Role of Women

Role of Women - Jessica Lester Mr. Creech English 102 March...

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Jessica Lester Mr. Creech English 102 March 22, 2005 Women’s Role in Society Since early times women have been uniquely viewed as a creative source of human life. Historically, however, they have been considered not only intellectually inferior to men but also a major source of temptation and evil. So what do people think the role of a woman is? Early Christian theology perpetuated these views. St. Jerome, a 4th-century Latin father of the Christian church, said: "Woman is the gate of the devil, the path of wickedness, the sting of the serpent, in a word a perilous object." Thomas Aquinas, the 13th-century Christian theologian, said that women were "created to be man's helpmate, but her unique role is in conception . . . since for other purposes men would be better assisted by other men." The attitude toward women in the East was at first more favorable. In ancient India, for example, women were not deprived of property rights or individual freedoms by marriage. But Hinduism, which evolved in India after about 500 BC, required obedience of women toward men. Women had to walk behind their husbands. Women could not own property, and widows could not remarry. In both East and West, male children were preferred over female children. Nevertheless, when they were allowed personal and intellectual freedom, women made significant achievements. 1
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Women were long considered naturally weaker than men, squeamish, and unable to perform work requiring muscular or intellectual development. In most reindustrialize societies, for example, domestic chores were relegated to women, leaving "heavier" labor such as hunting and plowing to men. This ignored the fact that caring for children and doing such tasks as milking cows and washing clothes also required heavy, sustained labor. But physiological tests now suggest that women have a greater tolerance for pain, and statistics reveal that women live longer and are more resistant to many diseases. (Kechine) Maternity, the natural biological role of women, has traditionally been regarded as their major social role as well. The resulting stereotype that "a woman's place is in the home" has largely determined the ways in which women have expressed themselves. Today, contraception and, in some areas, legalized abortion have given women greater
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This note was uploaded on 10/18/2008 for the course ENG 101 102 25 taught by Professor Creech during the Spring '08 term at McNeese.

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Role of Women - Jessica Lester Mr. Creech English 102 March...

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