It's a Woman's World

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Eavan Boland’s poem It’s a Woman’s World focuses on issues of female identity and discusses how the contributions of women have been overlooked in history. Boland argues that even though it may seem like women do not contribute much to society because most of them do not participate in public events, women have given much to their community through their domestic work. Boland effectively conveys how complex a woman’s world really is by arguing that women’s achievements and contributions have often been overlooked in society, and that their current statuses as housewives contrast with their internal desires to be socially equal with men. Boland believes that even though women do not participate in events that generate mass publicity, they are nonetheless big contributors to society. The poem focuses on several aspects of what is traditionally considered women’s jobs, ranging from “gristing bread” and “getting the recipe for a good soup” to buying bread and washing the clothes. Boland mentions all of those household chores to highlight the fact that women have been too preoccupied with daily chores to have a larger part in more widely recognized events that would qualify for the historical record and would shine some importance on them. Women’s traditional job of taking care of the home has consigned them to a seemingly minor role in society, leaving the men in the limelight with the awards, fame, and recognition. But by focusing attention on the domestic aspect of life throughout the entire poem, Boland gives the domestic sphere a place of importance and stresses its invaluable worth. And by showing how much women actually do in society (as without them, seemingly families would have no food to eat and no clean clothes to wear), Boland emphasizes the inaccuracy of leaving women off the historical record. Even though back then women may not have contributed as much to society in terms of the “larger projects,” they have contributed to the wider culture through...
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