Tag Archives: women

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#2 Gender Inequality

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.

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Blog 3: Women, Representation, Recognition, and Equality

“The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, describes the refusal of the male dominant society to recognize the natural superiority of a woman. It expresses the inequality that exists among men and women, and the mistreatment and lack of respect women receive from society. This is seen as a “condition” through the eyes of the narrator. She begins to believe that she is lacking something, that something is wrong with the way she is, but in reality, it is not her, but the society around her that implements and continues to misdiagnose her. The lack of acceptance causes the narrators husband ,John, to treat her as if she is inferior; he treats her like a child and “laughs at [her]… he does not believe [she is] sick” (233-234). He is presented as someone who is more knowledgeable than she because he is a physician, and at times she grows to fear him. In the narrative she contemplates on her “condition” and her thought is abruptly ended, because she suddenly remembers her husbands insight. She states “I sometimes fancy that in my condition, if I had less opposition and more society and stimulus– but John says the very worst thing I can do is to think about my condition, and I confess it always makes me feel bad” (234). She is encouraged to ignore her judgments about her own situation and remain submissive to the authority of her husband and society.

The wallpaper represents the search for truth and advocates for the liberation of women. Like the truth, the wallpaper is “dull enough to confuse the eye in following, pronounced enough constantly to irritate and provoke study, and when you follow the lame uncertain curves for a little distance they suddenly commit suicide…destroy themselves in unheard-of contradictions” (234). The wallpaper gives insight to how the searching for truth may seem to an obscure viewer: confusing, irritating and contradictory. However, from analyzing it, she found that there are patterns to this wallpaper. It “has a kind of sub-pattern in a different shade, a particularity irritating one, for you can only see it in certain lights, and not clearly then.” She is motivated to “follow that pointless pattern to some sort of conclusion.” Like the truth, the patterns on the wallpaper can only be seen “in certain lights,” moreover, she notes that “the front pattern does move– and no wonder! The woman behind shakes it. Sometimes I think there are a great women behind, and sometimes only one”(239). She finds the truth of the women behind the pattern, who “in the very bright spots she keeps still, and in the very shady spots she just takes hold of the bars and shakes them hard” (239). The women she discovers is one who is fighting for liberation, shaking the bars of understanding, in hopes to find justice and recognition of the truth she has uncovered. Like a yellow wallpaper, the failure to accept women continues to exist in our society. Women are portrayed as feeble minded, are disrespected by men, and are not treated as equals. Gilman strives to expose the disparity among men and women, and aims to reform the representation of women in society.