Gloria Steinem Essay

1175 words - 5 pages

A Review on the Works of Gloria SteinemGloria Steinem views America as a largely male-dominant culture. In her efforts to speak out and fight against this unbalanced form of society she strongly enforces her views of female anti-submissiveness. Because of the seemingly unfair amount of rights men have deprived American women of, Steinem calls for drastic changes in the way women view themselves and are viewed both in the society and within the home. Steinem's biggest problem with our society is the harsh stereotypical views that are laced all throughout the culture. Children are raised with the ideas that men dominate certain areas of life, and women others, and crossing these dividing lines into areas reserved for the other gender is an act seen as both unnatural and taboo. In her essay "Life Between the Lines" Steinem touches upon the common marital problem of housework. (Steinem, 8) Because of the deeply rooted tradition of females and housework, many women struggle with feelings of helplessness and even embarrassment when trying to get their husbands to help out around the home. In "Huston and History", Steinem writes that because of the secondary status women are traditionally seen as having, they are more likely to relate to minorities and those seen as "less fortunate". Frederick Douglass recognized this when he stated that "the cause of the slave has been peculiarly women's cause." Relating back to the fight to end slavery, which was most enthusiastically fought by the women. The essay "Sisterhood" presses on this topic as well when it declares that the "deep and personal connections among women living under patriarchy" often causes them to "leap barriers of age, economics, worldly experience, race, [and] culture." (123) Even though society builds many walls between different people, the common goal of subordination remains a very strong uniting factor. Male and female roles in society have always been seen as vastly different. The common children's poem: "What are little girls made of? Sugar and spice, And everything nice, That's what little girls are made of.What are little boys made of? Snips and snails, And puppy dog tails, That's what little boys are made of." (internet: http://showcase.netins.net/web/marys/LittleBoys.htm) is a perfect illustration of the generalizations our country has towards the two genders. Steinem suggests in her essay "College Reunion" that, through education, the boundaries between the two sexes might start to dissolve. Steinem states that "Women's colleges have rarely taught us to fight for ourselves, or for other women." (137) Only in teaching women the skills necessary to break down the walls that tradition has built up, and "equality and full humanity of women and men" is achieved, can true feminism be accomplished. (5) Another major topic illustrated in this book is the author's concern about the sexual...

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