Womens Struggle for Equality

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Women’s Struggle for Equality

Both Mary Oliver and Lucille Clifton are feminist women who fight for gender equality. By reading their poems the fight for women to be considered equals to men is evident. Both poems “Singapore” and “wishes for sons” were written in 1990-1991. During this time period women were fighting for equal rights in the world. They wanted men to see them as their equal rather than lesser. In “Singapore” Oliver reveals how difficult a woman’s job can be. In “wishes for sons” Clifton shows her strong desire for men to experience the embarrassments and difficulties that women face every day. In the poem “Singapore” Oliver writes about a woman who walks into a public restroom and finds a lady knelt over a toilet cleaning it. “A woman knelt there, washing something in the white bowl” (Oliver, 1990, line 5). The lady is at first disgusted with what she sees, but then as the lady turns to face her she sees the beauty in her. She realizes that even though this lady has a very disgusting job she is still a human and deserves to be happy. Oliver is showing that despite life’s difficulties women can find the strength to be happy and live a great life. She wants the reader to know that women can have the most disgusting jobs and still be beautiful on the inside and outside “the light that can shine out of a life” (Oliver, 1990, line 35). In the poem “wishes for sons” Clifton writes about her strong desire for men to experience the difficulties and embarrassments that women face. Clifton expresses her anger about the way women are viewed as the lesser of the two genders. She wants men to experience what women have to face regularly. “I wish them cramps…I wish them a strange town…and the last tampon” (Clifton, 1991, lines 1-3). She wants men to experience these difficulties in an embarrassing manner. Clifton is writing about all the physical things that women have to face. She desperately wants men to see how difficult it is to be a...
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