I have heard this Chinese phrase few years ago, “Women hold up half of the sky.” Today, both men and women can work outside the house; basically they got almost the same rights either in families or in society. Men are no longer the central of the family, and women also are no longer slaves of the family. However, can you image in the past decades, women have no rights and positions neither in families nor in society. The only things that the society gave them were their abilities to give birth and work as slaves in the house for the men.
In the book Negotiating Difference – Cultural Case Studies for Composition, there are two articles against the women rights activities. One of the articles called The Woman’s Rights Convention: The Last Act of Drama (September 12, 1852) from New York Herald, it describes ideas of woman’s rights activists in some ridiculous ways to imply their activities were unnecessary and unworthy to be listened to. “…mannish women, like hens that crow; some of boundless vanity and egotism, who believe that they are superior in intellectual ability to “all the world and the rest of mankind,” and delight to see their speeches and addresses in print; and man shall be consigned to this proper sphere – nursing the babies, washing the dishes, mending stockings, and sweeping the house.” In this sentences, the editorial writer attempts that women though themselves superior that the men and the rest of the mankind. He’s trying to make the images of Feng 2
women being the queen of the world, and he also wanted to tell that women were supercilious and selfish. He disagree the idea of men being put into the women’s position. “How funny it would sound in the newspapers, that Lucy Stone, pleading a cause, took suddenly ill in the pains of parturition, and perhaps gave birth to a fine bouncing boy in court! Antoinette Brown was arrested in the middle of her sermon in the pulpit from the same cause, and presented a “pledge” to her husband and the congregation; or, that Dr. Harriot K. Hunt, while attending a gentleman patient for a fit of the gout or fistula in ano, found it necessary to send for a doctor, there and then, and to be delivered of a man or woman child -- perhaps twins.” He gave humorous images of women giving birth in the midst of their professional activities as lawyer, minister, or doctor. He’s trying to compare the difference between men and women, that women can’t live lives like men do. Men don’t have the ability to pregnant; men can live as free as they want! However, women can’t. In another article Abolition Women by Albert A. Folsom, he gave some descriptions about the middle class women whom were selfish, forsook everything to fulfill their zeal in that period of time. “She, who is naturally amiable and modest by having her mind filled with the peculiar spirit which characterizes the most clamorous among the Abolitionists, is imperceptibly transformed into a bigoted, rash, and morose being. Nor is this all. Self-sufficiency, arrogance and masculine boldness follow naturally in the train.” He was trying to persuade women to avoid activism. He said not only denounces public activity and public speaking as evil themselves for women, but other evils will also follow from woman’s activism. He also took the example of Eve’s disobedience from the Bible. “Eve’s ‘disobedience’ was eating he forbidden fruit of the Feng 3
Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden, for which her punishment was to be expelled from the Garden and to experience pain in childbirth (Genesis 3:1 – 16).” He suggested that women should stay in their positions, and shouldn’t be like Eve; she didn’t listen to God and ate the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. Because of her disobedience she got her punishment from God. So if women still want to pull themselves into the evil, and not satisfy with what they got, their punishments would follow by their activism. There are two articles that forth...