The distinction between men and women in our society is very clear. Symbolic interactionism emphasizes the idea of these gender differences being reinforced through institutions. When focusing on Gilman’s biography one can understand the way she feels towards gender inequalities. When a girl grows up she becomes so accostumed to the way others view her. The girl then becomes a women and she wants to be loved by a man. She devotes all her time and love to this man she is determined to be with for the rest of her life. Sadly, even though they have a child he chooses to do something so cruel to her, so she decides to divorce him. In Gilman’s era that woman is then stigmatized for life. She is viewed as an irresponsible woman because she “gave away her child.” Interestingly, this is what happened to Gilman. After she divorced her husband she was criticized by many because she had a child with him. All around the world women are constantly getting blamed for the things that her husband does to her. Institutions have definitely manipulated societies views about women. I completely agree with Gilman in that socialization is dynamic and subject to change. Societal views are tangible but permanent. Women are currently stigmatized, and this is not something that can easily be changed. In reading Gilman’s perspective I couldn’t help but think about Marx. He spoke a lot about capitalisim being negative to society. Interestingly, capitalism has brought exploitation of women to parts of the world that were untouched by such ideas. Women were used for pleasure and for beauty. Reading Gilman’s life story make us all have class consciousness about what is really going onin the world.
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- Nicole Hala