Feminism and to the patriarchal Venetian society that
Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes (Why Our Idea of Feminism is Wrong Parlo). This includes seeking to establish educational and professional opportunities for women that are equal to such opportunities as men (Feminism Wikipedia). Urban dictionary defines feminism as, feminism used to be about women getting the same rights as men, such as the right to vote and equal pay at work. Now feminism is a movement full of women who seem to think that their ability to push a baby out of their vagina entitles them to bigger and better everything (Feminism, Urban Dictionary). Feminism has come a long way from when it started in the late 18th century in America and the late 19th century in Britain. Will feminism go back to the way it was originally defined as? A feminist analysis of Othello allows us to mediate the social values and status of women in an Elizabethan society. There are only three women within Othello and the way these women behave is linked to the ideological expectations of Shakespeare’s society and to the patriarchal Venetian society that he creates (The Role of Women in Othello Josbd). The actions and language of Shakespeare’s three female characters, signify a tentative step towards an egalitarian society (The Role of Women in Othello Josbd). Within the play of Othello due to the time it is set women are seen to be possessions of the men within their lives (The Role of Women in Othello Josbd). Desdemona, as Othello’s wife, is treated as his possession. By marrying Othello, Desdemona defies both parental authority and the social convention of her times (. The fact that Desdemona and Othello are secretly married shows that Desdemona willingly made her own decision, at a time in history when women’s opinions did not matter. Desdemona questions the loyalty she has for her father when positioned in the way Othello. While doing so, Desdemona questions relationships between male and females. It was very difficult for women to show love and emotions back when women did not have rights. Desdemona loves her husband; however, she is caught in the position of being a woman. The play demonstrates a conflict; strong woman who will stand up to her father for love versus a strong woman who is thought capable of infidelity by her husband. Desdemona says, “My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty: To you I am bound for life and education; My life and education both do learn me How to respect you; you are the lord of duty; I am hitherto your daughter: but here’s my husband; And so much duty as my mother show’d To you, preferring you before her father, So much I challenge that I may profess Due to the Moor my lord” (Shakespeare 651). Feminists see this as very insulting, but do appreciate Shakespeare is writing to his time period. Women within Othello are seen to be manipulative and sly just because they are women. Feminist critics speak a lot about the role of women as temptresses in Othello and argue that women only held these traits if they were forced into that situation by a man; similar to the case of Desdemona being seen as a temptress due to the work Iago. Perhaps the strongest resemblance to feminism within Othello is the character Emilia. Throughout Othello, women were inner mindedly stereotyped by males. In the end of the play, Emilia made the ultimate sacrifice for truth, unfolding that Shakespeare had negatively portrayed women but also did not have an issue showing feminine strength. She Rose to His Requirement by Emily Dickenson is about a woman got married and was upset that she was not getting the recognition she believed that she deserved. But yet, she wanted to so badly meet all the man’s expectations of being a wife. The poem begins by showing what happens when a woman falls in love and what she would do to make sure her man is satisfied. The title She Rose to His Requirements is a depiction that the man is more dominate in a relationship. She Rose in His Requirement provides that fact that women in this time frame were very obedient to their male counterpart. Women were expected to conform to standards for marriage. “Dropped the playthings of her life to take the honorable work of woman and of wife” (Dickenson 320). This woman is giving up hobbies she enjoys to conform to society’s standards of being a wife. This woman also does not want to tell her husband that she misses the past because she trusts that he knows what he is doing. To some, this woman is not seeking to be heard but suppressing her feelings by convincing herself that her husband knows best. This poem shows the inequality between men and women back in Emily’s time frame; where a woman is expected to give up her own happiness for her male counterpart. The Yellow Wallpaper is telling a story about a woman’s struggles against androcentric and normality in society. Feminism can be described as a theory associated with the position of women in society and exploring their relations with men. Choosing to tell this tale through the voice of a woman who is suffering post-partum depression, the author is radically challenging both the medical world and the husband of the narrator (). The narrator reflects her own powerless position compared to the right of other men to tell her what is wrong with her: “Personally, I disagree with their ideas. Personally, I believe that congenial work, with excitement and change, would do me good” (Perkins-Gilman 419). Throughout this story, the position of women as being powerless and not able to state their opinions that would help them explores the kind of unequal power between males and females (). As a woman, the narrator is left to face the consequences of the decisions that others make for her. In conclusion, feminism will probably not ever go back to the way it originally was. Women over time have evolved and believe they are entitled to a lot of things now that they have freedom. Feminism will be around forever, it will always be persistent as long as females feel as if they are always more superior than man. This is not saying that females are not more superior but they are not always more superior.