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Guerieri 1 Dina Guerieri Professor Cvetkovic American Literature II 15 August 2017 Research Paper The U.S. media depicts the traditional woman to be a cookie cutter housewife that is skinny, pretty, cooks and cleans and also takes care of her family’s needs. However this notion of what a woman should be and look like is completely outdated and can be harmful to women who look to this as a guideline and stereotype. Much like the four poems that we discussed this semester the women all faced some sort of stereotype about their gender. “Suicide Note” (1987), written by Janice Mirikitani, “Barbie Doll” (1971), “Always Unsuitable” (1969), written by Marge Piercy, and “Taking Off My Clothes” (1976), written by Carolyn Forche were all female- based poems that gave an insight on how women feel when judged by society. “Not good enough not pretty enough not smart enough dear mother and father. I apologize for disappointing you. I’ve worked very hard”, Mirikitani gives the reader a sense of hopelessness just from the first few stanzas. The girl in the poem feels like she let her parents down and that she was not good enough. She can’t live up to their standards of what they think she should be like. “If only I were a son, shoulders broad as the sunset threading though pine, I would see the light in my mother’s eyes, or the golden pride reflected in my father’s dream”, she even wishes that she could be a boy because that would make her parents proud. Eventually the poor girl can no longer take the criticism and talks of killing herself. Living up to a stereotype can unfortunately have a very negative outcome, for example “Low rates of treated depression
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