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Henrietta Rodman Essay

1549 words - 7 pages

Long hair, which conforms to the ideal of femininity, perplexes me; hence, my supposedly rebellious bobbed haircut. On any given day, I would choose a formless dress over an overbearing corset. I still cannot understand why my chunky sandals with the Bohemian vibe make people gasp. However, these individuals could also be gasping at the cigarette in my mouth. I am my own person; notice that my maiden name is still my official name because I refuse to take the identity of my husband. To some, I may be perceived as a troublemaker. In actuality, I am a woman who is willing to take action because I am keenly aware of the struggles that women face daily in all aspects of their lives. ...view middle of the document...

Shabby clothing does not mean a shabby woman. I want to wear what I want to and what I am wearing should not identify for me, for I, along with other women, have much more important idiosyncrasies which define us. A woman does not have to follow a particular silhouette to emphasize her feminine figure for the sake of a man’s pleasure. The notion that the patriarchy thinks that they can have any say over what I, or what any other woman wears is absurd. My sisters and I will wear skirts to our knees freely; finally, our spirits will be free. This loose clothing that my fellow advocates and I are encouraging for all female spirits to wear is an undeniably liberating experience.
A key factor in my involvement and fervor for the feminist movement is due to the fact that identity is incredibly important to me. How can a woman be forced to give up her name, her goals, her identity, her ambition, and her life just because she chooses to marry? I am a teacher because simply put, I love teaching. I have an incredible amount of satisfaction from interacting with students and trying to figure out ways to help them learn things. However, how can my endless efforts at Columbia's Teacher College simply just go to waste if I decide to start a family? This is a silly rule by the Board of Education, who also mandates that females and females only report their marital status for teaching positions. I have not started this battle with the Board of Education a trivial reason. I started this because it is part of a movement may set the stage for the furthermost development of the economic autonomy of women. The notion that a female teacher is not allowed to return to work if she has a child is absolutely absurd. Exactly what logic is behind the ultimate decision that a woman would feed all of her attention to her own child? This foolish notion dictates the knowledge that a woman, trained for a job as a teacher, would be incompetent for her own job just because she gave birth. My criticism of this absurd ideology resulted in my suspension from teaching. Simply no justification exists regarding the prohibition of women who have children to teach. What makes a teacher better before she has a child? A teacher is a good teacher dependent on her passion; whether or not she has a family of her own is irrelevant to her credibility as a teacher. As more and more women enter the workforce instead of complying with domestic duties, we need a feminist movement to ensure that our rights are predicted.
I cannot think of anything more important than the absolute need for an individual to maintain their identity in the midst of all the chaos. I am in the process of concocting a Feminist Alliance with a unique, radical scheme within my vision of the future of feminism. My dear friend Charlotte Perkins Gillman has influenced my ideals and mindset. A woman's position with respect to economics must prosper as much as it can regardless of the boundaries placed by the patriarchy....

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