Characteristics of feminism seen in literature are often depicted by a woman’s surpassing obstacles to escape society’s expectation of her complete dedication of the domestic life rather than pursuing those things that will give her purpose. To gain independence woman need to first escape these confines created by society and have the courage to find their own identities as human beings, rather than females. Feminism is recognizing that both genders carry a heart and brain and thus, should be awarded with the same rights. Both Their Eyes Were Watching God and Feminism is for Everybody explore the constraints that society’s patriarchal norms impose on a woman’s search for her self-identity as well as rebel against its outlook of marriage as a sacred foundation. Throughout various points of the book Their Eyes Were Watching God, Janie struggles with the concept of identifying her voice and deciding when to speak and when to be silent. The narrator identifies a positive change in Janie’s self-development at the end of chapter four---Janie recognizes the importance and impact her voice will have on future relationships, “Her old thoughts were going to come in handy now, but new words would have to be made and said to fit them.” (Hurston 32) Janie’s newfound voice paves the way to a self-fulfilled life of independence, shaking her out of the complacency created by patriarchy. This is something that is emphasized throughout Bell Hook’s Feminism is for Everybody. Voicing what our wants and needs is extremely important and should not be put aside for norms created by society in order to subdue women. Women become liberalized once we create value for ourselves independent from appearance. Hooks emphasizes the importance of voice and communication in order to educate those women of true feminism as well as to expand the movement and open doors of liberation from sexism. Society’s perception of marriage as a sacred foundation is defied through Janie’s two failed marriages. The second phase that propels Janie towards self-fulfillment and a life of independence occurs during her second marriage with Jody where she experiences gender role confinement. While Janie believes that marrying Jody will help her realize her dreams, she later recognizes that she is viewed as property and she is expected to play the sole role of mayor’s wife rather than being stimulated to pursue those dreams. This second marriage is the epitome of the unequal subtleties in a relationship and the oppression and exploitation of females created by male dominance. After Jody dies, Janie experiences a profound change. After experiencing a marriage that
Gendered Media: The Influence of Media on Views of Gender
Julia T. Wood
Department of Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill times more often than ones about women (“Study Reports Sex Bias,” 1989), media misrepresent actual proportions of men and women in the population. This constant distortion tempts us to believe that there really are more men than women and, further, that men are the cultural standard.
THEMES IN MEDIA
Of the many influences on how we view…