Feminism in modern society
Feminism is an abstract concept or association that supports the equality of both male and female gender. It primarily focuses on the equality of females by arguing against the social limitations set for women. The feminism theory is the extension of feminism which seeks to comprehend the fundamental temperament of gender inequality. This theory analyzes themes that include: oppression against their rights, stereotypes, favoritism, and objectification. Since time immemorial women have been undermined in the society and were perceived as inferior. Women were referred to as “other” rather than she or her as the man was referred to as “he”. Their duties were to stay at home and care for the house, give birth and take care of the children while the male gender did the hard tasks of working. Initially, they had no right to vote as it was termed as a manly activity since women had no intellectual brains to make logical decisions.
Women have always been correlated with their bodies while men have been associated with their ‘brilliant’ minds. The concept of women being associated with their bodies rather than their brains resulted to women being used as objects and properties to be owned and exchanged by men. Their bodies have always been itemized through inventions and weird myths such as fashion, conceiving of children, diet, strenuous exercises, and surgical operations among others. In contrast to the role played by men, as decent and disciplined beings accountable for working or combating wars. To worsen the matter there are two factors considered to establish whether the woman’s body will be used for decoration or whether it will be exploited and used for labor. These are: the race (women of color) and the class of a woman (upper and middle-class women).
According to feminist psychological analysts, they believe that gender inequality stems from the fact that males grew up with the childhood foreknowledge believing their masculinity and females their femininity.
Time Stands Still By Donald Marguiles (PLAY)
In the play, Time Still Stands by Donald Marguiles, the different gender roles played by the characters depict how gender affects the general meaning in the feminism theory. . The play highlights the lives of two couples who are struggling with moral, individual and matrimonial choices which will affect their relationships and their lives. The play has four characters; Sarah and James, a couple who are in their late 30s, 25-year old Mandy and 55-year old Richard. Sarah is a photographer who was assigned to work in a warzone area in Iraq and she is still recuperating from the injuries she acquired from the war .James is also a journalist who writes and is a reporter. Mandy is an event organizer while Richard is a photo editor. The feminism theory comes in when Sarah is expected to play her role as a woman as per the societal expectations. She does not want to quit her career but her boyfriend James is suggesting marriage and the idea of a family. James wants to live as a normal man with responsibilities .On the other hand, Richard and Mandy are expecting a child and Mandy quits her job to take care of his family and his husband. Women are the sacrificial party while men’s delegations are constant. Sarah wishes to work and continue pursuing her career but the demands of her relationship are against her desires. Mandy on the other hand leaves her career so that she can raise her child and take care of James as expected of women. Richard and James follow the feminism theory as they believe women are meant to be their properties, they should give birth, take care of the families and also respect the man.
According to the society, women are expected to give birth, take care of their children as well as performing the household chores. Men on the other hand are expected to do the hard jobs, go to wars, provide for the family and be the head of the family. They are supposed to be the dominating party and women the subordinates.
Sarah Goodwin defies the feminism theory as she takes risks being a woman by going to war ridden areas to take photos. Such risky jobs are considered favorable for men due to their masculinity and ability to work best under challenges. According to Sarah, she views it as just any other job and does not see the big deal in it as she enjoys pursuing it. She even plans to go back to work after her leg heals completely. Sarah was on that mission alone and she still did the job independently without the help of his boyfriend James. She is an independent thinker and is capable of performing a task alone. Her knowledge is tantamount to Jamie’s and Richard’s. There are no specific ways for a woman to attain knowledge and there are also no limitations on the amount of knowledge that a woman should possess. Sarah is aggressive and determined; petty issues do not bother her.
Under normal circumstances, due to the pressures of the society, women tend to cover up any injuries that they may have to refrain from being dubbed as ‘ugly’. They often care how they look as they aim to please the men. Such matters do not bother Sarah; when Mandy suggested that she should undergo laser surgery she disclaimed claiming the scars didn’t bother her at all. Marriage orders women to be subordinate to their husbands and to submit as per the religious beliefs. It ties down a woman to an inferior as the man is the dominant party in the union. One will have no say or rather will be tied down to the remits of a man. Sarah has dated James for eight years and half years but has never bothered making their relationship legal. She is logical.
Mandy follows the feminism theory as she is calm and dependent on Richard. She is even insecure about Sarah’s relationship with Richard which had happened twenty years ago. Mandy has little knowledge and is only informed about matters that are concerned with her field of work. In the society today, there are different expectations for the age difference between spouses and it is abominable for a woman to be in a relationship with a man twice her age. Due to the fact that Mandy believes she should act like a lady, she takes balloons to Sarah and even starts being emotional upon seeing the pictures she took of the people suffering. The fact that Mandy is female and believes that is feminine she undermines facts such as acquiring too much knowledge which might render her to disagree or argue with the male gender. She defies logic and appears frail as that is the stereotype labeled on women; being emotional. Mandy does everything to please her husband and thus appears as a dependent thinker.
Time stands still summary
Women have the right to make the decisions they please, without justifying themselves. Why should the lady be criticized for the action instead of the man? The age gap between Mandy and her boyfriend bothers her as he is actually three years younger than her father. She also prefers leaving her job and staying at home taking care of the kids while the man is working. Her ideas are totally different from Sarah as they are clearly from different generations and her conformist attitudes clash with Sarah’s.
Richard follows the feminism theory as he objectifies Mandy. He describes her as hot. According to him, he needs to enjoy his life with a young lady since he is getting old. He objectifies his girlfriend by only looking at her physical features. He refers to them as “things”. Richard also seems to be in the habit of screwing ladies and leaving them as Sarah says while Mandy was in the washroom. He also views women as emotional and less intellectual since he used to choose them before based on that criterion. He impregnates a lady after dating for three months when he feels the time is right for him. Richard has been screwing women for his own pleasures but now that he is aging he chooses a young girl and wants to destroy her young life by making her have babies. This will be a responsibility for the lady to raise the child alone when Richard passes on.
James has been neutral for a while suppressing his desires as a man to dominate. He wants marriage, to legally own Sarah giving the excuses of how he had no authorization to make any decisions when she was in the hospital. He desires to have a family and children just like Richard. He longs for normalcy with his girl Sarah who is still determined to go back to her career despite the injuries she succumbed during the war in Iraq. James follows the feminism theory that a woman should settle, have children and stay at home taking care of the children. As he told Sarah he was jealous of Mandy and Richard who were about to have a baby. James does not feel complete with the absence of marriage and children. He also tries to dominate, when he tries to concur with Sarah about showing the pictures to Richard although he fails since Sarah is an independent thinker.
Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies.