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Women Are Not Weaker Than Man

1527 words - 6 pages

Women have been viewed as the weaker vessel compared to their stronger male counterparts since the beginning of time. From ancient mythology to popular modern media, women are easily portrayed as the damsel in distress, unable to take care of herself and constantly in the desperate need of being rescued. Women who stand up against this belief and make effort to support themselves were usually deemed fools, prostitutes, or worse, witches. While there have been mentions of strong-bred women in history such as Margaret of Anjou and Eleanor of Aquitaine, it has not become common theme until more modern times. The archetype of the damsel in distress is still a popular trend in media, but in society, women are now considered equal to men and no longer need to be rescued from circumstances.
Historical records have shown how societal rules have pushed women into the destitute role of the damsel in distress which began with legends such as Branwen in The Four Branches in the Mabinogi (11th Century). Branwen’s story tells of a Briton princess who was married to an Irish prince named Malthowch which infuriates Branwen’s half-brother Efnisien who loved her. Efnisien then committed some crimes which mocked Malthowch, but he easily dismissed them. His marriage with Branwen was peaceful until he allowed his reputation to control him which caused him to order beatings and subject Branwen to a servant life. Three years passed before Branwen, in desperation, taught a starling to send a message to her brother for help. This displays the common theme of damsels who are in a critical situation and send for help to a strong male figure, in Branwen’s case, her brother King Bendigeidfran fab Llŷr. This became a common scenario where a maiden in distress would seek rescue from a knight in shining armor. For example, in Le Morte D’Arthur it is mentioned that among the Knight of Camelot, one of the utmost honors is to protect and save any maiden in need. Societal rules also barred women from defending themselves. Women of whatever social class were under complete control of her husband and were not permitted to speak up for her own needs. Where there are mentions of strong female characters in history, they are often broken down and mocked by society. For example, the Amazon warriors in Greek mythology were considered savages and there were many written sources of their defeats when battling men. Joan of Arc, who supported the crowning of Charles VII and led his armies against the English, was accused of heresy and witchcraft which resulted in her death by burning at the stake. Women in history were forced to take on a submissive role due to standards and rules that were set by society
As time progressed, women began to take ownership of their rights and rejected being subservient and helpless against men which started in the 1900s and have continued on to today. The Woman’s Suffrage Movement which began in the 1900s stirred women into action for owning up to their...

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