The Secret Life Of Bees Feminist Analysis

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The Contemporary Advocacy of Women’s Rights
The 1960s was an era of monumental changes as women across the world came to the realization that they had the power to control their lives: that they need not follow the advice of their fathers, brothers, spouses, or any other man. This, of course, lead to a glowing generation of female empowerment. The leading ladies in The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd, contributed to a more progressive society by embodying modern day feminism. Using both the Boatwright sisters and the Owens women, Kidd illustrated how women during this time were not solely focused on becoming housewives, mothers or housekeepers. Instead, Kidd demonstrated how their independence from popery, as entrepreneurs, and as single
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Yet in today’s society, the sisters’ accomplishment of establishing their own business would be honoured as an act of feminism: as a strategic move made in the interest of promoting the success and equality of women. Both June Boatwright and her sister August worked as teachers in their youth; meaning that the two of them must have received edifications at some point in their lives. Nonetheless, this was an extremely uncommon occurrence during this era. As stated by Truschel, in their teaching guide for the novel, during this era “women were thought to be less intelligent than men, at least in part because they generally received less formal education, and many women accepted that judgment.” Thus, the fact that the eldest Boatwright women had sought out proper educations served as evidence of progressive theology on their behalf. Consequently, the only women featured in the novel to work as maids or nannies were August and Rosaleen Daise, Lily Owen’s spirited caretaker. Instead, the ladies commenced their own viable business, which was a rather rare thing for women to do during this time period. In fact, when examining other literature that was set during the 1960s, there is very seldom a mention of a woman who works. For instance, in the novel The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, the …show more content…
In fact, in her novel, The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd employed women from both the Owens and the Boatwright family to demonstrate how the role of a matron was redefined during the 1960s. These ladies completely rejected the expectation that one must abide by the rules of the cathedral, of society, or of a spouse. Instead, the women decided to develop their own religious practices, their own means of income, and refused to marry: three things which took an immense amount of courage. It is exactly this sort of bravery that makes one wonder; why would anyone refute a reputation as a

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