Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In Adrienne Rich's, "Claiming an Education," the part that struck me the most was the idea that it was a women's responsibility to fight and earn the things she wanted. I think many people believe that women should automatically be given the same rights as men. While that doesn't seem like a lot to ask for, in some ways I think women make decisions that make it less plausible to have complete equality. Like Rich pointed out at the top of page 4, women need to make the hard decisions that may be less comfortable. She says that "Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions." I think, sometimes, women are sucked into the easy choices that give them an excuse for not making the harder decisions and doing the difficult work. She uses examples like getting pregnant and marrying early to avoid things like starting a career or moving higher in the ranks. In order to make our way up to equality with men, we have to make sacrifices and have the courage to push ourselves to the top.
This relates to the part that I found interesting in Douglas' intro as well. She mentioned that there is still a wage gap and that women only earn 75 cents to every mans dollar and it continues to get worse when we bring in race and age. The jobs for women are also much less prestigious than they are for men. I think this relates very well to what Rich is saying because in order for women to expect to change things they must first reach the positions of power. It requires sacrifices like potentially not being at home with your children all the time or not being able to marry until later, but men make those same sacrifices, we just tend to ignore them because we don't consider that to be their role in the family. It's obviously not fair that women are paid less than men, but in the same vein, there is a high chance that women will be less reliable in the workplace just because of their role in the family that society expects of them.
Like Douglas was saying, if we want things to change, we have to realize that something is wrong and not accept the enlightened sexism that is so popular in the media. We can't accept that sexism is a big joke that everyone is in on and that we're in control. As Douglas points out, we are clearly no longer in control. The fact that women are seen to be on top is an illusion.

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