or the music video in the case of Jennifer Lopez.

Because with few exceptions, women willing to make movies like Showgirls and Requiem for a Dream have about the same amount of talent as a half-brained cockroach. We will watch a movie like Striptease and get to see more than we bargained for. But with a wonderfully hilarious movie like The Full Monty, we see the bare minimum, not the Full Monty. The movie Fast Times at Ridge Mont High was initially rated X. It had full frontal male nudity. Why is full female nudity rated R and full male nudity rated X? The male form is more offensive, says Universal. I am speechless. Is my view jaded? Maybe.

But in the last two months, I have talked to my customers 4 nights a week about this topic. And I work in a bar, so I get the worst of the worst when it comes to chauvinists. I have even been told that I am not going to get as big a tip as I would if I were wearing a lower cut shirt. But even in their misogynistic haze, most have agreed with me on this topic. They dont have a problem with Jennifer Lopez, but they would if it was their daughter or girlfriend. While they may want to sleep with her, they would not want to date her. And the women that come in, they have more to say on the topic than I do. Nice to know I am not alone.

History Of Th People Of Crete

The men and women of Crete resemble the double ax so prominent in their religous symbolisim. Male and female alike have torsos narrowing pathologically to an ultramodern waist. Almost all of the Cretans were short in stature, slight and supple of build, graceful in movement, and athletically trim. Their skin was white at birth. The ladies, who court the shades have fair complexions conventionally pale. The men purused wealth under the sun, they are so tanned and ruddy that the Greeks eventually called them Phoinikes which meant the purple ones or redskins.

The Cretans head was rather long in shape than broad, the features were sharp and refined. The hair and eyes were dark in color. These Cretans were a branch of the mediterranean race. The men and women wore there hair partly in coils on the head or the neck, partly in ringlets on the brow, partly in tresses falling upon shoulders or the breasts. The women added ribbons for their curls. The men in order to keep their faces clean, provided themselves with a variety of razors. The dress of the Cretan was srange. On their heads, men had turbans.

The women wore hats. There feet were usally free of covering. the upper class at times binded their feet with a white leatther shoes. Men wore no clothing above the waist. At the waist the men wore a short skirt or a waist cloth. The skirt had a slit at the side of workingmen. When there were dignitaries and ceremonies the skirt reached to the ground for both male and female. The men sometimes wore drawers in the winter time along with a longer outer garment of wool or skins.

The clothing was tightly laced at the middle for both male and female. e bodice of the womens dress was laced below the bust, opens in a circle then closed in a medici collar at the neck. The sleeves were short, and at times puffed. The skirt widened out from the hips, stiffened with metal ribs or horizontial hoops. the men provided the women with jewlery. Hairpins were worn made out of copper or gold, stickpins adorned with golden animals or flowers, or heads of crystal or quartz, there were rings of spirals mingiling in the hair, rings and pendents hanging from the ear.

Bands and bracelets were worn around the arms. Finger rings of silver, amethyst, or gold were worn. The cretan man expresses his vainest and nobelestpassion is to zeal and beautify. The way the men and women looked, dressed and what the wore defined themselves has cretans, as well as the way they looked and dressed this also decided which socual class the cretan would belong to. in the following paragraph is described the people of the island of Crete.

Suffering for Suffrage: Racism in the Womens Suffrage Movement

Historically, women have been excluded from the many liberties men have arranged for themselves. From the disregarding of women from being considered Elect during the Puritan era, to the modern instances of women lacking equal compensation. According to Charlotte Gilman, even religion, the womans help, was tainted and injured by coming through the minds of men alone (Gilman, p. 370). Men have molded American society to exclusively adhere to their personal desires.

In spite of the many disenfranchisements, some women however, refused to passively submit to such conditions. They knew that the only way to influence change was suffrage. The first women’s rights meeting in the United States held at Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848, itself followed several decades of a quietly-emerging egalitarian spirit among women. This was the birth of womens suffrage. Throughout the long road of suffrage there was somewhat confusion about what political focus will be granted the most attention.

White women wanted equal rights and slavery abolished, but, they didnt want to be equal to Blacks, even after the Civil War. If they were granted their citizenship rights would this mean that Black women were to be granted those rights as well? When it appeared that white men might grant black men the right to vote while leaving white women disenfranchised, white women suffragists did not respond as a group by demanding that all women and men deserved the right to vote (Hooks, Bell p. 7).

In order to maintain their political autonomy and protect their personal missions of gaining equality amongst themselves, many of the white women suffragist used what appeared at the time as racial discrimination to keep Black women at a distance to get white men to address their agendas. According to Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique and ardent feminist, the womens movement was supposed to remain distant and excluded from the blacks struggle for civil rights.

She goes further to explain that feminists could not assume the ideologies in black power would work for them. Our tactics and strategy, above all, our ideology must be firmly based in the historical, biological, economic, and psychological reality of our two-sexed world, which is not the same as the black reality, (Freidan, pg. 467). This doesnt quite disprove or prove that there was racism within the womens movement; however, it does give another view of the white womens decision to exclude black women from their agenda and focus on liberating themselves.

Attempting to understand Freidmans position of womens rights movements being exclusively focused on white women, there is conflict in her argument when she wanted to have sex discrimination laws added to the Civil Rights Act. If she didnt feel that the blacks struggle for civil rights was a good method for women to use in earning their rights, how is the Civil Rights legislation different? Maybe wanting sex added to the Civil Rights Act Freidans way of saying that her view of why women suffrage should be separate from the black movements wasnt influenced by racism but based solely on the speed of progress.

Ardent white womens rights advocates like Elizabeth Cady Stanton who had never before argued for womens rights on a racially imperialistic platform expressed outrage that inferior Blacks should be granted the vote while superior white women remained disenfranchised (Hooks, Bell p. 127) Stanton argued: If Saxon men have legislated thus for their own mothers, wives and daughters, what can we hope for at the hands of Chinese, Indians, and Africans? … I protest against the enfranchisement of another man of any race or clime until the daughters of Jefferson, Hancock, and Adams are crowned with their rights (Hooks, Bell p. 7).

To black women the issue is not whether white women are more or less racist than white men, but that they are racist (Hooks, Bell p. 125). Racism has significantly undermined feminist organizing over the past two centuries. Despite the fact that campaigns for womens rights in the United States have been initiated by women of all racial and ethnic backgrounds, and that various womens organizations have fervently struggled against racist hierarchies and institutions, racism has persisted both within and beyond the movement (Grant, Parker).

Although the case is popularly assumed to have been otherwise, Black women found themselves unwelcome in most white womens antislavery groups (Caraway, Nancie p. 134). This antithesis can be accounted for by stressing, as has Bell Hooks, that early-nineteenth-century reformers attacked slavery, not racism when white women reformers in the 1830s chose to work to free the slave; they were motivated by religious sentiment. They attacked slavery, not racism.

The basis of their attack was moral reform; they were not demanding social equality for black people is an indication that they remained committed to white supremacy despite their anti-slavery work (Caraway p. 135 from Hooks). Ending slavery could be conceived by whites abstractly as a gesture demanded by Christian morality. Going further, we must understand why the white women were overly conscious about adding Black womens rights to their goals. In this era, it was highly controversial to advocate Blacks and their causes.

Knowing this, white women who wanted their place in society risked earning such with the reputation of Negro Lover attached to her name. Consternation and denial about racism in the womens movement stem from the political principle that a movement struggling for the empowerment of women must, by definition, oppose all systems of oppression that affect womens lives. Women of color who have committed themselves to the womens liberation struggle have long done so from the standpoint that movements against sexism must also address racism if they are to have any real impact upon their lives.

If the womens liberation struggle pertains to all women, rather than to white women exclusively, then it must work to achieve and end to pervasive racism both in institutional forms and in personal dynamics. Although various womens organizations have cited countering racism as a priority, it is not surprising to find racist hierarchies within the movement that are both the reflection and the result of the racism of the male dominated culture.

In using the Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Address paradigm to analyze the issues in the womens suffrage movement, women have endured the rejection from white women in order to attain their goals of equality. Without, assuming the Uncle Tom stigma, though this may have been a struggle for black women to remain suppressed by other women, many of the liberties they suffered to attain progressed with their fight. Over the years, women, Black women included, have become better acknowledge in American society. Women of all ethnicities hold many political offices, educational accolades, and other symbols of leadership.

Men and Women

Whoever said men and women are equal must be blind. Women have always taken a back seat to men in American society. This occurrence is not only found in the United States, but in other countries as well. It’s safe to say that the Declaration of Independence started it and it has continued to the present. There is one set of standards that apply to men, and another set of standards that apply to women. This is evident in the home, workplace, and society in general.

The problem of men and women not being equal can be traced back to the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence proclaimed that all men are created equal. There was no mention of women being equal, only men. At the time of the drafting of the document, the men had all the power. The document was even drafted by a man. Women were confined to the home to take care of the domestic housekeeping duties.

Look no further than the home to see the first sign that men and women are not equal. The traditional role of the man was to work and the money he made would be used by all in the household. The traditional role of the woman was to stay home, take care of the children, clean the house, and cook. Because society has always associated money with power, the person bringing home the money had the power. The man often makes the final decision on all household matters because he has the money.

The workplace is another place where men and women are not equal. The most obvious sign starts at the top. Look at the CEO of the corporation. The majority of CEOs are men. Women serving as CEOs are a rare sight. Another sign of the unfairness can also be found in the lower ranks. Men are often applauded for being assertive and giving orders. By giving orders, men are taking a leadership role.

Demonstrating leadership ability is a quality that employers often look for. On the other hand, women who are assertive and give orders are not well liked in the work place. They are considered as bitches by men. For women to be well liked in the work place, they have to be subordinate to the men. The salary of men and women who do the exact same work differ. Women often make less than men even though they do the exact same thing.

In 1990, the median income was $29,172 for men and $20,586 for women. The fact that women often hold lower ranking positions contribute to the ! problem. There are many gender stereotypes associated with certain jobs. Secretaries, nurses, and maids are associated with women. Corporate executives, lawyers, doctors, politicians, and construction workers are associated with men.

Society as a whole has also contributed to the problem. It starts at the hospital when a baby is born. Boys get blue blankets while girls get pink blankets. Toys are targeted at either boys or girls. Toys that are targeted at boys include trucks, blocks, guns, and soldiers. Toys that are targeted at girls include dolls, kitchen utensils, and doll houses. Boys are raised to be aggressive, tough, dominant, and daring. Girls are raised to be passive, emotional, sweet, and subordinate.

The pattern continues on through marriage and beyond. A clear example of male dominance can be seen when a woman gets married. The woman would change her last name to that of the man’s. She also loses her first name in some instances too. When a piece of mail is addressed to both parties, the name reads Mr. and Mrs. John Doe. The woman’s name is not mentioned.

Another example that men and women are not equal are the terms used to described the sexual habits of men and women. Men who are promiscuous are considered studs, macho, and manly. Men often boast about the many partners they have had. Women who are promiscuous are considered sluts, whores, and prostitutes. Women tend to hide the number of partners they have had. If a man has sex before marriage, he is getting experience and exploring his options. If a woman has sex before marriage, she is not considered pure, a quality often desired by men. There is clearly a double standard for men and woman for the same type of behavior.

The problem of inequality between men and women started with the Declaration of Independence. Society has lived with this inequality for many years. It’s impossible for society to change overnight. The problem will not and cannot disappear overnight. A lot of progress has been made over time but, more time is needed to finish what was started.

Women and Writing

Since the beginning of times, human beings have found various ways to express themselves and more specifically how to declare their feelings and emotions. We all know that art (in a general term) is supposed to be the tool used for expression. People from different communities, cultural backgrounds, and religions, have been appealed to manifest and share their uniqueness through art. Art, whether it was music, painting, sculpting or writing has been highly censured through time because of its contents of truth.

The majorities of a society did not allow minorities to fully express themselves with fear of manifestations and revolts . Women, as a minority have fought to tell the truth. In order to understand better the meaning of Womens writing, we will first analyze the factors that pushed women to write, then we will go over the obstacles that women encountered and finally, we will discuss what the writers wanted to achieve through their writing. Factors that pushed women to write There are writers who need to make sense of the world they live(Dorothy Allison, Trash, p. . )

This sentence shows that the writer needed to write to see and understand herself through writing. This young white woman was living a life filled with alcohol and drug addiction, she tried to escape that trap by fooling herself and by rebuilding a total new idealistic image of her person (working as a social worker. ) However, throughout her progression, she has been writing everything about herself on a yellow pad, whatever she would do, wherever she would be, those yellow pads were there, as a representation of her truth.

She could fool herself, but not her yellow pads, her truth was written there. Allison as many women in the world has been trying to hide her suffering. Constantly fooling herself, she still had to yell out her truth, this, by spreading her pain on paper. However, the papers were taboo, just like someone would litter an embarrassing amount of trash. Allison had to take out her story and anger, even if they were full of shame. She could not live without writing, it was a matter of survival. This urge to write was shared by some other women writers.

The search of an understanding was the factor that pushed Bell Hooks to write I began to feel uncertain, displaced, estranged even, this was the condition of my spirit when I decided to be a writer, to seek for that light in words (Bell Hooks, remembered ruptures, p. 15) after that she declares Searching for a space were writing could be understood, I asked for a diary (Bell Hooks, remembered ruptures, p. 15. ) Writing was a way to understand herself a little like Dorothy Allison, a way to look at ones own person in a global manner, from a different angle, in other words, a way to be objective about oneself situation.

Not only do women write for themselves with the thought that nobody can understand them, but they also write for others, a way to make a declaration to the world, a way to change the truth by saying it . In her writings, Sandra Cisneros implies that she wants to change the world. In her book The House on Mango Street she declares that she wants to leave the unpleasant neighborhood of Mango street, however, she says that she will come back, probably not physically, but at least trough her book.

Coming back might mean that she wanted to do something to change Mango street, and that is trough her book, thats why she wrote it. Edwidge Danticat tells us how her desire to write was consuming her in a society where Womens writing was absolutely forbidden, something to do in the corner. Danticat learned how her female ancestors have been expressing themselves through nothing else than cooking, hair braiding or even carving potatoes. But she wanted to perpetuate the creativity of her ancestors, she just needed to do it through writing.

It was their whispers that pushed you, their murmurs over pots sizzling in your head. A thousand women urging you to speak through the blunt tip of your pencil. (Edwidge Danticat, Kirk? Krak! p. 8. ) By writing, she would have passed along a culture, just like braiding or cooking. However, her writing was threatening the natural functioning of a patriarchal society. Whether women write for themselves or for others, the main matter is that they write for an urge of understanding. There is a clear desire of comprehension.

Obstacles that women encountered In her paper A Room of Ones Own, Virginia Woolf wonders ironically why women are poor? She then tells us that it would have been near to impossible for a woman of that era to be wealthy. Women couldnt do anything else than have children and be submissive housewives, Making a fortune and bearing thirteen children-no human being could stand it (Virginia Woolf, A Room of Ones Own, p. 22. ) And even if women had been able to earn money, they could not keep it until 1870.

Unable to keep her money, a woman gives up the idea to earn it, and so , she confirms her idea that her natural place is in the house. This last idea was (and still is) adopted in most of the places of the world. Most of the worlds societies have defined women as a housekeeper. But how could this endanger their ability to write? It could be said that if women are doomed to stay home taking care of the house, their business is nowhere else. Men do not want to be invaded in the workplace, so women stay home.

Also staying home could just as well include writing at home. But we all know that only about sixty years ago, reading was profaned for women. A women literate was the devil incarnated. This was probably set that way because we know that reading and writing both develop the ability to think in a critical manner, and again, men did not want to have rivals in that sector. Maybe Woolf tried to warn us in her paper since she declared that women need a room of their own to be able to write. To be able to write, women needed a material and financial independence.

Apparently, the major obstacle to womens writing was the presence, influence and domination of men. It Is in fact hard to be a rebel in an already very set and rooted culture. In Danticats society, writing was forbidden, something to do in the corner when you could have been learning to cook. She describes how writing was considered a curse, by giving us the explanations her mother gave her. She was a prisoner of her education and culture. Again, it was the same concept of societys manipulation and conditioning.

If Danticat had had tried to rebel, she would have probably been seen as the devil you and your writing demons in your head (Edwidge Danticat, Kirk? Krak! p. 10. ), therefore, she would have been left on the side and set as an example to any other young girl that would have had her ideas. There was always a fear to disappoint family, community and society by not standing up to her good old culture You remember her silence when you laid your first notebook in front of her, her disappointment when you told her that words would be your lifes work, like the kitchen had always been hers. Edwidge Danticat, Kirk? Krak! p. 7. )

The society Danticat was living in was very intolerant, and there is to believe that the sanctions were very strict for leaving the natural destiny of a woman, the cultural imperialism she was living in was totalitarian. What the writers wanted to achieve by writing A woman who writes may want to achieve different tasks. As we have seen, a woman may have the urge to write, Bell Hooks for instance, because she needs to understand herself since she doesnt find understanding among her surrounding.

She could also need to write like Allison Dorothy, because she needs to face herself and she has so much inside her that can not been taken out unless it is trough writing. A woman may need to write to reveal a truth to the world the way Sandra Cisneros did it. Also, just like Edwidge Dandicat, a woman may want to give the voice to kitchen poets in order to fight cultural imperialism. Virginia Woolf as well probably surprised (or shocked) many people by trying to fight cultural imperialism by approaching the taboo of Lesbianism Cloe likes Oliviado not blush (Virginia Woolf, A Room of Ones Own, p. . )

Since the beginning of times, human beings have always needed to express themselves, whether they are male or female. It is crucial to the development of our societies that people speak out loud, so, whether it is spoken by a male or a female, the message has to go through. Also, each individual will express only his or her own feelings. That is maybe why, we did not see any man talking about Lesbianism around the 1920s, it might also be why no men wrote anything like the concept of the Red Clowns of Sandra Cisneros in the House on Mango Street.

In other words, some things may just not be perceivable to men, just as other might not be to women. It is not said here that there is a distinctive separation between male and female writing, there might just be a different way of thinking. It is therefore of the utmost importance for the sake of the good development of our world, that everybody gets a chance to express and share his or her ideas, in the least censured manner possible.

The Impact of Women Redefining Sexual Identity in Middle Adulthood

It is becoming an increasing phenomenon that women are coming out as lesbians in their middle-adulthood. While defining one’s sexual identity is often a confusing time for youth it becomes that much more difficult for women as they get older. As women age they are more likely to get married, have children, begin careers, and settle into a lifestyle that is dictated to them by patriarchal rules. The further they become saturated with the male dominated life, the harder it is for women to become open to their own identity formation and needs.

It is instilled in women from an early age that it is expected that they learn how to cook and clean, manage household bills, raise children, and be able to manage a home. With increasing number of women having to work to help support the family, they must also learn how to divide their time between career, family, and a husband. For women who question their sexual identity, the more familial/professional commitments they have, the more difficult it becomes for them to explore the possibility that they may be homosexual.

Other factors may also inhibit their identity formation process. These include religious beliefs, fear of rejection from family, and fear of homophobia from friends and cowoorkers. Research is indicating that women who come out as lesbians in their middle adulthood go through a ‘second childhood’. These women go through Erickson’s ‘identity consolidation vs. identity confusion’ and ‘intimacy vs. isolation’ stages all aver again (Jordan, Deluty, 1998). They experience confusion and questions about their family life, chosen job, and their future career trajectory.

They wonder if they will still be loved and respected by their families, what will happen to the children, and how their employers will look them upon. Literature being written on women who come out as lesbians in their middle adulthood state that it is because they are faced with the fear of discrimination and rejection from the heterosexual culture. Paula J. Rust states that “coming out is a process of discovery that is ongoing that sheds the false heterosexual identity and comes to correctly identify and label her own true identity which is homosexual”.

The women that she interviewed for her study cited several reasons why they came out in their middle adulthood. These reasons include fear of homophobia in the work place, fear of losing children and fear of rejection from family members (Rust, p. 45). Because the coming out process is often a lengthy process, the identity formation stage is prolonged from adolescence and young adulthood. Sexual identity occurs through dynamics of social interaction and can change at any stage of the life cycle.

Since most social interaction occurs following a male to female model, engaging in a irst sexual experience or even recognizing an interest in the opposite sex may take a number of years (Richardson & Hurt 1981 as cited in Rust, p. 50). This is in fact true, if you think about it. Little girls are bought dolls and tea sets and easy bake ovens so that they can imitate their mothers’ behavior. Little girls learn to cook and clean and are told early on that one day they will marry a handsome man and have lots of babies. We are taught gender specific roles from the day we are born.

Women don’t usually have same sex experiences until they are twenty- three or twenty- four and women are pushed to marry by the time they are twenty or twenty-one. If a woman marries at that age it decreases the chance of completion of identifying sexually as a lesbian (Swan, 1997). It is ingrained in our heads that men marry women and that homosexuality is bad. Having this patriarchal paradigm constantly fed to women suppresses any urges towards homosexuality they may have, and in doing so lengthens the time in which a woman is able to come to terms with her feelings.

In Sheri Hite’s ‘The Hite Report: Women and Love’, women who came out in later life expressed a fear of being without a male counterpart. Several women stated that they felt depressed because they experienced a loss of the male-female roles that they were taught to depend on. One woman in particular stated that when she left her husband she did not know how to conduct herself without feedback from him. He was the one who made all the decisions about the house and family.

She stated that she was so much part of the male patriarch that she did not know how to function with out those roles (Hite, pp. 21-22). Not only was this woman afraid of separating with the dominant male culture she was fearful of reaction from the heterosexual society as well. Society has so steadfastly defined homosexuality as sick, that it puts a legitimate fear into the hearts of people who are struggling with their identity. Even after coming out as lesbians, women self-reported themselves as believing the homosexual stereotypes.

In Eliason’s study 100 women surveyed responded that they were: Sick but not sorry.  The respondents felt they were born lesbians, and they accepted the dominant societal images and stereotypes about lesbians, with no regrets. Lesbians in this group were rarely “political. ” When considering coming out in middle adulthood, these women looked at their careers, place of residence, and family and friend reactions (Eliason, p. 51). Percy and Johansson (1994) found in their study that women who lived in rural areas were more likely to remain closeted from family and coworkers from fear of being ostracized by their community.

Women who were in white-collar professions as opposed to blue-collar professions stated being more reticent about coming out than their counterparts . Women who were upper lower level educators, executives and physicians reported more concern about the adverse affects of being outed to their coworkers. Blue collar workers and those in the social service field reported being more secure in self-disclosure among co-workers (Morris, 1997). Personal accounts of stories of women coming out in middle adulthood also support the idea that they come out later due to fear of discrimination from the heterosexual community.

Although these books, “Wives Who Love Women” and “From Wedded Wife to Lesbian Life”, are not academic in nature, they offer a personal glimpse into the reasons why some women wait until later in life to redefine their sexuality. Scott, in her book, “Wives Who Love Women”, tells the story about Amy. Amy is 48 years old, happily married to Ben, with a 15-year-old son Tommy. Throughout Amy’s stories she questions the strange desire she has to find a woman to love.

She acknowledges having these feelings earlier in life but was told by her mother that it was a phase and that it would pass. She married Ben and settled down into her wifely duties. Amy did not thoroughly enjoy sex with her husband but it wasn’t displeasing either. She just felt that it was another part of marriage. Several times Amy discussed her sexual feelings with Ben and he told her t go out and explore. Ben had the wish to someday be able to watch his wife make love with another woman. To Amy this devalued the love she was looking for with another woman.

Amy met June, another married woman and they began discussing the pros and cons of searching out a lesbian relationship. Amy expresses her doubts about coming out as a lesbian, “Here I was, doing my damnedest to draw this woman into a relationship considered perverse and degrading by the society we lived in, one proscribed by law in many states, one that, according to accepted opinion, ran contrary both to human nature and to God………….. ” I think this states all the deep-seated fears that all women have when considering redefining their sexual identity.

Amy and June continued a deep and caring friendship but never crossed the proverbial line. Deborah Abbott and Ellen Farmer edited a book entitled; “From Wedded Wife To Lesbian Life” which is an anthology of stories of coming out by different women. In her story, E. S. describes a feeling of dutifulness to her husband, of  being defined by her marriage, the feeling of relying on her husband’s name to create who she was.

She goes on to describe later in the story her first experience of coming out. “……. were all gathered around the water cooler, silence greeted my admission that, yes, I was seeing another woman. Mike in an offhand, flippant way mumbled something about having to cancel lunch and made a beeline to the director’s office. ”  E. S. admitted that maybe that wasn’t the best way to out herself but she was tired of hiding everything inside. Many women go through this fear after being married for several years. They become so dependant on the patriarchal society that they have doubts when it comes to letting go and forming a new life.

Hesse Biber – Am I Thin Enough

Many modern women subject themselves to an intense day-to-day involvement in the pursuit of thinness demands. These demands resemble those behaviors commonly associated with cult hood. Three main tools are used in order to achieve this goal or ideal. The Cult of Thinness invests in thinness through primary rituals. The rituals are followed through by the obsession of a particular ideal body. There are also extremities or positions of higher authority with extreme involvement in cults, much like the level of devotion in The Cult of Thinness.

Daily actions of checking and critiquing can be performed in many ways. Body monitoring offers an array of resources. Constantly weighing ones self is a way of achieving quantitative precision. Being able to pinpoint an exact gain or loss is a necessity in this cycle. To be able to have an ideal weight and to accurately compare yourself leaves no room for misinterpretation. Counting Calories helps maintain discipline to be sure not to exceed the limit. If one eats certain restricted food, it is seen to be sinful or as breaking the rules.

This restriction of food intake is in a highly disciplined way. This is part of a larger process of dieting and exercising which is used in an obsessive manner to obtain the perfect body. These diet rituals can go as far as to fast for days at a time. Another tool of monitoring is food watching, monitoring the intake of good and bad foods. Nutritionally healthy foods are considered good. Anything else, from sweets to foods with fat, are considered bad foods. Other rituals are performed through comparisons. By evaluating and examining old pictures and using them as motivation.

Having a constant reminder of previous slimness can push a person to regain what might be an unrealistic goal. Mirrors provide a selective image to the viewer. You only see what you want to. This is particularly important, as most members to this Cult of Thinness have low self esteem. A mirror can be used to scrutinize and dissect physical flaws. A mirror reflects the virtual image of an object placed in front of it. This provides an analogy for how society fosters womens obsession with their weight and body image.

These rituals can serve as a reminder to ones self that one is not meeting the standards, guilt and self penance are results. In a cult, there is an object or ideal to worship. The Cult of Thinness ratherbows down to powerful cultural forces that reinforce the idea that a females worth is dependent on her physical attributes. This worshipping is supported by a strong view that thin is beautiful, and sacred. And fat is lazy, unwanted, unloved, ugly, and weak. Evident is this path to perfection (Hesse-Biber pg. not only is this image virtually unattainable, but only five percent of women can actually achieve the body frame of an average magazine cover-girl.

Fitting this mold, although almost impossible, also comes with a culturally assumed personality. Attractive people are viewed as being happier, more successful, smarter, more interesting, warmer, more poised, and more sociable (Hesse-Biber pg. 59) All of these qualities are associated with the attractive body, the ideal body. This image of thinness is what is commonly displayed as attractive, setting the standard of perfection.

There are extremities in devotion with the Cult of Thinness, as with many cults. There are more severe diseases and disorders that comes with a deeper involvement with the cult. Diseases such as anorexia and bulimia. These diseases are very dangerous and can lead to death. During the time these diseases are forming, one does not realize the extent of damages caused by their method of achieving the ideal body. All in the pursuit of a common goal, which is worshipped and conducted through a series of rituals and can lead to damaging effects.

The Cult of Thinness is not due to psychological aspects. We can see it is rather due to pressures and images fed to one persistently throughout ones life. This can be done through smaller sub-cults. Family and peer groups are two main sub-cults that practice continually effective methods of instilling accepted visualizations of the ideal body. The other effective social influence is the media which only depicts females in a very unattainable body. The media and advertising agencies have gained an unbelievable profit margin off of the American peoples strive to attain a certain size, shape, or weight.

There are so many ways in which capitalism has benefited in this obsessive behavior the members of the Cult of Thinness exhibit. Diet books, tapes, movies, programs, etc are all examples of marketing this problem. The more people see that they can better themselves through losing weight, or eating the right food, it leads one to believe they must also strive to meet this goal. If your not eating right, you must be eating wrong. It is made evident in any way possible that the body can be constantly improved.

Through magazines and T. V. we are fed an image that is unrealistic and far from the average size of the American woman. Through this constant filtering of fat, we only see the beautiful people, the almost unattainable body. It is in this way that the media is almost brain-washing American people with this perfect image of beauty. The fitness industry has become a forty-plus million dollar industry. The rituals performed at fitness centers or clubs, are not being done by the person, but the thing does them (Hesse-Biber pg. ) Through publication of the ideal body, one can make comparisons and find what materials can be purchased that will supposedly make the body fit this mold. Therefore fulfilling profit from displaying this image, and also profits from selling the corrective material. The family is the origin of all beliefs. The environment of the family setting is where all morals and beliefs are derived from. As children, behavior is mocked. You are a product of your family and how you were raised. Hence acceptable weight standards and settings for physical characteristics are established.

Communication from mother-daughter, or father-daughter is what sets these standards. The family is the basic support system. Some families repeat the cultural values of thinness, others modify the message. If it is repeated, one is set from birth to be a product of this cycle of the Cult of Thinness. Mothers can also modulate cultural norms of thinness and alleviate some of the pressures young girls may feel. When the message is modified to accept a person for reasons other then physical properties, then the cycle has broke, and there is less a chance in falling victim to the Cult of Thinness.

Siblings serve an important role, either by teasing or by supporting. This environment is an example of the family dichotomy that either supports or denies the Cult of Thinness. When a child reaches pre-adolescence, their main influence shifts from family to peer groups. Peer groups and the school environment begin to take on important mediating roles fostering the Cult of Thinness. (Hesse-Biber pg. 88) This is where the fat is ugly social view is amplified. In constant competition with each other, teenagers see their physical body as a way of gaining an upper hand.

This is even more damaging as one looks at college eating habits. A semi-closed environment tends to amplify sociocultural pressures. Being away from home affects the regularity of eating habits. Eating habits are altered around schedules and availability of food. When meals are missed, the next meal is usually double the quantity of regular meals. This disorderly eating comes from imitating, competition, or solidarity. As women use food as a means of calming and coping, food can solve problems such as the stress and strain from academics to social life.

The statistics prove most college students are from middle-upper class, these groups place high value on thinness. Sociological Remedies By means of social activism, much can be changed. Bringing this problem to light could effect many aspects of the Cult of Thinness, such as the media and capitalism. This activism should be done through large groups of people on seemingly important factors that attribute to the Cult of Thinness. Boycotting certain products or certain companies products, is detrimental. Showing the public that this is a problem and that there are ways of eliminating this cult, from the outside in.

Starting with the media and advertising, then medical facilities. Offering liquid diets and supplements that can be harmful, this is an extremely profitable market. Lastly, by altering communities. People are the main motivators. The more people involved, the larger the impact it will make. Making people aware that this cult is deadly and the members are increasing daily. Having people speak upon this subject that have experienced this cult personally, and professional who have studied this area of anthropology/sociology with actual information in terms of statistics.

Another method of activism can be using the media, a tool which now publicizes this cult, against itself. Use television and magazines to inform the public. Holding workshops and lectures getting the message out, is a form of educating people upon this problem. Not only adults should be made aware, but seminars at middle and high schools should also be available. To make preventative measures that this problem can be stopped before it begins on another generation. To educate young people on the dangers of the Cult of Thinness, and make them aware of warning signs that they may be falling prey.

Alice Walker, Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation and the Sexual Blinding of Women

Female genital mutilation, also known as female circumcision, is a practice that involves the removal of part or all of the female external genitalia. It occurs throughout the world, but most commonly in Africa where they say that it is a tradition and social custom to keep a young girl pure and a married woman faithful. But to some Westerners, the practice is viewed as being primitive and barbaric. We react with disgust and find it nearly incomprehensible that female genital mutilation can occur in the world today

In Warrior Marks, Alice Walker looks at the reality that millions of African, Asian and Indian women suffer from genital mutilation. The book begins with the re-telling of a story of how she lost one eye. This wound was inflicted on her when she was three years old and for years, she felt handicapped and isolated. Her brother, who caused this accident with a BBgun, is referred to as a warrior and the blinding of her eye is the warrior mark. Her visual mutilation is what helped her see the subject of genital mutilation.

She sees it as a terrible form of patriarchal oppression, characterized by the feeling of being overpowered and dominated by those you are bound to respect. The book goes on and discusses the health risks that are involved in the practice. It talks about how the women who perform the surgery have a minimal knowledge of anatomy and hygiene, which results in infections of the genital and often results in the transmission of the HIV virus. Besides the initial pain of the operation, these girls also suffer long-term physiological, sexual and psychological effects.

A mother reveals that she would stop the pain and betrayal if she could but because of tradition, she and others would risk banishment, torture and abuse. In the end, Walker emphasizes that these African women are not victims, but survivors. In the book, the women grow gardens on dry land and trade food, clothing and crafts in the marketplace. Whether a battered wife, a rape survivor or genitally mutilated woman, Walker concludes that a woman warrior learns that if she is injured, she can fight back.

She closes by saying, Your wound could be your guide. Female circumcision is based on gender oppression and degradation of women. It is the result of a patriarchal society trying to sexually control women. Women are stripped of their sexuality and their virginity is controlled until they are married. As in most patriarchal societies, marriage is essential to the economic survival of women. Therefore, in the minds of these people, the benefits gained from this operation for the girl and her family far outweigh any potential danger.

They look forward to circumcision as a coming-of-age ritual, which is necessary to maintain health, virginity and family honor. Circumcised women are considered beautiful while uncircumcised women are considered ugly, unclean, and unfit for marriage. So when parents request a genital procedure for their daughter, they are only seeking to enhance their child’s acceptance into their culture and assure her desirability as a wife. There is also a health issue here because these procedures are usually performed under unsanitary conditions.

They use tools non-sterilized like knives, scalpels or a piece of glass to do the cutting and there is no use of any anesthetics. Normal risks of circumcision include hemorrhage, severe pain, shock, infection, and even death. Harm that is done to women from female genital mutilation is a human-rights issue. The practice is considered as child abuse and the abuse of women. During the operation, these young girls experience extreme pain and trauma against their will. They also suffer many long-term physical consequences like genital malformation, recurrent urinary infections and loss of sexual sensation.

These girls, like everyone else in the world, should have the right to live safe and healthy lives. Although we consider ourselves superior to these women, we also resort to such extremes to conform to the expectations of society. We go through things like extreme diets, breast implants, face lifts, liposuction and other painful and potentially dangerous processes for beauty, love and social acceptance. I think these operations, just like male and female circumcision, are wrong because they are not natural.

If people are born uncircumcised, then that is how our body should remain. Before reading the book, I thought that female genital mutilation was a very violent and cruel practice. I saw these girls being forced to lie down and have a piece of flesh cut from between their legs. I imagined the excruciating pain and memories they would have to go through as an adolescent. I asked myself why is this happening? Now, having read the book, I understand that they have their reasons just like we have our reasons. But I still believe that is wrong to control a womans sexuality.

This is still oppression and hopefully someday, people will find a way to stop this. People want to save these children who are being tortured by their own people. But the problem is that the practice is not being done intentionally to harm anyone. Mothers do it in good faith for their children because they love them. We are two completely different cultures. These people look at Western culture and they probably feel sad that this kind of circumcision isnt done here. Women are fighting to end this practice through educational and political protest.

The Women Health Organization is urging nations to ban female circumcision. I do not agree with this because I think it is important to respect their beliefs. It has been part of their culture and tradition for thousands of years and it is not right to suddenly make it illegal. I do believe that we should have laws to protect the health of these young girls. That is why we should be trying to improve the economic and educational status of these women. We should educate these citizens about the medical risks that the practice creates so that they can learn how to perform it safely.

The Womens Suffrage Movement

The womens suffrage movement began in Seneca Falls, New York during a convention on the rights of women. Seneca Falls was a progressive town but even here, Elizabeth Cady Stantons call for suffrage was controversial. Voting and politics were seen as completely male domains and it was shocking to think of women involved in either. The primary argument of suffragists was that they were being denied one of the most basic rights of Democracy. They were expected to live under laws which they could not vote for and pay taxes to a government which didnt represent them.

Men were only half of the population but they were in charge of all of the decisions. Not only was it unfair, it went against the way God intended things to be. Women and men were different. To create a balanced society, they must both be allowed to have influence. In 1848, women were treated as the property of men. They didnt have rights to property or to their children. It was legal for a man to beat his wife. They were taxed but denied representation in congress. Their sphere of influence was in the home.

The Seneca Falls Declaration called for an increase in womens rights in these areas, as well as in education for women and the jobs available to them. It stated that women were morally obligated to resist their tyrannical and oppressive government. This unfair treatment wasnt only unjust, it went against God. The Declaration was not well received by much of the public but it set off a wave of womens rights meetings throughout the 1850s. It was after one of these meetings that Stanton met Susan B. Anthony. This meeting had a profound influence on the future of the womens movement.

Together, Stanton and Anthony founded the National Womens Suffrage Association in 1869. This association was one of the central forces in the movement for womens suffrage. Sojourner Truth was one of few African-Americans involved in the womens movement at the beginning. In a speech at a womens rights convention in Ohio, she argued that as a slave, she proved she was just as capable as a man to do hard physical labor, so why wouldnt she be as capable of voting? When the civil war broke out, suffragists put aside their cause to work for the Union. After the war, black men were given the vote but it was still denied to women.

Many suffragists felt betrayed. They had worked on behalf of the abolitionists, then found a lack of support for their own cause. Stanton was disappointed and made it clear she didnt think men were capable of creating a stable government on their own. At a convention in Washington D. C. in 1868, she expressed her disdain for the masculine element. She felt men had created a disorganized government and a violent and cruel society. By refusing the vote to women, they were forcing women to become dilutions of men and repressing the natural character of women.

She argued that giving women the vote would help to maintain the natural equilibrium and provide better representation for the whole. In 1872, a radical suffragists went to the polls to vote in an election. This was a federal offense, and Anthony was arrested. She was tried in a federal court. On the first day of her trial, the judge instructed the jury to find her guilty. Anthony was deemed incompetent to testify on her own behalf because she was a woman. Anthony was allowed to speak before her sentencing. She argued against the unfairness of her trial.

She had been tried under a system which was established by men, interpreted by men and carried out by men. By refusing women the right to vote but forcing them to follow laws, they were being treated as subjects rather than citizens. During her speech, Anthony said her famous maxim, Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God. Anthony was prevented from appealing to the Supreme Court based on a technicality. A similar case did make it to the Supreme Court a year later, and the court ruled that each state would have to grant women the right to vote. This ruling turned the attention of the suffragists to individual states.

In 1890, Wyoming entered the United States as the only state allowing women to vote. In 1893, the governor of Colorado persuaded the state legislature to put the issue of womens votes on the ballot. Carrie Kat from the NWSA and a local reporter named Ellis Meredith campaigned together. They organized 10,000 women, many from the Womens Christian Temperance Union, who wanted to end the sale of alcohol. Liquor companies began campaigning against them, but suffrage was passed in Colorado anyway. By 1896, Utah and Idaho had also granted women the vote. By the 1890s rights for women were improved.

By then, women could hold property and girls could attend high school and college. But the suffragists still met lots of opposition, even among their own sex. In Boston, women organized the Massachusetts Association Opposed to Suffrage for Women. They saw politics as corrupt and male, and they believed it would degrade all women to be involved. In a non-binding referendum held by the Massachusetts legislature which allowed both men and women to vote, suffrage was overwhelmingly defeated. At the end of the century, the National Association of Colored women was formed. They were led by Mary Church Terrell.

Black women rarely got support from white suffragists. Their organization received little support even though it grew to 500,000 people. At this time, many suffragists began arguing that if educated white women were prohibited from voting, the vote should be taken from uneducated immigrants as well. The suffrage movement became more conservative towards the turn of the century. Stanton was now in her late 70s. She began seeing the Bible as a tool of oppression written by men against women. Stanton rewrote every passage of the Bible which said women were inferior to men.

This action scandalized the suffragists, who called it blasphemous. Stanton resigned her presidency of the NWSA and the movement fell into a rut. At the start of the 20th century, the movement took a sharp turn. More women were working in offices, factories and other positions than ever before. Stantons daughter, Harriet Blach, became a leader of the movement. She incorporated all kinds of women into it and developed new tactics. Women would go out into the streets to confront men directly and to give open-air speeches and they held suffrage parades.

The NWSA didnt support Blachs tactics, calling them unladylike. By 1912, five more states had granted women the vote. The Progressive Party had endorsed their cause, including presidential hopeful Teddy Roosevelt. Women were denied the vote in Ohio, Michigan and Wyoming in votes in 1912 and a new wave of opposition from men arose. Liquor companies and big businesses particularly wanted to stop the suffrage movement. In 1913, Alice Paul arrived in Washington from London. Paul was a suffragist turned radical by prison abuse. She held a doctorate in political science.

She had met Lucy Burns in prison in London and together they organized a march in Washington DC the day before Woodrow Wilsons inaugural parade. 8,000 women attended. The parade erupted into a riot and 100 women were hospitalized. The police offered the women no protection and none of the rioters were arrested. Paul began organizing women to lobby the president and congress. At this time, the Susan B. Anthony Amendment was introduced to the house. It was stalled in congress. In the 1914 elections, Paul and her followers went to the nine states where women could vote and campaigned against all Democrats.

They saw the Democrats as responsible for stalling the amendment. Anna Howard Shaw, the leader of the NWSA, saw that as suicidal move and the party split. Pauls followers became the National Womans Party. Only a few Democrats were defeated but Paul saw the campaign as a success and the amendment was sent to the floor for a vote. It was badly beaten, but that it had even been considered was seen as progress by the women. In 1916, Carrie Kat took over the NWSA from Shaw. She centralized the movements power and increased support everywhere but in the South.

Hundreds of NWSA members began lobbying congressmen and senators alongside the NWP. In 1917, the United States entered World War I. The NWSAs strategy was to work for the war effort as well as for suffrage. the NWP began picketing the White House. They wouldnt support the war effort. At first the president tolerated their presence, but some of the NWPs pickets became insulting. Many Americans saw them as treason. Daily attacks began against the women and they received no police protection. During the summer and fall of 1917, police arrested 168 women for obstructing traffic.

They were mistreated in prison, which radicalized many of them. The police chief became determined to stop the picketers. He arrested several women and put them in an isolated wing of the prison. They were horribly mistreated. Led by Paul, 30 women went on hunger strikes. Finally, all the prisoners were unconditionally released. During their time in prison, many people came forward protest their treatment. In November of 1917, New York granted women the vote. The enfranchisement of so many women made it important for many politicians to court their votes by supporting suffrage.

On January 10, 1918, the Susan B. Anthony Amendment passed in congress by one vote. As a compromise in the senate, some Southern senators proposed a rider to the bill that would prohibit black women from voting. Few white suffragists protested, but the clause was defeated and the amendment was passed in the Senate anyway on June 4, 1919. Now the suffragists had to get the legislatures of 36 states to ratify the amendment. By 1920, 35 had ratified it. Delaware defeated the amendment, forcing the suffragists to turn to the South. In Tennessee, both sides of the issue tried to persuade the legislators. Liquor and manufacturing lobbies bribed them.

The night before the vote, it was feared the suffragists would lose by one vote. But on August 18, 1920, 24 million American women won the right to vote when Harry Burn listened to a letter from his mother and did the right thing by supporting the amendment. Without the hard work and determination of so many women, I might not have grown up in a world in which I never once questioned whether or not I could go to college and get a job. Ive always been told I could do whatever I put my mind to. For their spirit and strength, and for all the opportunities theyve given me and every other woman who came after them, Im very grateful.

Women In Combat

In this report, I will present the information I’ve discovered concerning whether allowing women to serve in combat units will reduce a units effectiveness. Women in today’s military serve in more jobs and constitute the largest percent of women in the military they ever have. Four years ago women only made up 12 percent of the military, this has climbed from 1. 6 percent in 1973 (Armed Forces and Society, 1996, p. 17). They also hold more jobs than ever before. In 1991, congress passed an amendment which allowed women to fly fixed wing and rotary wing combat aircraft in the military (Harvard International Review, 1992, 52).

The military has also opened more combat support jobs in an effort get more women to join the military. Virtually every job is open to women in the military; infantry, submarines, and artillery are the only ones that are still off limits (Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 1996, p. 368). The only focus of my paper is whether there is still a need to ban women from direct combat. First, let me explain the distinction between combat support units and direct combat units. The military changed its definition of direct combat for women.

This opened up more jobs for women that had been off-limits (Congressional Quarterly Researcher, 1992, p. 844). The performance of women in these positions was tested during the Gulf War. For the first time, American women flew combat missions and directly supported infantry units (Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, 1991, p. 200). Many times they were exposed to live fire, consequentially 13 were killed (Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 1992, p. 842). However, women were never considered to be in direct combat.

The military’s current combat exclusion policy states that women are prohibited from serving in positions that are “engaging an enemy with individual or crew-served weapons while being exposed to direct fire, a high probability or direct physical contact with the enemy’s personnel, and a substantial risk of capture” (Law and Inequality, 1991, p. 6). Many people feel that this policy is discriminatory towards women and only perpetuates the view that they are not seen equally in the military (Luddy, 1992 as cited by Stencel, 1992, 836). This policy ensures the effectiveness of the combat unit, which brings me to my next definition.

The effectiveness of a combat unit is measured by its ability “… in mobilizing, and deploying troops, effectiveness in battle measured by outcomes, mission accomplishment or the ratio of United States versus enemy killed and wounded in combat” (Glenn, 1991, as cited by Peach, 1991, p. 212). In this report, I will discuss five sub-topics. First, I will discuss the experience other nations have had with mixing men and women in combat. My next two sub-topics will compare men and women in two ways. I will start my second sub-topic by comparing men and women physically then comparing men and women psychologically.

Then I will evaluate the health care needs of women in combat support units. Finally I will discuss the effect that women would have on unit cohesion. After discussing how these aspects can affect the effectiveness of the military, I will draw conclusions as to how these factors connect to the affects of allowing women to serve in combat. I will then the best possible recommendation using all of the information I have gathered concerning women in combat. I have come to the following conclusion during my research. I am unable to determine the affect women in combat units will have.

Undoubtedly, the majority of women are less muscular and lack the endurance of men. However, there is a small percentage of women that can equal or surpass some men currently serving in combat units. Also, I found very little research stating that women were not psychologically  equal to men. There were three factors, which I used to compare men and women psychologically. I discussed how males are perceived to be more aggressive than females, the stress that males and females will face in combat, and female’s effect on unit moral. Also I showed how important unit cohesion was in determining a units effectiveness.

The health care needs can be met by combat support units when there are well trained physicians and nurses treat can handle the needs of women (Military Medicine, 1995, p. 221). My recommendations are that more tests have to be done. The first type of test would be an actual field test, submit men and women to the same extreme standards for combat duty to determine if women were capable for service (Congressional Quarterly Researcher, 1992, p. 846). Only then should the military allow women to serve in combat units. Only two countries besides the United States have used women in modern warfare.

The first was Russia during WWII and later Israel in 1948. Russian women flew fighters to protect Stalingrad from advancing German armies and also took up arms to protect the city (The Journal of Military History, 1993, p. 319). After the war, Russian women were banned from all combat positions  While in these positions it has been documented that they performed extremely well. The women pilots were soon called “Night Witches” due to their great performance (The Journal of Military History, 1993, p. 320). Israel during the War for Independence, also used women in direct combat positions.

The need for women to serve in combat positions became great because so many men had been killed on the front lines. Like the Russians, after the conflict ended the Israeli military prohibited women from serving in these positions (Harvard International Review,  1992, p. 58). Many researchers after examining how women performed in these positions came to the same conclusion. They noted that the effectiveness of the combat unit was in jeopardy because of women. Men became overprotective of women and jeopardized the safety of the unit by taking unnecessary risks to protect women from danger (Harvard International Review, 1992, p. ).

Also less then one percent of the soldiers who were killed during the war were women (Bloom, 1982, as cited by Landers, 1989, p. 579). The Russian women who flew combat missions during WWII are similar to the types of missions female pilots are expected to perform. During, the Gulf War, they flew jets and helicopters into combat zones along with their male counterparts (Congressional Quarterly Researcher, 1992, p. 842). Although, the women as a whole did not see much combat, the performance of Russian women prove that they would be able to handle the stress of air combat.

The Israeli experience with women in combat is much different from the Russian. After the war ended the Israeli military conducted a survey which determined that the men were adversely affected by seeing women killed or maimed in combat (Editorial Research Reports, 1989, p. 579). In 1948, women all over the world accounted for a very small percentage of the military. This led to a traditionalist view of the role of women in the military and many Israeli men shared this view. Serving in a ground combat unit is the most physically demanding job in the military. To serve with a ground combat unit males have to be in excellent physical condition.

Women as a whole according to Pentagons studies have half the physical strength as men and only 2/3 the endurance (Congressional Quarterly Researcher, 1992, p. 846). The Canadian military has acknowledged these differences and still allowed women to serve in direct combat positions (Editorial Research Reports, 1989, p. 570). Any female that can pass the 10-week infantry course can serve in the Canadian infantry. The Canadians have not lowered their standards for allowing women in combat but set rigorous standards and applied them to both sexes (Harvard International Review, 1992, p. 53).

The Canadian military has taken the first step toward allowing women to serve in ground combat (Editorial Research Reports, p. 576). The vast majority of women are unable to handle the physical demands of combat but there are many that can function in various combat environments (Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, 1991, p. 217). To determine if women are suited for ground combat the military should conduct field testing. Females have to be able to do everything their male counterparts can do. A female in an infantry unit should not only be able to carry the standard M16A2 service rifle but every weapon in the company.

If the machine gunner or mortarman is killed a female should be able to carry his weapon. The whole team concept that is vital to a combat units effectiveness and is called unit-cohesion (Editorial Research Reports, 1989, p. 582). Maintaining unit cohesion is vital for any leader to lead his troops into combat (Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, 1991, p. 213). If women were unable to meet any of these physical standards then the military’s exclusion policy should remain in  affect. There are many psychological differences among men and women that are as important as the physical ones that separate the genders.

The first difference is that men are more aggressive then women due to testosterone levels (Law and Inequality, 1991, p. 21). Under this assumption females would not perform as well in combat because they lack the aggression that males have (Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, 1991, 223). Another psychological factor is that men would feel the need to protect women from harm similar to the Israeli soldiers in 1948 (Harvard International Review, 1992, p. 58). The stress in combat is another factor that many people feel women would not be able to handle.

There have been no documented cases among women who served in the Gulf War that they could not handle the stress (Hypatia, 1995, p. 65). Air Force pilot Rhonda Cornum who was shot down during the gulf war is an example of women’s ability to cope with stress (Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, 1991, p. 222). As a POW she dealt with many forms of abuse and still managed to cope with her situation the her fellow male prisoners did. Almost fifty percent of servicemembers surveyed during the Gulf War said that fraternization within the unit decreased its morale (Congressional Quarterly Researcher, 1996, p. 5).

The performance of Russian women in WWII refutes the theory that women are less effective in combat then men. German troops were quoted as saying they were more afraid of the female pilots then the male (The Journal of Military Affairs, 1993, p. 320)  Secondly, the women seeking combat positions will generally be more aggressive than the majority of females who stay within traditional roles within the military. Although women performed well in the Gulf War, the 4-day war was not long to provide empirical evidence as to how women would perform in combat situations (Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 1992, p. 2).

More research has to be conducted to determine the long-term effects women would have on a combat unit. Decreasing fraternization within a unit is the commanders responsibility. This relies on effective leadership from the bottom all the way to the top ensuring each member within the chain of command understands the effects of fraternization (Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, 1991, p. 215). When a units moral is lowered this can lead to a decrease of the unit-cohesion that must take place within a combat unit.

No studies have been done to prove or disprove women in combat would lower a units moral (Editorial Research Reports, 1989, p. 582). In the majority of combat units it is effective leadership and training that results in the unit cohesion (Hypatia, 1995, p. 65). Also many senior military officials feel that anything feminine destroys male-bonding and units should remain strictly male (Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy, 1991, p. 213). However, a study of cohesion and readiness of  combat support units during extended field exercises proved otherwise (Armed Forces & Society, 1996, p. ).

Male and female soldiers were asked questions about how they felt their unit performed in the field. “The study showed that the proportion of women (up to 35%) had no significant effect on the operational capabilities of the unit. ” (Armed Forces & Society, 1995, p. 17). Unit-cohesion is the commander’s responsibility for his unit. As the above survey shows men and women can interact without a decrease in unit cohesion. More importantly this survey was done while the unit was on a field exercise where stress levels are the highest.

It was determined through the survey that when there are up to a third of the women in a unit this has no effect on unit-cohesion (Armed Forces & Society, 1995, p. 17). There have been no long-term studies done to determine if women in combat units will reduce unit cohesion (Editorial Research Reports, 1989, p. 582). Both men and women in the military face many of the same health care needs. When a member of any unit becomes sick or injured and cannot be deployed this affects a units effectiveness. In the Gulf War, 9 percent of women could not be deployed with their units (Congressional Quarterly Researcher, 1992, p. 9).

Women also have many “gynecologic and non-gynecologic needs” (Military Medicine, 1992, p. 221) that would have to cared for by trained physicians. In 1992 army researchers conducted the first extensive study on women deployed with combat support unit. In the study of a Heavy Armor Division during the Gulf War, it was discovered that women’s health care needs can be met by well-trained physicians and that there presence did not have a significant impact on a units effectiveness (Military Medicine, 1992, p. 221). There are many stereotypes people feel make a combat unit not feasible for females.

However, closer look at the numbers reveals that men lose more time because of drug and alcohol abuse then women do with these three factors combined (Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 1992, p. 839). As women continue to become an integral part of the military their health care needs should be meet by well-trained doctors and nurses (Military Medicine, 1992, p. 219). Given this evidence there is no logical basis for excluding women from combat to their health care needs Women will make up nearly a fourth of the military within the next fifty years (Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 1996, p. 380).

As their numbers increase so should the amount of jobs they are allowed to perform. Whether or not women should serve in combat should still be openly debated. There is no doubt that some women could handle the physical and physiological demands of combat (Congressional Quarterly Weekly, 1992, p. 846). That is not the most important question that has to answered. The fact is that many men would not be able handle seeing women in combat. Like the Israeli in 1948, the impact of seeing rows and rows of dead females could be too much to bear for many men (Harvard International Review, 1992, p. ).

The Gulf War did not provide enough data to conclude that women should be allowed in combat. Women did perform well in the jobs they were assigned, however, the war was not long enough for the military to evaluate how they would perform under fire (Congressional Quarterly Researcher, 1992, p. 842). There is only one question that needs to be answered. How will the effectiveness of the combat unit be affected by allowing women in combat? This report has defined effectiveness and through empirical research shown the various aspects that can affect a military units effectiveness.

After conducting my research and answering the scope questions I have determined that more research needs to be done. To simply allow women to serve in combat units if they meet the qualifications would be impractical. The military has to conduct extensive field-testing to answer this question. Every facet that women would bring to a combat unit has to be analyzed. When the military community determines that women in combat would not lower effectiveness, only then should women be given the chance to serve in combat units.

Homeopathy and Women

Over the course of the past several decades feminist scholars, in company with medical historians, have developed a sophisticated framework for identifying the ways in which Western medicine, as a system of social control, tends to reproduce and legitimate the construction of gender in the wider society. Wielded by physicians holding positions of power, the notion that “anatomy is destiny” can become a potent ideological weapon, labelling actions that violate “natural law” as unhealthy and their perpetrators as unsound.

For the most part these critical inquiries have not bothered to distinguish biomedicine from alternative healing traditions, the latter having been regarded until recently as a mere fringe phenomenon. But it there is any truth in the notion that these traditions embody not just different treatment modalities, but also more “holistic” approaches to the medical encounter, then it is worthwhile investigating the extent to which they have actually repudiated conventional gender practices. Being rid of stereotype and domination would make these traditions “alternative” in the deepest sense.

At the focus of this paper are the life and works of Dr. James Tyler Kent, an eminent 19-th century American homeopath. Kent himself would never have used the word “alternative” for his personal brand of homeopathy, which he presumed was blessed by God; but with the distance that time affords, we can permit ourselves to use the term as a convenient approximation, recognizing that there was more social overlap and shared ideology linking mainstream with periphery than either sector in those days could allow. In any discussion of 19th-century homeopathy Kent’s name would invariably be mentioned, whether in his role as a brilliant clinician, a prolific writer, or an influential teacher.

Yet Kent, as a privileged male professional, was also thoroughly representative of his own times. Kent articulated a set of beliefs about gender that can be fairly summarized as “androcentric. “1 If confronted (as he may well have been by the female students of his inner circle), Kent would likely have relinquished some of these beliefs as so much cultural debris. But in other instances they appear to be central to the doctor’s worldview, and would therefore have been strongly defended.

Overall, Kent’s homeopathy constitutes but one strand in a wider discursive formation which may be termed “Victorian American;” yet it also departs from its cultural matrix enough to suggest that in his constructions of gender Kent drew upon sources other than popular culture and medical orthodoxy. Assuming this to be so, then a close analysis of Kent’s intellectual career ought to shed light upon the way in which “irregular” physicians positioned themselves at a time when the customary gender roles were undergoing fundamental transformation.

As the theorist most concerned to link the experiences of the body with the long contours of civilization, Michel Foucault necessarily becomes our point of departure. In several of his early works, such as Discipline and Punish and The Birth of the Clinic, Foucault argued that the modern state, with its vastly enhanced powers of surveillance and regulation, is able to exert unprecedented pressure upon people to become just so many “docile bodies.

As one means of enforcing control, the state uses “dividing practices” to label and separate off the insane, the delinquent, the hysteric, and the homosexual. For Foucault, one focus of interest therefore concerns the way in which various civil institutions, such as the prison, the asylum, and the clinic, serve the state in accomplishing its ends. From this perspective the practice of medicine itself becomes problematic, because medicine, though basically noncoercive, possesses formidable technologies that can promote submission to standards which it defines as normative.

With medicine, more than other civic institutions, the normative function is easily dissembled as a concern for the sick, so that in a typical medical encounter both client and practitioner are likely to experience “keenly felt gratifications, which mask elements of ideology and social control that are present on a deeper level” (Waitzkin 1991:41). It can be a complex and delicate matter to identify suppression under such circumstances. In Foucault’s early work there is a totalizing thrust which has justly drawn criticism.

Periodizing history in great blocks of time, his so-called epistemes, Foucault nevertheless tended to restrict his attention to events in Europe, and even then mainly to France. His eurocentrism is thus never more than thinly veiled. Beyond that, with his sweeping assertions about the monolithic state, the panopticon, Foucault in the long run insinuates a sense of defeatism, of disempowerment, which opposes the interests of those subordinate populations about whom he writes (Deveaux 1994).

Responding to these criticisms in later works, such as his History of Sexuality, Foucault succeeded in shifting the focus of analysis away from the formal domain of the state apparatus, towards the everyday world, where power as a constitutive element in social interaction occasions resistance as a matter of course. These two complementary stages2 in Foucault’s intellectual career can serve as a model for research concerned with the place of gender in 19th-century medicine.

Thus, at the macro-political level there are now numerous studies concerning the medical literature of the day, so far as this exercised hegemonic authority with regards to women. A ground-breaking monograph in this regard is Barker-Benfield’s Horrors of the Half-Known Life (1976), which focuses on a cluster of prominent American physicians, who as outspoken misogynists practised sexual surgery and instituted other suppressive methods in order to eradicate various aberrations, including masturbation and lustfulness.

In a similar vein Haller and Haller’s The Physician and Sexuality in Victorian America surveys an immense archive of popular literature, including sex manuals, commercial handbills and other ephemera, as these bear upon the cultural effort to exert strenuous moral regulation over the wayward impulses of both men and women. In America “the sexual politics of health” became an activist issue through a series of works by Barbara Ehrenreich and Deirdre English.

In For Her Own Good (1978) Ehrenreich and English offered a sustained polemic on the subject of male-instituted medical tyranny. Though choosing to stereotype women healers as uniformly feminist in their defiance of orthodoxy, the authors stimulated considerable academic interest in the subject of fringe medicine. The way in which medical authorities “framed” disease categories has been a subject of recent discussion.

Hansen, for example, traces the steps by which homosexuality was labelled as a clinical entity after 1870. This author argues that the medicalization of “inversion” was initially conceived as a humanitarian measure, urged upon the doctors by gay people themselves in some cases; it was not until the 20th-century that this particular diagnosis was to become “a central feature in the social oppression of homosexuals, to the benefit of some members of the medical profession offering ‘cures'” (Hansen 1992: 122).

On the other hand, a fictitious disease entity like “spermatorrhoea” (literally, “sperm in the urine”) proposed by Lallemand at mid-century, was apparently exploited by quacks who were trading on fears that the loss of seminal fluid was injurious to the organism’s spermatic economy overall (Mason 1994: 295-298; Hall 1992). 3 Finally, in the instance of such supposed women’s diseases as “kleptomania” and “nymphomania” we encounter strong evidence of misogynist labeling practices.

In the case of kleptomania a stratum of privileged middle-class pilferers was defined on medical grounds as being impervious to the law. The diagnosis of kleptomania was an act of contemptuous patronage, in which the perpetrators themselves colluded (O’Brien 1983; Adelson 1989). More serious, however, was the diagnosis of nymphomania, for that could make a lesbian or sexually expressive woman vulnerable to corrective procedures such as clitoridectomy or cauterization (Groneman 1994).

In some instances medical problems were made subject to hegemonic control through technological innovations. Erin O’Connor, for instance, discusses the role of medical photography in helping consolidate anorexia nervosa as a modern disease entity in the 19-th century. The photographic image, by substituting a visual message for a psychiatric discussion, underscored the tendency to think of anorexia as being “confined to the surface of the body,” such that “problems of subjectivity simply did not matter next to the stark fact of starvation” (O’Connor 1995: 549;555).

Through the use of before-and-after images, where the wasting girls dramatically recovered their fleshy womanhood, a 19-century physician like William Gull could provide an indubitable record of the anorexic’s return to health under a regimen of force-feeding, without having to consider her illness as an “idiom of distress – a somatic response to everyday life” (Parsons and Wakeley 1991).

Due in part to the lack of recorded information, there are fewer historical studies that treat the medical encounter as a negotiated reality, let alone a contested ground where the physician’s power to define and normalize is clearly resisted by the patient. As Kuipers notes, “[i]nnovative, sensitive, and careful interpretations of archival and contemporary texts that historically and philologically situate the speaking practices of medical professionals have only just begun” (Kuipers 1989: 105). Several landmark studies have nevertheless established a framework by which Victorian medicine can be understood as a contested discourse.

In her discussion of the interaction between doctors and hysterics, Carroll Smith-Rosenberg speculates in psychodynamic terms that the hysteric, functioning in the passive-aggressive mode, occasioned a punitive response on the part of many doctors, who “felt themselves to be locked in a power struggle” with women whose greatest victory was their continued illness (Smith-Rosenberg 1972: 674). In a joint paper with her husband, Smith- Rosenberg went on to analyze the conservative medical discourse regarding contraception and abortion, which opened up “access for women to new roles and a new autonomy.

Responding with increasing harshness, many male doctors decried such practices as “unnatural, their hostility, rancour and moral outrage being a reliable measure of the fundamental cultural tension” which they were experiencing (Smith-Rosenberg and Rosenberg 1973: 350;354). Similarly, Ann Wood maintained that in Victorian Ameriaca “a complicated if unacknowledged psychological warfare was being waged between the doctors and their patients” (Wood 1973: 33), resulting in medical diagnoses that were shot full of distrust and condemnation.

While one can only conjecture what the majority of female patients thought about all this, Wood analyses the writings of a small group of feminist hygiene experts and lady doctors, who with “a masked but almost hysterical paranoia” recognized in the medical practices of the day “as a form of rape. ” The women doctors who began appearing in the 1850s regarded women’s diseases as “a result of submission, and promoted independence from masculine domination, whether professional or sexual, as their cure for feminine ailments” (Wood 1973: 33;40;44).

Because it generalizes the interactionist approach to the level of broad cultural processes, Edward Shorter’s From Paralysis to Fatigue is a work worth reviewing in some detail. Shorter offers some sly, even comic insights into the dynamics of psychosomatic illness. In his negotiation model, a population of “somatizing” patients draws upon a culturally approved “symptom pool” in striving to fashion an illness which their doctors will agree to authenticate.

In the course of these doctor/patient negotiations, some psychosomatic complexes receive the coveted designation of disease, whereas others are refused medical sanction. Not wanting to make itself look ridiculous, the unconscious “brings itself medically up to date,” periodically spawning new symptomatologies to keep abreast of technology and changing perceptions. When generalized to the cultural level, these negotiations produce a situation of pathoplasticity, meaning “the tendency of illness attribution and presentation to change with fashion.

According to Shorter, “the volume of perceived aches, pains, and weariness has probably changed little historically. What changes is people’s readiness to seek medical help for these symptoms, to define them as disease, and to give them fixed attributions. ” Beginning with spinal irritation, the first modern instance of a cultural shaping of patients’ symptoms,”5 Shorter traces the rise and fall of many other pseudoneurophysiological conditions which patients, in unconscious collusion with their doctors, bargained into existence.

He argues that if the nineteenth century was the century of motor hysteria, especially among young women, then the late twentieth century is one of sensory afflictions, including such recent contenders as “fibromyalgia,” “TMJ syndrome,” and “chronic fatigue syndrome” (Shorter 1992: 54;266;12). Coming at last full circle, Margaret Pelling claims that the time is now ripe to draw attention to the opposite tendency, that is, the process by which women, as mothers, sisters and wives, exercised formative influences on male doctors throughout the course of their careers.

Observing that medicine is “an occupation that is unusual in the depth to which it penetrates the domestic settings of other families,” Pelling proposes that male physicians, feeling overwhelmed, chose to compensate for their constant immersion in the world of women by distancing themselves “from the bodies of their patients. ” Nevertheless, Pelling interprets the available evidence from Britain as indicating that “the female line of influence in ‘medical families’ might be stronger than the male,” even if under patriarchal cover it was far less visible (Pelling 1995: 386-7;397).

Pelling’s research is consistent with that of Shawn Johansen, who disputes the notion that the public and private spheres were rigidly dichotomized along gender lines. While men and women in the nineteenth-century were indeed kept apart in many ways, these gender conventions broke down in times of health crises and childbirth, where men as well as women had a role to play (Johansen 1995: 184). Rejecting altogether the victim’s perspective, a group of studies, as yet few in number, have concerned themselves with the distinctive career paths mapped by women practitioners.

In the context of the 18th-century often the only information that can be retrieved about such women takes the form of printed advertisements in archived newspapers and handbills (Crawford 1984); however, with regards to the following century feminist scholars are finding the data to be surprisingly rich. Drawing upon documents surrounding a sensational libel trial held in 1892, Regina Morantz-Sanchez has been able to reconstruct the career choices of Dr. Mary Amanda Dixon Jones, a gynaecological surgeon, who attained prominence in a specialty that had been hitherto restricted to men.

Dr. Jones initially followed a trajectory amenable to other women physicians at mid-century, ensconcing her activities within a “medical subculture of seminaries, sectarian colleges, and professional networks that was predominantly female. ” However, her decision to pursue orthodox training directly challenged this pattern; and her subsequent rise to the top, with all the problems involved in negotiating a personal identity, made Dr. Jones “the nineteenth-century version of the ‘difficult woman'” (Morantz-Sanchez 1995: 216).

Until recently “all but invisible to historians” (Rogers 1990: 282), the world of sectarian medicine (a term without religious implications, indicating only that the practitioners pursued a single, exclusive healing modality) is proving a fertile ground for research on women’s struggle for autonomy and professional standing. Generally enforcing an open admissions policy, the sectarian colleges played an important role for women seeking medical training throughout the 19th-century (Rogers 1990: 293).

That this was a significant avenue of access for women is suggested in the fact that by the time of the Flexner Report in 1910, the New York Homeopathic Women’s Medical College and Hospital was the second last women’s medical school operating in all of America (Rogers 1990: 309). Within the sectarian milieu there also seems to have been a close relationship between professionals, health reformers, and women’s rights advocates. Less class-conscious than their orthodox counterparts, the sectarian practitioners apparently devoted a large portion to their practice to serving the poor.

Julia Minerva Green, a Washington homeopath, maintained a practice in which one-quarter of her patients were charity cases (Moldow 1987: 128). A long-time director of the American Foundation for Homeopathy, Dr. Green is said to have made housecalls on a bicycle, her skirt held down by lead weights sewn into the hem (Nielson 1997: 34). All of these research initiatives, whether hegemonic or interactionist, help shed light upon the construction of gender within the field of sectarian medicine.

Yet in the final analysis they fail to explain how it was possible for male sectarians to maintain ideologies of male dominance within such a radical milieu, right in the face of their female collegues. Certainly in the case of homeopathy, for all its opposition to medical orthodoxy, the record is larded with instances of androcentrism, and even chauvinism, where gender equality was denied in the interests of social control. Though it is tempting to pile up examples, one particularly cloying (because late-blooming? ) text will serve to represent the tendency overall.

In a paper read before the International Hahnemannian Association in 1929 – published incidentally in the same volume with a case study by Dr. Julia Green – Irving L. Farr M. D. observes in connection with the Biblical injunction to be fruitful and multiply that when misdirected the power of procreation can wreck homes and even cause the downfall of nations, “as history teaches. ” He goes on to claim that the likes of Professor Sigmund Freud has convinced large numbers of psychology students that “the mental upsets, seen at the menopause, occur more often in those women who have been denied motherhood, from whatever cause.

Therefore, Dr. Farr concludes that in these days of “loose morals among the youth,” the family physician has “a field for rearing and developing his prospective mothers,” who dread child-bearing “as though it were a disease. ” Against this background Dr. Farr envisions the family doctor becoming the friend and instructor of the child, gaining her confidence, so that she comes to him with all her curiosity as to what life is and how it happens.

She comes to him to learn from him that wonderful knowledge, which he possesses, the solution of the growing urge within her and what it portends; to learn what puberty and menstruation are designed for, and why she changes in her attitude, as the years pass… Thus the first confinement is not to be The End of the Honeymoon Trail, but the culmination of a series of regular progressions, from her own babyhood to her own baby, with her hand constantly within the hand of her life-long doctor-friend, her obstetrician (Farr 1929: 792-4).

With the benefits of hindsight it would not be difficult to leaf through the yellowing journals, culling all the ludicrous blunders and clumsy social control tactics which forgotten doctors committed to print. Yet such a procedure would be merely churlish – and worse, self-blinding – in connection with a healer of Kent’s stature. As with Freud’s failure in the case of Dora (see above, Fn 4), “even the shrewdest therapist’s perspicacity may desert him when it comes into conflict with his milieu and his society” (Lakoff and Coyne 1993:92).

Thus, in the case of a figure who commands our respect across the span of years, it is important to distinguish those domains in which he was markedly innovative, from those in which he merely gave voice to the ideology of his time. In Kent’s case there were two domains in particular where he seemed very much the Victorian American doctor. For one thing, the manner in which he practised as a homeopath does not seem to have departed much from the androcentric model of the physician as this was generally defined in the nineteenth century.

Kent’s homeopathic “philosophy,” so profoundly influenced by Swedenborg, was likewise imbued with backward-looking androcentric values. On the other hand, in several other domains Kent’s form of homeopathy either contested the contemporary constructions of gender, or else brought them into glaring relief. For one thing, his opposition to the conventional disease categories, for instance, helped demystify certain gender conditions, such as hysteria and chlorosis, which we would nowadays classify as psychosomatic illnesses.

A more important contribution, however, was his elaboration of a series of gender-inflected remedy pictures. As a subset within his Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica, these remedy pictures comprise a virtual album of the manifold sexual miseries that were endured in Victorian American. In some instances Kent’s portraits have thankfully faded with the passage of years; but in others the features are still sharp. In spite of their sepia tones they can still affect us today, fresh as ever, like aromatic herbs pressed into the pages of the text.

A Fair Chance for the Girls

In this article the author Edward Clarke writes about the harmful effects of education on the sexual development and reproductive capacities of women. While reading this article I was forced to be open minded and accept every aspect of this reading in order to fully understand it. As we further discussed this article I can clearly see where these arguments would stem and by factoring in the day and the amount of technology and modern medicine I was able to better understand them.

When he talks of the Miss G. at unfortunately lost her life I can see where he could say that it could come from being educated but he really didnt explain how this was linked to the brain. When he completed these tests he was under the impression that it wasnt in a womans best interest to be educate because of the effects that it could have on the reproductive system. In this article the only piece of evidence that we see is that of the linking of the puberty stage and the brain. This however doesnt link education and the death. It may have been more believing had he shown us more cases were this was the case.

Although this article was not convincing to me I was still able to point out strengths and weakness and the one strength that I saw was the way he tried to draw you in by believing that by stating the effects on the reproductive system and the brain. The weakness that I found in this reading was his failure to cite more cases of this so-called fair chance. When I say that I mean that maybe if he could have showed us more then maybe we {women} might have seen this as a fair warning that before we get to deep into the learning process we should sit down and evaluate his findings.

I really just think that if he had been around today then surely his idea about women and education would be different. Considering the amount of women that are in the workforce and succeeding in the same fields that men are he could surely see and offer an apology to the many women that he offended especially the women that are successful and have children. I have two children and I do consider my self to be very successful and after reading this article it only makes me want to go and show the few people that still think that this is true that just because you dont have to chose between risking not having children or living comfortably.

The Women’s Suffrage

The women’s suffrage party fought for years on the right to vote. They weren’t going to stop until they got their right. For instance, Alice Paul organized a parade through Washington D. C. on inauguration day, which supported women’s suffrage and also picketed the White House for 18 months. Paul was put in jail for that and started a hunger strike. Susan B Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Shanton supported the women’s suffrage for fifty years later. Neither of them lived to see the 19th amendment ratified on August 26, 1920.

The amendment was ratified under Wodrow Wilson as the President of the United States. Now with the 19th amendment, women have the right to own property, be employed, get an education, get a divorce, and get custody of children. They got all this with the right to vote. On August 26, 1995, It was the 75th anniversary of the 19th amendment. The women of the past showed the government that women weren’t just meant for taking care of their husbands and children. In my opinion, what the women did in the past made the world a better place today for the women of the United States.

These are some of the important dates that happened during this period. Carrie Chapman Catt was the President of the National American Women Suffrage Association (NAWSA) for many years. In 1903, Mary Dreier, Rheta Childe, Leonora O’Reily formed the women’s trade union league. In 1913, Alice Paul and Lucy Burns organized the Congressional Union. It was formally known as the NWP- National Women’s Party in 1916. In 1914 the NFWC (National Federate Women’s Club) had more than two million white and colored women involved.

In 1916, Jeannette Rakin of Montana became the first woman to be taken into the United States House Of Representatives. There were seventy-five women who had major roles in women’s suffrage. They were ver important and did a lot of hard work for the women’s suffrage. Some of them were: Susan Brownell Anthony arrested for trying to vote Elizabeth Cady Shanton wrote the Declaration of Sentiments Alice Stone Blackwell was the recording secretary Harriot Stanton Blatch founder of the Women’s Political Union Amelia Bloomer publisher defending women and how they dressed in New York.

Lucy Burns helped organized the Congressional Union Carrie Lane Chapman Catt became president in 1915 Lucretia Coffin Mott started the first women’s rights convention with Stanton and her sister Martha Wright in New York Anna Howard Shaw was President from 1904 to 1915 Charlotte Perkins Gilman wrote a book about women independence. Alice Paul picketed the White House for women’s suffrage 240 WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE By definition, women’s suffrage is the right for women to vote. Women’s suffrage started back as far as the 1600’s. I am going to talk about the 1800’s.

Women’s suffrage upset many women in the United States. Women were known to be in the home at all times. They were there to give care for the their husbands and children. Politicians feared women coming in the political race because they thought that women might vote them out of office. In the early 19th century, women were considered second class citizens. Often after marriage they weren’t allowed to own property. It was also improper for women to speak in public alone. They were told to refrain from getting an education.

Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Stanton set women’s suffrage in 1848 at the Women’s Right Convention in Seneca Falls, New York Falls Elizabeth Cady Stanton decided to make her own declaration called The Declaration of Sentiments by using the Declaration of Independence as her guidelines. RESOULTION 9 was the women had the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony was arrested for attempting to vote for Ulysses S. Grant in the 1872 presidential elections. It wasn’t just in the United States that women’s suffrage was going on. It was going on all over the world. It was going on in Canada, Mexico, Great Britain, Scandinavia, and Italy.

In Canada, Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan got the right to vote in 1916. Quebec didn’t get the right to vote until 1940. In Mexico, women got the right to vote in1953. In Great Britain, all women got the right to vote in 1928. In Scandinavia, in Finland, they had the right to vote in1916. Before WWI women in Norway and Denmark had the right to vote. Swedish women got the right to vote in 1919. In Italy, women didn’t get the right to vote until after WWII. Women in New Jersey could initially vote because in the state’s constitution of 1790 gave the vote all people.

Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act creates a right to be “free from crimes of violence” that are gender motivated. It also gives a private civil right of action to the victims of these crimes. The Senate report attached to the act states that “Gender based crimes and fear of gender based crimes… reduces employment opportunities and consumer spending affecting interstate commerce. ” Sara Benenson has been abused by her husband, Andrew Benenson, since 1978. Because of this abuse, she sued her husband under various tort claims and violations under the Violence Against Women Act.

Now Mr. Benenson is rotesting the constitutionality of this act claiming that Congress has no right to pass a law that legislates for the common welfare. However, Congress has a clear Constitutional right to regulate interstate commerce. This act is based solely on interstate commerce and is therefore Constitutional. Because of abuse, Sara Benenson was afraid to get a job because it would anger her husband. She was afraid to go back to school and she was afraid to go shopping or spend any money on her own.

All three of these things clearly interfere and affect interstate commerce. Women like Mrs. Benenson are the reason the act was passed. There has been a long history of judgements in favor of Congress’s power to legislate using the commerce clause as a justification. For the past fifty years, Congress’s right to interpret the commerce clause has been unchallenged by the Court with few exceptions. There is no rational reason for this court to go against the powerful precedents set by the Supreme court to allow Congress to use the Commerce clause.

In the case of Katzenbach v. McClung, the Court upheld an act of Congress which was based on the commerce clause, that prohibited segregation. McClung, the owner of a barbeque that would not allow blacks to eat inside the estaurant, claimed that his business was completely intrastate. He stated that his business had little or no out of state business and was therefore not subject to the act passed by Congress because it could not legislate intrastate commerce. The Court however, decided that because the restaurant received some of it’s food from out of state that it was involved in interstate commerce.

The same logic should be applied in this case. Even though Sara Benenson’s inability to work might not seem to affect interstate commerce, it will in some way as with McClung, thus making the act constitutional. The Supreme Court had decided that any connection with interstate commerce,as long as it has a rational basis, makes it possible for Congress to legislate it. In the United States v. Lopez decision, The Supreme Court struck down the Gun Free School Zones Act. It’s reasoning was that Congress had overstepped it’s power to legislate interstate commerce.

The Court decided that this act was not sufficiently grounded in interstate commerce for Congress to be allowed to pass it. The circumstances in this case are entirely different than in the case of Sara Benenson. For one thing, the Gun Free School Zones Act was not nearly as ell based in the commerce clause as is our case. The Gun act said that violence in schools kept student from learning and therefore limited their future earning power. It also said that violence affected national insurance companies. These connections are tenuous at best and generally too long term to be considered.

However, in the case of Mrs. Benenson, her inability to work and spend directly and immediately affected interstate commerce. Therefore, the Lopez decision should not have any part in the decision of this case. The Supreme Court, in McCulloch v. Maryland, gave Congress the right to make aws that are out of their strict Constitutional powers so as to be able to fulfill one of their Constitutional duties. In this case, the Court allowed the federal government to create a bank. There is no Constitutional right to do this and Maryland challenged the creation of this bank.

The high court ruled that in order for Congress to be able to accomplish it’s duties. The same logic should be applied here. The Violence Against Women Act is an example of Congress overstepping it’s direct Constitutional rights so it can better regulate and facilitate interstate commerce. In order for Congress to egislate interstate commerce fairly, it must allow people to be able to work and spend as they should be able to. If a woman is afraid of being abused if she gets a job or spends money, it affects interstate commerce.

Thus The Violence Against Women Act is Constitutionally based and necessary for interstate commerce. Violence against women is a terrible crime. It destroys women’s self esteem, tears apart families, and destroys lives. Many times, it will lead to murder or other terrible crimes. What the Violence Against Women Act is trying to do is give women a weapon to protect themselves from violent spouses. Without his act, many women would be left incapable of getting any form of financial redress for the years of suffering and abuse they went through.

It is wrong to deny women a tool to rebuild they’re lives after an abusive relationship. The years of abuse they went through makes it hard if not impossible for them to get a job or work in an office. These women are afraid for the rest of their lives that if they make a mistake or displease the men around them, they will be beaten. This act allows women to get some means of getting money to live on while they rebuild their lives. It allows them to seek professional help if necessary. Without this act, women would be forced on welfare or worse.

When this happens, it benefits no one. The Violence Against Women Act has a strong Constitutional basis in the commerce clause, despite what Andrew Benenson says. The Supreme Court has allowed many acts such as this to stand for the past fifty years. All the precedents of cases with similar circumstances are to allow the act to stand. Also, we cannot forget the human aspect of this case. This act is a tool for women to rebuild their shattered lives after an abusive relationship. To declare his act unconstitutional would be both legally and morally wrong.

Black women and their hair

Since the early 1900s, Black women have had a fascination with their hair. More explicitly, they have had a fascination with straightening their hair. The need to be accepted by the majority class has caused them to do so. Though the image of straight hair as being better than coarse hair still hasnt left the Black community, there has been a surge of non straight hairstyles since the nineteen sixties. Wearing more natural hairstyles, which ironically enough include weaves and hair extensions has been considered to be more empowered and more enlightened.

However, this image comes with a price, and though it appears the natural hairstyle movement has advanced Black women, it has actually set them back. The color of the ad is done in browns, earth tones. The signifier in this ad is the colorless sketch drawing of a woman that takes up one page of the two-page ad. She is a symbolic, versus an iconic sign, because the images that lead people to assume the picture is of a Black woman are learned, symbols such as thick lips and the way her hair looks, not straight lines, but dotted. The signified is a Black woman, with natural hair, presumably pretty.

The next part of the ad, and as equally important as the first, is on the second page. Large, in bold, is the word naturally. Beneath it are the words If citrus sheen fell on shimmering braids and soothing mist caressed short twists. How lovely would that be? It has the feel of a poem, and the different shades of brown add to the artistic feel of the page. The artistic feel is important, because it adds the idea of a woman with natural hair as being both bohemian and sophisticated. Beneath the poem is an introduction to the product.

It emphasizes the products natural ingredients, things that seem as though they would be better in a salad dressing than on ones hair. However, these ingredients are important. First, the emphasis the naturalness of the product in turn emphasizes the natural state of the projected audiences hair. Secondly, its use of Americanized products instead of typical African products (olive oil versus jojoba oil) separate this ad from the typical natural hair care product ads. This ad is geared towards a new type of Black woman, one who is more interested in a connection to spirituality and art than to Africa.

The actual value of this product is around four dollars and sixty-three cents, but the sign value is intelligence, connection to nature, spirituality, poetry and art. The model is drawn because a real life model would be perceived to be fake, air brushed, etc. The colorlessness of the drawing creates the scene of a universal Black woman. Also, the drawn picture doesnt get into the light/dark color complex. The light/dark color complex is another ideological problem in the Black community. Lighter Blacks (especially women) were perceived to be more attractive, more intelligent, and more acceptable to the White community.

Darker skinned Blacks were perceived to be the opposite. This was deposited upon the culture during the slave era. Hair texture also became an issue within the Black community, as lighter, straighter hair was perceived to be nicer, and coarse, thick hair was perceived to be bad, ugly. The afro movement in the 60s challenged this ideology. In the 60s, natural hair meaning coarse and thick, began to signify intelligence, Black power, and resistance to the majority culture, overall enlightenment. This image was reborn in the late 1990s.

Newer options for natural hairstyles and the increasing acceptance of dreadlocks reinitiated a type of anti chemically relaxed hair movement. Refusing to put chemicals in ones hair (chemicals referring to those used to straighten ones hair) meant refusing to cater to the slave mentality of light skinned, straight haired beauty. However, the connection between natural hair and soulful, enlightened, etc, only works if ones hair is naturally coarse. In an increasingly diverse Black community, many are born with naturally straight, or naturally curly hair.

However, if they leave their hair in their natural state, they are still considered people who cater to the slave mentality. The actual product takes a small role in the ad. The sketched model and the word naturally exist on the bottle, which is how the ad is connected to the product. Also, the product itself is another earthy shade, which helps enforce the all natural idea. Being an ad geared towards a Black audience, there are codes therein that the majority many not understand. These codes are braids, twists, sheen spray and natural beauty. A Black American female will know that braids and twists are types of natural hairstyles.

Sheen spray is also something known within the Black community. It was first connected to the natural hairstyles in the 1960s where it was referred to as afro sheen. Since then, sheen has often been connected with natural hairstyles. Also, there is a decided lack of the word dreadlock in this ad. Instead, twists are used. Dreadlocks and twists are the same thing. However, the term dreadlock has been connected to oppressive White rule. It is another cultural ideology that calling twists dreadlocks is falling into oppressive majority culture speech.

It is cultural myth that British people considered dreadlocks dreadful, therefore named them accordingly. Unlike many other natural hair-care product ads, this ad is specifically geared towards women. It isnt unisexual. On the bottle, shown in the ad, there is a thin woman gazing out into the distance, her body curved. This is a new invention, and a rather interesting one, as Bordo explains in her article, Hunger as Ideology. Arguable, a case could once be made for a contrast between White womens obsessive relations with food and a more accepting attitude towards womens appetites in African American communities.

But in the nineties, features on diet, exercise and body-image problems have grown increasing prominentreflecting the cultural reality that for most women today free and easy relations with food are at best a relic of the past. Earlier in this essay, I mentioned that the drawing was supposed to be of a woman, presumably pretty. I myself was drawn into the thin is beautiful ideology unknowingly, as I immediately connected thinness with beauty. Until extremely recently, curvy bodies were considered attractive in the Black community, as compared to the thin, sickly looking White women bodies.

Just as Wolf explains in her article The Beauty Myth, the farther women advance political and socially, the harsher the beauty myth is used against them. In this case, the punishment for rebelling against the majority culture by adapting a subversive hairstyle, the thinner you have to be in order to still be considered beautiful. Furthermore, thinness in the Black community is difficult to achieve. Typically, Black body structure, food and eating culture doesnt easily result in thinness. This is the price Black women pay for this new expression of self. The new face of Black feminine beauty comes with a price.

It alienates nearly half of those in the culture that dont fit the standard. While the hairstyle challenges the majority culture, the newfound search for thinness that comes with the hairstyles returns Black women to the confines of White beauty standards. The ideology that natural hairstyles bring enlightenment came from the Rastafarian tradition. However, what new ads and cultural myth discount is the religious dimension that the Rastafarians placed on their hair. Natural hair doesnt mean immediate spiritual or intellectual wisdom. What at first seems to be the advancement of Black women, shows the backwards regression of Black beauty.

Mutilation Of Women

The number of mutilated woman and girls in Africa and the Middle East is increasing due to population growth, according to Win News. But internationally financed population, health and safe motherhood programs ignore Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and have failed to implement effective preventive education. Education should be provided to the woman and men in the participating countries so the risks of this mutilation can be understood fully. FGM is painful, dangerous, and disrespectful to the woman/child and her body and I belive evry woman has the right to education to help make this critical decision.

The mutilation most often performed is Clitoridectomy or Excision- cutting off without anesthetic, the clitoris and most of the external genitalia. This is practiced in a broad area from the Red Sea to the Atlantic Coast. The most dangerous operation, Infibulation is customary in Sudan, Somalia, N.Kenya,, W. Africa and all along the Red Sea coast.

After the clitoris is excised and all external genitalia are carved away, the bleeding raw edges of the libia majora are held together by thorns or other fasting devices, until a scar forms to close the entrance to the vagina. The legs of the little girl are tied together for several weeks until the wound heals; a tiny opening is created by inserting a splinter of wood to allow urination. Thus virginity, which is considered especially important by Moslem men, can be proven.

These dangerous operations result in permanent damage: hemorrhage and shock, which may be fatal; many infections including tetanus, scaring which obstructs normal childbirth and may result in the death of both mother and child; infertility due to infection. And that’s not all, FGM causes urinary and menstrual problems, frigidity, painful intercourse, and many, many needless deaths. The highest childbirth mortality is recorded in areas where FGM is practiced.

Some may argue that this is their culture, we cannot judge, or interfere, and I agree. I do not feel that these are bad people, and I do not think we should outlaw this practice. I know that this is a way of life to them. But the decision is not being made by a educated adult. The operations are being performed on children only a few days old up to puberty. These children do not realize that their life could be at stake just so their future husband will be satisfied. They live a life of pain for the mans happiness. FGM is desecrating the woman’s body and ultimately her soul.

Public Nudity Should Not be Allowed

In the summer of 1996 Gwen Jacobs enjoyed a topless summer stroll during which she was seen by a local O. P. P officer, was apprehended and subsequently charged with indecent exposure. Gwen Jacobs pleaded not guilty in court and won the right to go topless in Ontario.

This incident brought up an excellent question: should women be allowed to go topless on public beaches and in other public areas? The answer is strictly no, women should not be allowed to go topless anywhere outside of their own home. One of the many reasons why I believe that women should not be allowed o go topless is with respect to the safety of women.

Men and boys have, in recent years, been using short, tight, skirts and shirts as an excuse for rape or date rape. Men have said that the girl was wearing a tight shirt and short skirt and it was obvious that she was easy and wanted the attention. This statement leads me to my next point. The average human being upon first contact with a stranger bases his initial impression of that person solely on the person’s appearance. This is only natural as the only thing that we know about this stranger is what we see f them the first time we meet.

We all are aware of the sayings “Preppy”,”Jockish”,”Skater”,”Sluty” etc. This final saying, Sluty is interpreted by 90 percent of North Americans as a tight skirt and tight tank top which happens to be the usual ensemble of a prostitute. This first impression of a girl in nothing but a skirt and a bare chest will no doubt elevate to the new version of a Slut and a girl that wants it. My second point is, what kind of questions will a mother be asked by her son when he sees a half nude woman walking down the street. The first question hat this child will ask is why do these women have no shirt on and you do?

Your reply will be well ahhh go talk to your father. This dilemma will no doubt be brought about as these and other questions about the sexual nature of the body will be put forth by young children. Questions that you as a parent do not feel should be answered truthfully to such a young child. My third point begins thousands of years ago when man first walked on the earth. When man first walked he hunted and his wife(clothless) cleaned the game and took care of the young. As centuries have progressed women have tepped forth into a new era of equal rights.

We’ve seen the first women doctors, astronauts, business owners and many other firsts in numerous professions. Women have made giant leaps when it comes to respect from men in their professional field. This respect which women have been fighting for over the past century, is on the verge of collapse. Women seem to be taking this new law allowing them to go topless to an extreme. Walking their dogs, walking on the beach and strolling through public places with no tops on. This display of nudity, in the average person’s eyes, whether they admit to it or not, will ause men to look down again on women.

If, for example, the first woman astronaut (Sally Ride) were to start going topless in public places it would be plastered on the front page of every newspaper. This in turn would lead to her fellow colleagues looking down on her. This would be a giant step backwards in respect to equal rights for women. Following the changes to this law allowing women to go topless our cities will slowly begin to diverge into places that encourage nudity and places that do not encourage nudity. Our economy will begin to collapse, as store wners appalled by this nudity will be forced to close their stores and move, if this nudity is surrounding them.

This also applies to stores that want to have workers that want to go topless, they will be forced to relocate to places of nudity. As this begins to happen slowly our cities will become two sided and our economy’s stability will collapse beneath our feet. An excellent example of this situation is taking place in Quebec. A law in Quebec states that a women may work in nothing less than lingerie. So a Quebec barber shop run by a well endowed women decided to charge an extra ten dollars per haircut and she’d emove her shirt so they could watch her cut their hair in just a bra.

She also charged an extra fifteen to remove her bottoms so she had only her underwear on. This new business skyrocketed and now there is currently 15 of these hair dressers presently in Quebec. The neighborhoods surrounding these barbershops are appalled by what is going on and many people have relocated there families away from this nudity. In conclusion to the question: should women be allowed to go topless in public places? It has been clearly shown that women should not be allowed to go topless anywhere outside of their own home.

The Glass Cileing

Professor Diana Bilimoria hit it on the nail when she proclaimed, Even when women do all the right things, and have all the right stuff, they continue to be blocked from the innermost circles of power (Daily). The increasing number of working women with an education and experience in the business world continue to encounter this blockade mentioned by Professor Bilimoria. Suzanne M. Crampton and Jitendra M. Mishra find that the promotions to managerial positions achieved by women have, unfortunately, not kept up with the increase of women in the work force. This barrier that keeps women from promotions is called the glass ceiling.

Glass ceiling is a term coined in the 1970s to describe the invisible artificial barriers, created by attitudinal and organizational prejudices, which bar women from top executive jobs (Glass Ceiling Separates Women for Top). Robert B. Reich, Secretary of Labor, informs his readers that the expression glass ceiling first appeared about ten years ago in a column entitled Corporate Women in the Wall Street Journal (iii). Since the mid to late eighties, the term has been applied to identify situations where women have bumped their heads in efforts to reach high-level positions.

One source reports that the results of a Labor Department study prove that the glass ceiling prevents women from achieving promotions in management and leadership positions (Crampton). Womens highest levels tend to be in staff positions, such as human resources, or research or administration, rather than line positions, such as marketing, or sales, or production (Reich iii). Crampton finds that out of all management positions of modern organizations women hold only sixteen percent of them. Even worse, women reside in 4 percent of the highest-level positions in management and administration (Crampton).

Even with the help of affirmative action, the glass ceiling still does not shatter. Affirmative action was developed in reaction to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Civil Rights Act declared that discrimination on the basis of race, religion, or sex was illegal. The Presidents call for affirmative action acted as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Act. The Random House Dictionary defines affirmative action as the encouragement of increased representation of women and minority members, especially in employment.

With the establishment of affirmative action women have gained advancements and prestige in the business world; however, the phenomenon known as the glass ceiling hinders women from achieving promotions to high-level positions in corporate America. Similar to how the government recognized affirmative action as a solution to enforcing the Civil Rights Act, it recognized the need for a solution to the glass ceiling situation. Reich believes that due to the efforts of Secretary Elizabeth Dole and Secretary Lynn Martin the Department of Labor became closely involved in identifying and publicizing the glass ceiling problem (iii).

Senator Bob Dole proposed the Glass Ceiling Act in order to address the situation. The Glass Ceiling Act designed a commission, known as the Federal Glass Ceiling Commission, to study and propose means for eliminating the glass ceiling (iii). Fortune magazine periodically ranks and publishes a list of Americas largest companies. Many women advocates use these reports as tests to see where women stand in the selected companies. Crampton reports of the Fortune 50 companies, only 1. 3 percent of corporate officers are women, while 1. ercent are women within the Fortune 500 companies.

Among two-hundred of Americas largest companies, women hold less than a quarter of executive jobs and less than five percent of the vice-presidents are women. One may think well at least women have broken through the glass ceiling and that advancements have been made. However, in the past ten years no more than two women have served as CEOs for a Fortune 500 company (Daily). The number of women who serve on the boards for these major corporations comprise a relatively modest percentage of all board members (Daily).

A catch-22 is established because most male board members once served as CEOs, and that experience is sometimes an unestablished rule to becoming a board member. If few women can make it to the top, how will women ever make it on the boards? The women that are board members usually serve on more than one, or two boards; the statistics are unable to convey that the same few women make up that modest percentage (Daily). Kaufman relays that the Bureau of Labor estimates that in five years women will make up forty-eight percent of the American work force.

Advocates for womens progression in business occupations would hope that with the increase in working women, the number of women in CEO positions would also increase. Unfortunately, this view does not seem too promising. In Fortune magazines survey of Americas largest companies only sixteen indicated that they thought it very likely or somewhat likely that their company would have a female CEO within the next ten years, while eighteen percent believed it was very likely within the next twenty years (Crampton). Several key factors hold fast the glass ceiling and prevent women from progression.

Discrimination against women still plays a large part in enforcing the artificial barrier. Crampton reported that a recent study found that 79 percent of the CEOs believed that prejudice and stereotypes are among the most identifiable barriers to womens advancements. Discrimination can occur in the form of organizational structure policies, informal networks, and cultures that are so male-dominated that they become barriers for women to rise in the organization (Crampton). Women can hope that over the next couple of years discrimination will begin to disintegrate, which will allow for more penetration through the glass ceiling.

Even though women cannot control the prejudices held by men, women can try to break and rid of the gender stereotypes. By disproving that not all women fit the stereotypes, career women may be able to aid their advancement to higher positions. Females are often thought of as being dependent, passive, fragile, non aggressive, non competitivewomen lack career commitment, ate not tough enough, dont want to work long and unusual hours, are too emotional, wont relocate, lack quantitive and analytical skills and have trouble making decisions (Crampton).

Since men and womens characteristics differ in certain aspects, the male-dominate business world believes that woman lack the qualities that are considered beneficial to be effective managers, and traditionally masculine traits have a higher perceived value (Crampton). Women are not even given chances because of pre-established beliefs even when they may be more qualified and better educated than their male counterparts. This situation occurs more often than not, and companies create excuses that will appear legitimate.

Catherine M. Daily informs that when Mr. Preston, the CEO of Avon, resigned, numerous top female executives within the company possessed the qualities and experiences to fill the vacancy. However, the board elected an outside director, Charles R. Perrin, to replace Preston (Daily). Even though discrimination and stereotypes essentially preserve the barriers, other factors contribute to their upholding. Another controlling factor that reinforces the glass ceiling is the lack of mentors.

Womens biological features, which men do not possess also hinders women from reaching high-level positions. Women have to deal with the complexities of the dual role as working woman and mother (Crampton). Even though women almost make up half of the work force, they alone are still expected to carry out all of the household chores and duties. Most women leave work only to go home and run around, clean and cook. Combining of a family and a career and the behavioral expectation placed on woman at times seems impossible (Crampton).

Women in Military

Throughout the history of the United States of America, Civil Rights have expanded to include everyone. Many activists have fought for rights, setting precedents to be followed. In 1920, the 19th Amendment granted suffrage to women. Since then, women have been gradually stepping up on the ladder of success. Everyday more and more opportunities are opening themselves up for women. Because of these changes, we have had to add unheard of words such as congresswoman, policewoman, etc. to the dictionary to keep up with their advancement. The United States military is even inviting women into their ranks.

Military Women rising up in status and prestige is a great thing, but there are some things which they cannot do. Women should never be allowed in combat during a war. Women, physically, are not as capable as men to handle the duties of combat. To enter the United States Military, women are required to do physically less than men. As a man is required 20 pull-ups, a woman is demanded 5 for this very reason. Carrying gear upwards of 100 pounds, soldiers must hike for miles, sometimes at grueling speeds. Most women would be exhausted from this, but the more muscular bodies of men are more resilient and can put up with this treatment.

On a hike or in other situations, bathroom breaks are needed. Most men need much less time than women to use the washroom, which could save them the crucial moments they need to avoid an ambush. In combat, hand-to-hand fighting is almost inevitable. Women in a fistfight have the major disadvantages of more frigid bones, less muscle mass, and weaker joints. Emotionally and mentally, women are less fit for combat. Women share their feelings more than men, and are effected by many different things. Seeing a friend shot and killed would devastate both a man and a woman, but a man is more likely to stay with his platoon and get the job done.

Women, for the most part, are more independent thinkers when it comes to military; men are better at taking orders. What would seem like a suicide mission could be the turning point in a battle. Men would most likely follow the orders, while the women would think about it and be hesitant. Men also take more risks than women, this is proved by car insurance rates. A man is much better mentally and emotionally fit for combat Women should never be let into the military because America is not ready to see their mothers and daughters go to war.

During wartime, when the men get drafted to go to war, the women are the backbone of the economy and the major suppliers of the labor in factories. Young children, with their mothers and fathers drafted, would have no place to go. A husband whos wife gets drafted would eagerly take her place. Sixty year old fathers would also do the same for their daughters. Women nurture our society and do a great job at it. Half of the motivation of the soldiers on the front lines is the women that they left behind. Women should never be allowed to fight in combat during wartime.

Although they are capable of exceeding men in some situations, military battles are a mans job. The fight for equal rights is a fight that must be fought, but there are obvious differences between the two sexes, which need to be taken into account. Men might have their niche in the combat of a war, but women have proved to be the dominant successors of the planning part. Since both sexes have qualities that make them more successful at different things, and many things they are both capable of performing, it is safe to say that men and women are both equal and different.

Women in the Middle Ages

The medieval woman was allowed a larger measure of freedom and status than the usual image we have of the Middle Ages. Women were allowed to own property and inherit from their family. Some women were employed and some were in charge of businesses. Among the upper class, women were as educated as their male counterparts. In Europe, women were allowed to inherit property from both their fathers and their husbands. In most cases, whatever the woman brought into a marriage in the form of a dowery was hers, even if her husband divorced her.

If a woman was childless or her children were to young to inherit, she would control her husband’s property after his death. This was common because of the trend of women in their teens marrying men 10-20 years older. Some women gained control of their husband’s property because they left for the crusades and the wife ran the business in the husband’s absence. Some men were gone for years and some never returned. Women had control of certain areas of commerce of their own volition. Silk spinning was almost exclusively “women’s work” Women manufactured purses and ladies hats, too.

And in some parts of Europe, such as Paris, they were allowed to run brothels and taverns. In the Hollister Sourcebook, there is a picture from a French manuscript depicting a woman as an artist painting a woman. The caption states women of the Middle Ages participated in the business world in a way that only men would be allowed to in later times, which included “trade, banking, the direction of business enterprises, textile manufacturing, brewing, tax collecting, money lending, illuminating and copying books,… and a variety of other activities. ”

Women could even belong to guilds and some taught their knowledge, not only in artisan occupations, but also reading, writing and arithmetic. A woman could be as educated as her male counterpart. Women also were midwives and often served as a sort of doctor giving medical advice and dispensed medications. The town of Sardinia provides an interesting look into the life of the medieval woman. In Sardinia, a woman could own property and retain a separate title to her own property she brought into a marriage. It was the custom of the Sardinians, that all the children, even females, got equal inheritance.

Women didn’t have to marry and even made a point to being single. A single woman who joined the church still brought a dowery to the church. In the church, the women couldn’t hold office, but they could still wield power. Hildegard of Bingen, an abbess in the Benedictine order was much admired by the other leaders in the church. Women had previously been blamed for the original sin, and although that stigma stuck with them, many church clergy saw women as equals in Christ. A Dominican monk writes, “For God made man of the vile earth, but he made woman in paradise.

Man he formed of slime, but woman of man’s rib. She wasn’t formed of a lower limb of man – for example of his foot – lest man should regard her as his servant, but of his midmost part, so that he should regard her as his fellow. ” Some of this change in attitude can be related to the new emphasis on Mary, the mother of Jesus. She became the center of the Catholic faith, and is depicted in church art and iconography. In fact, most of the great cathedrals of Europe were dedicated to the virgin mother. These were decorated with Mary and the Christ child as central themes.

The portal south of the center portal at Notre Dame has Mary dead center in the tympanum. The editor of the Hollister Sourcebook states that this is evidence of growing popularity of the “cult of Mary”. On top of this newfound idol for the pious woman, the new entertainment of the high Middle Ages perpetuated an idealization and romanticized view of the noble woman. She spends her enormous free time introducing the young knight to the mysteries of love, sends her lover off on frivolous errands and lounges around engaging in idle activities. She is a source of inspiration for her hero.

These romantic stories were not written about a wife and her husband, indeed on occasion the husband was the butt of a joke played by the lady and her lover. A female troubadour, the countess of Dia, wrote “know this, that I’d give almost anything to have you in my husband’s place”. The courtly love ideal elevated both women and love as moral perfection. You need one to obtain the other. Courtly love was never consummated and was always set outside of marriage. On page 224 of the Hollister Source Book, is an illumination of a lady binding her lover’s hands with a golden thread to signify their bond.

So, although women were still low on the status ladder, they gained a lot of ground in the Middle Ages (Some of this newfound freedom was lost soon thereafter). Women could choose not to marry, they could have a career, hold membership in guilds. They could conduct business and own property. Not only that but their status in the church changes in the Middle Ages to one of more acceptance and they become the subject for artistic expressions in pictures, poetry, songs and books. It was a unique period in history for women.

Women In Music

History shows that women were not as big of participants in music as men until later in the medieval era. This is due to many obstacles that faced women disabling them from singing, playing any instruments, or even composing music. Although barriers were present, many women and nuns were able to surpass them, and make use of their abilities and skills. In this paper, I will present the role of women as they interacted with polyphony, and as they became scribes, performers, composers, and patrons.

Women’s involvement with medieval music took a variety of forms; they served at times as audience, as participant, as sponsor, and as creator. The evidence for their roles, like that for their male contemporaries, is sporadic at best. Many musical sources have been lost, and those sources that do survive only occasionally provide composer attributions. Information on specific performances is virtually non-existent, and the references to musical performances gleaned from literary allusions must be read critically.

Similarly, a work of art portraying a woman musician may be representational or symbolic, or both. Yet despite these handicaps, modern scholarship reveals many ways in which medieval women were engaged with, and enriched by, the music that flourished around them. Women and Polyphony In at least some convents, women performed polyphony (an extensive discussion of this can be found in Yardley, pp. 24-27).

Some of this repertory is preserved in the Las Huelgas codex which stems from the Carthusian monastery for women near Burgos in Northern Spain which housed approximately one hundred nuns and forty choir girls at its prime in the thirteenth century. The manuscript itself contains an extensive collection of polyphony, including three styles of organum: note-against-note, melismatic, and Notre Dame; as well as motets, conductus, tropes, and sequences. Although the manuscript was copied in the fourteenth century, the repertory comes from earlier, especially 1241-1288.

The prevalence of polyphony and the heavy use of tropes suggests that this convent, at least, placed a premium on up-to-date musical styles. Other convents may not have had the resources to keep up with the latest musical fashions, but small clusters of polyphonic pieces survive from sixteen different women’s convents, suggesting that religious women had at least some interest, and perhaps some training, in composed polyphony. Women as Scribes

Women not only read musical books, they also copied them, at least in some instances. While no investigation of women as scribes has been published, evidence for women’s roles in scriptoria has been accumulating. It is not known that women’s monasteries as well as men’s often had active scriptoria. Moreover, an index of colophons from France reveals a significant number of women who signed their scribal works. Though text sources naturally predominate, a few musical sources were signed by women (Colophons, passim).

Similarly, though no musical sources survive in her name, Sister Lukardis of Utrecht from the fifteenth century is known to have copied musical manuscripts, because a Dominican friar writes of her activities: She busied herself with…writing, which she had truly mastered as we may see in the large, beautiful, useful choir books which she wrote and annotated for the convent (Edwards, p. 10) Judging by handwriting, notational styles and repertory, a number of unsigned chant manuscripts also stem from the convents in which they were used.

Indeed, though relatively few women music scribes are known, many of their sisters may have legacies that hide amongst the unsigned manuscripts of the era. Women as Composers Perhaps the most famous of the medieval women composers is Hildegard of Bingen. Her repertory of sequences and antiphons (sacred songs) stand somewhat outside of the musical tradition, as she writes in a loosely formulaic melodic language that works more by motivic allusion than by strict adherence to modal range and standard melodic gestures.

She collected her 77 musical works in a volume called the Symphonia harmoniae caelestium revelationum (Symphony of Harmony of Heavenly Revelations). Her morality play, the Ordo virtutum, is appended to one manuscript copy of the Symphonia. Hildegard’s training is not particularly exceptional; education at convents was focused on the performance of the liturgy, and included literacy, Latin, and music. Thus, other nuns may have composed plainchant — or even polyphony — for new feasts and special celebrations. Since most medieval music is anonymous, however, their contributions are impossible to trace.

Secular composers fared better, probably because secular music is more often copied with composer attributions. Twenty-one trobairitz (or women troubadours) are known by name. Though only one composition survives with both text and music copied together (the canso A chantar written by the Countess of Dia), other works can be reconstructed by supplying a tune to match the poetic structure. Further examples of women’s compositions can be found among the tensos — debate poems — usually with alternating stanzas by the speakers.

A few women trouvres were active in the thirteenth century, but none of their works survive with music. Some scholars have speculated that songs in a women’s voice, that is, songs in which the speaker is identified as a women, may reflect women’s contributions to the lyric repertory. At the very least, these songs reflect sentiments and musical styles that seemed to their contemporaries to be appropriate for a woman. Several articles addressing such songs can be found in Vox Feminae. Women as Performers Women were active performers of secular music.

Many women performed as amateurs, either in the home or in courtly or urban settings. Boccaccio’s Decameron identifies women singing and dancing, along with their male companions, as do many of the courtly romances of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries (Page, Owl, pp. 102-106). In the romance Cleriadus et Meliadice (discussed in Page, Performance), for instance, girls as well as boys perform for the assembled company by harping or singing. Adults too participated actively in the festivities, first dancing their fill to the music of minstrels, then singing.

There might you have heard men and women singing well! , says the narrator (Page, Performance, p. 443) In addition to informal musical participation, however, women were also active as menestrelles and jongleuresses. Performers themselves, they traveled as part of small groups of entertainers, and were often wives or daughters to male minstrels. In some instances, however, women had independent roles; they were granted permission to participate in the Guild of Minstrels in Paris from 1321 to the seventeenth century.

Women as Patrons The role of the patron has often been neglected in histories of music, but a strong patron could form a center of musical production by gathering and supporting musicians of all calibers. The lands that Eleanor of Aquitaine (1122-1204) brought to her marriages, first to Louis VII of France and then to Henry II of England, made her one of the most politically influential figures of her day, but her cultural endeavors had an equally profound impact on European civilization.

Eleanor’s efforts at the court of Poitiers shaped a culture centered on courtly love and chivalric behavior; her sponsorship contributed to the success of the troubadours and to the spread of the Arthurian legends. Other noblewomen may have had a less dramatic impact on musical culture, but they often had musicians in their personal retinue and so helped to shape the prevailing musical style. Indeed because women often married far from home, they served as a kind of cultural network for importing and mingling new ideas, styles, and tastes with the established norms of their husband’s court.

Women In China During “The Long Eighteenth Century”

During the 18th Century women in China continued to be subordinated and subjected to men. Their status was maintained by laws, official policies, cultural traditions, as well as philosophical concepts. The Confucian ideology of “Thrice Following” identified to whom a women must show allegiance and loyalty as she progressed throughout her life-cycle: as a daughter she was to follow her father, as a wife she was to follow her husband, and as a widow she was to follow her sons.

Moreover, in the Confucian perception of the distinction between inner and outer, women were consigned to the inner domestic realm and excluded from the outer realm of examinations, politics and public life. For the most part, this ideology determined the reality of a woman’s live during China’s “long eighteenth century? ” This is especially true for upper class women. The philosophical idea of yin and yang is found throughout Chinese culture, literature, and social structure. The idea is that the world is made up two opposite types of energy which must be kept in balance with one another.

Neither is greater than the other, or more important than the other. In respect to gender, yin is female and yang is male. Yin is private life within the family and yang is public life outside the family. Men were to focus on public life and outside affairs and support the family while women were to focus on private life and support the men. For many men resisting the pressures of scholarly careers, women appeared as guardians of stability, order and purity. The woman’s quarters, secluded behind courtyards and doorways deep in the recesses of the house offered refuge from world of flux, chaos, and corruption.

Women nurtured and tutored men when they were young, tended them when they became sick, and cared for them when they grew old. When a man holding office faced devastating financial losses or difficult political decisions, only his wife’s disinterested advice and frugal savings could save his career. Although a man might often be called away to duty or might die prematurely, he could count on his wife or widow to care for his aging parents and his vulnerable children. (Mann 50) Ideally, women and men were to share in a partnership with the ultimate purpose f mutual support and prosperity for the family as a whole.

From a modern American point of view this seems terribly unfair. The men work and are empowered to interact with the world, then return home to be taken care of. But this is not necessarily the way it was perceived by the Chinese. There were plenty of unhappy women. However, there were also men who thought that the private (inner) life of the family was more desirable than the public life which they faced. For Hong Liangji and many leading social critics of the time, the “woman’s chambers” (guige) were a haven in a complex, brutal world.

Elite men faced a daily confrontation with material corruption (the “dusty world,” as they so often called it); elite women were protected from it. Instead, women occupied the still point around which men’s active lives were constructed. The image of the woman’s apartments as a timeless realm shielded from the cares and evils of the world, a retreat to which over stressed men might escape or retire, is a powerful trope in writings by men about women during the eighteenth century. (Mann 49) Studying and academic pursuits were an important aspect means of gaining power in the public world.

Women were not permitted to take the civil service examinations during the 18th century. However, women were not necessarily denied access to knowledge, to a large extent, they were educated. Many women were literate, and many women wrote poems and other literary works. Handwork, especially embroidery, was considered the more appropriate womanly activity, being productive and practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. In addition, upper-class women in Qing times, even more than their counterparts in the late Ming, read and wrote.

Most studied biographies f famous women, including long-suffering chaste widows and heroic martyrs who committed suicide to preserve their chastity. Elite women practiced the fine arts of painting, calligraphy, and music. They plucked classical stringed instruments. They wrote volumes of poetry. And in addition to learning the standard didactic texts for women, many studied the classics alongside their brothers. (Mann 58) As you can see, the focus of their education was dramatically different from their brothers. Women did study the classics in order to tutor their sons and brothers.

But the pressure was off since they were never expected to take the exams. Their focus was much more leisurely and pleasant, perhaps something to do to avoid the boredom of domestic life. Life was broken up into stages of development for both men and women in Chinese society. However, for men there were several different paths to follow (political, academic, commercial, religious, etc. ) For women there were few. A woman could become a wife, a concubine, or an entertainer, all of which were variations on the same responsibility: serving men.

For upper class women marriage was only path of life available. Daughters in upper-class households were reared for a single future: marriage into another line. There was no comfortable, legitimate place in an upper-class Chinese family for a daughter who had passed marriageable age. Not only was an unwed daughter a social anomaly; she was a ritual anomaly as well. Her tablet could not reside on her natal family’s ancestral altar when she died; it could be installed only in the ancestral shrine of another decent line, following betrothal and marriage. (Mann 54)

A legitimate woman was born into one family, but it was the family of her eventual husband in which she would spend the majority of her life. She made this shift when she was married. At this point her loyalty and allegiance shifted to her husband and his family. Initially this could be difficult since her new family were generally strangers to whom she was to care for and support. Married women themselves rarely complained, for girls were reared to understand that marriage was a lifelong commitment and that voicing grievances to parents would merely magnify the suffering born of an unhappy marriage. (Mann 62)

Nonetheless, respectable girls found ways to learn the arts of passion and to express their emotions. Hints about homosexual attraction among women, especially within the same family compound, suggest that it was not considered abnormal or unhealthy. Young girls might have an opportunity to observe married women within the same household (wives or concubines) who were sexually attracted to one another; in fact, a wife might select a concubine for her spouse with her own sensibilities in mind. (Mann 60) An upper-class married woman in High Qing Jiangnan could expect to bear children throughout her fertile years.

The risks and burdens of childbearing may have made the advent of a concubine a source of relief rather than jealousy or turned widowhood into a time of respite rather than loneliness. (Mann 62) Stories and biographies of faithful widows remind us time and again that the learned woman who survived her husband must not celebrate her longevity. She knew from her classical studies that she was the wei wang ren, “the person who had not yet died. ” Having survived her spouse, she was required to rear his sons and support his parents, but on no account could she revel in her passage to old age alone.

Women in Umuofian Society

“It is the woman whose child has been eaten by a witch who best knows the evils of witchcraft. ” That simple saying can best relate to the experience of women in the Umuofian society. A person cannot truly hope to understand how things work unless he or she was there to experience it. And that can apply to learning a new language, a new culture or learning history. The perspective given from the book Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, states the way of life without any favoritism towards any particular way of life. Achebe just affirmed that lifestyle as a native would, void of any outside influences.

In this case, the male narration focuses not only of the tragedy of Okonkwo, but also how the people around are affected and how in turn the culture affects him. Women seem to play a minor role in everyday life, but their function in the community is just as important as that of the men. The main role that was given to women was that they belonged in the home and for the most part they were to bee seen and not heard. Their influence and authority do not exist much in that culture, especially for the wives of Okonkwo.

A main character in the novel, Okonkwo has several wives. Okonkwo presided over all of his wives and children with a heavy hand. When Ikemefuna comes to live in Okonkwo’s household, the first wife questions the length of the boy’s stay. In reply he answers, ” ‘Do what you are told, woman,’ Okonkwo thundered, and stammered. ‘When did you become one of the ndichie of Umuofia? ’ ” (Pg 14). In these two sentences, Okonkwo not only manages to put his first spouse into her small niche of housewife, but also makes a reference to the village elders.

He is suggesting that she was trying to more knowledgeable than she should be. During the harvest season, the women of the village provided most of the task force behind planting and maintaining the crops. Also present in Okonkwo’s household were the expectations of masculinity that Okonkwo held for his son, Nwoye. In his mind, men and women are two different extremes; men being stronger, tougher and more controlling, while women are meek, thoughtless and easily dominated. In keeping with the Ibo view of female nature, the tribe allowed wife beating.

The novel describes two instances when Okonkwo beats his second wife, once when she did not come home to make his meal. He beat her severely and was punished but only because he beat her during the Week of Peace. He beat her again when she referred to him as one of those “guns that never shot. ” (Pg When a severe case of wife beating comes before the egwugwu, he found in favor of the wife, but at the end of the trial one of the elders wondered, “I don’t know why such a trifle should come before the egwugwu.

The husband considers his wife as a property. There is the one exception of Chielo, the priestess of the Oracle of the Hills and Caves, who is excused from the normal activities of becoming a housewife. Clothed in the responsibility of the divinity she serves, Chielo transforms from the ordinary; she can reprimand Okonkwo and even scream curses at him: ” ‘Beware of exchanging words with Agbala. Does a man speak when a God speaks? Beware! ’ ” (Pg 101). Achebe shows that the Ibo nonetheless assign significant roles to women.

For instance, women painted the houses of the egwugwu . Furthermore, the first wife of a man in the Ibo society is paid some respect. This esteem is illustrated by the palm wine ceremony at Nwakibie’s obi. Anasi, Nwakibie’s first wife, had not yet arrived and “the others could not drink before her” (Pg 20). The value of woman’s role appears when Okonkwo is exiled to his motherland. His uncle, Uchendu, noticing Okonkwo’s distress, eloquently explains how Okonkwo should view his exile: “A man belongs to his fatherland when things are good and life is sweet.

But when there is sorrow and bitterness he finds refuge in his motherland. ” (Pg 134) A man has both joy and sorrow in his life and when the bad times come his “mother” is always there to comfort him. Thus comes the saying “Mother is Supreme” (Pg 133). Perhaps Umuofia’s degrading treatment of women and wives comes from unconscious fear of, rather than reverence for, the unpredictable Earth goddess Ani, who wreaks such turmoil on the townspeople’s lives. She is the goddess of fertility.

She also gives or holds back children; she spurns twin children who must be thrown away; she prohibits anyone inflicted with shameful diseases from burial in her soil. To the men of Umuofia, she must seem the embodiment of the two-faced Greek furies — vengeful, unavoidable, and incomprehensible. In anxiety of a divine female principle, they come down heavily indeed on ordinary women whose lives they can control as they like. The only glory and satisfaction these women enjoyed was being a mother.

They receive respect and love from their children. They are strong for their children. Women are viewed to be very gentle and caring. They are expected to take care of their offspring with the best of their ability. Women are trusted totally by their children. This honorable staging of women is used by Achebe to identify women’s role in the Ibo society. This presentation is necessary to show that women indeed play an important role in society.

Women in Literature

It is a man’s world. It is man who battles in wars and who lead nations. It is man who first ventured into the seas and into space. And it is man who write of these adventures, real and fabled. The master writers of the past comprise a dominantly male club. Homer, Chaucer, Shakespear, and Dante are members of this exclusive club. But, as Virginia Woolf points out, it was woman who “[imaginatively]… is of the highest importance; practically she is completely insignificant. She pervades poetry from cover to cover; she is absent from history” (1949).

This paradoxical relationship that exists between man and woman has been detrimental to womankind. It has impeded woman in many arenas, from the sciences to the arts. Particularly, women have been absent from literature. Virginia Woolf, in “A Room of One’s Own”, asserts that the literary tradition clearly excludes women writers, whereas T. S. Eliot’s definition of the literary tradition in his “Tradition and the Individual Talent” inadvertently excludes woman. Both Virginia Woolf and T. S. Eliot argue that a literary tradition is necessary to draw from and is a vital element in writing masterpieces.

For Woolf, woman’s literary tradition is in its infancy. For the most part, woman writers have no tradition to draw upon. She sees tradition and masterpieces as “not single and solitary births; they are the outcome of many years of thinking in common, of thinking by the body of the people, so that the experience of the mass is behind the single voice” (1961). That male literary tradition in inaccessible to woman because woman do not understand the male psyche completely, or they do not wish to.

She humorously uses the writing of Mr. A with his letter “I” as an example of why woman cannot draw upon the male literary tradition for their use. The values esteemed by males, self-aggrandizement, for example, are values that woman choose not to possess or relate to. Other values evident in the writings of the past, such as the heroic deeds of soldiers or the valor of a bloody war are values that woman, stuck in the sitting room, can never relate to. T. S. Eliot has a very abstract and romantic notion of the literary tradition and its influence on a writer.

Eliot asserts that the writer must draw upon the masters of the past as well as creating novel material. Eliot advocates that “the most individual parts of his work may be those in which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously” (2). The literary tradition has a considerable role in the artistic development of the artist. Impressions and experiences are important for the artist in writing for “the poet has… a particular medium… in which impressions and experiences combine in peculiar and unexpected ways” (15).

Eliot does not deliberately exclude women in his reflections on literature and writers, he does not give them much to draw upon. Eliot advocates writers to draw upon dead poets, but almost all of the dead poets are males. The mind of Europe is one that is of a male one, for it is men who have controlled its history and politics since the beginning. When woman finally had courage enough to pick up the pen, they found that the entrance into the literary tradition they should draw upon was locked and that the key they were given did not fit.

Woolf stresses the importance of experiences in the artistic process. Likewise, Eliot stresses the importance of impressions and experiences. Woman did not have opportunities to get a variety of impressions or experiences. In either case, the literary tradition does not include women, nor do they have the facilities to gain ‘impressions and experiences’ that are vital to the artistic process. that the tradition of literature is composed of males and is accessible only to males.

As relation of the literary tradition to artistic process, Woolf asserts that the limitations society imposes on woman hinder her creativity. To her, “freedom and fullness of expression are the essence of the art” and “such a lack of tradition, such a scarcity and inadequacy of tools, must have told enormously upon the writing of women” (1967). Woolf and Eliot witnessed the emergence of the modern art form. Such radical new forms of writing, art and music also bring a nostalgic longing for the past and for tradition.

Both authors attempt to relate the relevance of a tradition to such changes. Woolf asserts that woman have no literary tradition to draw upon. Their submissive role in society impeded their artistic growth. Similarly, Eliot’s definition of a literary tradition allows no room for woman writers. The fact that woman have no literary tradition is a major handicap for woman. In writing her essay, Woolf attempts to show how society has impeded the growth of woman writers and that, perhaps, in this period of change, woman can finally emerge from the shadows.

Women and Society during the early 20th Century

Women always had to deal with all kinds of situations throughout history. Sex was becoming to be a woman’s way of expressing herself and in a way have control over certain situation Edith Wharton’s “Summer” and John Steinbeck’ s “The Chrysanthemums” show two characters (both of them women) struggling between societys rules and laws and their own believes and desires. Both stories were written in the beginning of the 20th century and both authors made it very clear that the women’s thoughts were unacceptable. While Charity Loyal in “Summer” had the ability to satisfy herself sexually with a city boy and go as far as she could be her desires.

Elisa Allen in “Chrysanthemums” fantasized about the idea of being with another man, but did not take her thoughts into action. Both, however, seem to look in nature the answer for the constant struggle to achieve freedom. This theme, like sex, is renowned all throughout the stories. Wharton decides to start the story with a description of the town where Charity Royall lives. She says, “A little wind moved among the round white clouds on the shoulder of the hills, driving their shadows across the fields and down the grassy road that takes the name of the street when it passes through North Dormer.

The place lies high and in the open, and lacks the lavish shade of the more protected New England Villages” (91). North Dormer seems to be a very peaceful place. The description gives a tone of calmness and happiness. This is very important for Charity, since she has an especial connection to nature all through out the story. When she is looking to free herself from North Dormer, Galante Gonzalez, 2 she looks for it in nature. After a long day working in the library (where Charity is usually by herself), Wharton shows how happy Charity becomes once she is able to leave and be outside with nature.

She says, “She loved the roughness of the dry mountain grass under her palms, the smell of the thyme into which she crushed her face, the fingering of the wind in her hair and through her cotton blouse, and the creak of the larches as he swayed to it” (98). Charity lies in the grass almost hugging it. She shows emotions toward the grass (nature) that make it seem almost like a person. Moments like this one, made her feel free for a few minutes and those minutes were the happiest of her life. There is also another time through the story where nature becomes important.

Cynthia Bily, who wrote a critical essay on Summer says, “At the Jewelry store, where she [Charity] sees jewelry close up for the first time, she is attracted to a ‘a gold lily-of-the-valley with white flowers’–an understandable attraction for a woman who loves the natural world as much as she does. ” Charity chooses the brooch that represents her. This, however, not only shows Charity admiration and love for nature, but Harney’s ability to “buy” Charity’s attention and eventually sexual intimacy. The Brooch place an important part in the story.

She carriers the brooch everywhere and when she had to give it away, she goes back to the doctor’s office and gets it back. Steinbeck also makes nature a very important part of his story. “Worn, Damaged bodies in Literature and Photography of the Great Depression” by Thomas Fahy examples the important role of nature in Steinbeck’s novels. He writes that throughout his novels, migrant workers depend on their ability to do physical labor for survival. Whether a man is good at lifting heavy loads, picking apples, or fixing cars, he typically measures Galante Gonzalez, 3 elf-worth in terms of usefulness and a strong body.

We can see all the characteristics in Elisa. Steinbeck starts his novel by describing the setting of Salinas Valley, “On the foothill ranches across the Salinas River, the yellow stubble fields seemed to be bathed in a pale cold sunshine, but there was no sunshine in the valley now in December” (1874). Even though this story takes place during the winter and “Summer” during the summer, the short story also has a tone of happiness and calmness. Elisa also has a very interesting connection with mature. All she does is work in her garden.

When the man in the wagon asked about her chrysanthemums, she started to explain how to take care of them. To show the man how important gardening and nature was for her, she mentioned her planting hands. Since he did not know what that meant, she explained it to him by saying, “It’s when you’re picking off the buds you don’t want [] you watch your fingers work. They do it themselves. You can fell how it is” (1878). She is one on one with nature. She knows how to treat the grass and is able to take all the buds without hurting it.

In the beginning of the story she also said how when someone has planting hands, they know how to plant anything just right. Another important statement that both authors, Wharton and Steinbeck, make is the desires and thoughts of both women to be sexual. Charity and Elisa expressed a sexual desire towards men of different classes. In “Summer” Charity is in love Harney (a gentleman from the city). She hides her feelings because she does not know how people in North Dormer are going to react towards them together.

She also saw herself as a mountain girl and could not see someone like her being with someone like him. After seeing Harney for the first time, she remembered her first trip to Nettleton and because of Galante Gonzalez, 4 this she remembered where she was from the mountain. Wharton says, “Charity was not very clear about the Mountain; but she knew it was a bad place, and a shame to have come from, and that, whatever befell her in North Dormer, she ought, as Miss Hatchard had once reminded her, to remember that she had been brought down from there, and hold her tongue and be thankful”(93).

People in North Dormer saw people from the Mountain as savages, with no education or manners. Charity left like one of them and blamed all her “crazy” decisions at her place of birth. Cynthia Bily explains one of the reasons why Charity had a “cold” attitude towards her love for Harney. She says, “At the turn of the twentieth century there were strict social prohibitions against a gentleman giving a lady clothing or jewelry. An unmarried woman who received clothing from a man was consider to be no better than she should be,’ a woman of loose morals.

This shows that even if Charity was not from the Mountain, she would of have a hard time admitting her relationship with Harney. On the same page Bily says, “Young women like Charity Royall in Edith Wharton’s Summer had few means outside marriage for leading satisfying lives: denied higher education, professional carriers, even the right to participate in government, they relied on husbands to advance them socially and economically. ” When charity founds out that she is pregnant, she wants to go back to the Mountain because she feels there the rules of society are not important.

During the early 1900’s sex outside marriage was frowned upon and getting pregnant was even worse. Young unmarried girls/women who became pregnant were encouraged to give their babies up for adoption and generally believe to have brought disgrace on their family (“sex”). Once there, she founds out her mother is dead, but finally Galante Gonzalez, 5 goes back to North dormer when she marries Mr. Royall. She knows that by marring him she will be safe from society. In contrast, Elisa in “Chrysanthemums” is married to Henry and seems to be happy with him.

We are able to see her become very sexual when the man in the wagon asked about her garden. He had asked to have some of her Chrysanthemums and while she was explaining to him what to do, Steinbeck wrote, “She was kneeling on the ground looking up at him. Her breast swelled passionately (1879). ” She seems to be very attractive to the man, maybe because he showed some kind of interested or maybe because, like Charity, the differences in their social class make him more attractive. As time went on, she became more interested in the man’s life and job and finally she gives him something for him to fix.

This shows how their relationship and herself changed throughout the story. When she is going to the city with her husband, she sees a black spot on the road. She knows what that spot is (the flowers that she gave the man), she is so angry she asked her husband if they can go to the fight. Gregory Palmerino describes her actions by saying, “with the shock of this realization, the fights now appeal to Elisa. Unfortunately, she cannot bring herself to go to the fight. Wine with dinner ‘will be plenty. ‘ Alcohol will ease the pain, perhaps. ” She is upset, there was obviously

These two women deal with the oppression imposed by society during the turn of the century. But their desires and emotions are stronger than what people thought at the time. For Charity, her love for nature allowed her to feel free. Eventually she loses all of that when she becomes pregnant and marries Mr. Royall. For Elisa, the struggle of wanted Galante Gonzalez, 6 to be like man did not give her a sense of freedom, only when she is working in her garden. She, like Charity, never completely achieved her freedom by the end of the story.

Women’s Reform Movement

Women in the late 19th century, except in the few western states where they could vote, were denied much of a role in the governing process. Nonetheless, educated the middle-class women saw themselves as a morally uplifting force and went on to be reformers. Jane Addams opened the social settlement of Hull House in 1889. It offered an array of services to help the poor deal with slum housing, disease, crowding, jobless, infant mortality, and environmental hazards. For women who held jobs, Hull House ran a day-car center and a boardinghouse.

Addams was only one of many early reformers to take up social work. Jane Porter Barrett, an African American, founded the Locust Street Social Settlement in Hampton, Virginia, in 1890. Her settlement offered black women vital instruction in child care and in skills of a being a homemaker. Lillian Wald, a daughter of Jewish immigrants from New York City, began a visiting- nurse service to reach those too poor to pay for doctors and hospitals. Her Henry Street Settlement offered a host of vital services for immigrants and the poor.

Wald suggested the formation of a Federal Children’s Bureau. By the end of the 19th century, many women reformers focused on the need for state laws to restrict child labor. Young children from poor families had to work late hours in mines and mills and were exploited by plant managers. No state laws prevented the children from being overworked or abused. One of the first to challenge the exploitation of orphaned or dependent children was Sophie Loeb, a Jewish immigrant from Russia Once her father was deceased, she watched the desperation of her mother as the family slipped into poverty.

As a journalist, Loeb campaigned for window’s pensions when this was still a new idea. Helen Stuart Campbell, born in 1839 in New York, began her public career as an author of children’s books. Then she used novels to expose slim life’s damaging effect on women. In 1859 she wrote a novel about two women who break from their dependence on men and chart new lives. Campbell also wrote how easy it was fir women’s lives to be ruined by poverty and despair.

Some women went beyond advocating reform to promoting revolution. There are many other famous women who helped lead the fight to reform. Like Florence Kelley. In 1891 Kelley worked with Addams at Hull House and became an investigator for the Illinois Bureau of Labor, and then was appointed the U. S. Commissioner of Labor. In 1891 Kelley eturned to New York City and worked with Wald’s Henry Street Settlement and helped create the U. S. Children’s Bureau.

In 1921 secured passage of the Infant and Maternity Protection Act. More than anyone else, Ida B. Wells exposed lynchings as a crime against humanity. er 40 years of unrelenting effort failed to stop the crime and did not produce a federal anti lynching law. However, lynchings decreased by 80 percent after her campaign began, and her documented evidence on the crime of lynching and her commitment to justice roused the world’s conscience. By the time Wells died in 1931, other women and men had picked up her touch.

Radical Feminism in Like Water for Chocolate

There are many different definitions of feminism. Some people regard feminism as the idea that women deserve the same amount of respect that men deserve. There are the other schools of feminist thought that hold women superior to men. Yet another believes that the gender roles controlling women are artificially created and not innate knowledge, and thus men and women are equals with only history the determining factor and how gender equality is established.

There are clear feminist overtones in Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Esquivel pointes to a more radical definition of feminism in Like Water for Chocolate. The story focuses on mostly female characters that assume the gender roles typically associated with men. Esquivel presents these strong female figures in such a way as to make the reader begin to question any preconceptions previously held about the capabilities of women.

Feminism has been a concept long thought about. Generally dealing with the idea that men have historically been thought of as superior to women, the feminist philosophy contends that men and women are equal and thus deserve equal treatment. Esquivel makes it clear that all the women characters are not dependent in any way to any men. This independence of men that she creates is a key to understanding the feminist nature of the novel.

Early on with Tita’s father dying we see that now Mama Elena is charged with the care and protecting of her family. At this point Esquivel has already created the first independent strong female character. Mama Elena goes on, for better or worse, attempting the best she can to raise a family in the tumultuous time of the Mexican revolution. She struggles against her rebellious daughter in her own attempt to keep her family’s heritage and traditions alive.

Not only does she raise a family but she also runs the ranch on which the live and on derive their sustenance. Early on in the novel we see that Esquivel presents a character that deserves the same amount of respect normally giving to a male character in this same role. By placing this normally male role in a woman Esquivel questions the typical role of the woman in a home of just raising children by bestowing additional responsibilities.

We see elsewhere in the novel the strength in Gertrudis, Tita’s sister. Gertrudis escapes the ranch after reacting mysteriously to one of Tita’s recipes. She runs away with a rebel soldier, works in a brothel at the Mexico-Texas border, and eventually returns to the ranch as a general in the revolutionary army. Here we witness the creation of a second strong female character. When we first see Gertrudis we see just another female character. But after her return we find that she has become a leader of in the revolution. Again Esquivel takes a potion that is typically male associated and fills that role with and equally respectable female character.

There is then the focal character, Tita. Tita is the pivotal character in defining Like Water for Chocolate as a feminist novel. Tita more than her mother, is the glue that holds her family together. It is she that cares for the ranch and feeds everyone. Tita is the one who ensures that everything goes to plan. After her mother becomes paralyzed, even with her hatred towards her she still continues to care for her.

Tita is the strongest feminine figure in this novel. She continues to strive for what she wants form life and stops at nothing to get it. Through Esquivel creates a sense that Tita is not someone who you would want to get in the way of. Esquivel does this in such a way so that readers come to love and respect the character of Tita as opposed to seeing her as a selfish demanding woman.

Like Water for Chocolate takes an intriguing look at radical feminism. Most importantly, through the portrayal of Elena and, Esquivel takes an approach at shows that although she fits a feminist roll, she does not need to be liked. Elena is opposed by the more endearing and lovable characters like Nacha, Gertrudis, and Tita. With these characters we see Gertrudis make a leap forward and size power as the head of a revolutionary army. Tita of course finally fights her mother and begins her life anew with her own wants and desires.

Works Cited

Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate. New York: Anchor Books, 1995.

Independent Women Courtesans in the Italian Renaissance

Prostitution is normally thought of as anyone who sells his or her body for money. In this century, no distinction is put on the class level of the prostitute or on how much or how little he or she earns, they are still considered just a common prostitute. This was not true of 16th century Italy, though. In this age, prostitution was a legal business and class lines were of great importance. At the top of this list were the honest courtesans; honest because they believed they acquired their capital through honest means.

They redefined the male humanist category of virtue as a woman’s intellectual integrity and used this, their outstanding wit and intelligence, along with their bodies to earn their living. The courtesans of Italy, especially Venice and Rome, were the flowers of the city. Visited almost exclusively by the men of the upper class, the courtesans had to project an image of sophistication and nobility. They held their own with the male nobility and were often admired and considered intellectual equals by these men.

Unlike the imprisoned and sheltered noble women of Italy, either enslaved in an arranged marriage or locked up in a convent, the courtesans were independent and free to do as they wished. Precursors to the modern women of today, the courtesans of 16th century Italy were intelligent and well read, they earned their living by their beauty and wit, and were mistresses of their own fate. To completely understand the life of the courtesans, one must first realize what made these women choose the life of a prostitute.

In Italy at this time, women had very few choices. The only virtuous and “honest” choices for girls entering their teens were to become married or to enter into a convent but, later in the century, even these choices were stolen from them. Owing either to class inferiority or to gender, many Italian women were placed in morally precarious positions that compromised their human dignity, personal freedom, and individual beliefs. Due to a major change in culture, the prospects of marriage for women of the upper classes were drastically reduced.

To ensure concentration of inheritance on a single line and prevent dispersal of resources through the payment of dowries, many families among these classes tried to limit marriages to one or two in each generation. This did not leave the eldest daughters many options. Many of them were forced into convents, forced claustration, or they entered of their own free will because they felt that they had no other choice. This led to increased pressure on the convents and the cost of placing daughters in them grew so high that many families could not even afford that.

Woman’s power and standing in the family depended crucially on the possession of a dowry and refusal of the option of marriage left these women dowerless and effectively disinherited. This left the “excess” daughters only two choices, life as secular spinster or life as a prostitute (Cox 532-534). Many other young women were introduced to the profession at a very early age by their mothers, courtesans themselves who were no longer young and beautiful and were unable to support their daughters any more. Some daughters even had their fees paid directly to their mothers (Rosenthal “Terze Rime”).

This practice of selling off daughters to prostitution slowed down after 1570, though, due to a law passed in the Council of Ten in 1563. The ruling attempted to prevent mothers from prostituting their young daughters for the purpose of receiving economic support. The senate legislated to punish any person involved in violating the chastity of an unwed girl, or anyone who received favors from young women, especially if minors. Rather than punish the young girl, whom the senate regarded as the innocent victim, the ruling prescribes that the offenders, usually mothers, who prostitute their our daughters be severely punished.

The punishment was public humiliation and then banishment from the city and surrounding area for 2 years (Rosenthal “Honest”). The lifestyle of a Venetian courtesan was one of sophistication and a highly public image. They offered themselves to men not as a common prostitute whose favors were strictly sexual, but as an educated and skillful conversationalist. The courtesans not only charged a standard fee but a sum was required for conversation alone. The distinguished people who visited these women demanded from them a considerable degree of intelligence and instruction; they were treated with no slight respect and consideration.

This is evident from the caliber of the men who visited these courtesans. Among the ranks of the their admirers were Lorenzo dei Medici, Montaigne, Raphael, Titian, many of the famed Venier family, cardinals, dukes, and even King Henri III of France. Even when relations with them were broken off, their good opinion was still desired. Playing music, singing, composing poetry and presenting a sophisticated figure were the courtesan’s necessary, marketable skills. Verbal expertise was essential to their social advancement.

The most successful ones were learned in the humanities and a few even became published authors and poets. The honest courtesan offered social and intellectual refinement in return for patronage. Much like the courtier, their appeals were for social connections and public recognition (Masson 6). Unlike the typical noble woman, the courtesans were mainly free to do or speak as they pleased while the upper class women were restricted to the confines of their family structure.

Venetian ladies never appeared in the street…Generally speaking, none but the courtesans showed themselves in public, real ladies being visible only at their windows or on the balconies of their palace…(Boehn 176)” They were allowed to participate in the workings of public society only from the safe distances of their palazzo windows. In general, they possessed very little power to counter their husbands’ desires and to directly enter public life. They were victims of an “oligarchy dominated by men, and the laws passed by men reveal not only a class bias but a special arrogance toward women” (Rosenthal “Honest”).

On the other hand, the courtesans were able to gain entry into the aristocratic circles of Italian life. Many spent their days in literary salons surrounded by the most prominent men in Italy. Any courtesan of high standing would only associate with the leading men of Italy therefore gaining her access to the innermost circles of Italian culture. They were also allowed much more education than the typical noble woman. Most of the women in the upper classes received some education to prepare her to raise her children honorably and wisely and to ward off the dangers of moral turpitude, but this is where most of their education stopped.

In 1587 only 4 percent of the women in Venice attended formal schools, compared to the 26 percent of male children in that same year (Rosenthal “Honest”). Clearly, then, women were not allowed the kind of social mobility that more extensive education would have afforded (Rosenthal “Honest”). Early modern Venice was a world in which literary success depended for the most part on one’s social standing or on one’s ability to rise socially through interpersonal connections and intellectual allegiances. The courtesans, therefore, had to be increasingly more educated in order to succeed.

While not receiving any real formal education, they taught themselves and sought promotion as writers and intellectuals within Venetian Renaissance society. They educated themselves in poetry, many writing and publishing their own, politics, and debate, in order to defend themselves against the common defamatory assaults that were to be directed at them throughout their career as a courtesan. Much of this education was gained through their day-to-day conversations with the great minds of Italy that they associated themselves with. The courtesans were very like the noblewomen in their dress.

Their costumes mimicked the splendor of the attire the noblewomen would wear, although the courtesans were able to model their glorious outfits in the streets and salons of Italy, unlike their noble counterparts who were only able to flaunt their clothes on their walks to church. Often, women of the upper class were confused with them and many foreigners who visited Venice confused courtesans with nobles. Cesare Vecellio’s noted costume book of the period warned unsuspecting visitors to Venice of this and to the fact that they very much resembled married women in their dress.

Vecellio warns the men that many times, foreigners think that they are in the company of a “highborn lady” when they are really with a courtesan and, having slept with her, go about bragging about it, ruining the respectability of the true Venetian noblewomen (Rosenthal “Honest”). Because of this, many sumptuary laws came into effect. These laws forbid them to wear gold, silver, silk, necklaces, pearls, or rings anywhere on their body (Masson 152). Unfortunately, these laws were rarely followed.

The sumptuary laws were directed specifically against meretrici (prostitutes), so cortigiana (courtesans) were often outside the reach of the law (Rosenthal “Honest”). Their outfits were extremely extravagant. They were made of brocade and silk and were often lined with gold or silver cloth. They wore incredible high-soled shoes, chopines, which not only allowed them to tower over any outsiders that came to visit the city, but also created the need for more fabric in their dress, thus making it even more costly. Many of them received expensive gifts of clothing and jewels from their many admirers.

Their extensive spending on lavish dress was considered necessary, for it not only brought them visual attention to individual identity, but also demonstrated their immense possession of wealth (Griffin 98-101). It was still money, along with intellect, that distinguished a courtesan from a common whore. Although becoming an honest courtesan meant gaining the only real freedom a woman could have in Italy, it could also mean putting their life in danger. Life was very treacherous for the women who decided to become a courtesan. They faced attack by jealous lovers, theft from their servants, disease, public humiliation, and destitution.

Their greatest detractors were courtiers, who competed with them for the money bestowed by wealthy patrons. The fiercest attackers of the courtesans were Lorenzo and Maffio Venier and Pietro Aretino. They wrote many scathing poems and satirical verses against specific courtesans, sometimes severely damaging that girl’s career. While Pietro shows in his dialogues a certain compassion for his women characters, though, Lorenzo’s and Maffio’s verses are obscene, even revolting (Rosenthal “Honest”). Courtesans also ran the risk of being raped if they angered the wrong man.

As revenge, an angry client or lover would kidnap a courtesan and subject her to a trentuno, where she would be raped by thirty-one men, or, even worse, a trentuno reale, by seventy-nine men. If nothing worse, the victim of this became on object of ridicule as a result and her clients and fees dwindled (Masson 25). Rejected lovers were also quite capable of slashing women’s faces for revenge, which would ruin their beauty and their livelihood (Ruggiero “Passions”). In periods of grave social and economic danger, such as when the plague reoccurred, the courtesans were conveniently available as symbols of disorder and vileness.

Although many people objected to prostitution, it was considered a necessary evil in Renaissance Italy. It educated young men through nonmarital sexuality and provided a safe place for them to experiment, saving many young women from being raped, which was a common occurrence in Italy at this time (Ruggiero “Eros”). Courtesans also created another source of revenue for the cities and were taxed heavily. When Pope Pius V took over in 1566, he attempted to rid Rome of all of the its prostitutes and passed a decree that stated that within six days, all prostitutes must leave Rome and in twelve days they must be outside the Papal States.

This created quite an uproar in the city. Many courtesans lived largely on credit and the merchants and shopkeepers were faced with heavy losses if all the courtesans were driven out of the city at such a short notice. Moreover, the city fathers calculated that if all courtesans and their dependants were driven out of Rome, it would entail an exodus of almost a third of the population. This caused the farmers to grow alarmed because they collected the customs charges and if that many people left the city, it would produce a notable drop in revenue from the customs (Masson 141-143).

Just this one example shows how the courtesans were a crucial part of the economy of the Italy cities. In Venice, they also bolstered the republic’s presentation of Venice as a city of social freedom and tolerance. The highly visible female icon of the courtesan announced to Venetian citizens and foreign travelers Venice’s unparalleled social and political freedoms (Rosenthal “Honest”). One of the most famous courtesans of the 16th century was Veronica Franco. Veronica descended not from the lower classes, but from the cittadino class in Venice (Rosenthal “Terze Rime”). Her family was, however, neither rich nor powerful.

Since they were economically vulnerable, Franco became a courtesan out of necessity, following in her mother’s footsteps. She had three brothers and gained most of her education indirectly through them and benefited from their private tutors and public schooling. She was married early to Paolo Paniza, a doctor, but this marriage did not last very long. She advanced very quickly through the ranks of the courtesans, mostly through her friendship with the celebrated patron of letters, Domenico Venier, and soon became the most famous of all the Venetian courtesans (Lawner 87).

She was championed as the most beautiful, cultivated, and honored courtesan in Venice. When King Henry III was celebrated in 1574, she was the one he chose to visit and she made such an impression that he took away with him two of her sonnets and an enameled portrait of her. She made a success of her profession and then invented herself as a literary figure as well. Between 1570 and 1580, she wrote poetry, public letters, and took on editorial projects and was a success, helped once again by her close friend Domenico Venier, whose literary salon she frequented.

Her most famous works, the Terze rime, a collection her poetry, and the Lettere familiari a diversi, her familiar letters, were published in 1575. Read together, they give the reader in inside look into the life of a courtesan, specifically, Veronica’s life (Stortoni 12). She also compiled a commemorative edition of poems for Estore Martinengo, the slain brother of one of her lovers. Along with nine of her own sonnets, she completed the edition in 1575 with seventeen sonnets by members of Domenico Venier’s literary salon.

This prosperity could not last forever, though. In 1580, Franco was accused of witchcraft by the male tutor of her children, Riedolfo Vannitelli. She was summoned by the Inquisition courts and demonstrated her assertiveness and her insistence on defending herself against sinister opponents and emerged victorious. This marked the end of her glorious reign, though, and by 1588 she was poverty-stricken. She had given birth to six children of her own and also had the added responsibility of her brother’s children after his death.

This, along with the plague and the thefts of precious items from her dowry left her impoverished and she died in 1591 at the early age of forty-five (Rosenthal “Honest”). Veronica’s memory lives on, as she was not only the most famous of all the Venetian courtesans, she was also the modern ideal of an independent woman. She managed her own estate, earned her own capital, and, as her letters and poems reveal, had an independence of spirit that bowed before no man. As every age has to come to an end, so too did the golden age of the courtesans.

Many Popes had promised Italy reforms, but none had followed through on their word until 1566 with the accession of Pope Pius V. As stated above, he issued a decree ordering all prostitutes to leave Rome and all the Papal States. He would later agree to allow the prostitutes to remain, on the condition that they all lived in a quarter reserved for them (Masson 142-143). This marked the beginning of the end. Thanks to the Counter Reformation and the changed temper of the times, courtesans were no longer accepted by society; far less did they play any part in the intellectual life of the city.

Only in the liberal city of Venice did the courtesans flourish. However, by 1591 the Renaissance world that had given birth to the courtesans was dying, and the new one had no place for them. After Veronica Franco’s death, courtesans continued to exist in Venice, but in reality, like those in Rome, they were mere prostitutes. Thus ended the age of the courtesan; muse, poet, and Venus of Renaissance Italy. Forerunners of the modern-day independent women, the courtesans of 16th century Venice were almost the equals of the upper-class intellectual males of that century.

Well-read, beautiful, and learned in the areas of poetry, politics, and debate, the courtesans were wanted by all the men and admired and envied by all of the women. While most of them did not actively choose the life of a prostitute, they decided to use that career to enjoy the freedom and liberty denied to the rest of the women of that time. Surviving on their beauty, wit, and intelligence alone, they strived for the only thing that they could truly call their own, their independence.

Men and Women were Created Equal

Men are not superior to women, they are equal in every way. Although it is true that society has stereotyped women into traditional roles, this preconceived notion, is totally false. Action to promote the concept of equality in our society needs to be taken. Women have been fighting for equality for many decades. As a result of this battle, some amazing transformations have taken place amongst the female gender. Women have become educated and over the last few decades have started to take active roles and their rightful place in society.

They have made major inroads in working opportunities, including government, science and even the military. They are reshaping world history and are very proud. Internationally, women have achieved the highest office in several countries, such as: Indira Gandhi of India, Golda Meir of Israel, and Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain. Hilary Clinton is currently running for a senate seat in New York and if she is successful, could one day follow in her husbands footsteps and become the first female President of the United States.

These women have all obtained equal roles and respect as leaders of their countries similar to Bill Clinton and Jean Chretien. Other examples of women who have favourably impacted on todays society are the late Mother Theresa and Lady Diana. These ladies tireless efforts for the good of humanity impacted the whole world. Only in the 20th century, and most recently in the last 20 years, have women overcome social barriers and been allowed to obtain a scientific education. Today, women are becoming an ever-increasing percentage of the scientific and medical work force.

In 1982 Barbara McClintock won the Nobel Prize for her discovery of mobile genetic elements. Her discovery was that genes could jump around on chromosomes. This discovery was the basis of todays advances in genetic engineering. The Nobel Prize Committee called McClintocks work “one of the two great discoveries of our time in genetics. ” The other was the earlier discovery of the double helix shape of DNA. 2 Another example of women sharing an equal role in todays society is demonstrated in the military.

Todays women joining the Canadian Armed Forces are equally eligible with men for combat roles. Over 229,000 women serve on active duty in the military services of the Department of Defense. This monumental step allows women to become takers, as well as producers of life. Women now have equal rights and responsibilities in the defense of our country. These advances have been made, not only on the ground but in the air as well. In 1988, Deanna Brasseur became Canadas first female fighter pilot.

That same year, the defense department appointed their first female general, Sheila Hellstrom. The department also stated that women often do better at riflery than men due to the fact that they listen to instruction while men tend to think they know it all. A male veteran sergeant, proud of his work with female recruits, says that: “Todays women wont find anything that hard to adjust to in the military. ” The facts are telling a tale. Many doors are opening for women and they are barreling through with boundless energy and determination.

The 21st century is here and the traditional role of the stay-at-home mother is all but disappeared. Marriage and children are still signs of the successful women, however women are less willing to accept exclusive roles of housewife and mother. More and more women are entering the labor market as education has provided them with the tools they need to be viewed and become equals with men in todays society. This does not mean however, that their parenting role is any less significant.

They have successfully learned how to balance both, effectively and efficiently. Whether male or female, it is important to keep an open mind and judge people based on their abilities and actions rather than on biased media attention and old stereotypical views. Adopting this concept will alleviate the long standing debate of superiority concerning males and females. The government needs to continue to support pay equity and other actions to demonstrate the equal roles of women and men in Canada.

The Role of Women in the Church

With the advent of the feminist movement, the role of women in all parts of society has come under increasing scrutiny. One area of recent controversy is the role of women in the Christian Church. Some churches whose traditions and practices are less rigidly tied to Biblical doctrines have begun placing women in leadership positions such as pastor or teacher. Other churches which interpret the Bible more literally have been slow to adopt such changes. Much of the confusion is based on attempts to interpret scriptures pertaining to women.

In this essay, we will use the Bible to underezd the role of omen in the church of the first century and apply that underezding to the church of the twentieth century. Many people would dispute the Bible’s relevance to contemporary thought in general, and in particular to the role of women in worship. If the Bible were not written under divine inspiration, a person or practice is not bound by its teachings. He or she can therefor pick and choose whatever corresponds to his/her point of view. However, if the Bible is of divine inspiration, then a cautious consideration of passages relevant to a particular issue must be undertaken.

Traditions nd customs that have arisen after the Bible was written may thus be carefully scrutinized. Such practices may or may not prove sound after comparison with scripture. Before we discuss specific issues concerning women in worship, we should consider principles derived from the relationship of Adam and Eve as described in Genesis chapter one. The Apostle Paul frequently uses this passage as a guideline when discussing women and women’s issues. Genesis 1 verse 27 states: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Most Commentators agree that man and woman are both equally a reflection of God’s image; the word “man” here is used as a synonym for humanity. Adam and Eve were also given joint dominion over creation. But the fact that Adam was created before Eve has significance to Paul and other Old Testament scholars; it signifies role distinction between the two sexes. The role of the man is leadership, while the role of woman is as a source of strength and support. In the letter to the Ephesians, Paul states: “For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. ” (Eph. 5:23)

This is an important analogy. If a person wants to underezd the Christian authority of a man over his wife, he must consider how Christ demonstrated his leadership as head over the Church. Primarily, he gave his life for his church, not using force or coercion for her submission. When considering mens and woman’s ministry in the church, it is important to keep in mind this role distinction. Lets examine the public ministry of women in the Church. Two major passages give specific instructions regarding women during worship in the letters of the Apostle Paul.

These two passages are used frequently when denying women a public role in church life. The first is in I Corinthians chapter 14 verses 33 – 35, this passage commands women to be silent during worship service. Similarly but with more details, I Timothy 2 verses 8 – 15 not only contains a command to be silent but also instruction on authority along with a reference to the fall of Adam and Eve for further explanation. Here is the passage in its entirety using the NIV (New International Version) Bible translation: I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger r disputing.

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A women should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be kept safe through childbirth, if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

A woman raised in the U. S. in this day and age, reading the letter for the first time, may be quite taken aback by its apparent chauvinism. However, there are some specific historical and cultural references that must be taken into account when considering the meaning and intent of this passage. First of all, this was a letter written by Paul to a young preacher named Timothy. Timothy was presumably preaching at the church in the city of Ephesus. Paul starts out the letter by telling him to stay in Ephesus and correct false teachers who were creating a disruption in the church.

Various ommentators have tried to recreate some of the heresies of these false teachers. This can be a difficult task since there is not a record of exactly what was being said, so only remarks made in the text itself can give a clue. One probable heresy was the idea of asceticism as a way to achieve spirituality. The ascetic practices being recommended consisted of; abstinence from certain foods, from marriage, and sex. Add to all of this physical training as an additional means of spirituality. It was thought that through these practices, one could achieve something akin to heaven on earth.

In ther words, there was possibly a denial of a future physical resurrection being taught in favor of a spiritual one that could be achieved in their present lifetimes. It seems also from Paul’s remarks that many women in the church had been converted to this message and they were being persuaded to renounce their traditional roles in favor of a more egalitarian way of life in line with their new-found spirituality. This would explain the strong words Paul makes in reference to Eve, reminding the women that she was indeed led into sin, and that bearing children and raising them was a good thing, not nspiritual as they were being taught.

Yet, the other parts of this passage that admonish women not to teach and not to have authority over a man have been agreed upon by many, if not most, commentators to have timeless application; the words and grammar in Greek do not lend themselves to any cultural reference. The teaching that Paul is concerned about here is specifically the truths of the faith while the authority in question refers to women in governing or leadership positions of the church. But, before making conclusions on a Biblical truth it is mportant to see if the truth holds fast throughout the whole of scripture.

Let’s consider some other passages. In Galations 3 verse 28, Paul states: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ” Some commentators have suggested that this teaching could have had some influence in the false teachings that were encountered in Ephesus and Corinth in regard to women. Christ himself taught that in the afterlife, men and women would not be given in marriage and they would be like the angels. Thus, the women were being encouraged, by some misguided teachers, to renounce their traditional roles.

Without taking this radical extreme, the modern reader is at least inclined to ask what it means that men and women are one in Christ Jesus? It must certainly mean that there is not one sex inferior to the other. Beyond this, their are clear examples in the book of Acts that may shed some light by way of documented practice, on the command not to have authority over men. First of all, there were prophetess’s. In Acts 21: 8 – 9, Philip, one of the seven deacons, is said to have four aughters who prophesied.

Prophesying was not primarily divination of the future but also the conveying of Gods Word to his people, i. e. teaching. Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 11: 4 – 5 Paul states, “Every woman who prays or prophesies. . . ” Clearly women in Corinth were praying and prophesying during the worship service. There is also the case of Precilla and Aquila described in Acts Chapter 18. Many Commentators feel it is significant that whenever this couple are mentioned in the Bible, Precilla, the women, is mentioned first because of her great knowledge.

It appears that they worked together as a teaching team and their effectiveness is demonstrated when they taught Apollos “the ways of the Lord more adequately” (Acts 18: 26). Apollos is described as a learned man who came to Ephesus and began teaching from the scriptures in a knowledgeable way although lacking in one of the fundamental teachings. Another Case in point is a business woman named Lydia who lived in Philippi. She accepted the Gospel message from Paul and Silas while at a place of prayer. After this incident is recorded, a strong church is mentioned in Philippi later in the Bible.

We can only surmise that she played a significant part in the growth of this church, since no men were initially converted. These passages all call into question the real nature of the moratorium on teaching and the meaning of no authority mentioned in 1st Timothy. That women were teaching men is obvious, although at times they may have been co-teaching with male teachers. The case of the prophetess’s is also compelling because although most churches do not recognize prophecy as being a modern gift, teaching certainly is and this was one of the important functions of a prophet.

Some Commentators in discussing women’s ministry in the New Testament have brought to light the customs of the day regarding women. Paul’s main concern was the spread of the Gospel and that the message could be made attractive in every way. For this reason Paul encourages women in other passages to continue observing social customs such as the wearing of a veil; otherwise people might criticize them as loose or immoral and belittle the Gospel message. This is, I believe, a valid thought not only in 1st century times but in our culture today.

Consider, for example, what non believing women n the US think upon entering a Christian assembly for the first time and seeing a service that appears to be run completely by men? They may conclude that women are being suppressed and that the gospel message makes women inferior to men. In conclusion, we can say that although there is no sanction in scripture for women to take roles of leadership, public ministry and teaching are not as clearly forbidden and a degree of latitude in interpretation is warranted. More importantly, if women are not allowed to have a voice or some kind of input, the church could be loosing a valuable resource.

If a husband does not consider his wives thoughts and ideas as being important or valid, his family is surely incomplete, dysfunctional and doomed to failure. Therefore, as the church strives to realize Gods purpose for women, we must remember the truths of the scripture and apply them to our present day culture. This will allow men and women to present the Christian message to our world in the most powerful way. That is exactly what the Apostle Paul desired along with all of the New Testament leaders and it is what we should desire as we consider the path of the modern church.

Women In Iran

The Press Law and Women Bill was ratified into law on the 13th of August 1998 in Iran; it is the Fifth Amendment of Article 6 of the press law. The bill states that, commercial use of women’s image and texts declaring women’s issues, humiliation, insult, propagation of formality, use of ornaments, and defending women’s beyond the bounds of legal and religious law is forbidden. Violators of the law will be punished with lashes and imprisonment, as well as losing their publication license. Consequences of Press Law and Women Bill include:

According to this amendment, supporting or defending the rights of women in any publication is strictly banned because it is believed that such arguments create more contention and adversity between men and women. However, men are excluded from the above law. This encourages a culture of male chauvinism. The ratification of this bill does not allow any criticism advocacy, in the press, of the laws governing women’s rights. This bill will ban all female images, texts, or arguments for modification of the existing law.

Therefore, women’s issues are completely invisible in the media. This bill will create conflicts between the clerical community and the press because the law has never defined commercial use of women’s image and text. Therefore, the subject is completely left at personal interpretation and judgment. Because of the fanatic nature of Islamic rulers, this amendment means complete elimination of women from public media. Married Iranian women require their husband’s permission to apply for a passport, according to Article 18 of the passport law.

In case of an emergency or absence of the husband, the public prosecutor’s office can issue the permit within 3 days from the date of the application. Islamic government does not recognize the divorces and the marriages administered in foreign countries unless they are endorsed by Iranian embassies, consulates, or the rituals are repeated in Iran. The consequences are: If an Iranian married couple immigrate to a foreign country and divorce according to the laws of that country, the divorce is not legitimate for the woman. The process must be repeated in the Islamic embassy or the consulate.

If each of the spouses remarries separately after the divorce in the overseas country and travels to Iran, the wife could be arrested and tried for committing adultery. The punishment for adultery is burying the woman in the ground and stoning her to death. However, this does not apply to the man. By law, the man is not in marriage violation. If a couple have children, and the court granted custody of the children to the mother, if they traveled to Iran, the husband could take the children away from his ex-wife because husband is the sole custodian for the children. No custody privilege is granted to women under any circumstance.

If a couple divorce in a foreign country and then travel to Iran to finalize their divorce proceeding, the divorce process for the woman might take years because the consent of the husband is always necessary to finalize the divorce. The husband may go ahead and marry another woman while his case is pending with the first wife. Under laws imposed after the 1979 revolution, women: Must cover all parts of their bodies (including their hair) except for the face and hands, with loose-fitting garments. Must not wear any make-up. Unrelated couples are not allowed to socialize at all.

The penalties for violating these rules, imposed in the name of preventing social vice, vary from simple reprimands to lashes and payment of fines, and even execution by stoning in the case of illicit sexual relationships. The Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG) maintains that these laws are in violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), to which Iran is a signatory. Official Response and Action On May 18, 1998, some 20 women and girls were arrested by the Iranian police in Tehran for socializing with unrelated men or failing to observe the strict dress code that is mandated for women.

These types of arrest have occurred regularly since 1980. In April, 1998, an Iranian girl, detained by authorities on suspicion that she was having a relationship with a man, committed suicide while in detention in the southwest Iranian city of Abadan. Case Sheyda Khoramzadeh Esfahani was sentenced to death following her conviction on charges of ‘organizing ‘corrupt gatherings’ with prostitutes, alcohol, drugs, music and dance ‘ and to establish immoral contacts with people in various political bodies. ” She was executed in August 1997. Her husband Abolghasem Majd-Abkahi was reportedly executed in late December 1996 or early January 1997.

Three women and three men were stoned to death in public in Khazar Abad after a court found them guilty of adultery and prostitution under Iran’s Islamic laws. Prostitution and adultery are illegal and punishable by death. The stoning was carried out by local citizens in public in Khazar Abad, near the Caspian Sea. A 20-year-old Iranian woman was stoned for adultery in Bukan, in Western Iran. Stoning is a death sentence, but she was mistaken for dead and later revived in the morgue. A court official said that an appeal for amnesty has been submitted to the court.

The Social Agency Oasis mission

The Social Agency Oasis mission is to provide services to battered women and their children. They feel everyone has th right to a life free from violence. Oasis does not necessarily try to end these abusive relationships they encounter, just the violence. They believe in self determination and support their clients in any decision they make. Oasis only wants what is best for everyone involved. They are the leading womens advocate for this area. Eligibility requirements for Oasis, firstly the women must be in a dangerous situation at home. She is a victim of abuse or sexual abuse.

She does not have anywhere else to go and cannot leave on her own. She is not aloud to give the location of the shelter to anyone, that would put the whole house at risk. She has to come out and meet the volunteers at the courthouse, the police station or the hospital because they have security. Security is important incase a dangerous situaton arises. She also cannot be on any type of substance, alcohol or drugs. Terry Julian, Oasis,( personal communication, March 15, 2000). Oasis provides for their clients a 24-hour crisis line for family violence and sexual assault.

Shelter for abused women and their children. They provide only short term counseling for their clients. Oasis can refer the women to phsycologists but, they do not have recoveery counseling. They provide advocacy and companionship for victims needing assistance through medical examinations, law enforcement and court procedures. They provide information and referals and also educational programs to schools and the community. Oasis is a short-term assistance program only. If a woman and child were to come to them with only the clothes on their back? then Oasis would provide them with the basics.

The shelter will feed them, clothe them and provide temporary housing. Oasis also has transition housing to help get these ladies back on their feet. Support groups are sometimes avaliable but, that depends on whether there are women around who need to come to the meetings. There is no charge for any service Oasis provides but, they are not able to give cash either. Oasis could only give someone money if they just needed to have alittle to get somewhere close, such as Charlotte. Terry Julian, Oasis (personal communication March 15,2000).

Oasis operates on Federal and State grants, private donations and help from United Way. Oasis runs with a board of fifteen people and six are full time employees. There is an executive director who is the grant writer, then there is the director of client services and her assistant. The latter two work with the clients at the shelter. Then there is the community educator and the volunteer coordinator . Volunteers play a big part in Oasis operations and they receive 20 hours of training from the community educator before becoming active.

Volunteers can work the crisis line, work at the shelter or become an advocate. Terry Julian, Oasis (personal communication March 15,2000). During 1999 Oasis had seventeen women and twenty-eight children stay at the shelter. They had ninety-five non-shelter domestic violence cases, eighteen non-shelter sexual assalt cases and three-hundred seventy-five crisis calls. Domestic violence occurs with all ethnic and cultural backgrounds but, Boone and Watauga, Alleghany and Ashe counties do not correctly represent the American Population.

Because this area is predominatly made up of middle to lower class caucasian Southern Baptists, these are the women they see. Terry Julian, Oasis (personal communication March 15,2000). Despite the wonderful services Oasis provides, they have a few shortcomings. The biggest one is that the shelter is only temporary, just to get women out of immediate danger. But on the up side they do have transitional housing for the women and their children to get into and get back on their feet. Another downfall is that they do not have any trained counselors.

Since they are a non-profit organization they more then likely would not be able to get a professional to work for free. One might be willing to give them some time but, they could not afford to give all their time and knowledge. The last problem the shelter has but, is not their fault is that women leave their partners on an average of seven times before they leave for good. Which must make it very frustrating for these volunteers to have to watch these women keep going back to an unhealthy, painful life.

Womens Rights Essay

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. ” That was Margaret Mead’s conclusion after a lifetime of observing very diverse cultures around the world. Her insight has been borne out time and again throughout the development of this country of ours. Being allowed to live life in an atmosphere of religious freedom, having a voice in the government you support with your taxes, living free of lifelong enslavement by another person.

These beliefs about how life should and must be lived were once considered outlandish by many. But these beliefs were fervently held by visionaries whose steadfast work brought about changed minds and attitudes. Now these beliefs are commonly shared across U. S. society. Another initially outlandish idea that has come to pass: United States citizenship for women. 1998 marked the 150th Anniversary of a movement by women to achieve full civil rights in this country.

Over the past seven generations, dramatic social and legal changes have been accomplished that are now so accepted that they go unnoticed by people whose lives they have utterly changed. Many people who have lived through the recent decades of this process have come to accept blithely what has transpired. And younger people, for the most part, can hardly believe life was ever otherwise. They take the changes completely in stride, as how life has always been.

The staggering changes for women that have come about over those seven generations in family life, in religion, in government, in employment, in education – these changes did not just happen spontaneously. Women themselves made these changes happen, very deliberately. Women have not been the passive recipients of miraculous changes in laws and human nature. Seven generations of women have come together to affect these changes in the most democratic ways: through meetings, petition drives, lobbying, public speaking, and nonviolent resistance.

They have worked very deliberately to create a better world, and they have succeeded hugely. Throughout 1998, the 150th anniversary of the Women’s Rights Movement is being celebrated across the nation with programs and events taking every form imaginable. Like many amazing stories, the history of the Women’s Rights Movement began with a small group of people questioning why human lives were being unfairly constricted. Return to Index A Tea Launches a Revolution The Women’s Rights Movement marks July 13, 1848 as its beginning.

On that sweltering summer day in upstate New York, a young housewife and mother, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was invited to tea with four women friends. When the course of their conversation turned to the situation of women, Stanton poured out her discontent with the limitations placed on her own situation under America’s new democracy. Hadn’t the American Revolution had been fought just 70 years earlier to win the patriots freedom from tyranny? But women had not gained freedom even though they’d taken equally tremendous risks through those dangerous years.

Surely the new republic would benefit from having its women play more active roles throughout society. Stanton’s friends agreed with her, passionately. This was definitely not the first small group of women to have such a conversation, but it was the first to plan and carry out a specific, large-scale program. Today we are living the legacy of this afternoon conversation among women friends. Throughout 1998, events celebrating the 150th Anniversary of the Women’s Rights Movement are looking at the massive changes these women set in motion when they daringly agreed to convene the world’s first Women’s Rights Convention.

Within two days of their afternoon tea together, this small group had picked a date for their convention, found a suitable location, and placed a small announcement in the Seneca County Courier. They called “A convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman. ” The gathering would take place at the Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls on July 19 and 20, 1848. In the history of western civilization, no similar public meeting had ever been called. Return to Index A “Declaration of Sentiments” is Drafted

These were patriotic women, sharing the ideal of improving the new republic. They saw their mission as helping the republic keep its promise of better, more egalitarian lives for its citizens. As the women set about preparing for the event, Elizabeth Cady Stanton used the Declaration of Independence as the framework for writing what she titled a “Declaration of Sentiments. ” In what proved to be a brilliant move, Stanton connected the nascent campaign for women’s rights directly to that powerful American symbol of liberty.

The same familiar words framed their arguments: “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. ” In this Declaration of Sentiments, Stanton carefully enumerated areas of life where women were treated unjustly. Eighteen was precisely the number of grievances America’s revolutionary forefathers had listed in their Declaration of Independence from England.

The Role of Women in the Church

The Role of Women in the Church With the advent of the feminist movement, the role of women in all parts of society has come under increasing scrutiny. One area of recent controversy is the role of women in the Christian Church. Some churches whose traditions and practices are less rigidly tied to Biblical doctrines have begun placing women in leadership positions such as pastor or teacher. Other churches which interpret the Bible more literally have been slow to adopt such changes.

Much of the confusion is based on attempts to interpret scriptures pertaining to 1`234412`1233654 35, this passage commands women to be silent during worship service. Similarly but with more details, I Timothy 2 verses 8 – 15 not only contains a command to be silent but also instruction on authority along with a reference to the fall of Adam and Eve for further explanation. Here is the passage in its entirety using the NIV (New International Version) Bible translation: I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing.

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But women will be kept safe through childbirth, if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

A woman raised in the U. S. in this day and age, reading the letter for the first time, may be quite taken aback by its apparent chauvinism. However, there are some specific historical and cultural references that must be taken into account when considering the meaning and intent of this passage. First of all, this was a letter written by Paul to a young preacher named Timothy. Timothy was presumably preaching at the church in the city of Ephesus. Paul starts out the letter by telling him to stay in Ephesus and correct false teachers who were creating a disruption in the church.

Various commentators have tried to recreate some of the heresies of these false teachers. This can be a difficult task since there is not a record of exactly what was being said, so only remarks made in the text itself can give a clue. One probable heresy was the idea of asceticism as a way to achieve spirituality. The ascetic practices being recommended consisted of; abstinence from certain foods, from marriage, and sex. Add to all of this physical training as an additional means of spirituality. It was thought that through these practices, one could achieve something akin to heaven on earth.

In other words, there was possibly a denial of a future physical resurrection being taught in favor of a spiritual one that could be achieved in their present lifetimes. It seems also from Paul’s remarks that many women in the church had been converted to this message and they were being persuaded to renounce their traditional roles in favor of a more egalitarian way of life in line with their new-found spirituality. This would explain the strong words Paul makes in reference to Eve, reminding the women that she was indeed led into sin, and that bearing children and raising them was a good thing, not unspiritual as they were being taught.

Yet, the other parts of this passage that admonish women not to teach and not to have authority over a man have been agreed upon by many, if not most, commentators to have timeless application; the words and grammar in Greek do not lend themselves to any cultural reference. The teaching that Paul is concerned about here is specifically the truths of the faith while the authority in question refers to women in governing or leadership positions of the church. But, before making conclusions on a Biblical truth it is important to see if the truth holds fast throughout the whole of scripture.

Let’s consider some other passages. In Galations 3 verse 28, Paul states: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ” Some commentators have suggested that this teaching could have had some influence in the false teachings that were encountered in Ephesus and Corinth in regard to women. Christ himself taught that in the afterlife, men and women would not be given in marriage and they would be like the angels. Thus, the women were being encouraged, by some misguided teachers, to renounce their traditional roles.

Without taking this radical extreme, the modern reader is at least inclined to ask what it means that men and women are one in Christ Jesus? It must certainly mean that there is not one sex inferior to the other. Beyond this, their are clear examples in the book of Acts that may shed some light by way of documented practice, on the command not to have authority over men. First of all, there were prophetess’s. In Acts 21: 8 – 9, Philip, one of the seven deacons, is said to have four daughters who prophesied.

Prophesying was not primarily divination of the future but also the conveying of Gods Word to his people, i. e. teaching. Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 11: 4 – 5 Paul states, “Every woman who prays or prophesies. . . ” Clearly women in Corinth were praying and prophesying during the worship service. There is also the case of Precilla and Aquila described in Acts Chapter 18. Many Commentators feel it is significant that whenever this couple are mentioned in the Bible, Precilla, the women, is mentioned first because of her great knowledge.

It appears that they worked together as a teaching team and their effectiveness is demonstrated when they taught Apollos “the ways of the Lord more adequately” (Acts 18: 26). Apollos is described as a learned man who came to Ephesus and began teaching from the scriptures in a knowledgeable way although lacking in one of the fundamental teachings. Another Case in point is a business woman named Lydia who lived in Philippi. She accepted the Gospel message from Paul and Silas while at a place of prayer. After this incident is recorded, a strong church is mentioned in Philippi later in the Bible.

We can only surmise that she played a significant part in the growth of this church, since no men were initially converted. These passages all call into question the real nature of the moratorium on teaching and the meaning of no authority mentioned in 1st Timothy. That women were teaching men is obvious, although at times they may have been co-teaching with male teachers. The case of the prophetess’s is also compelling because although most churches do not recognize prophecy as being a modern gift, teaching certainly is and this was one of the important functions of a prophet.

Some Commentators in discussing women’s ministry in the New Testament have brought to light the customs of the day regarding women. Paul’s main concern was the spread of the Gospel and that the message could be made attractive in every way. For this reason Paul encourages women in other passages to continue observing social customs such as the wearing of a veil; otherwise people might criticize them as loose or immoral and belittle the Gospel message. This is, I believe, a valid thought not only in 1st century times but in our culture today.

Consider, for example, what non believing women in the US think upon entering a Christian assembly for the first time and seeing a service that appears to be run completely by men? They may conclude that women are being suppressed and that the gospel message makes women inferior to men. In conclusion, we can say that although there is no sanction in scripture for women to take roles of leadership, public ministry and teaching are not as clearly forbidden and a degree of latitude in interpretation is warranted. More importantly, if women are not allowed to have a voice or some kind of input, the church could be loosing a valuable resource.

If a husband does not consider his wives thoughts and ideas as being important or valid, his family is surely incomplete, dysfunctional and doomed to failure. Therefore, as the church strives to realize Gods purpose for women, we must remember the truths of the scripture and apply them to our present day culture. This will allow men and women to present the Christian message to our world in the most powerful way. That is exactly what the Apostle Paul desired along with all of the New Testament leaders and it is what we should desire as we consider the path of the modern church.

Organized and Institutionalized Sexual Exploitation and Violence

The “Press Law and Women Bill” was ratified into law on the 13th of August 1998 in Iran; it is the Fifth Amendment of Article 6 of the press law. The bill states that, “commercial use of women’s image and texts declaring women’s issues, humiliation, insult, propagation of formality, use of ornaments, and defending women’s beyond the bounds of legal and religious law is forbidden. ” Violators of the law will be punished with lashes and imprisonment, as well as losing their publication license. Consequences of “Press Law and Women Bill” include:

According to this amendment, supporting or defending the rights of women in any publication is strictly banned because it is believed that such arguments create more contention and adversity between men and women. However, men are excluded from the above law. This encourages a culture of male chauvinism. The ratification of this bill does not allow any criticism advocacy, in the press, of the laws governing women’s rights. This bill will ban all female images, texts, or arguments for modification of the existing law.

Therefore, women’s issues are completely invisible in the media. This bill will create conflicts between the clerical community and the press because the law has never defined “commercial use of women’s image and text. ” Therefore, the subject is completely left at personal interpretation and judgment. Because of the fanatic nature of Islamic rulers, this amendment means complete elimination of women from public media. Married Iranian women require their husband’s permission to apply for a passport, according to Article 18 of the passport law.

In case of an emergency or absence of the husband, the public prosecutor’s office can issue the permit within 3 days from the date of the application. Islamic government does not recognize the divorces and the marriages administered in foreign countries unless they are endorsed by Iranian embassies, consulates, or the rituals are repeated in Iran. The consequences are: If an Iranian married couple immigrate to a foreign country and divorce according to the laws of that country, the divorce is not legitimate for the woman. The process must be repeated in the Islamic embassy or the consulate.

If each of the spouses remarries separately after the divorce in the overseas country and travels to Iran, the wife could be arrested and tried for committing adultery. The punishment for adultery is burying the woman in the ground and stoning her to death. However, this does not apply to the man. By law, the man is not in marriage violation. If a couple have children, and the court granted custody of the children to the mother, if they traveled to Iran, the husband could take the children away from his ex-wife because husband is the sole custodian for the children.

No custody privilege is granted to women under any circumstance. If a couple divorce in a foreign country and then travel to Iran to finalize their divorce proceeding, the divorce process for the woman might take years because the consent of the husband is always necessary to finalize the divorce. The husband may go ahead and marry another woman while his case is pending with the first wife. Under laws imposed after the 1979 revolution, women: Must cover all parts of their bodies (including their hair) except for the face and hands, with loose-fitting garments. Unrelated couples are not allowed to socialize at all.

The penalties for violating these rules, imposed in the name of preventing social vice, vary from simple reprimands to lashes and payment of fines, and even execution by stoning in the case of illicit sexual relationships. The Iranian Human Rights Working Group (IHRWG) maintains that these laws are in violation of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), to which Iran is a signatory. On May 18, 1998, some 20 women and girls were arrested by the Iranian police in Tehran for socializing with unrelated men or failing to observe the strict dress code that is mandated for women.

These types of arrest have occurred regularly since 1980. In April, 1998, an Iranian girl, detained by authorities on suspicion that she was having a relationship with a man, committed suicide while in detention in the southwest Iranian city of Abadan. Sheyda Khoramzadeh Esfahani was sentenced to death following her conviction on charges of ‘organizing ‘corrupt gatherings’ with prostitutes, alcohol, drugs, music and dance ‘ and to establish immoral contacts with people in various political bodies. ” She was executed in August 1997. Her husband Abolghasem Majd-Abkahi was reportedly executed in late December 1996 or early January 1997.

Three women and three men were stoned to death in public in Khazar Abad after a court found them guilty of adultery and prostitution under Iran’s Islamic laws. Prostitution and adultery are illegal and punishable by death. The stoning was carried out by local citizens in public in Khazar Abad, near the Caspian Sea. A 20-year-old Iranian woman was stoned for adultery in Bukan, in Western Iran. Stoning is a death sentence, but she was mistaken for dead and later revived in the morgue. A court official said that an appeal for amnesty has been submitted to the court.

Women And Body Image

Eleven million women in the United States suffer from eating disorders- either self-induced semi-starvation (anorexia nervosa) or a cycle of bingeing and purging with laxatives, self-induced vomiting, or excessive exercise (bulimia nervosa) (Dunn, 1992). Many eating disorder specialists agree that chronic dieting is a direct consequence of the social pressure on American females to achieve a nearly impossible thinness.

The media has been denounced for upholding and perhaps even creating the emaciated standard of beauty by which females are taught from childhood to judge the worth of their own bodies (Stephens & Hill, 1994). To explore the broader context of this controversial issue, this paper draws upon several aspects on how the media influences young women’s body image. This paper examines an exploration of the prevalence and the source of body dissatisfaction in American females and considers existing research that presents several important aspects regarding the nature of the connection between advertising and body dissatisfaction.

From these distinctions, it will be shown that the media has a large impact on women’s body image and that the cultural ideal of a thin body is detrimental to the American female’s body perception that often results in poor eating pathologies. Body image can be defined as an individual’s subjective concept of his or her physical appearance. Body image involves both a perceptual and attitudinal element. The self-perceptual component consists of what an individual sees or thinks in body size, shape, and appearance.

A disturbance in the perceptual element of body image is generally reflected in a distorted perception of body size, shape, and appearance. The attitudinal component reflects how we feel about those attributes and how the feelings motivate certain behavior (Shaw & Waller, 1995). Disturbances in the attitudinal element usually result in dissatisfaction with body appearance (Monteath & McCabe, 1997). Perceptions about body images are shaped from a variety of experiences and begin to develop in early childhood.

It has been shown that children learn to favor thin body shapes by the time they enter school (Cohn & Adler, 1992). Gustafson, Larsen, and Terry (1992) reported that 60. 3 percent of fourth grade girls wanted to be thinner, and the desire for less body fat was significantly associated with an increase occurrence of weight-loss related behaviors. Overall body size and image concerns have been reported to be more prevalent among females than males. Gender related differences in acceptable body size are shaped from a variety of societal definitions of appealing shapes for males and females.

Patterns of body dissatisfaction formed in childhood and adolescence persist into adulthood and are most prevalent in females. In their study, Fallon and Rozin (1985) reported that college women perceive their figure to be heavier than the figure they identified as the most attractive to themselves (Lavine, Sweeney, & Wagener, 1999). Females experience a large discrepancy with food. On one hand, food is depicted as a reward or indulgence, or as a way of socializing.

On the other hand, women are supposed to be fit and thin, which is difficult to accomplish if females indulge in the large repertoire of food (Stuhldreher & William, 1999). The diet-obsessive mind of advertising in many women’s magazines provides a sharp contrast to the hedonistic view toward food. In several magazines, even the food advertisements focus more on dieting than on quality of food. Thus there are clear and quite strict limits on the degree to which American females may attempt to satisfy their hedonistic impulses toward food (Lennon, Lillethun, & Backland, 1999).

Societal standards of beauty change dramatically over time. Today the body ideal is to be thin. However, this has not always been the case. In the 19th century large women were thought of as the image of beauty. The body ideal in the 1920’s was similar to that of today, which is thin (Brumberg, 1988). However, this look was achieved through the use of clothing styles and fashion. Then in the 1950’s, more voluptuous figures were the ideal. Since that time the ideal body shape for women has become more and more slender (Borzekowski, Robinson, & Killen, 2000).

Unfortunately, for many people the ideal thin body is nearly impossible to achieve. This makes women feel dissatisfied with their appearance. Hence the beginning of a negative body image. Recently, researchers have become concerned with the question of how and to what degree advertising involving thin and attractive women is related with chronic dieting, body dissatisfaction, and eating disorders in American females (Stephens & Hill, 1994). The esteemed attention that female thinness culminates began in the United States back in the 1950’s (Garner, Garfinkel, & Thompson, 1980).

During the last three decades, pageant contestants, fashion models, and famous actresses have grown steadily thinner (Lake, Sweeney, & Wagner, 1999). Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighed only 8 percent less than the average women. Today the average model weighs 23 percent less than the average woman (Dunn, 1992). Surprisingly, as the body standard has continued to thin, the average weight of American women has actually risen. In 1950, mannequins closely resembled the average measurements of a woman.

The average hip measurement of mannequins and women was 34 inches. By 1990, the average hip measurement was 37 inches for an average woman, while the average mannequin hip measured only 31 inches (Lake, Sweeney, & Wagner, 1999). Between the cultural norm and biological reality, suppliers of diet advertisements and products have increased: the average amount of money spent annually on diets and related services in 1990 were 33 billion. The clientele are about 85 percent women, most of who regain the weight lost within two years (Lennon, Lillethun, & Buckland, 1999).

A person’s perception of body image may also be influenced by locus of control. Females with an external locus of control tend to overestimate their body sizes to a greater degree than those who have an internal locus of control (Dejong & Kleck, 1986). A relationship also exists between the attitudinal component of body image and locus of control. For instance, women exhibiting external locus of control experience greater dissatisfaction with the appearance of their bodies than women with internal locus of control.

This finding indicates that women possessing an external locus of control feel powerless to alter the appearance of their bodies. Thus, they experience a distorted perception of their body and generally develop negative feelings. Whereas, woman with an internal locus of control generally believe that the appearance of their bodies is within their control. These feelings of control result in a more positive view of their body (Garner, Garfinkel, & Thompson, 1980 Sweeney, & Wagner, 1999). Prolonged semi-starvation produces many symptoms including- irritability, fatigue, and obsession with food.

Many males report being unhappy with some aspect of their body. Still, concern about body weight appears to be a far more common and more important aspect of body dissatisfaction experienced by females than males (Brumberg, 1988). Survey data indicates that about one-half to three-quarters of females who are normal in weight consider themselves to be too heavy, whereas only about one-quarter of males consider themselves to be overweight. In their survey, Cash, Winstead, and Janda (1986) found that 40 percent of underweight women consider themselves to be normal.

Furthermore, 44 percent of the female participants chose an ideal body shape that was 20 percent underweight (Stuhldreher & Ryan, 1999). The American female’s obsessive quest for the perfect body is both reflected and promoted by advertisements. Promises of body changes bordering the impossible are everywhere in magazines and on television. For example, the advertisements for diet pills promoting the loss of 20 pounds in two weeks. Such advertisements and advice to young women nourish an obsession that carries with it an array of psychological and behavioral problems (Stephens & Hill, 1994).

Whether or not they are too heavy, females who see themselves as overweight show decreased satisfaction with their bodies. Body dissatisfaction in females appears to encourage disturbed eating behaviors. In a survey by Mintz and Betz (1988), 33,000 females aged 15-35 were questioned regarding their attitudes toward their body and their methods of weight control. Only 25 percent of the females were overweight, yet 75 percent believed that they were fat. Of the females surveyed, 18 percent controlled their weight through the use of laxatives or diuretics and 15 percent used forced vomiting.

They also found that the degree of disturbed eating depended strongly on the level of dissatisfaction. One-third of their respondents reported using laxatives or self-induced vomiting at least once a month for weight-control purposes (Lake, Staiger, & Glowinski, 1999). American culture’s intense preoccupation with weight is undoubtedly encouraged by its stereotype of overweight individuals. In the United States, an extremely negative stereotype of overweight people exists.

Larkin and Pines (1979) provided evidence for this stereotype by asking their participants to read and evaluate written descriptions of individuals who differed only in terms of sex and weight. The subjects rated overweight more negatively than when they rated individuals of average weight. These findings support that there is a negative stereotype of overweight individuals (Murray, Touyz, & Beumont, 1996). Overweight individuals are also stereotypically thought of as less intelligent, outgoing, or popular than those who are slimmer. Overweight people are often labeled as lonely and dependent.

Stereotypes are influential, especially when they are the only information that an observer has about a particular person. The American culture often views excessive weight as evidence of a character flaw associated with self-indulgence and laziness. Many individuals view fat as self-induced and controllable (Dejong & Kleck, 1986). Although the overweight stereotype seems to apply equally to both females and males, females are more fearful of being considered fat. This may be attributed to the differences in how males and females view their body.

Researchers have observed that while a boy learns to view his body as a means for achieving power and control in the world, a girl learns that a main function of her body is to attract others (Koff, Rierdan, & Stubbs, 1990). Many children’s advertisements reflect this idea. For instance, Saturday morning cartoon programming include commercials focusing on appearance enhancement, nine out of ten of which are directed at females (Ogletree, Williams, Raffield, Mason, & Fricke, 1990). Many advertisements leave a girl to believe that she must be found thin to be attractive.

Puberty related body changes might be a major blow to a girl’s self esteem. Thus Freedman (1984) observes that puberty transforms a girl into a woman without her consent: it betrays her by making her both more and less feminine at the same time. The hormones that inflate her breasts, also layer her thighs with “unsightly” fat, and cover her legs with “superfluous” hair. The size, contours smells, and texture of an adult woman contradict the soft, sweet, childish aspects of feminine beauty standards emphasized by the media (Norton, Olds, Olive, & Dank, 1996).

In a study of body image, Girgus (1989) illustrates some of the consequences of this intense preoccupation with physical appearance. As young girls grow older and their body changes, they become increasingly dissatisfied with their bodies and consistently desire to be thinner. Boys, on the other hand, welcome the process of puberty, they look at it as though it is a step n the direction of manhood (Borzekowski, Robinson, & Killen, 2000). Women who are very dissatisfied with their bodies may be particularly vulnerable to advertising that portrays female models that exemplify thinness as a necessity for feminine beauty.

Research on the persuasion process has shown that individuals who receive a persuasive message are more often to accept it if they find the communicator of the message to be physically attractive. Advertising researchers have found that an attractive model or product endorser may possibly influence the recipient’s attitude toward the brand of the product and the purchase intentions (Cabellero & Pride, 1984). Research supports that physically attractive individuals tend to be more persuasive in part because others credit them with desirable traits such as sociability, poise, and popularity.

Thus, attractive communicators appear to be better at persuading others because they are attributed with socially desirable traits (Chaiken, 1979). Another important aspect to consider is the societal emphasis placed on a woman to look good not with just body shape, but also with the use of the latest trends in clothing and make-up. Compared with a man, a woman’s physical attractiveness is more likely to affect her social opportunities. In the United States culture, an appearance has important social consequences.

In many cases, attractive people are selected more often as work partners, more often for hiring, and more often for dating partners (Lennon, Lillethun, & Backland, 1999). According to traditional gender type roles, not only is a woman’s value judged by her attractiveness, an active quest for beauty is also expected of women. Hence, women are socialized to be interested in maintaining an attractive physical appearance, a major attribute of which is a thin body (Lavine, Sweeney, & Wagner, 1999).

In this type of environment, it is reasonable to expect women to be concerned with their appearances and to compare themselves to other women on that basis. Advertising, retailing, and entertainment industries produce images of beauty that pressure women to conform to the current ideal body type. Research shows that thinness in women is emphasized in media presentations. Media images, particularly those of high profile fashion models, only reinforce a cultural ideal for women.

Media images are everywhere in daily life and because models in advertisements are highly attractive, comparison with such standards generally result in lowered self-esteem, dissatisfaction with appearance, eating disorders, and or a negative body image (Lennon, Lillethun, & Backland, 1999). The social comparison theory developed by Festinger (1954) explains some of the reasons that females feel compelled to be thin. The social comparison theory explains how and why people evaluate themselves in comparison of others.

Festinger hypothesized that people have a need to objectively compare themselves. However, if the objective standards are unavailable, people will engage in social comparison. This is when they evaluate themselves in comparison with others. Morse and Gergen (1970) conducted a study on body image in relationship to the social comparison theory. They found that when comparing oneself with someone inferior in appearance was associated with higher self-esteem, whereas comparing oneself with someone superior in appearance was associated with lower self-esteem (Monteath & McCabe, 1997).

A traditional gender role perspective portrays the importance for women to be evaluated positively in terms of attractiveness, of which thinness is a major part, than to be evaluated in terms of intelligence (Cohn & Adler, 1992). Numerous studies have since confirmed the objective existence of the thin ideal in the media, and that women are judged a significant extent on their appearance generally and on their weight.

There have also been attempts to investigate empirically how women perceive these social pressures, how they affect women’s behavior, and whether women’s reactions to these pressures put women at a risk of developing an eating disorder. A study conducted by Murray, Touyz, and Beumont (1996) addressed the role of one significant source of social pressure- the mass media, by comparing a group of females with eating disorders with a group of females from a normal community. Specifically, the study examined the extent of subject’s awareness of body ideals.

They were also asked the extent to which and in what ways they felt influenced by the media. Many researchers have suggested that patients with eating disorders may be particularly vulnerable to the effects or influence of the media. Given their intense concern with their appearance, patients with eating disorders are typically influenced by fashion models and the media. They feel that they must live up to these standards. The sample was composed of 50 anorectics and 30 bulimic for the patient sample. The sample of controls consisted of 151 subjects. An interview was used as the major method of the study.

The interview was semi-structured and consisted of primarily free response or open-ended questions. It covered a broad range of issues. As well as specific themes of body shape and weight, issues of attractiveness, health, physical fitness, and exercise were examined (Murray et al. , 1996). The results of the study according to awareness of social pressures found that at least 90 percent of subjects in all groups stated that they thought that society in general has an “ideal” body shape for women. “Slim” was the most frequently offered description from each of the female groups, and it accounted for a majority of all the responses offered.

At least three-quarters of the subjects in all the groups reported that some types of female figures are unacceptable by society. The most frequently reported “socially unacceptable” female figure type were “overweight”. Overall, only 10 percent of the subjects stated that underweight figures were not socially acceptable. Almost all subjects reported that there is a particular image of women portrayed in the media. An average of 92 percent of subjects reported that there is more pressure on women to conform to a particular body shape.

The study also found that 99 percent of subjects started that women are most often judged by their appearance. The most surprising finding on the issue of awareness of social pressure was the very high level of agreement between the two groups- the eating disorder sample and the control sample (Murray et al. , 1996). The results found that when examining the perceived influence of social pressure, the most common response (70 percent) was that the ideals portrayed in magazines had an effect of making them want to look like the ideal. Clearly showing that social pressure concerning weight and body shape had an influence on females.

Significant percentages of the females commented that body shape ideals for women were constantly shown in the media. It is interesting to note that almost one-quarter of the female subjects felt that they were more influenced by social pressures than anything else. One subject commented: I think that I’m easily led by magazine articles, pictures, and diets. Television-not so much now, but earlier on- it portrayed a perfect body image, and everyone had to be like that This study shows that merely being aware that one is influenced by social pressures does not necessarily stop this process from occurring (Murray et al. 996).

Another study examined media use and perceived importance of appearance. Rabek-Wagener and Eickhoff-Shemek (1996) conducted a study investigating the impact of analyzing and reframing fashion advertisements on the attitudes and behaviors of the body images of females. The study investigated how an education intervention that focused on critiquing popular fashion advertisements and creating more inclusive fashion advertisements would affect females’ belief and behaviors about their own body image.

Fashion advertisements have been found to have a negative effect on body image attitudes and behaviors among American women. 70 percent of the teenage women who regularly read fashion magazines consider the magazines an important source of beauty information. The portrayal of “ideal” female bodes in fashion magazines has an influence on body image distortion, which is a feature of disturbed eating pathologies (Lennon, Lillethun, & Backland, 1999). Almost everyone has, at one time or another, wished they could change something about themselves.

For many people, the desire to change involves something about their physical appearance. Body image is something that influences everyone. Body image affects people of all ages, both males and females. However, in the United States females are in particular, more conscious about looking good. For some their happiness and self-worth are largely determined by their body image. Whether or not their body size, body shape, measurements, and so on match society’s ideals determine how satisfied they are with themselves. In many cases, appearance becomes more important to the female than one’s health and well being.

The media has been responsible for promoting a standard of beauty that in most cases is unattainable to many woman and unhealthy to most people. However, due to the effect of poor body image influenced by several factors women fall prey to this cultural ideal of thinness. The impact that the media has on women’s body image is generally poor and often detrimental to their perception of their body image. This poor perception can cause several vulnerabilities in woman including the need to create poor eating pathologies to achieve this ideal.

Female Discrimination in the Labor Force

In the past decades there has been a dramatic increase in the number of women participating in the labor force. This expansion has unfortunately shown how women are still being treated as inferior citizens when comparing their wages and the jobs they are hired for to that of men. Many women in similar occupations as men, and having the same qualifications are only paid a fraction of what their male counterparts are paid. The only reasonable explanation that can be found for this income gap is discrimination.

This unfair treatment shown throughout the handouts illustrate how far people still have to go before equal reatment becomes standard. The increase in female participation started occurring during the 1970’s. The number of women in the civilian labor force jumped from 23 million in the 1960’s to 31 million in the 1970’s. This leap would continue and increase in the 1980’s and on into the 1990’s. The result, in 1995, is a female labor force that numbers over 60 million. This comprised 46 percent of the civilian work force (10).

A reason for the rise in participation by women may be in the way women saw marriage and children. Fewer women saw marriage as a settling down. Women who had children began to return to their jobs. The number of working women that were either married or had children or both increased dramatically. In 1965, women with children under 18 years of age numbered 35. 0 percent of the labor force. This number increased to 47. 4 percent in 1975. In ten years it was 62. 1 percent and finally in 1995 it had grown to 69. 7 percent (7). This showed that the female attitude towards having children and marriage has changed.

According to the handouts, in 1970 women were paid poorly when compared to their male counterparts. The female worker had a median yearly earning of 19, 101 dollars. This was only 59. 4 percent of what the males made. This does start to change in the 1980’s as female earnings rose to 60. 2 percent of men’s. Five years later it had reached 64. 6 percent. By 1990, the female’s earnings had risen to 71. 6 percent of what a man would make (2). Women in the workplace have always been discriminated against. Ever since the first women started to work, they got paid less in the same positions that men held before them.

In 1995, the top level managerial and professional pecialty jobs were held by 7 million men and 5 million women. Those women made a weekly salary of 570 dollars while those men made 833 dollars. This is also true in many other occupations such as sales and technical operations (6). Some would say that this is the case because men are better qualified and more competent in their jobs. Since the year 1981, women have graduated from college in greater numbers than men. Women had 465, 000 graduates while men had 470, 000 in 1980. This gap would be closed and eclipsed by women in 1981.

That year 480, 000 omen earned a bachelors’ degree while men only had 473, 000 (4). The gap in the number of college graduates is increasing in favor of women. So, it would seem that there are more highly qualified women out there than there are men. Then why is it that men are still being paid more? Discrimination seems the only viable answer to the earnings gap. When one looks at the mean income of year-round workers in 1994, men with only some college experience still made more than women with a bachelors’ degree. This gap increases as the level of educational accomplishment rises.

Men with a master’s degree made an average yearly salary of 62, 368 dollars while women with the same degree made only 43, 601 dollars (5). These numbers seem to greatly support the discrimination case. When women first entered the labor force they were hassled by the males because they were traditionally supposed to only work in the house and take care of the family. This is one of the reasons why women are still to this day paid less than men. Male disapproval of female workers is reflected in their low wages and the small number of women in managerial positions.

In 1986 only 23. 7 percent of the female working population held managerial positions. The number increased to only 29. 4 percent in 1995 (8). This stagnation shows that women are still not making inroads into the upper echelon of businesses. Another reason for the earnings gap between men and women may be because of the types of jobs women typically hold. Of the 57 million female workers employed in 1994, a majority worked in technical, sales, and clerical occupations. These jobs are typically low paying jobs that have been traditionally filled by female workers.

However, in the past few years, substantial progress has been made by women in obtaining jobs in the managerial and professional specialties . Even with the increases, women are still employed mostly for technical, sales, and administrative support positions (3). Even with these reasons, women are still being paid less than men in the same jobs. In almost every occupational category, women are paid less than men. In 1995 women in managerial and professional specialties were paid a median weekly earning of 605 dollars where men made 829 dollars.

Even in jobs that are raditionally dominated by females, men make more. In 1995, there were 3 million male workers and 10 million female workers in the clerical and administrative support fields. Yet the median weekly earnings of these full- time workers were much higher on the men’s side. They made on average 489 dollars while the females made only 384 dollars (6). With this in mind, one can see that men are being paid more than women no matter what the job. Since 1970, statistics drawn by the Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census has shown that the earnings gap between men and women has been losing.

In 1970 women made 59. 4 percent of what men made. In 1985, this number increased to 64. 6 percent and in 1990 would become 71. 6 percent. In the same period men have seen a slight drop in the amount of pay they got (2). However, this is in no way a justification for the unfair wage practices that male heads of businesses have been practicing over the last few decades. The female labor force is seen as an inferior working force. When looking at earnings and job distribution, a person could assume that women were in some way not as accomplished or competent as men.

Yet, a more in depth investigation would show that women are just as qualified, if not more so, than men. A principal of equal pay for equal work should be employed by all businesses and would definitely close the income gap. Most people want to correct the unequal treatment of women in the work force. One method that can be used to support equality would be to introduce a federal legislation to guarantee equal pay for equal work if there isn’t one already. The logistical problem with this solution though would be great.

How ould people measure the value of one person’s work to another’s? Who would decide this and how would it be implemented? Much still has to be done before this important issue is laid to rest. People’s attitudes towards women in the work force is slowly starting to change. More opportunities are appearing for women workers. The unequal treatment of working women will take years to change, but change is occurring. This topic will remain until the day people are treated and paid equally based upon their abilities and not anything else.

Women in Africa

In many parts of Africa, there is a large discrepancy in who controlled the resources, access to the economy, individual autonomy and central voice in the government between the men and the women. African men, for the most part, have the largest say in the activities of the country. When issues of concern arise, “men’s issues” usually became the issues of national concern, and those issues pertinent to women go to the back of everyone’s mind. Women are forced to accept the results of men’s actions, and usually nothing gets accomplished that benefits them.

Because women continually were overlooked, they began to ome together and protest. If one examines the following women’s protests and their outcomes: A. E. Afigbo’s The Warrant Chiefs, Sylvia Leith-Ross’ African Women, Jean Allman’s “Rounding Up Spinsters: Gender Chaos and Unmarried Women in Colonial Asante”, and Irene Staunton’s Mothers of the Revolution, several questions arise. What were women seeking and how did this differ from what men wanted? Did women attain their goals, and if not, why not? If women were not successful in getting their concerns at the forefront of national interest, at what, if anything, were they successful?

In several instances women became so angered by their lack of voice, that they were moved to act. In some of these cases, women were relatively successful in organizing and mobilizing. The story of the Aba Riots, which is discussed in both The Warrant Chiefs and African Women, proves this point well. In Nigeria, in the late 1920’s, the Warrant Chiefs wanted to impose a system of annual taxation. What was so displeasing to the people about the tax was that it involved a census, and that the money went towards no specific project.

The concept of counting free people was a foreign one to the Igbo. This notion went contrary to custom, and it was believed to bring about death (Afigbo, 229). The people of the Eastern Provinces felt that because they were being counted, the colonial government was enslaving them or that they were out to destroy them. Also objectionable to these people was the fact that the collected money went towards “development'” (Afigbo, 228), something for which these communities had not asked. The first year of tax collection went surprisingly well; except for a few isolated incidents.

The first year was rather non-violent for two reasons: It needed the shock of the first payment for people to realize what taxation meant in practical terms” and the second reason was the large police presence and prosecutions of opponents to the tax (Afigbo, 233). These two factors allowed for a relatively peaceful tax collection. However, when year two arrived, so did the resistance. In September 1929, Captain John Cook was sent to Bende as the Acting District Officer, where he was disappointed with the male roll counts.

He instructed his Warrant Chiefs to conduct new counts, and “added that the exercise had nothing to do with a tax on women” (Afigbo, 236). The mere mention of “women” and “tax” in the same statement sparked immediate disapproval. Rumors began to fly that the government had ordered a tax on women. Suddenly, the women reacted and agreed to resist by the end of October, 1929. Captain Cook did not want to conduct the count himself, so he sent a mission school teacher to administer the count. When he arrived he asked a woman whom he met outside to go and count “her people'” (Afigbo, 237).

Within hours, women in mass numbers had gathered to discuss the tax, and went from there to the mission teacher’s home to ask them why they were being taxed. The women equated being counting with taxation. “They also sent messengers armed’ with fresh folded palm leaves to women of neighboring villages inviting them to come to Oloko” (Afigbo, 238). The women traveled on foot to ask other women for support, and the women they approached in their villages would go and rally their peers and bring the idea to their attention. From there, the women would decide if they would join the movement and what action, if any, would be taken.

The mere fact that women were able to organize themselves to act in such a short time was a definite success. Thousands of women from the Eastern Provinces participated in different activities; some of which were organized, and some of which were not. The women disturbed court proceedings repeatedly, decapped chiefs, looted court officials’ homes, burned and vandalized court houses, even looted European factories and shops. Their actions definitely attracted the immediate attention of the colonial government. Sylvia Leith-Ross describes how well the women were organized.

In some of the interviews that she conducted with participants and viewers, people were amazed at the womens’ solidarity. This text relays how the men in these areas had no large part in the Aba Riots. It was said that the men basically “stood completely on one side, passive, if consenting parties, to the extraordinary behavior of their wives” (Leith-Ross, 30). This kind of activity was unthinkable to men and women in other regions, but Igbo women were determined not to be taxed. From one portion of the text, it almost sounds as if the men might have taken care of the children while the women were out protesting.

Some women who were bystanders and were forced to participate in the riots, commented n how they saw the women marching towards them and “they had no children with them” (Leith-Ross, 32). This implies that the men were the caretakers of the children during this period, because all of the women were involved in the riots. There was nowhere else to leave the children. It is amazing to see the opposite roles that men and women took in the Aba Riots. However, the women did have some problems staying focused. There was an incident when two of the women were hit by a medical vehicle, which sparked the other women to participate in aimless looting.

The women became so enraged at the doctor who hit the two women, that they followed him into a factory and began looting the European factories and shops, which was not the original goal of the riots. Another fault of the women was their inability to gain widespread support across the region. The method of carrying the palm leaf by foot to neighboring regions inefficient. These women could not reach remote or distant compounds. Any attempts that were made to get support from other women were quickly thwarted by government officials, because they had the luxury of transportation.

The lack of modern transportation was no fault of the women, but it caused a failure in their efforts. The womens’ reasons for revolting were purely economic. Women were concerned first and foremost with their family’s subsistence. The men had already been taxed the year before, so family resources were low. In addition the economy was in a deep depression, so money that was being made had far less value than before. Therefore, the women knew that they could not afford to be taxed, and still have enough money to support their families. Their concerns were local and practical.

The men were concerned with their autonomy being threatened by the colonial officials. True the men knew that they would be in a worse economic situation if their wives were taxed too, but they were more concerned with being taken over by the government. The fear of enslavement was more threatening than poverty. Because they did have different aims, it is truly amazing that the women took the lead and made their voices heard. As a result of the women’s rioting significant changes came about in colonial Nigeria. The riot “caused a change of policy as regards the basis of ocal administration in the Eastern Provinces” (Afigbo, 247).

The people also witnessed an intense investigation into their political system, which had never been done to that extent before. Essentially, “the policy and system of local rule through chiefs came to an end with the women’s Riot” (Afigbo, 248). There was another historic example of women’s successful attempts to protest which is seen in “Rounding Up Spinsters: Gender Chaos and Unmarried Women in Colonial Asante. ” In this instance, women were again very instrumental in changing a situation which was disagreeable to them. They also went about their protests in an organized fashion.

The occurrences of rounding up young unmarried women took place in Ghana during the late 1920’s and the early 1930’s. During this time there was a high rate of venereal disease spreading across the region, and the Asante Chiefs were under the impression that all unmarried girls over the age of fifteen were loose and needed to find a husband. If a girl or woman was caught without a husband, she was sent to jail. The Chiefs argued that they were trying to prevent prostitution by forcing young girls to be married as their justification.

The Asante chiefs gave several reasons why they wanted to round up the young girls, but probably the largest reason for the crisis was the different definitions of marriage held by men and women. Men viewed marriage as “a fact, a state of being, recognized by the court as non-negotiable” (Allman, 201). Furthermore, the men believed that once money was exchanged from the groom to the bride’s family, marriage began, and the man had exclusive sexual rights over his wife. Many women, on the other hand believed marriage to be something very different. One woman in particular,

Afuah Buo, thought marriage was “a process. . . tenuous and fluid in nature'” (Allman, 201). It was obvious from the women’s responses to their arrests, that they also felt that marriage was something that could be easily moved in and out of; which was equated to prostitution by the chiefs. Therefore, because “chiefs and elders were articulating a new definition of marriage that upheld the husband’s exclusive sexual rights over his wife, while minimizing or discounting completely the husband’s reciprocal obligations toward that wife”, women stopped marrying (Allman, 201-201).

It is not true hat all of the women had the same reaction toward the changing definition of marriage. Some women purposefully chose not to marry because they feared getting a venereal disease, other women could support themselves better without a husband, and others were simply unlucky. The women outnumbered the men during this time, so some women had no choice but to be single. Because the women stopped marrying, the colonial chiefs responded the way they did, arresting the women. However, the women had made arrangements to get around the government’s plans.

When women were arrested, they were all aken to jail, where they had to wait for a man to come to get them. The women had to mention the name of a man that they intended to marry and have him come and pay a fee, in order to be released. Most women had arranged to have male relatives or friends to come and profess their plans to marry her. After the fee was paid, the girl was free to go. Then she would go back to supporting herself by farming or other means. . Women were so disgusted by the fact that men were no longer fulfilling their basic marital duty, providing the bare necessities for their wives.

Men ere no longer doing so because of the order made by Effiduasihene, which “undercut one of the fundamental obligations of marriage, that a husband must maintain his wife” (Allman, 205). As a result women began “assert[ing] a great deal of autonomy and independence – much of it linked to the establishment of cocoa farms or to engagement in foodstuffs trade” (Allman, 204). Women during this period were extremely successful at avoiding marriage, if they chose to do so, by supporting themselves and each other. They outsmarted the system in mass numbers and many went into business for themselves.

Women who were unhappy with their present situation either divorced their husbands, went to court to challenge “matrilineal inheritance” (Allman, 210), or avoided marriage altogether. G. Clark’s work on Kumasi market women shows that this was the “period during which women moved in dramatic numbers into trading, especially in previously male-dominated commodities” (Allman, 209). Although it is not definite, it is suggested that these women better survived the severe economic decline of the 1930’s than many of their male peers. In this account it is easy to see the difference in what men and women anted. Men wanted total control of the women.

The colonial chiefs felt that they were loosing authority over the women, so they wanted to tighten their reigns. Fond memories were recounted by the chiefs of “the good old days. . . [when] no girl or woman dared to resist when given away in marriage to a suitor by her parents and relatives as is the case now'” (Allman, 199-200). Women’s uncontrollability had grown too large for the men not to act. The chiefs felt as if their respect by women and the colonial government would diminish if they could not control their own women. The Asante women fought back because they wanted exclusive authority of their productive and reproductive rights.

Women were angry, rightfully so, at the fact that men no longer provided them “chop money. ” Also, when slavery was abolished, men began pawning their wives and exploiting them for use on their cocoa farms. The women became so enraged at their subjugation by men, that they reacted, successfully. Allman affirms that these women were successful when she says that “this particular form of coercion was unsuccessful in even minimally facilitating the exploitation of women’s unpaid labour and one important reason or its failure was that the capture of unmarried women did not get the backing of the colonial government” (Allman, 212).

In this particular instance, women were able to “shape actively the emerging colonial world” (Allman, 213). The only thing that the chiefs succeeded in doing was making the arrest of women a profit-making venture; because every time a woman was released from jail, she or the man had to pay the fine. Unfortunately, this was not their goal, so they were ultimately unsuccessful. Women’s productive and reproductive rights remained under their control.

Women in early literature

Women play different roles in early literature. In The Illiad, Gilgamesh, and Oedipus Rex, their roles determine the different amounts of power they possess and how they use the powers to influence the events that occur. In The Illiad, the women throughout the story are treated as prizes. Homer expresses this when he writes: I refused that glittering price for the young girl Chryseis. Indeed, I prefer her by far, the girl herself, I want her mine in my own house!

I rank her higher that Clytemnestra, my wedded wife- she’s nothing less in build or breeding, in mind or works of hand. But I am willing to give her back, even so, if that is best or all(1. 131-136). There is no strong bond of love towards Agamemnon’s wife. He is very easily willing to trade in his wife for another woman. Second, in Gilgamesh, women are viewed as a powerful temptation who is able to easily control any man. The trapper’s father speaks:

Go to Uruk, find Gilgamesh, extol the strength of this wild man. Ask him to give you a harlot, a wanton from the temple of love; return with her, and let her woman’s power this man (3. 14). This shows how the women were used as a powerful distraction to seduce a man and take his mind off of what he should be doing. Finally, In Oedipus Rex, the role of women shows the power of royalty and persuasion. Jocasta, Oedipus’ wife and mother, speaks: And as for this marriage with your mother have no fear.

Many a man before, you in your dreams, has shared his mother’s bed. Take such things for shadows, nothing at all- Live, Oedipus, as if there is no tomorrow! (1073-1079). Here shows the power of persuasion that Jocasta has over Oedipus. The women in these stories show power and use this to their advantage. They greatly influence the events that happen in these stories. These women range from royalty to harlots, however they all have the same influences over the men that they come in contact with.

Evelina and The Subordination of Women

Throughout history, women have been treated as a subordinate. There have been different standards for education, at womens disadvantage, different social standards, different responsibilities for men and women, different expectations, different standards for goodness, different criteria for virtuousness. We see examples of these injustices throughout the text of Evelina as well as in the excerpts in the course packet.

Eighteenth-century English jurist Sir William Blackstone declared in a magisterial passage, By marriage, the very being or legal existence of a woman is suspended, or at least it is incorporated or consolidated into that of the husband, under whose wing, protection, and cover she performs everything, and she is therefore called in our law a femme-covert (The Nineteenth Century Intro. Pg. 171). It was not until 1848, in the married womans property act of New York that women gained some rights regarding material possessions.

Education (differences in what men and women are taught) A liberal education as described in Defoes Essay on Projects, 1697, consisted mainly of embroidery, modeling in wax, painting on glass, and musical accomplishments, although some girls schools did put on plays and teach cooking skills. Most girls were trained for domestic service at the charity schools for women, and there was no form of formal higher education, such as college, available for women. Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, Yale and Princeton were all solely mens institutions.

Also, while women were taught mainly the native tongue and perhaps French, men had more extensive opportunities to learn other such Roman and Greek languages. (An essay in Defense of the Female Sex, 1696) Also, if a woman did obtain any extensive knowledge other than the normal trades taught at school, she was urged to keep quiet about it lest men be jealous of her intelligence. This is evident in Evelina on page 361 where Mrs. Selwyn is criticized for being an intelligent and logical woman in a time where women were supposed to be quieter and not engage in a match of wits with someone, especially a man, as we see Mrs. Selwyn challenging the intelligence of Mr. Lovel.

These are all reasons why women authors during this time chose a pseudonym when publishing their books for fear that they would be ridiculed and their work not accepted for the mere fact of gender. This is why Burneys dedication and her note to the critics is written as almost an apology for even attempting to write a novel being an inferior, or subordinate female. Not to mention the added pressure that the novel, as a work of writing, had a low status in the eighteenth century as opposed to poetry.

Sarah M. Grimke concurs that women have been poorly educated and in subjects of domestic importance with little pains taken to cultivate their minds (p. 44) and therefore believe that marriage is a kind of preferment; and that to be able to keep their husbands house, and render his situation comfortable, is the end of their being. Women had not been taught to think more of themselves than a mere housewife as their ultimate achievement in life. Melodramatic females: capriciousness, fainting, overreacting to situations, embellishment, this is all to be expected from females.

Lady Louisa, Orvilles sister, is the most dramatic female character besides Madame Duval who is passionate and argumentative. Lady Louisa is a kind of 18th century Scarlet OHara. Louisa is always under some sort of emotional distress that keeps her from meals or makes her feel faint. Evelina is not as dramatic, but appropriately stressed at the right moment, such as the pistol scene. She had enough control to handle herself in the situation without hyperventilating, yet she was scared and acted accordingly.

Mannerism in social settings (women were approached and spoken to but it was not considered proper for them to initiate conversation) Pg. 268 Here we see again, a strong opinioned woman, Mrs. Selwyn is looked down upon because this quality of outspokenness and her cleverness is considered masculine. Always asks Mr. Villars for guidanceEvelina can not handle any social situation because she does not think for herself because women were not taught to do so. Pg. 306

Evelina is distraught at her behavior and wishes for some guidance from Mr. Villars because she was never taught to think and act for herself. I am new to the world, and unused to acting for myself, –my intentions are never willfully blameful, yet I err perpetually! Sexual Piety (women were supposed to be virtuousdiscuss the origin of the word virtueand keep themselves out of situations where their sexual morals appeared to be questionable) Virtue- derived from the latin vir meaning manliness. Virtue has nothing to do with a woman, and with respect to man, virtue is the warlike quality that was prized by ancient human civilization.

A woman may have all the nobler qualities of her sexbe a pattern of generosity, inspiration, religious emotionality, and if she is not virtuous, or having never been approached inappropriately in a sexual manner she will never be considered virtuous. In essence, a woman may have a shining resume of wonderful disposition and wonderful character, but if her sexual reputation is tarnished, she will not be respected in the same way than if she were pure. (Woodhull and Claflin p. 146) Reputation-p. 4 nothing is so delicate as the reputation of a woman: it is, at once, the most beautiful and most brittle of all human things. (Mr. Villars)

Woodhull and Claflin believe that women must vindicate their right to an absolute freedom in their own conduct (p 147) Also describe the responsibilities and proper actions of a well-bred lady of this time (must be charitable, good tempered, pleasant, dressed according to social status etc. , have pity and show mercy toward those who are less fortunate, be respectful to her superiors-men, people of higher social status, and elders, etc.

Mr. Villars describes features a woman should have: gentleness and modesty, yet fortitude and firmness, when occasion demands them (he describes these as mens features that women should call upon when necessary). Pg. 386 reverse not the law of nature where Evelinas father is feeling unworthy to be in her presence because of all the hardships and heartache she has endured and he is kneeling to her. Evelina feels uncomfortable because she has been expected to kneel down before her elders all her life and she is embarrassed and does not know how to handle this situation.

Where Evelina is pleading with her father to see her and she here is the picture of what a good mannered woman should be- humble and gracious. Image as applies to association with people of questionable character: Although they are her family, Evelina is completely embarrassed to be seen with the Branghtons and Madame Duval because they are such loud, rude, unrefined characters. They are not of the same social standing as her and they know even less than Evelina how to behave in social situations with grace and dignity. They are lower-class people and this is because they are of the working class.

Evelina is always in the company of people who come from old money and do not work for a salary. Pg. 233 where Evelina is separated from her party at the fireworks event and asks two ladies to protect her and they turn out to be prostitutes and Lord Orville sees her with these women and Evelina is completely embarrassed at her predicament because it makes her look bad. Evelinas good reputation was at stake when she was in public with the Branghtons, with Madame Duval, in the alley with Clement, and on the arms of those two prostitutes.

The evolution of men and women

The evolution of men and women, how the roles in society have changed. Over the last five hundred or so years women have come a long way. We have seen in the Sixteen hundreds arranged marriages where the woman had no say in the union, and the relationships were is based on money or prestige (Shakespeare 1668). Presently we see love is the driving factor. In 1997 a study was done to say forty-six percent of marriages end in divorce (Harvey1996). In the Sixteen hundreds there were no studies done, but far fewer marriages ended in divorce. That word was not even in the vocabulary. What is the reason for this?

We have more choices, more money, and more technology. Communication between men and women is the heart of the issue. We do have more choices and that makes it much easier to give up on the one element in our society that has not change over thousands of years. We can look back to the beginning of time and see how Adam and Eve struggled to communicate. We see this illustrated with the fall of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3. 1-20). Roles have changed, but communication between the sexes has not. William Shakespeare had such a real grasp on the relationships between men and women.

His timeless work has shown us that the past relationships between the sexes involved many communication issues no matter what the roles were. In Much Ado About Nothing he contrasts many complicated relationships. He includes men and women in love and men and women in family. The common element is the confusing conversations that have many meanings (pp. 39-43). We see very deceiving tactics used to confirm relationships and form unions (pp. 349-359). As the centuries pass do we see the same approach to relationships between the sexes?

The times may have changed but the rules have not. Looking at the Eighteen hundreds through Virginia Wolfs eyes gives us a unique view into the changing minds of women and their role in society. She wrote of women who were more involved in society and decision making. This is a gradual, but necessary, realization for society. She changed the thoughts of women but not their outward communication with men. Many thoughts of the female characters show a more modern thought process, but they are not able to say what they are thinking or feeling.

This truly depicts a very oppressed gender. It was said that Virginia Wolf changed the literature of the future. Did Virginia Wolf open a small window into how women think, or did she blow a hole in the small-minded perception of how men think women think. She has many thought provoking verses in her text to show how times were changing and so were women (p. 63). Not to mention, men were trying to figure out women (p. 86). Time moves forward a hundred years or so. What changes do we see? Is there a more independent relationship between men and women?

The development of the roles just adds to the misunderstandings and the torment of the opposite sexes. We see how a more independent outspoken woman gets into a more complicated circle of mis-communications and relationship problems. We once again see the inability of man and women to make themselves understood. The female character that is the lover to the English patient has picked a complex life and role, but with all of her independence she still manages to torture herself, her husband, and her lover (Ondaatjes 1992).

Does this show a better understanding of the opposite sex or just how much more complicated life becomes with the changing of the times? Looking at the last 100 years everything has become more complex. We have gone from horse and buggy to automobiles and space shuttles. We have seen women go from homemakers to rocket scientist. We have seen technology change how we treat diseases and how we eliminate our enemies. We have more knowledge in an instant than we could have read in a decade.

With all of this fascinating and unbelievable information there are still thousands and thousands of books being published and purchased that express one thing: How to communicated with the opposite sex. In the present, we see one of the most popular self-help seminars turn into a million-dollar industry. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus started out to be a relationship guide of understanding by Dr. John Gray, but became a turning point for the greater understanding between the sexes. He has taken relationship issues to the mountaintop. He shows us how very ifferent men and women are.

No matter what role women and men play in society, we all speak a different language. Roles will always change, but the only way for communication to evolve is to understand the language being spoken by the opposite sex (Gray 1992). There are daily changes in society and technology. These changes only affect the outside roles for men and women. There will always be room for change. We will always find ourselves in a society with new thoughts and ideas. As we grow as a society, the issues blocking effective communication will get bigger and more complicated.

Our only defense is to try hard, working each and everyday to embrace our differences, while trying to learn the others language. We can learn from literature. Our history is the key to growth. Communication is the ever changing and never changing part of our past and future. We will never find men and women thinking the same. Who we are will always be different, and for that reason alone we will always have to learn how to deal with each other. How dull would life be if we knew exactly how to handle the opposite sex?

A Muslim Woman Essay

Mernissi makes the claim that “Any man who believes that a Muslim woman who fights for her dignity and right to citizenship excludes herself necessarily from the umma… is a man who misunderstands his own religious heritage, his own cultural identity” (Mernissi viii). She goes about supporting this claim by delving into the very detailed documentation of Islam history. She attributes misogyny in the past and present Muslim culture to the male elite.

She gives many examples of how Muhammad and Islam have only supported equality of the sexes and also how the male elite used false hadiths and very narrow interpretations of the Koran and true hadiths for their purpose. She begins by describing how the male elite started running things right from the onset of Muhammad’s death. When a successor to Muhammad was picked, it did not involve the people of the community at all or any women. It was done by a small group of followers which were very close to the prophet, a sort of elite group.

This sort of leadership in Islam continued in the same manner as only the elite were involved. This helped preserve what they thought was essential and according to the interests of the participants the essentials varied. The fabrication of false hadiths by the male elite was probably the first and most popular way for them to protect their interests. The people governing knew how important it was to “seek legitimacy in and through the sacred text” (Mernissi 43). Mernissi talks about al-Bukhari, who methodically and systematically collected and verified true Hadiths.

He was exiled from his native town because he refused to bring the knowledge of the Hadith to the governor of the town and have it corrupted. He knew that the invitation from the governor was made only for him to probably fabricate some Hadith which would benefit the politicians. Many did not follow al-Bukhari’s example but allowed themselves to be bought for a price and fabricated Hadiths for the politicians. Even Companions of the Prophet fabricated Hadiths in order to promote their own personal views.

In the case of the Hadith which states, “Those who entrust their affairs to a woman will never know prosperity”, Mernissi argues that this Hadith was never uttered by the Prophet and probably made up for personal reasons of Abu Bakra, who claimed to have heard the Hadith spoken by the Prophet. First, she finds out from research that he must have had an excellent memory because he recalled the Hadith about twenty-five years after the Prophet supposedly uttered it. At the same time “the caliph ‘Ali retook Basra after having defeated ‘A’isha at the Battle of the Camel” (Mernissi 50).

This leads Mernissi to wonder if Abu Bakra made up the Hadith to give reason for not supporting ‘A’isha in the fitna. Mernissi also attacks the morals of Abu Bakra and finds out that he had been found to give false testimony in a case to the caliph ‘Umar. So with the improbable case of extraordinary memory and lying in other areas of his life, Mernissi gives reason to reject Abu Bakra as a reliable source of Hadith. Mernissi discounts another Hadith made by Abu Hurayra, “The Prophet said that the dog, the ass, and woman interrupt prayer if they pass in front of the believer, interposing themselves between him and quibla.

First, Mernissi finds that when ‘A’isha heard of this Hadith, she rebuked it by saying that she had seen the Prophet saying his prayers while she was lying on the bed between him and quibla (Mernissi 70). History also gives Abu Hurayra a very anti-feminine personality. He had a nickname given to him by the Prophet which he disliked because of the trace of femininity in it. This lead him to say “.. the male is better than the female” (Mernissi 71). He is also an object of distrust because even al-Bukhari stated that “people said that Abu Hurayra recounts too many Hadith” (Mernissi 79).

He even confessed and retracted his words completely about a Hadith concerning sex and fasting. Mernissi again uses ‘A’isha’s refutings and the tainted personality of the individual claiming the Hadith to reject it. I agree and like the way Mernissi goes about the finding wrong the Hadiths that put women down. It is pretty hard to argue with her method and its validity. She finds the background to the person, time, and events that the Hadith came from and sheds new light on it.

Also by exposing to the public ‘A’isha’s responses to the Hadiths helps her drive her point home. No wonder ‘A’isha is hidden in history by the male elite. ‘A’isha was closer to the Prophet and knew him better than anybody else, so her testimony is very important in Mernissi’s argument. One area I was a little confused by and wasn’t really sure in Mernissi’s point was chapter five. I can’t understand how she ties together the hijab, or veil, as a division of public life and private life to the veiling of women in Muslim society.

On the contrary, I really liked the way she pointed out in chapter seven how Muhammad’s personal life and the example he gave went totally against the mistreatment of women and male superiority. She makes a good point in how men were caught by surprise when it came to the dimension of equality of sexes that Islam taught. She makes a good point when she states, “And, unlike slavery that affected only the wealthy, the change in status of women affected them all. No man was spared, whatever his class or means” (Mernissi 126).

Islam was also asking a change in the whole structure of the economy of capture. Men could no longer take women as booty and treat them just as a possession. Also women would also have the right to ride or march into war with the men and “cause a huge reduction in the wealth a man could gain by raids.. ” (Mernissi 132). The right of women to refuse sex or certain positions unsettled many men also. Rights were also given to a widow to reject a marriage with a man she did not want to marry. The two preceding rights are pointed by Mernissi to be very distressing and upsetting to the men.

Islam was not only giving rights to women but changing the whole structure of customs in the society. This was something the men could not take and refused to obey. So, “.. confronted with laws they did not like, they tried to distort them through the device of interpretation. They tried to manipulate the texts in such a way as to maintain their privileges” (Mernissi 125). An example of this is given by Mernissi on page 126, she states the verse “Give not unto the foolish your wealth, which Allah hath given you to maintain” (Mernissi 126).

The men of that time interpreted that verse as instructing them not to give any wealth to women, the foolish. This is quite obvious narrow interpretation of the text, which meant not to give your to any foolish person no matter the sex. Mernissi goes on to give other texts which are harder to reject the sexist attitude in them, but goes on to give the example of Muhammad and his life as the ideal Islam or Muslim way of life. She wraps up the book by saying that the Muslim man could not accept the change in the present time back in Muhammad’s time and has not been able since then to let go of the past.

She also started the book by describing how the Muslim nation has always fled to the past to escape change in the present and future. I agree with Mernissi when she says, “The image of ‘his women’ will change when he feels the pressing need to root his future in a liberating memory” (Mernissi 195). Until Muslim men let go of their past, things will never change, unfortunately, for the women in that society. Mernissi got her point across really well in this book in a way which is simple for anybody to understand and I would like to know how the male elite handled and responded to this book when it came out.

Women And Writing

Since the beginning of times, human beings have found various ways to express themselves and more specifically how to declare their feelings and emotions. We all know that art (in a general term) is supposed to be the tool used for expression. People from different communities, cultural backgrounds, and religions, have been appealed to manifest and share their uniqueness through art. Art, whether it was music, painting, sculpting or writing has been highly censured through time because of its contents of truth.

The majorities of a society did not allow minorities to fully express themselves with fear of manifestations and revolts . Women, as a minority have fought to tell the truth. In order to understand better the meaning of Womens writing, we will first analyze the factors that pushed women to write, then we will go over the obstacles that women encountered and finally, we will discuss what the writers wanted to achieve through their writing. Factors that pushed women to write “There are writers who need to make sense of the world they live”(Dorothy Allison, Trash, p. 9. )

This sentence shows that the writer needed to write to see and understand herself through writing. This young white woman was living a life filled with alcohol and drug addiction, she tried to scape that trap by fooling herself and by rebuilding a total new idealistic image of her person (working as a social worker. ) However, throughout her progression, she has been writing everything about herself on a yellow pad, whatever she would do, wherever she would be, those yellow pads were there, as a representation of her truth.

She could fool herself, but not her yellow pads, her truth was written there. Allison as many women in the world has been trying to hide her suffering. Constantly fooling herself, she still had to yell out her truth, this, by spreading her pain on paper. However, the papers were taboo, ust like someone would litter an embarrassing amount of trash. Allison had to take out her story and anger, even if they were full of shame. She could not live without writing, it was a matter of survival. This urge to write was shared by some other women writers.

The search of an understanding was the factor that pushed Bell Hooks to write “I began to feel uncertain, displaced, estranged even, this was the condition of my spirit when I decided to be a writer, to seek for that light in words” (Bell Hooks, remembered ruptures, p. 15) after that she declares “Searching for a space were writing could be understood, I sked for a diary” (Bell Hooks, remembered ruptures, p. 15. ) Writing was a way to understand herself a little like Dorothy Allison, a way to look at ones own person in a global manner, from a different angle, in other words, a way to be objective about oneself situation.

Not only do women write for themselves with the thought that nobody can understand them, but they also write for others, a way to make a declaration to the world, a way to change the truth by saying it . In her writings, Sandra Cisneros implies that she wants to change the world. In her book “The House on Mango Street” she declares that he wants to leave the unpleasant neighborhood of Mango street, however, she says that she will come back, probably not physically, but at least trough her book.

Coming back might mean that she wanted to do something to change Mango street, and that is trough her book, thats why she wrote it. Edwidge Danticat tells us how her desire to write was consuming her in a society where Womens writing was absolutely forbidden, something to do in the corner. Danticat learned how her female ancestors have been expressing themselves through nothing else than cooking, hair braiding or even carving potatoes. But she wanted to erpetuate the creativity of her ancestors, she just needed to do it through writing.

It was their whispers that pushed you, their murmurs over pots sizzling in your head. A thousand women urging you to speak through the blunt tip of your pencil. ” (Edwidge Danticat, Kirk? Krak! p. 8. ) By writing, she would have passed along a culture, just like braiding or cooking. However, her writing was threatening “the natural functioning” of a patriarchal society. Whether women write for themselves or for others, the main matter is that they write for an urge of understanding. There is a clear desire of comprehension.

Obstacles that women encountered In her paper “A Room of Ones Own”, Virginia Woolf wonders ironically “why women are poor? ” She then tells us that it would have been near to impossible for a woman of that era to be wealthy. Women couldnt do anything else than have children and be submissive housewives, “Making a fortune and bearing thirteen children-no human being could stand it” (Virginia Woolf, A Room of Ones Own, p. 22. ) And even if women had been able to earn money, they could not keep it until 1870.

Unable to keep her money, a woman gives up the idea to earn it, and so , she confirms her idea that her natural place is in the house. This last idea was (and still is) adopted in most of the places of the world. Most of the worlds societies have defined women as a housekeeper. But how could this endanger their ability to write? It could be said that if women are “doomed” to stay home taking care of the house, their business is nowhere else. Men do not want to be invaded in the workplace, so women stay home.

Also staying home could just as well include writing at home. But we all know that only about sixty years ago, reading was profaned for women. A women literate was the devil incarnated. This was probably set that way because we now that reading and writing both develop the ability to think in a critical manner, and again, men did not want to have rivals in that sector. Maybe Woolf tried to warn us in her paper since she declared that women need a room of their own to be able to write. To be able to write, women needed a material and financial independence.

Apparently, the major obstacle to womens writing was the presence, influence and domination of men. It Is in fact hard to be a rebel in an already very set and rooted culture. In Danticats society, writing was forbidden, something to do in the corner when you could have been learning to ook. She describes how writing was considered a curse, by giving us the explanations her mother gave her. She was a prisoner of her education and culture. Again, it was the same concept of societys manipulation and conditioning.

If Danticat had had tried to rebel, she would have probably been seen as the devil “you and your writing demons in your head” (Edwidge Danticat, Kirk? Krak! p. 10. ), therefore, she would have been left on the side and set as an example to any other young girl that would have had her ideas. There was always a fear to disappoint family, community and society by not tanding up to her “good old culture” “You remember her silence when you laid your first notebook in front of her, her disappointment when you told her that words would be your lifes work, like the kitchen had always been hers. . ” (Edwidge Danticat, Kirk? Krak! p. 7. )

The society Danticat was living in was very intolerant, and there is to believe that the sanctions were very strict for leaving the “natural destiny of a woman”, the cultural imperialism she was living in was totalitarian. What the writers wanted to achieve by writing A woman who writes may want to achieve ifferent tasks. As we have seen, a woman may have the urge to write, Bell Hooks for instance, because she needs to understand herself since she doesnt find understanding among her surrounding.

She could also need to write like Allison Dorothy, because she needs to face herself and she has so much inside her that can not been taken out unless it is trough writing. A woman may need to write to reveal a truth to the world the way Sandra Cisneros did it. Also, just like Edwidge Dandicat, a woman may want to give the voice to kitchen poets in order to fight cultural imperialism.