English Composition 3
Comparative Literature 1D
Restricting Colombian Women of Economic Success
Cultural constructs in Colombia restrict the roles of Colombian women. Colombian women are expected to be housewives, serve their husbands and are held to a double standard. They are considered less intelligent than men and their opinions are thought to be irrelevant when making economic decisions. Though some women have broken free from the stereotypes and expectations, many continue to be held to these standards, as seen in the negative portrayal of Colombian women in Gabriel García Márquez’s Chronicle of a Death Foretold. Colombian women, who aspire to be independent and economically successful, suffer in relation to men who are thought of as the head of the household. Many Colombian women continue to depend on men for economic stability, despite being capable of performing tasks other than household work, due to Márquez’s portrayal of Colombian women as intellectually inferior to men through degrading depictions as either servants or temptresses.
Colombian women are shown as only being capable of performing domestic work. Men provide for their family while women care for the house and obey their husband; women are not expected to take part in any other activity. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Márquez writes, “The brothers were brought up to be men. The girls had been reared to get married. They knew how to screen embroidery, sew by machine, weave bone lace, wash and iron, make artificial flowers and fancy candy, and write engagement announcements” (Márquez 31). These are the tasks Colombian women “must” know how to execute if they ever wish to marry. Women are taught to do these tasks because they are assumed to depend on men for financial stability.
In Colombian Women: The Struggle Out of Silence, Elena Garces writes, “In school, classes were geared towards behaving properly and becoming a dutiful wife” (Garces 3). Colombian women are taught to stay within their expected role of complying with their husband’s commands. Colombian women are not expected pursue careers, rather they are to stay in, maintain their home and care for their children, which is described as their duty. Since Colombian women are taught to manifest these superficial tasks, it affects their opportunities to be economically successful by making them seem incapable of performing tasks other than housework.
Because of their confinement to domestic work, Colombian women are thought of as depending on men to achieve economic stability. In Chronicles of a Death Foretold, Angela’s mother convinces Angela to marry Bayardo to improve her family’s economic class since her family is relatively poor. “Angela Vicario only dared hint at the inconvenience of a lack of love, but her mother demolished it with a single phrase: ‘Love can be learned too’" (Márquez 20). Angela’s mother rejects that Angela has no feelings for Bayardo and tells her she can learn to love this...