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Theme Exploration: Gender

Each of these pieces connect to the theme of gender found throughout the texts we have read this semester, and further the notion that while society has made progress, there remains work to be done.

David Bonderman Resigns From Uber Board After Sexist Remark

David Bonderman Resigns From Uber Board After Sexist Remark

This article discusses an incident in which a board member for the company Uber made sexist remarks, indicating that he did not want women added to the board because they would talk too much. Although he was fired for these statements, this nevertheless reflects the idea that some individuals do not see women as fully capable of performing the same tasks as men based on the stereotypes. This notion is reminiscent of the role of women portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird, wherein women cannot serve on juries. Even Atticus, otherwise known for fighting against oppression, believes women would not effectively serve on juries, stating, "I doubt if we'd ever get a complete case tried—the ladies'd be interrupting to ask questions" (Lee 296). Although women obviously now serve on juries, Atticus' sentiment that women might not be able to stay focused enough to do their duty is still communicated by men like Bonderman today.

nytimes.com
Why We Need Wonder Woman

Why We Need Wonder Woman

This article discusses the history of the character Wonder Woman, along with the struggle to produce the new movie due to concerns that it would not succeed with a female superhero. The article quotes the creator of Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston, in his original pitch for the character: “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, power...Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are.” This idea that girls are meant to be sweet, submissive beings is reflected throughout texts we have read this semester. For instance, Scout faces criticism throughout To Kill a Mockingbird for not behaving like a lady, particularly by Aunt Alexandra. Additionally, Hermia from A Midsummer Night's Dream is expected to be submissive to her father, and risks her own life in order to defy him. Finally, in Persepolis, Marji feels as though she cannot speak out in her society, particularly in school, where she is forced to dress and act a certain way to appease her teachers. Within this article, Alicia Cohen addresses how females in our society today still seek strong, forceful role models- making Wonder Woman unique in the world of superheroes.

christianitytoday.com
California lacks minimum marriage age, puts children in danger

California lacks minimum marriage age, puts children in danger

In this article, author David Whiting points out the problem of California having no minimum age for marriage- leading to the potential for young girls to be forced into marriages against their will. The problem of girls being forced into marriages relates to Hermia's plight in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Just as girls in California can be legally pushed into a marriage by their family, Hermia's father attempts to force her into marrying Demetrius against her will. While many people would see this plotline in A Midsummer Night's Dream as outdated, this article serves to prove that even in America there is still the potential for girls to face this same horrifying dilemma.

ocregister.com
Always #LikeAGirl

Always #LikeAGirl

Within this commercial, the company Always argues that society uses the phrase 'like a girl' as an insult, which has the power to change young girls' perception of their capabilities and strengths. This relates to Scout's experiences in To Kill a Mockingbird, when Jem and Dill begin to taunt her for acting like a girl. Scout explains, "I was not so sure, but Jem told me I was being a girl, that girls always imagined things, that's why other people hated them so, and if I started behaving like one I could just go off and find someone else to play with" (Lee 119). Like many of the girls in this video, Scout is told that behaving 'like a girl' is 'wrong,' which is unfortunately a message that many girls still receive today.

youtube.com
Veil

Veil

This piece of art is a visual representation of what Marji was feeling in Persepolis- trapped by Islamic law in Iran. Although many women choose to wear the veil, for women like Marji it was not a choice- and therefore, the veil was a tool of oppression. Though Marji eventually left Iran to pursue freedom and opportunity, the image still communicates the imprisonment other girls face due to Islamic law.

91b6be3bd2294a24b7b5-da4c18212
MILCK Performs "Quiet" with GW Sirens and Capital Blend | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee |

MILCK Performs "Quiet" with GW Sirens and Capital Blend | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee |

In this video clip, a group of women perform a song they wrote and originally performed at the Women's March on Washington. The song, "Quiet," shares their discontent with feeling as though society still expects them to remain submissive, voiceless, and "shut up and smile." These lyrics and their soulful performance connect with female characters we've read about throughout the semester. One character who was also expected to simply follow the role of a female was Hermia- who also felt she could not keep quiet when expected to marry someone of her father's choosing. Additionally, Marji in Persepolis also felt the need to speak out- particularly when she gathered the courage to confront school officials about the inequality in the dress code, arguing, "Why is it that I, as a woman, am expected to feel nothing when watching these men with their clothes sculpted on but they, as men, can get excited by two inches less of my head scarf?” (Satrapi 297). The tone of the song, somber, yet hopeful, relates to these two characters, as well as the millions of women who attended the march this year.

youtube.com