In early times women were fearless in taking a stance in social reform and equal treatment for women in all facets of life. Our voices silenced our sense of adventure lost and the careers and families we fought so much for, now outshine our desire for “endless possibility.” This is the claim Barbara Holland makes in “They Went Whistling.”
The grounds Holland uses are completely anecdotal and solely based on her belief that “careers keep women in line more effectively than police men or repressive husbands.” She sarcastically questions “can a congresswoman really have more fun than a bar maid or more freedom than house wife?” Another anecdotal ground would be that career women’s lives must be dull and spent fulfilling everyone else demands.
Holland supports her claim with the warrant that there is no room for the opinions or eccentricity of women in politics or the corporate world. The claim is backed up by Congresswoman Jeanette Rankin loss of her seat, not once but twice when she would not conform to all other politicians’ beliefs. Our apparent need for more money and respect overshadow our successes and Holland qualifies her argument by claiming that “few of us seem to be having independent adventures.” I don’t believe Holland’s argument is strong or valid at that, her simplistic rationales of why women have chosen to devote themselves to a career and family have no bearing in my opinion. Holland totally taints the evidence with her opinions and biased view of women’s independence and adventure. She writes as if there has been no advancement in the status of women in the last century. I place a high value on family and my career and I don’t feel I have lost my independence or enslaved myself to the demands of anyone else. I feel I have been allowed many of the same opportunities as my peers and find great joy and excitement in what Holland laments.