Females Can Be Powerful Essay

1621 words - 7 pages

For many years, women have been viewed as less powerful in comparison to men. They cannot be stronger than men, or work as hard as men; sometimes people believe that women cannot be dependent of themselves without a man. In Donald Hall’s Literary and Cultural Theory, Hall demonstrates the different ways feminist analysis has developed in society. The main point stated across his theory is that society has developed with the idea that patriarchs take power away from the women in the society. “Key to all feminist analysis is a recognition of the different degrees of social power that are granted to and exercise by women and men,” (Hall 199). In many cases, men are viewed as the stronger power in human society because women may not be as smart as men. Hall’s theory is proved correct in the novel The Awakening, Kate Chopin, followed by “The Story of an Hour,” also by Chopin and “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Gilman. The women in these stories create an idea of women in the nineteenth century who are treated with less respect than men treat each other. One of the women could not take any more drama in her life and she decides to disappear for the rest of her life. Another woman dies of joy when she finds out she will finally be free with the death of her husband, and the last women is judged as a psycho after discovering the small details of a wallpaper in a room she is kept in for several months. The treatment and behavior of women could have been avoided if both men and women were viewed in the same perspective.
Hall’s theory states that women are being denied social power simply because it follows the stereotypes in society which is that men have more social power in comparison to women. In many cases, married women do not have an option on what they want in their lives, so they follow what their husband chooses for them to do. “Patriarchy, the social structure empowering men throughout much of history, has come under intense critical scrutiny,” (199). Women do not like society’s idea of women having less power than men, but they never really have an option to change it. Instead, women just live based on the overall perspective men have on women. In Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator spends several months in a room because her husband and brother, who are physicians, believe she needs recovery after she gave birth. In the beginning of the story, the narrator constantly repeats, “But what is one to do?” (Gilman 768), implying that she does not have any other option but to listen to her husband and stay in the room to recover. This also demonstrates that women did not have liberty and they lived listening to what men wanted them to do. The idea that men have more social power than women is expressed because the narrator of the story did not only stay locked up in the room because her husband told her too, she stayed because it was more than one man that believed she needed recovery. In Chopin’s “The Story of an...

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