Concerning Cultural Stereotypes of Women
Literature writers, media personalities, and filmmakers have attempted to determine the roles of women, and women’s identities in the society. There are several books, in the present world as well as past centuries, which seek to bring out the status of women, not only in the family level, but also in the society in general. Magazines and other popular publications also give a lot of information on women. This includes the status on women in the past, compared to the status of the modern woman, the lives of women in marriage, academic achievements of women worldwide, changes facing women, the available opportunities for women in the modern times, as well as the existing cultural attitudes towards women throughout the world. In past centuries, the society placed women as secondary beings to the men, while men dominated almost every aspect of a woman’s life, especially after marriage. At the family level, men were in charge of all decisions, with the women having very little or no opinion whatsoever, in any family decision. According to some people, women were a man’s possession in marriage. Great heights of academic achievement and formal jobs were a man’s possession, while women bore the burden of house chores and other family responsibilities (Jayapalan, 2000). However, women began to disband themselves from what was the norm of the society in the past centuries. Various women groups also developed seeking to deliberate the woman from intimidation and make the world believe that the woman was also capable of doing the great things that men would do. Today, many women have great achievements in education, and do not depend on men for survival. Additionally, most of the women enjoy the freedom accorded to them by the society in these modern times. While some people are likely to refute this claim, others will agree that women all over the world continue to continue to gain more power as time passes. Many women around the world do not feel bound by their husbands. They have the right to make decisions, to advance their education levels, and get the good jobs previously preserved for men. There is a great improvement in the relationships between women and their husbands in this modern age compared to the past. Today, majority of women do not have to bow to all the instructions given to them by their husbands. They have the power to air their opinions as well (Jayapalan, 2000). Additionally, unlike the past centuries, women receive appreciation from the men. This is because of the realization that women are not lesser beings. Men appreciate that women are able to do most of what men are able to do. Consequently, women face fewer instances of intimidation by their male counterparts. Therefore, there are some differences in the relationships of wives and husbands in the world today. Women receive more respect from men, they are able to air their opinions, they participate in decision-making, they can do chores previously preserved for men only, and they receive appreciation for what they do. There is less tension in husband-wife relationships; hence, they are able to cohabit more peacefully. All these factors depict that women have more power today than they had in the past. However, it is impossible to rule out the fact that some women remain at the mercy of their husbands, facing intimidation, and suffering under male dominion. Many religions and traditional societies argue that men are the heads in the family. They have authority over every other member of the family, they have the duty to make decisions, and cater for the needs of each member of the family. On the other hand, the woman takes the second rank. Women therefore take charge of the family chores and responsibilities, and are subject to the authority of the husband (Colema, Ganong & Warzinik, 2007). In the stories, Story of an Hour and Strifles, the authors bring out marriage as an institution...
References: Coleman, M., Ganong, L. & Warzinik. (2007). Family life in Twentieth- century America. Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Harrington, E. B. (2008). Scribbling Women and the Short Story Form: Approaches by American and British Women Writers. Peter Lang.
Jayapalan, N. (2000). Women Studies. New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers & Distributors.
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