Women's Rights Issue Behind Linda Pastan's Marks

Topics: Woman, Gender, Wife Pages: 2 (478 words) Published: March 16, 2011
Women's Rights Issue Behind Linda Pastan's Marks


By: Linda Pastan


My husband gives me an A

for last night's supper,

an incomplete for my ironing,

a B plus in bed.

My son says I am average,

an average mother, but if

I put my mind to it

I could improve.

My daughter believes

in Pass/Fail and tells me

I pass. Wait 'til they learn

I'm dropping out.

Marks talks about a woman’s life - an ordinary and traditional woman’s life. Staying home, taking care of house works and the family members, not being rewarded enough for it, then she finally through with the grades she keeps getting and planning on dropping out the job.

It might seem a simple and small problem, since women and men never have been equal. Men and women may be equal in number, but they have never been equal in power and status. All this time, they have always been divided into superior and inferior, and men always seem to be superior. Even the Christian religion, which has been one of the greatest influences on Western life and thought, for many centuries believes that women were the second sex, inferior to me. They believe women were made only to help men – that woman was made after man, of man, and for man.

Therefore, it is not surprising when people consider women’s place is second place, and, in most parts of the world, women’s place has traditionally been in the home. This is the system, since the very first day of their lives, women are taught to be wives. They are taught to cook, do the laundry, clean up the house, knit, sew, iron clothes. When they grow up, they get married, become housewives, and use their knowledge to take care of their families. Housework continues to be hard, boring work, but women do not seem to think that it is real work or important. Neither do men.

This is exactly the case of the speaker in Marks. None of her family thinks that her job...
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