Gender Inequality In The 20th Century

1355 Words 6 Pages
When talking to my mom about feminism she recalled a quote her father used to tell her growing up, “You have to keep women barefoot and pregnant.” This was a common sexist phrase that I thought generalized the view of women and their place in society during the 70’s; that they belonged in the home, bearing children. The view of women and their role in society has progressed throughout the 20th century but has always remained inferior to men. Gender inequality in the western world sparked a feminist movement that started predominately in the early 20th century; this movement and the term feminism has changed throughout the 20th century and is still evolving. The sexualization of women has played a large role in that evolution, as well as the evolution of the term feminism.
In the beginning of the 20th century women’s primary role in society was to have children, keep the house in order, and
…show more content…
Merna was a delicate woman whose role in the circus mirrored women’s role in society during that time. Merna’s role in the circus was to be a beautiful spectacle for men to look at. She was viewed by men as an object of entertainment and pleasure. Merna was not only viewed as an object in the circus, but was also treated as an object by the men in her life. She was regularly beaten by her father when she performed inadequately, and was always in an inferior position needing saving. She was the definition of a damsel in distress. Once ‘The Tramp’ entered her life, she became an object to him as well. He gave her food, helped her after she was beaten, and ultimately saved her every time she was suffering. Towards the end of the film Merna is beaten by her father, and is only saved when her father finds out she is now married to Rex. She is only shown mercy because she was now the property of another man. Merna never stood up for herself or asked for more

Related Documents