Choosing Earthseed

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Choosing Earthseed Over Her Seed
In her famous op-ed in the Atlantic titled “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All”, Ann-Marie Slaughter discusses how achieving a work/family balance was incredibly hard for her, claiming that “having it all was not possible in many types of jobs.” While the rest of her article describes the obstacles she personally encountered in her work lie, it resonates with millions of women in professions that require them to devote all their time and energy to, from government officials, to professors, to doctors. In Octavia Butler’s novel, The Parable of the Talents, the protagonist Olamina too faces a constant battle between motherhood and spreading the message of her religion, Earthseed. Slaughter describes
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She has to juggle family and work like most women in the workplace, but her reactions to societal expectations are unlike a regular woman’s. In Szu Fang Chuang’s paper “Deterrents to Women’s Continuing Professional Development”, she writes that once women achieve a comfortable lifestyle, they “are expected to place the highest priority on childcare and family responsibilities and the lowest priority on professional development” (2). Although Acorn may seem like a feminist utopia, it is no stranger to gender roles and expectations. In an article for FEMSPEC, Patricia Melzer …show more content…
Third Wave Feminism emphasized intersectionality and political activism, among other things. The fact that Butler invented a black, female character this powerful and involved in the world around her is both cognizant with the movement and groundbreaking. In her article “Coping with Power in Parable of the Sower, Parable of the Talents, and Fledgling” for T and F, Lauren Lacey writes:
Olamina is not an intrinsically powerful person. Her youth prevents others in her original community from taking her seriously, her gender must be disguised so she can travel safely, her blackness marks her as a target for racism, and her “hyperempathy syndrome” is perhaps the ultimate vulnerability. In choosing such a protagonist, Butler sets up Sower and Talents to confront power from a position of seeming powerlessness

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