A Women?s View
There are a lot of specific cultural values that have been taught to women by society since birth. The three essays, ?I Want a Wife? by Judy Syfers, ?How the Superwoman Myth Puts Women Down? by Sylvia Rabiner, and ?An Open Window On My Private World? by Jane Elizabeth Lemke are all written by women who share their experiences with us. The three essays explore the value of self, power, control, and life.
First of all, in the essay, ?I Want a Wife?, Judy Syfers exposes the meaning of ?wife? presently in our society. Her argument is based on the premise that all wives are completely devoted to their husbands and are willing to tend to all their needs and satisfy them completely while working, being a good mother, and remaining gorgeous. Syfers reveals her definition of a wife in a very sarcastic and frustrated manner. Also, the style of the whole paper is very ironic. Almost as if she is screaming, she concludes her essay with, ?My God, who wouldn?t want a wife??(pg.648, 11). The cultural values portrayed in this essay are the value of control and the value of wanting to be loved. The value of control is portrayed in our society by the husband having the control and power over his wife. Because of that control, the wife is forced to do all of these
unrealistic tasks forced on her by society. The woman fears that if she is not compliant or unable to perform her duty as a wife, her husband will find another wife who will. The value of wanting to be loved also represents how the woman performs all of these tasks for love.
In addition, the essay ?How the Superwoman Myth Puts Women Down? by Sylvia Rabiner also discusses the cultural values forced on her as a woman. She writes about the superwoman that our society expects women to be that have brains, brawn, children, husband, career, fame, respect, and money. Rabiner discusses the difference of the perfect women in the old days and the perfect women now. The expectations in society have become greater since the old days. ?It is ironic that feminism, finally respectable, has been made to backfire in this way.?(pg. 658, 12). Even though there might be a few women who have and are able to do everything, most women and men don?t lead perfect lives. Rabiner explains how the media uses the superwoman image to intimidate the average woman:
The superwoman image ignores the reality of the average working woman
or housewife. It elevates an elite of upper-class women executives. The
nothing in the system. In fact, all it does is give women like me a sense
through the points she makes about how she tries to be the perfect mother, work and educate herself. Her style of writing is very explanatory although she is angry at society and media for trying to portray a superwoman as a real person.
The final essay, ?An Open Window On My Private World? by Jane Elizabeth Lemke is about her experience living in a small cottage on one of the gulf islands off the coast of British Columbia. She describes her usual day on this remote island and how much she loves it. Lemke?s writing style is content and peaceful. Because she doesn?t have a lot of worries or obligations to anyone or about things like working, she is truly happy and values life. ?And thus ended another of my days – here at the beach, living in the country?(pg.401, 20).
The two essays, ?I Want a Wife? and ?How the Superwoman Myth Puts Women Down? are very similar because they are both true stories that are written about how a women?s role is ridiculous in present times. The two authors both are angry at society for placing this huge expectation on women. The essay, ?An Open Window On My Private World?, however, is written about a woman who doesn?t value society and who isn?t controlled by a man. She is happy in life because she is who she wants to be and not someone who society or a man wants her to be. Unlike the other women, Lemke is independent and relies solely on her beliefs of what is right. Also, she is not married because she has different views on men wants to be independent. ??Most men,? I replied, ?are looking for Princess Charming, wanting women who will let them do everything.??(pg.399-400, 11).
Finally, the three essays all display how these ladies have been influenced, either positively or negatively and the values they have acquired through life. Although society plays a great role in life, it shouldn?t influence a person?s cultural values. As long as a person is content with themselves and their life, everything else doesn?t matter. There should be more women like Lemke to take life into their own hands and to take care of themselves.