It is a known fact that throughout the history of humanity, members of the female gender have been facing an uphill battle fighting for equality in a world that has largely been dominated by men. Cases of women discrimination and abuse were very rampant in the olden days and it is only until recently that the society has started to give attention to the equality aspect. However, the equality has not been fully achieved and the assertion that the male race is the superior race continues to thrive.
The articles by Judy Brady and Maxine Hong Kingston are testaments of the negative attitude that the society has against women. In addition, the two articles highlight the enormous load of unrealistic expectations that are placed on women every day.
Brady’s article, I Want a Wife is a reflection of a person who wants to a new wife and is thinking of the specific qualities and character traits that the potential bride is expected to possess. The article opens in a sarcastic tone where she states that although she is both a wife and a mother, the two aspects are not altogether entirely related. She talks of her male friend who recently went through and is currently looking for a new wife. As she reflects on the role of women in the society, she comes to terms with the load of expectations that the society has on women.
It emerges that men expects women to be jacks of all trades and possess a humongous load of qualities that will in fact be only beneficial to men. There is an expectation of a woman to be financially endowed and she is supposed to use these finances to cater for the man’s needs including his further education. At the same time the woman is expected to be a homemaker. This means that she should take care of all household chores and duties including the children, keeping the house tidy, washing clothes and utensils and so on. In addition, she is also expected to hold a job although she should be ready to sacrifice some aspects of her job and prioritize on family matters. The one thing that emanates from all this is that the woman is simply viewed as an object that can easily be played with by members of the male gender.
The wife is expected to take care of her man even when she herself is currently engaged in other duties. For example, when her man falls sick, she is expected to stop whatever she is doing and take care of her man by sympathizing g with him about his condition. Brady further states that the woman is essentially expected to be the glue that holds the man and his social life together. For example, when the man makes new friends and invites them over for a meal, it is indeed the woman who is expected to fully entertain the guests and make them feel at home. The woman is in addition supposed to give some personal time to the man whenever he needs it.
In addition to all these roles, the woman is also expected to satisfy her man’s physical needs including sexual ones. This means that she should be ready to make love whenever the man desires it and should also ask also not for sex when the man is disinterested. Moreover, the role of birth control lie primarily with the woman .Another interesting thing is that the woman is supposed to understand that the sexual desires of a man may prompt him to engage in sexual activities outside his marriage. The woman is expected to take all this in good faith.The author of the article states that the woman should be ready to pack her bags and move on when the man eventually a better replacement.
The sentiments expressed by Maxine Hong Kingston in No Name Woman are complementary to those in I Want a Wife those of by Judy Brady. The discriminatory attitude directed towards women by the society is given emphasis in this article. The author uses a narrative form to show the audacious and heinous acts that are directed towards women simply because they are considered to be inferior to the male gender.
Women are expected to completely abide by men’s stipulations. The author uses an example of an aunt back in her native land in China. In this specific culture, the role of women bears a very strong resemblance to that of slaves. Just like the in the article by Brady, the women are not essentially supposed to have any kind of personal opinion, wants or thoughts. The societies views a woman’s life goal as to get married to a man that is prosperous and then serve him for the rest of her life. Since the women are viewed as objects, they go to great lengths to turn into the perfect objects in deed. They endeavor to look perfect with the hope that they will attract a very wealthy male.
The woman is expected to maintain the love of her husband by working constantly striving to improve their self image, for example every woman was supposed to pull up her hair tightly using a bus. Another aspect is that the women were supposed to walk in an erect manner with straight knees.
Committing adultery or having a child outside wedlock are acts that are completely unforgivable. Engagement in such acts results in severe consequences from the society. The author was told a story by her mother about an aunt who violated these established society norms and thus suffered severe consequences, the ultimate one being death. This can be compared to the views of the author in I Want a Wife where the men are allowed to seek sexual favors outside their marriage framework while such actions in women are completely outlawed.
The women are also considered weak and are therefore exposed to certain types of jobs that are considered to be masculine. They receive the treatment of a slave at home while their husbands are at work in companies or industries. Their opinion is absolutely not taken into account when it comes to family decisions even when a situation or a crisis that requires a meeting of minds arises.
Brady, Judy. I want A Wife. Harper Collins Customers Books.1993
Write Work contributors. "“No Name Woman” Maxine Kingston's memoir, The Woman Warrior describes" WriteWork.com. WriteWork.com, 01 February, 2008. Web. 17 Apr. 2013