Ibsen's" a Doll’s House" and Gender Roles

Topics: Gender, Gender role, Transgender Pages: 5 (1795 words) Published: October 21, 2009
Kelly Thompson
Gender Studies
Dr. Smith
6-18-09
Ibsen's" A Doll’s House" and Gender Roles
Introduction
It has been experienced from time immemorial that there has always lain a very big and noticeable gap in the roles that both women and men play in the everyday societal developments. The issue according to most of the renowned researches is more elusive to the women as they are the ones that are mostly faced by the double standards in the society and this could include very harsh challenges as far as economic and financial status is concerned. Some of the roles of women in the society and more typically, in the house-hold, were very much considered inferior as compared to that of the men who in addition, were given an upper hand in the decision making of the society. The thesis of this paper is to deftly analyze Henry Ibsen’s book, A Doll’s House in its portrayal of the roles of gender that existed in the nineteenth century, both in the household and the society as a whole, with more elaboration on the Victorian period . Separate spheres ideology and how it contributed to this problem This was one of the most popularly used ideologies and a metaphor of the late Victorian time which was basically used by the historians in their bid to deftly analyze the roles of women in the society. It generally meant that two spheres of life that existed between men and women as far as roles are concerned were very much separated from each other. The belief went ahead to assign the women and men some of the distinctively virtual and opposite functional attributes and characteristics that were very much regarded as legitimate. The two spheres were of the public and private life and it was posited that the husband’s role (this included all the men in general) were absolutely in charge of the public part of life while on the other hand, women (or more appropriately, all the women in general) had the role of taking care of the private life. It was according to these ideologies that men were charged with the role of going to work, voting in the elections, take part in the civics. This was very contrary to the women who, according to this ideology, remained home to raise the children, cooked for their husbands, and overall took care of all the chores in the domestic sector . These separate spheres of ideologies brought with it a lot of problems that were associated with gender. One of the crucial problems brought about by this ideology was that it very Implicitly had a definition of the white, the Protestants, the middle-class and the arrangements of American gender as "normal' and imperatively "ideal" for all that could get the opportunity to embrace it. In the same context, the values of the middle-class were given a definition as typical American values. The consequences: Society headed for a division into two, "natural" classes which included the Men, who could construct the American empire of economical prosperity via achievement within the individual himself/herself; and some of the women who insured social order and just strength through their household activities. In short, private life provided the decent establishment for the public activity . An explanation of protective legislation and the reasons why women reformers sought it and its implications for gender equity Protective legislation was established for the sole purpose of accordingly advising the President of the United States of America on the issues that were very much affecting women and how to accordingly seek for the solutions towards them. The main issues that required address was the employment issues that largely affected women. The provisions for the Protective legislation very much limited the specific number of hours that both women and children had to work in a specific job and assured them of a minimum wage for every working period. There was a legal result, however, that both men and women had to be treated very differently in their respective work...
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