A Feminist World
Antigone & Wicked
Gloria Steinem said, “A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men”. Feminists empower women but look for equality between both genders. Unfortunately there is a stigma and fear that comes with this word; when hearing the word feminist people quickly think of ‘man hatter’. In this paper I will be arguing that Antigone and Wicked both challenge and reinforce the conventional ideas of gender. This is an important topic because it will help us understand both sides of the pro-feminist and the anti-feminist. It will also help us see how women were viewed in the past and how they are viewed today.
In the story of Wicked the topic of gender plays a significant role in how the readers perceive things. This book not only challenges but also reinforces conventional views and ideas about gender. Galinda is a perfect example of reinforcing those conventional views. When Galinda is first introduced it is quickly grasped that she cares strongly about social hierarchy and is against social justice (Kelly). This is seen when Galinda talks about travel with Professor Dillamond. “If the Wizard’s Banns went through the Hall of Approval, as they are likely to do, the goat himself would be required by law to give up the privileges he had earned through years of study, training, and saving. ‘Is that right for a creature with a spirit?’ he said. ‘From here to there, there to here, in a pen?’ ‘I quite agree, travel is so broadening,” said Galinda.” (Maguire 67). Galinda holds her and many people to an imaginary social rank and has the mentality of the female condition past and present. She believes she will never make it to the top (Kelly). Galinda does not only represent the homemaker but how women had to gain power. Galinda gained her social and governmental power through her appearance. “Galinda, who is well-respected in the book, is the cliché of anti-feminism in reality.” (Kelly).
Like those who reinforce the conventional views of gender there are some who oppose and challenge it. Madam Morrible and Sarima are both independent of men but with that independence they are portrayed as harsh and malicious (Kelly). Madam Morrible works directly under the Wizard of Oz and the power she has in the book and her influence is mainly put forth for the empowerment of women. “At any rate, the Wizard needs some agents. He requires a few generals. In the long run. Some people with managing skills. Some people with gumption." "In a word: women." (Maguire 112). Madam Marible demonstrates a high form of feministic independence and is one of the most feminist pleasing characters (Kelly).
Similar to the feminist independence of Madam Marible, Sarima is depicted as worried and non-feminine but this only happened after her husbanded had died giving the suggestion that a woman’s femininity is measured again their husband (Kelly). The women of modern day societies would reject the thought of the feminist because they do not want the stigma of being cold, mean and alone. “Women of this century seem to have a shared belief that being a feminist means being distraught, disconnected, and alone. This ignorance is represented through characters like Madam Morrible and Sarima, and depicts the life that women of the contemporary society try desperately to avoid.” (Kelly).
Elphaba was first born it was difficult to determine her sex. As the years went on she was designated as a female but has opposing views on both genders. Elphaba tells Fiyero that love is a wicked distraction and that she knows the wickedness of men and women. “I know this: The wickedness of men is that their power breeds stupidity and blindness,” she said. “And of women?” “Women are weaker, but their weakness is full of cunning and an equally rigid moral certainty. Since their arena is smaller, their capacity for real damage is less alarming. Though being more