Gilman was a pioneer in the field of speaking on gender inequalities especially for those of women. Considered a humanist, Gilman brought about the argument that the role of women in society was archaic and dated. No longer in a prehistoric setting, Gilman argued that gender changes were necessary for women to become autonomous.
In the video we saw in class about women’s roles in society, I found it ironic that women are completely divided when it comes to what kind of agenda they wish to push. For instance, some feminists push for independent work and equal treatment of men, but in the video, we clearly see that the goal of some working women are to live a lavish life in which they don’t have to work. This paradox of wanting autonomy but at the same time yielding it creates an issue with gender inequality because of its split agendas.
I feel in order to complete their individual agendas, there should be two parties of feminists that fight for different reasons. If one party represented the upper class feminists and one party represented new wave feminists, both parties could benefit from a united in their efforts to fight for their agendas.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman had some very thought provoking ideas and perspectives on gender inequality for her era that are still relevant today. I found her ideas on the division of labor interesting. She stated that women’s economic status is based on the men in their life and that their labor does not equate to their wages. The higher the status of a woman, the less she works. The lower the status of a woman, she more she works. The traditional patriarchal family structure ultimately exploits women. Our class discussion on how men and women are socialized differently on how we take up space led me to notice over the past week examples of this in my daily life. A few days ago when I was at a coffee shop, I noticed three men taking up a whole table that could seat six. They were all spread out, having a seat in between each of them. I immediately thought about our class discussion and how if it were girls, they would all be sitting close together. In addition, my roommate sent me this video the other day of switched gender roles, where women publicly made sexist comments to men in London. It admittedly is humorous, but has a deeper meaning, showing how women are over sexualized and disrespected on a daily basis. All the comments made by the woman in the video are real life examples taken from The Everyday Sexism Project. Another relevant article I found was on a matriarchal society known as the “Kingdom of Women” in China. In this society, they have no words for “husband” or “father” and the women are in charge, making every big financial decision, having ownership of the land, and choose as many or as few sexual partners as they want throughout their life.
MATRIARCHY ARTICLE: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/dec/19/china-mosuo-tribe-matriarchy
Lily Myers, performing for Wesleyan University at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational. This poem was awarded Best Love Poem at the tournament. What does it suggest about “differential socialization” and “gender norms”? Here’s the text.
Gillman’s gender idea of inequality is still somewhat present in today’s society. Society treats women as if their role is to be a mother, a wife, and to be taking care of the house and everything involved in it, while the men go out to work and bring food to the table. In the work place women get paid less than men for the same job, but why is that? You would think that a person’s education, experience and knowledge of the subject will have a greater impact in the job instead of gender. As we discussed in class women today have taken the role of a man in order to make it in the work place. Some have decided that in order to make it far in in their career, they have to decline being a mother and a wife, which is not true, but that is how society sees it. My mother has a degree in computer engineer, and when she went to get her first job in the field after graduation in our Country Dominican Republic, they denied her and their explanation was that even if she was qualified they weren’t going to hire her because as a women she was going to require a lot of permission due to her cycle, and her child getting sick. When she told me that all i thought was that they couldn’t have been more ignorant to give such an idiotic excuse. Even though things have changed a little in today’s society since more women are doing a man’s job and more men are staying home, there is still that gender inequality when it comes to getting out there and finding jobs.
I found this quote to be interesting and true. “We’ve begun to raise our daughters more like sons..but few have the courage to raise ours sons more like our daughters” Gloria Steinem.
This short story by Gilman clearly depicts an example of the oppression women faced at the time. The way women were essentially ‘locked up’ and told to do nothing was ridiculously an irrational remedy and could obviously only bring negative outcomes. This type of depression wasn’t understood then, which also points out how women were seen as inferior and quick to be rendered crazy if they deviated at all from their gender role. It was also seen as another weakness that women possessed. This illustrates clearly the chains and restraints women felt at the time. It is a horror to think what women in those situations had to experience. Even as one reads the story, initial thoughts of “this woman is crazy!” can pop up but then the need to look deeper happens. This is what men in society saw them; they used it a tool to make them feel inferior and remind them of how “weak” they were. Society can brainwash us on how to fit our gender roles so to be able to see outside the box is always an incredible attribute. I believe Gilman – though her views on gender inequalities only applied to a certain population of women – has positively contributed greatly to where we are today.
Activist and journalist, Rosa Clemente, responds to Rick Ross’ “rape lyric”:
Clemente speaks with Marc Lamont Hill on HuffPost Live, along with Ebony Magazine‘s News & Life Editor Jamilah Lemieux, Washington Post columnist Rahiel Tesfamariam, as well as Brooklyn hip hop artist Talib Kweli – Rick Ross Rape Lyrics: Talib Kweli Takes Rapper To Task Over Controversial Song. They discuss not only Ross’ lyric, but also “the importance of holding hip-hop artists and American communities accountable for not proactively rejecting rape culture or adequately addressing the prevalence of violence against women.”
“A lot of what we criticize about hip-hop, we tend to make it black specific, or ghetto specific, or male specific. It’s just an American problem. So you have white men, you have white male politicians who have said things that are very similar to what Rick Ross said,” Lemieux commented (e.g., Republican US Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, who stated that pregnancy rarely occurs as a result of what he called “legitimate rape“).
The saga continued with a critique of Kweli’s “mansplanation” from the Crunk Feminist Collective: Five Ways Talib Kweli Can Become A Better Ally To Women in Hip-Hop.
Actor and comedian Russell Brand reflects on growing up in Thatcher’s Britain – read more in the Guardian (UK)
“Perhaps my early apathy and indifference are a result of what Thatcher deliberately engendered, the idea that ‘there is no such thing as society,’ that we are alone on our journey through life, solitary atoms of consciousness.
…It always struck me as peculiar, too, when the Spice Girls briefly championed Thatcher as an early example of girl power. I don’t see that. She is an anomaly; a product of the freak-onomy of her time. Barack Obama, interestingly, said in his statement that she had ‘broken the glass ceiling for other women.’ Only in the sense that all the women beneath her were blinded by falling shards. She is an icon of individualism, not of feminism.
…Is that what made her so formidable, her ability to ignore the suffering of others? Given the nature of her legacy ‘survival of the fittest’ – a phrase that Darwin himself only used twice in On the Origin of Species, compared to hundreds of references to altruism, love and cooperation, it isn’t surprising that there are parties tonight in Liverpool, Glasgow and Brixton – from where are they to have learned compassion and forgiveness?”