Scott Russell Sanders wrote an argument entitles, “The Men We Carry In Our Minds.” It deals with the problems that exist between sex and social class issues. This short work demonstrates troubles that lie between rich and poor, males and females. The time period that this piece was written tells of issues dealing with the earlier part of the 20th century.
Sander’s was born into a poor, low-class family that had only known hard labor. During his childhood he witnessed many a men go to the same job day in and day out to do back breaking labor so as to support their families. From his yard he had a view of the prison and watched black prisoner’s slave away against the land. Watching them were guards dressed in white that didn’t raise an arm or bend their backs to do their job.
Sanders claimed that, “As a boy, [he] also knew of another sort of [man], who did not sweat and break down like mules” (Sanders 515). He saw soldiers, who didn’t work in the factories or the fields, as far as he could tell they didn’t work at all. He watched these soldiers from his house on a military base in Ohio. He knew the life of the soldier conceived of little excitement except for in the time of war. Either way, he knew that he neither wanted to inherit his father’s life, though after time he prospered, or join the military. As a youngster, he also saw the difference in men and women in the workplace.
His ideas of women were ladies who sat around the house reading, tidying up and running errands. To him this was a life of luxury. But as Sander’s said, “I was slow to understand the deep grievances of women” (Sanders 516). He idolized them, though they suffered as men suffered when money was tight, it wasn’t their fault or responsibility. As Sanders say’s, “?they were not the ones who failed” (Sanders 516). This idea took a transition when he went to college.
Sander’s was very fortunate to attend college. He himself was very surprised, for among people of his social class, it was a rare opportunity. IT was here that his views of the world were put into logical perspective. His socialization with the women opened his eyes to the hardships they had to undertake. To get out of the shadow of being a female and be respected for their intellect and hard work. As he felt helpless before for being poor, they in relation felt the same for being of a different gender. He thought he’d made an alliance because of the alienable circumstances that they’d been through.
To his dismay, the females at college did not take him in as a friend, but perceived him as the enemy. For in their lives growing up, being daughters of affluent families, they knew from birth that men would become the ones with degrees and would be successful. This was a paradigm shift for Sanders; everything he thought he knew about women was turned upside down. Sanders proclaimed, “It was not my fate to become a woman, so it was easier for me to see the graces” (Sanders 517).
In conclusion, Sanders realized that the women he met wanted to share in the grandeur of wealthy jobs worthy of degrees and intelligence. He also realized, “The difference between me and these daughters was that they saw me, because of my sex, as destined from birth to become like their fathers, and therefore as an enemy to their desires” (Sanders 518). Sanders main point was that it is easier to overcome gender than class, which is portrayed in his argument.