It’s the 21st Century, and the people here are more open minded. It is an obvious assumption that the people who are ambitious about a great transformation in the society. Is this supposition always right? We can answer this question in reference to two different essays, namely “I Want a Wife” by Judy Brady and “The Men We Carry in Our Minds” by Scott Russell Sanders. Although both the essays are quite different in terms of date of publication and humor, they both make the same point about restriction of marriage in terms of the roles of husband and wife in the society.
The exploration in the two essays on the restrictions of marriage was unique. Brady in “I Want a Wife” (1971), and Sanders’ in “The Men We Carry in Our Minds” (1993), depicted the role of a woman in the society as an important character who struggles and finds disdain in their daily lifestyle. “I Want a Wife” refers to the theme of gender stereotypes which considers both men and women to double standards. In looking at this boundary between the two, Brady has depicted the society’s consideration of women as inferior, docile maids, whose responsibility as a housewife is to take care of the kids.
Brady identifies a wife as someone who “takes care of the children” and “arranges to be around when the children need special care” (Brady 1). This piece is attempting to create the sympathies of a stereotypical housewife’s duties. Brady wants her audience to understand the hardships of a woman and gets her audience emotionally involved. The use of bitter tone in the repetitive syntax in the essay makes the essay more humorous but also depicts the problems of a mom in rearing up her children in everyday life. For instance, Brady has demanded for a wife who would be a “good nurturing attendant
to my children” (Brady 1). Brady has used a satirical tone with irony while referring herself to becoming more economically independent while restricting herself from household works. Brady argues that the women being compartmentalized and states that the women should not be confined to do the duties which the society acknowledges. Similarly, Sanders argued that women are being widely oppressed by men become inferior. Sander depicts the imperative role of culture interaction and its adaption to its way of living in deciding the roles of a woman in the society.
Sander stated that he was exposed to another spectrum of life of women that they are discriminated but have all the rights to pursue their ambitions as men. For instance, Sanders has observed “how exhausting it was a mother to cater all the day to the needs of young children?” (Sanders 3). Sanders has used several examples in depicting the women as ultimate child caretakers for their lifetime. Both the authors depicted that the most obvious role of all the women in the society was to nurture their children. How can a woman achieve her dream in such a hectic schedule?
The duties of a wife in the society was classified by both the authors mainly as: All jobs in relation to the house maintenance and in satisfying her husband’s requirements. This arises the fact that the women are being bullied by men for their advantage by being categorized into various duties. Sanders and Brady have argued that the women have to be independent. Brady has used a humorous tone but has presented the most flagrant stereotypes regarding both the male and female. Brady’s point in her essay that the woman has to confirm that she will do the typing for her husband seemed very absurd. Brady has stated that these stereotypes are absolutely wrong by highlighting these absurdities with the duties of each and every wife of that society.
For example, Brady in her essay says that she “wants a wife who will take care” (Brady 1) of her day to day requirements, always be available and obedient to her at all times. Similarly, Sanders has used descriptive language with a serious tone in order to accurately portray his statements on the sufferings of the women “from men’s bullying” (Sanders 3) which were invisible to him in his childhood. Sanders has adopted this kind of writing style in order to enhance the reader’s understanding of women’s sufferings in the essay.
Many essays focus on marriages, but these two essays from different time periods and different tones explored in detail about the various boundaries experienced by the women in their marital life. Here’s what we know. We do not know what impact these essays had on the society. Is marriage always a restriction? Do these roles exist anymore? At the very least reading these issues can help the new generation to understand the value of women.
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