Marital divorce can be a very painful experience for both the parties. But it can affect the genders in quite different ways. It is a well known fact that divorce rates in advanced nations are quite high compared to that of developing and under-developed nations. The United States and Europe have gained notoriety for their very high divorce rates. Divorce rates are far lesser in much of the rest of the world. But across various cultures, societies remain stratified in terms of gender, “with women having less economic, political, and social power than men. Because gender differences are constructed and reflected in daily interaction, the experience of marriage is quite different for men and women. The same is likely to be true of divorce.” (Amato, 2004, p.207) It then becomes interesting to look at how divorce affects the two genders. The following passages will argue that despite conventional notions about divorce being . . . Read More
A few parenting styles have been identified by psychologists. First, there is the Authoritative type, where parents are responsive to their children’s wishes and interests while also demand high standards from them in return. A stricter style of parenting is the Authoritarian type, where parents expect a lot from their children while disregarding their children’s own wants and wishes. A parenting style in which children assume greater power over their parents is the Permissive style. In this style, children get what they want and get away with most mischief. It is generally believed that the Authoritative parenting style is likely to produce emotionally balanced and well-disciplined children, as it banks on co-operation as opposed to skewered power relations between the two parties.
In the case of Amy Chua’s personal story (which is representative of Chinese Americans in general), her two daughters were brought up to excel in both academics and arts. And she . . . Read More
The three literary pieces being referred for this essay all deal with human emotions, especially that of love (or lack thereof). But their portrayal is far from homogeneous. In the poem To My Dear And Loving Husband by Anne Bradstreet, there is little doubt as to the total and unconditional love displayed by the lady toward her husband. The poem Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers by Adrienne Rich presents the opposite situation, where lack of love in a relationship stifles and oppresses Aunt Jennifer. The epistolary piece Last Letter to His Wife, Major Sullivan Ballou is unhesitant in his show of appreciation and love toward his wife. With the likelihood of impending death in the battle-field, his thoughts are a mixture of nostalgia, apologies and hopes with respect to his family. This essay will argue that although love can cause much hurt and although its loss can cause much grief, it is the essence of human lives; and to this extent it has to be sought, experienced and . . . Read More
(Introduction) Eudora Welty has made vital contributions to twentieth century American fiction. Renowned for her insight-filled short stories, she focuses on women and minority issues in her works. The short story A Worn Path is also about women’s issues but but is also about old age and poverty. This essay will argue although A Worn Path is a work of fiction the issues raised in it are pressing realities in contemporary American life.
(Background) One prominent theme in the story is the perseverance of Old Phoenix in crossing so many hurdles on her way to the town hospital. Adding to the dramatic effect of this journey is her very old age (possibly in her eighties or nineties). Despite the physical challenges of the long journey she trudges on with a cane stick as her only aid. The distance from her place to the town hospital is so long that even the young White man she encounters en route admits to the arduousness of covering that distance. The author is . . . Read More
In the article written by Amina Wadud, titled Quran, Gender and Interpretative Possibilities, we see one of the emerging trends in contemporary Islamic discourse. That beyond the commonly understood and accepted fact of ‘the text’ being of revelatory nature, one has to take into account other socio-historical circumstances of 7th century A.D, in order to open up interpretative possibilities. For example, considering that patriarchal social systems are the norm during the time of revelation, one can see why the choice of a male ‘messenger of God’ in the form of Prophet Mohammad strengthened the status quo. What Wadud seems to be implying is that although there is no dispute about the revealed word, its documentation and dissemination was exclusively done by men, making it susceptible to sub-conscious (if not deliberate) gender bias. Seen in this perspective, the Holy book could be interpreted as a divine code meant to apply only to men and which employs . . . Read More
The United States of America is renowned for the rights and freedoms that it endows upon its citizens. But what is not well recognized is the fact that such rights and privileges are seldom offered the citizens on a platter. Behind every progressive legislative achievement is a long and hard struggle, usually led by the masses. This was true of the abolition of slavery, the New Deal measures of 1930s, the civil rights movement of the 1960s and more. In recent decades, with the gradual acceptance of homosexuality as a normal sexual orientation, its members have made demands for legal recognition. While public perception of homosexuality has improved over the years, there are strong political and religious forces that are endeavoring to curtail this progress. As a result, despite nominal changes to the status of homosexuals, there is widespread discrimination and harassment of members of the community. In the year 2004 alone, “sexual orientation bias motivated 15.6 . . . Read More
Eudora Welty has made significant contributions to the cause of American literature. Born in 1909, she witnessed the causes and consequences of the Second World War, the Cold War and beyond. But her observations and insights into the collective American psyche during the twentieth century, especially that of the Southern states, would provide the material for her literary works. Although Welty explored all forms of literary art, she is best remembered for her short stories. Her short stories are invariably part of twentieth century anthologies released by major publishing houses. (Allen, 1999, p.35)
The story in question, Livvie, has won both critical as well as popular acclaim. The story, in essence is the resurrection of the main character’s life, from the realm of death. This is reflected in the outer atmosphere, where the season transits to spring. The story revolves around the nuptial life of Livvie, who is married to a . . . Read More
The issue of dress codes for women has been a debating point for long. Some Islamic scholars believe that there is no such decree in the holy books, while others interpret it counter-wise to make their case. Even with so much new research conducted on the subject, there is no consensus among Islamic scholars and clerics as to the relevance and value of dress codes for women. The Niqab and Hijab in particular are two dressing items that have come to focus in Islamic critical discourse. Scholars such as Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Fatima Mernissi have helped bring about great clarity to the problems. Based on their writings, it is possible to argue that the Niqab and Hijab were incorporated into the Islamic code due to exceptional and temporal circumstances; and that their continued usage in modern times is subject to the demands of changed sensibilities. The following passages will offer evidence from the readings in support of this thesis.
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Assata Shakur was an important figure during and after the civil rights movement. Being an African American woman, she was disadvantaged both in terms of race and gender. Hence her social activism served a two-fold purpose. But her association with the militant wings of the civil rights movement, such as the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army are the most studied in academic circles. Her autobiography simply titled Assata: An Autobiography narrates her struggles and successes in progressing the cause of her fellow blacks. She gives a first hand account of her involvement in the New Jersey Turnpike shootout. The series of legal trials brought against her including the Bronx bank robbery trial, the charge of attempted murder leveled against her, the kidnapping trial and the Queens bank robbery trial were also dealt with by the author. There is also coverage of Assata’s escape from prison and her seeking of political asylum in Cuba. The United States government could . . . Read More
Television has been a leading medium of communication since the middle of last century. And portrayal of women in Television has been consistent with the broader agenda of patriarchal social order. Day-time programming such as soap-operas are exclusively produced with a female audience in mind and they show the trials and triumphs of women (mostly housewives) in their interpersonal relations with men (usually husbands). Here, women are generally shown to play the role of a ‘good’ homemaker and a ‘good’ consumer of household goods. By narrowing down the discourse to only these aspects of a woman’s life, such programs help propagate a social order that suits corporate and elite interests. And the advertisements that are embedded during the programs promote and encourage women to adopt similar lifestyles and attitudes. Female characters in these programs are almost always pretty and homely. Women with disabilities, those who are over-weight . . . Read More