Tag Archives: Gilman

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(Blog Post #2) “We Should All Be Feminists” and Gilman

I don’t know about any of you, but Beyonce is my girl. I love listening to her music. Her newest album, titled “Yonce”, features a couple of songs that are all about women kicking some major tail and being independent. I fell in love with one of the songs called, “Flawless.” At face value, it’s one of those songs that makes you feel like you could take on the world if you wanted to — like you’re the most bad ass person in the room. (If you ever need an ego boost, trust me. Just listen to it.) Half way through the song, I noticed that Beyonce had sampled a speech on feminism:

“We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, ‘You can have ambition, but not too much.’ ‘You should aim to be successful, but not too successful, otherwise you will threaten the man.’ Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love, and mutual support, but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage, and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors, not for jobs or for accomplishments (which I think can be a good thing), but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they can not be sexual beings in the way that boys are. Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.”

At first, I was startled, because I wasn’t expecting to hear a speech like this in the middle of a hip-hop song. Who WAS this brilliant woman? I had to find out for myself. So, I did what any other curious college student did: I went on Google. I searched for “Beyonce Flawless speech”. Sure enough, I found what I was looking for. Beyonce had used a short sequence of a speech given by Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, called “We Should All Be Feminists.” The speech is 30 minutes long, but in all honesty, it’s worth the listen if you have the time. Adichie is a brilliant woman and an excellent orator. She really touches on all the points that Gilman makes, in regards to her standpoints on the unequal division of labor and gender socialization. What’s so remarkable about Gilman is that her ideology was WAY ahead of its time. Over a 100 years have passed, and her work is still relevant today. Perhaps that just goes to show you that although women have come a long way, we still have a long way to go. And the only way to go, is up, because those glass ceilings won’t be an obstacle anymore.

Stay flawless, ladies.

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Gilman and Gender inequalities. Blog # 5

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.

 

“Miss Representation” and Gilman

I recently watched a documentary that I think will relate to a lot of Gilman’s theories on gender inequality.  This film was released in America in 2011, titled “Miss Representation“. The film explores the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence in America and challenges the media’s limited portrayal of what it means to be powerful women.

“The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and for the average woman to feel powerful herself. In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that our young women and men overwhelmingly receive is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality, and not in her capacity as a leader. While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures, women hold only 3% of clout positions in mainstream media, and 65% of women and girls have disordered eating behaviors.”

Excerpt from film.missrepresentation.org/synopsis

We live in a society where the people are extremely influenced by the media and what they see on television. Images and portrayal of women that you see on Television ( TV shows, movies, the news) and advertising are shaping the values and norms in our society. I think Gilman would agree with everything this documentary stands for especially at the fact that in the media, woman are over sexualized  and advertisements are constantly telling Woman how they should look and what is beautiful. This effects the way woman feel about themselves , where they start to feel like they aren’t good enough and essentially become dependent on men.

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I think Gilman would agree with Lisa Ling. She explains in her theories that this patriarchal society promotes Women’s economic dependence on Men and undermines their freedom as well. Gilman talks about the inequality in the division of labor and how a women’s economic standing and social status comes from her husband.

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This is statement in the documentary by Nancy Pelosi represents how society has created social norms where the woman is suppose to stay home and take care of children and not have the same opportunities as men to become a leader in this society. Being asked this question in the media shows how the media, “America”, still thinks that women need to stay home and be caregivers instead of trying to become leaders, CEOs, or politicians.

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This relates to Gilman’s ideology that women are oversexed and that there is too much emphasis on sex-distinction. Women are pushed excessively to devote to their looks and have to develop over the top female qualities all to attract a man. I agree with Jennifer Siebel with this quote, I truly feel that the media and this patriarchal society makes women feel disempowered as well as distract them with advertisements, fashion and beauty tips and instead of focusing on how to become a leader.

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In Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), she explains that women start to become depressed and have psychological issues because of the way in which women are being treated and undermined. Women face the authority of “The Man” or “The Doctor”, both of whom claim they know what is best for her but aren’t really listening to her therefore she stays depressed. This expectation to look a certain way and also what the media portrays as what beautiful is suppose to look like in the “hyper-sexualization” that occurs in hollywood, affects every women and this leads to eating disorders, and many psychological issues among young women.

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I am going to end this post with more quotes from the film to show how America ( which portrays the land of equality and opportunity) is still stuck in a patriarchal system and hasn’t made much progress:                          Image                            Image                           Image

If you want to watch the Miss Representation documentary trailer CLICK here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2UZZV3xU6Q

 

Blog 9: Gliman

What I think that  Gilman have tried to indicate in her writings is that the women in the home sphere are not represented in the labor field because her labor is her husbands. That defines the reason that no matter how much the women works in the home, the housewife social and economic status or standings are her husband. Also, Gilman mentioned and emphasize the difference in the socialization that leads to gender inequality. In example that she brought into this idea is how children, both boys and girls, are taught to dress differently and act and think differently because of their gender. In addition, these children around these age are the same because their needs and thoughts will be the same.

Gilman did not disagree with the differences that exist between men and women. She understood the different biological of men and women and the unique capabilities that women have which gave women good social value. I want to bring an example of the difference that men and women are portrayed in our world, if you go to Target or a toy store you will see the water guns and ships for boys and vacuum and food market toys for girls. This distinction that has been going on before the time of Gilman and now in our society that women are different from man. I think that there are people thinking that why would women work outside of the home if their are parents, while their husband have good jobs. I think that it is best for both people to work to have what life gives you and even if women are paid low doing the same jobs as men, I believe that women now in modern age are trying to be step closer to men.

 

The Yellow Wallpaper that Gilman wrote I was very interesting. First, her “hysteria” was diagnosed both her husband and her brother (both doctors). She mentioned that her remedy was stay away from “tonics, and air and exceeds, and journeys” and was “forbidden to “work””(Edles & Appelrouth, 234) until she was well again. However she denied that this was the case, she felt that her husband and brother ideas was wrong because her brother and husband believe that Gilman was not sick but was the “temporary nervous depression…slight hysterical tendency” (Ibid, 234). of what women goes through after giving birth. I debate the idea further more just because it is hard to have a child in an era that does not understand what women undergoes when they have a child. In addition, her thoughts about not following what they wanted and how she felt within herself and what she really needed to be socialize. As I remember Durkheim mentioned that if a person doesn’t have enough or have any social bonds then they tend to commit suicide. When reading this it looks like her husband put her in a room to somewhat enforce her not to do anything that might be work related. However the reason she wrote this, in my opinion, is because she suffered nervous breakdown multiple periods of time and this is an example of what some doctors think women should be doing rather than trying something different to be better.

As mentioned in the beginning Gilman discusses the women in the household doing the housework however it doesn’t matter how much effort you put in the work, your status is gain from your husband. Also, the work that is done in the home benefits the husband as well.  She mentioned that a woman with many children do not earn a lot of money because their husband are working class men while wealthy men wifes do not have to work hard inside the home because of they have other people to take care of the households. However, it is hard to do all the housework and not get compensated for it because it is the property of your husband/father.

There is a youtube video that I found that talks about the inequality of women in the workforce. Women in China who works in the business world actually earns 69% of what their counterparts make. Also promotion is difficult but recently there were changes in how many women are working in the business world and the becoming CEOs. In addition, due to the increase gap of economic wealth between women and men because there are preset discriminatory against female. In China, females are discarded because parents prefer males and this indicate the increase of stay home women, increase of domestic violence, and increase of not having the benefits as their male counterparts.

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Blog #5: Gender Differences and “Blurred Lines”

Gender is a characteristic of society. Although we’ve come a very long way from the gender inequalities of the pre-feminist movement, there are still gender socialization norms and differences. From a very young age girls and boys are taught how to behave in gender appropriate ways. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s theory of gender socialization furthers and maintains gender inequality. The media has helped expose the gender norms in society.

Women are portrayed as “oversexed.” There are obvious physical differences between men and women; however men and women have long been assigned roles which determine the ways in which they should sit, stand, carry themselves and do just about everything in society. Robin Thicke’s video was very controversial when it came out. It expresses how sexuality is displayed differently between men and women. The women are literally parading around the men, half naked and carrying random objects around with them. The video takes on the role of the male gaze, focusing on the women’s movements. In comparison, the men are fully clothed and remain in control throughout the video. The video implies that a women should be sexy and provocative, in order to allure the men.

The meaning of the hit song had to be clarified by Robin Thicke, he said it was not a song about rape, but about blurring the lines between men and women and how they’re the same, and about the blurred lines between a good girl and bad girl. His own interpretation of the lyrics is ignorant. The video does the complete opposite; it completely exposes the differences between women and men. After watching the parody, I couldn’t help but laugh. The men are doing the exact same thing the women did in the video; however it looks silly and unnatural when the men do it. The comical response people have from the video is because of the assigned gender socialization roles. Gender norms are so heavily reinforced and institutionalized, that seeing the roles of men and women switched is amusing. I highly recommend everyone to watch the female version of Blurred Lines first, and then the parody. The gender differences and portrayals will be crystal clear!

Blurred Lines:

Blurred Lines Parody

 

Gilman and the division of labor

blog #4: I personally like the traditional division of labor Gilman speaks of in her book women and economics. Gilman says that evil is society differentiating between what women and men should look like. She said that the traditional division of labor is rooted in patriarchy. This is where the man has all the authority and the woman is dependent on him economically and socially. So my question is why is it bad for a woman to run a home and raise her kids? How is the work she does at home exploiting her? And how is it bad that society should separate what men and women look like?  I think that our society today has placed a tremendous amount of pressure on women to work because if they don’t than their giving into a “patriarchy system”. We have given the “stay at home mom” a bad name so to speak. I feel that if our society valued women staying at home more women would do it. And I think their kids and husbands would be happier too. Women who run their homes for a living are far from being slaves. I think that if boys would grow up respecting the role of a woman who stays at home he would encourage it and respect it. I feel like the media today is so focused on promoting women’s rights and gender equality they have lost sight of what is truly important in life. Maybe it is true women as a whole make less money than men. But do we honestly care? At the end of the day the woman’s real role is to raise her family and if she’s successful at that isn’t she the true winner? Why is this looked down upon in society? I think a woman is as free as she wants to be even if she is economically dependent on her husband. In my opinion she holds the power key in the home. She is the one, if her husband respects her, who makes all the real decisions.

Lastly, I believe that it is good for us, as a society, to separate the roles of men and women. I think women are naturally more warm and sensitive and are better care takers than men. There is a biological difference and because of this I think women are meant to be the caregivers and men are meant to go out and work. Society has created ways through gender socialization to prep women for their roles and men for theirs. For generations we have differentiated between men and women and never until theses feminists ideas have women complained. I think were only hurting ourselves in the end by trying to change how men and women are viewed. This system has worked for hundreds of years why try and change it because we live in the twenty first century?

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Blog #2 Gilman & Inequality in the DoL

Blog #2 Gilman & Inequality in the DoL

Gilman an early feminist, describes inequality seen in the division of labor. Gilman states that the traditional division of labor is rooted in patriarchy. Patriarchy is the system that which males are the primary authority figure, and all systems of society are based on masculine gender norms. The male has the power over the women, children and property. Men are virtually the breadwinners as where the women stay home to cook, clean and care for the children. According to Gilman this ultimately results in women becoming economically dependent upon men and undermines their freedom.

I believe that the picture above is a great example of how traditional division of labor is rooted in patriarchy. The picture illustrates a mother teaching and reaffirming her daughter that her place is in the kitchen, to stay home and care for her husband and children. She then confirms that there is no room for dreams and aspirations outside of the home ( “Satan’s way of distracting you from making dinner”), because outside the home is the man’s world. This illustration shows the suppression of women’s goals and dreams to act accordingly within the society norm of the traditional division of labor.

Although women have made great strides within the workforce and we rarely see this type of depiction of woman in modern day, there is still an inequality in the division of labor. More women are getting rid of the apron and going to school to become professionals in the workforce, this of course is a great advancement, but women will always have to deal with certain inequality (wages for example) in the workforce due to masculine gender norms that have been deeply rooted within our division of labor.