It has been an ongoing thought throughout the years that women were made for marriage, child bearing and duties of a house-wife. Women have always had little to no control over their lives. Charlotte Perkins Gilman a feminist and female rights activist calls attention to the suffocation of women’s rights and their freedom to have a mind of their own. She started writing “not to create literature but to improve the world.” She uses experiences from her own life to show what really happens in the everyday life of being a woman. “The Yellow Wallpaper” was written by Gilman in 1892. It was a horrific short story that illustrates women’s struggle against patriarchal thinking (control) and what society deemed normal for the behavior of woman. In “The Cult of True Woman Hood” and “In control” it is described just how the male dominated world force woman to become what they want, the barefoot and pregnant house wife who never questions her duties or how they go insane trying to be an independent free thinker.
Control is the act of restraint or to dominate. The reason people need control over something or someone is to have power. Men, white males, have held power over everything for unknown amount of time. They control medical practices, the media, schools (knowledge), and psychiatric practices. Men have formed how they want others to live their lives down to the clothing we where and the way we think about our bodies. Women were not allowed to have free thinking brains because eventually it would lead to them crave more knowledge. Schools back in the 19th century hadn’t allowed women to partake in obtaining knowledge for growth purposes. They were to learn “Housewifely-arts” (Cult) which almost sounds like a class but it was not held in a classroom, instead it was held in your very own home. “There comes John and I must put this away – He hates me to write a word.” (1472) John tells his wife he writing is what is causing her sickness which in hindsight he believes is why she isn’t getting better. He doesn’t want his wife having any thoughts of her writings. He wants her to get “better” so she can take care of the baby they just had.
Women have been brain washed over time to believe they have to be something that a male dominated world has deemed “correct” for them. “It was a fearful obligation, a solemn responsibility, within the 19th century American woman had – to uphold the pillars of the temple with her fragile white hand”. (Cult) This quote is one of the ways that women were convinced to act according to how men say fit. They made women seem like they were the ones holding the family and house-hold together. They made them seem strong and empowered, thinking they are the glue that holds everything together. They make them think that certain things are for their own good when in reality the men are trying to keeping them compliant. “He said I was his darling and his comfort and all he had and that I must take care of myself for his sake.” (1474) You see here how john makes it sound like he needs her to be better to intice her to “Keep well”. In reality he doesn’t need her to be any better and his comfort seems to be with whomever he is off with “away all day, and even some nights when his cases are serious.”(1472)
In “The Cult of True Womanhood” a real woman is a woman who can be judged by her husband and her neighbors and deemed to uphold piety, purity, submissiveness and domesticity. These aspects were said to be the only thing that will make a woman “Happy and Powerful”. (Cult) Piety, which was the “source of her strength” (Cult), was the most important because it was her connection to God. Religious duties kept the women at home promoting all the values of being a great wife and an excellent mother, whose household duties were done out of respect for God and her husband. A women’s husband was supposed to be viewed as her God and anything God says was to be listened to with…