Women_roles - Katherine Gomez Final Essay 1 The Changing...

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Katherine Gomez 1 12-01-2009 Final Essay The Changing Role of Women in Society The role of women has changed drastically over the course of human history. It started with women’s role in society to be a nurturer to now, where women have to strive to be the trophy wife, maintain a perfect body, personality, and so on. It was very easy for women in Paleolithic times to play their role perfectly; they just had to go with their instincts. Now however, it is extremely difficult to cross by this “perfect woman.” Society plays a key role in what is expected from women. Society changes and forms women into what they believe is best; even if it is not best for the women. Pressure from society eventually gets the better of most women in debilitating ways. Women’s role has changed from instinctive and simple, to being complex and difficult. We can see the role women were expected to play as far back as the Paleolithic era. In an excavation site near a town in Austria, archeologists found a figurine they named the “Venus of Willendorf.” It is dated at 24,000 B.C.E. and is 11 inches tall. This female figure has a very rounded shape with large breasts and a large torso as well. In my opinion, this figurine is meant to present women’s role in society of that time. From what I can see, women were expected to be fertile. Fertile women are characterized by having larger breasts and stomach, as this figurine exemplifies. Hair was not important to these people since used some sort of helmet to cover her hair. This figurine also fails to show what females of the time generally looked like. Had the people of this time cared for appearances or length of hair, they would have demonstrated so with their art; but they did not. What they thought was important role requirements for the women to have was to be fertile and to nurture the young. Other things were not as important, therefore they were not sculpted. As time progressed, the role of women did too. When we fast forward thousands of years into the future, we see that the image of women has changed. This is the time where the beauty of women is looked into, and art doesn’t only revolve around god (like medieval art). The Renaissance exhibited women in different ways, one of them being “The Birth of Venus.” This Venus is very much different to the one studied prior. This Venus exhibits long flowing hair, and a smaller torso. A face is drawn on this Venus, which allows us to see what the Renaissance considered beautiful women to look like and therefore were women who followed what was required of them. A face wasn’t even drawn onto “The Venus of Willendorf”, showing it was unimportant to them. Even though the woman in “The Birth of Venus” is slightly thinner than the “Venus of Willendorf,” she still doesn’t have a flat stomach. She has physical characteristics that people today would still consider to be “pudgy.” Her breasts are considerably smaller than that of “Venus of Willendorf.” I don’t think this means that women no longer had to be fertile, but that
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This note was uploaded on 10/14/2011 for the course ENGLISH 2 taught by Professor Harrison during the Fall '10 term at CUNY Brooklyn.

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Women_roles - Katherine Gomez Final Essay 1 The Changing...

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