The Declination Of The Status Of Women

918 words - 4 pages

Since the beginning of time, society has considered women inferior to men. Men, especially in time of war, subjugate women and this form of expression, whether in times of war or not, should not be accepted as the norm or be considered as acceptable.
Women are equals to men and provide a valuable resource; therefore, they should not be inferior to men. In Afghanistan, before the Taliban, women were “70% of schoolteachers, 50% of government workers and university students, and 40% of doctors in Kabul” (Bureau of Democracy). Also before the Taliban, women were free to do as they chose, men and women were both free to dress as they liked and they could move freely about. The Taliban “cruelly reduced women and girls to poverty, worsened their health, and deprived them of their right to an education” with the false pretense of protecting women (Bureau of Democracy). Much like the Taliban, the theocratic Republic of Gilead also repressed their women during a time of war, a time of religious war. The clothing they wear, the “white wings too are prescribed issue; they are to keep us [them] from seeing, but also from being seen” demonstrate their subordination to men (Atwood 8). While men in the time of the Taliban and the theocratic Republic of Gilead can easily be educated, “the Taliban closed the women’s university and forced nearly all women to quit their jobs…The Taliban ended, for all practical purposes, education for girls” (Bureau of Democracy). As a parallel, the Republic of Gilead would punish women for merely reading, “a hand cut off, on the third conviction” for wives (Atwood 275) and the names of places are “painted out” because “they [the government] decided that even the names of shops were too much temptation” (Atwood 25). In both cases, “women have been deprived of knowledge” (Johnson149). In the Republic of Gilead, the women who hold power are the Aunts, the Wives and even the Handmaids in the rebellious forces, as long as they give the illusion to society of the men holding power. The Handmaids hold power in the way that they could theoretical all revolt at the same time and the “national resource” for augmenting the population would cease to comply implicating the whole government in a worldwide scandal and causing the government to be overthrown. The Wives and Aunts hold power in the traditional form. The Aunts train the handmaids, while the Wives control the household.
Society in these situations incredibly represses women to the point where they become objects. Taking an individual’s freedom and converting society’s view of them into an object has deep psychological effects on that individual. In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, “They’ve removed everything you could tie...

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