Gender Roles In Dorothy Allison's A Question Of Class

Superior Essays
The sexist stereotype of women not working as hard as men causes girls to feel inferior. Women are often encouraged or just expected to be home makers and clean, cook, and raise the children. Although this work is viewed as subordinate, their work is still just that – hard work. In “A Question of Class”, Dorothy Allison tells the reader, “when the women in my family talked about how hard they worked, the men would spit to the side and shake their heads” (Allison 1). This example shows how women are looked at as inferior since domestic work is not considered real work by society, while the men work outside of the home and bring home the money. This ties into Allison’s Bastard out of Carolina because although the women worked hard to support …show more content…
She noticed how tired and unhappy the women were at working so hard and not getting any credit. She did not want her future to be like that and was forced to feel out of place with no where to turn. Bone wished to be a man so as to not be trapped in the life of being born to be a mother (Allison). These gender roles are still present today and play a negative role by pressuring women to take jobs that men view as inferior, such as stay-at-home mothers, librarians or secretaries. The inequality between men and women in today’s society can clearly be seen with examples like the wage gap or the glass ceiling. Author Laurie Penny explains how the inequality of wages between men and women affects young girls and says that girls have, “concerns about economic equality and unpaid work” (Penny 1). Women making less than men do at the same job makes little sense but shows how society interprets women’s work as less valuable than men’s. According to an excerpt from Anzaldua’s Movimentos De Rebeldia, “The culture and the Church insist that women are subservient to …show more content…
Society says that not owning a nice house or property, being poor, or having a lower or less education or job makes one inferior. This can be seen in The Bluest Eye when Claudia explains, “renting blacks cast furtive glances at these owned yards and porches, and made firmer commitments to buy themselves ‘some nice little old place’” (Morrison 18). This passage shows how owning property was viewed highly by others in society. This can also be seen in The House on Mango Street when Esmeralda describes her house that has, “paint peeling, wooden bars Papa had nailed on the windows so we wouldn’t fall out. You live there? The way she said it made me feel like nothing. There. I lived there” (Cisneros 5). Esmeralda had no idea that her house could affect the way she was viewed by her peers and society. She was embarrassed that they did not have a nicer house to call home. This shows how the class system is unequal and those in the lower class are discriminated against. There are clear political differences in the way society views women versus men. Sexism is not just limited to political differences, but as Professor of Law Penny Weiss said, “every day that sexism continues… women are battered, raped, denied, confined, and killed” (Weiss 13). All over the world women are oppressed and these actions are not justified, as men are not oppressed in this same way. This sexism has not stopped

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    This is an absurd practice by society. If women were asking for rape, then it would not be called rape. Many women have been victims of rape, but receive no justice because our court systems blame the woman and not the man. Very few men will go to jail for rape, and this usually happens when the male is of lower class than the female. This book portrays what will happen to society if women are constantly blamed for everything.…

    • 1099 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Many employers expect mothers to work less so they pay them less, no matter how many days they work. Also, women of different races and ethnic backgrounds tend to get paid significantly less money than men earn. Though many disagree, the discrimination women face at work is a problem that needs to be addressed and fixed. Discrimination towards women in the workplace is still a problem today; two of these issues being the pay gap and sexual harassment. From losing their jobs due to refusing a sexual advance from their boss to getting a lower pay because they are not men, discrimination is an issue for women at work.…

    • 804 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    For example in the play Ibsen presents the unfair treatment of women. The unfair treatment of women is evident at first in the fact that Nora has to continuously struggle in order to earn money to pay back the loan. She has had to do many odd jobs in secret. Back then, middle class women, like Nora, were forbidden to even work and it was considered a shame, especially for those that their husband has sufficient jobs and were providing for the family. On the other end woman of lower social status , were allowed to work, but only low-income jobs, like a teacher or some kind of servant or nanny.Despite the fact that Nora was middle class, she still managed to find work to earn money.…

    • 1115 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The quote exemplifies the paradox of gender inequality in the novel: The women are seen as weak while men do all of the work, yet when the men are weak, the women deal with their hardships “humbly”. This was not the extent of the inequality, though. The women are judged for their lifestyle choices, and yet men who made the same choices are accepted immediately. Sissy is seen as a bad person because of her promiscuity and her multiple marriages, so much so that Katie feels the need to move neighborhoods to escape her sister’s shame, yet none of the men Sissy had married were…

    • 2528 Words
    • 11 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    According to Rawls justice theory, unequal pay in the job is because of the unequal division of domestic labour that married women do more unpaid work than married men. Further, as result of the unequal division of labour married men have more relaxation time and women are busy as caregivers within families. women do not have enough time to invest their energy into developing marketable skills (McKeen, 2006). In consequence, in workplace women are treated as they are not capable of doing their jobs and they are paid less. Additionally, as primary caregivers, women should choose appropriate jobs which offer flexibility, even where these jobs offer less pay or benefits.…

    • 1589 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Firstly, Elisa was not happy in her marriage because she was more treated as a child more than an adult by her husband. He treated her as if she was not intelligent enough to function on her own and as if she needs to be consistently under the control of a man. This story made me so sad because I know how females in these situation feel like. Also, since I am a female I always feel pissed off with these kind of stories. Furthermore, those kind of men do not let their wives perform any kind of activities except housework which end up making the females feeling worthless.…

    • 1380 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    They were labeled to have responsibilities of a housewife, weak and very dependent towards their husbands. In addition, the law strictly forbids women to work outside the house and as a result the feminists felt dissatisfied. When World War 1 happened, many of the men had to leave to help fight for their country and this led to many of the women to take over their jobs. “This report endorsed the principle of ‘equal pay for equal work’. But their expectation was that due to their ‘lesser strength and special health problems’, women’s ‘output’ would not be equal to that of men.…

    • 716 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Decent Essays

    People should be aware of gender inequality in the workplace, because women were seen only as housewives and mothers and they are not having the same opportunity as men. Women are having a huge pay gap and men are hardly having unfair competition with women at work. Everyone should know that women are being mothers and workers in the same time which is harder. Now, women are not having enough money and time as men have and it is impacting women’s life and lowering the ability for them to compete with men in the workplace. Women are half the society and they should get their rights and appreciation from society.…

    • 280 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Both works where these two female characters reside in showed readers the discrimination and unfairness they endure. Those eras showed how men depicted women because they were considered frail and vulnerable. Ann Oakley author of “Beyond the Yellow Wallpaper” lectures that the solutions to inequality were not as easy as people stated merely satisfying one group of people whether being race, gender, or religion just to overlook the other was not even close to what equality truly was. Oakley emphasizes that women held a key role in society since women were the ones that bare and care for the children that would later on become leaders of the future. The fact that women were not recognize and not taken seriously for their roles is absurd and injustice.…

    • 1416 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Since the beginning of history the woman has been portrayed as the weaker gender because of many different reasons. Throughout time the reasons have changed but they have always degraded the capabilities of the female in some way. For example in distant history it was common for the woman to stay home to cook, clean and take care of the children and husband when he comes home from working to support his family. Because of this employers could think a male is more depended on for income then a woman. Also this makes a woman look as if because she has no experience in the work place that the woman can’t work as well as a man therefor women reap less income.…

    • 1100 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays