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Paper Topic:

Three Girls by Joyce Carol Oates

The Female Identity

Redefining Women Stereotyping and the Search for Equality

Redefining the Female Identity

Gender identity has been on the predominant criteria in judging and attaching characteristics to both the male and the female gender alike The impositions of such characteristics though have lent greater limitations on the individualism as well as restrictions in behavior attitude and physical appearances of both genders . However , historically women have experienced stronger gender stereotyping because of the existence of patriarchal societies that tend to box their physical looks , emotional responses as well as

mentality into societal norms (Oates , VIII . Consequently , it is not only the type of society that makes the female identity controversial but also on its definition and how scholars and individuals construct it (Burn , Aboud and Moyles 1081 . This is true not only among feminist and non-feminist scholars but also in fiction and novels . For instance , Joyce Carol Oates who had been writing for years about the travails and plight of women is considered to be a feminist by Elaine Showalter (44 ) but opposed by Greene (1

The dilemma in identifying a feminist from one that is not is similar to the problem of identifying what a feminine identity is . Essentially , the female identity is a summation of the influences both intrinsic and extrinsic to her existence and hence , the differences in the definition and characterization of every individual of what a female identity should be . According to Oates in her book Snapshots , women does not merely resemble their mother as opined by other scholars but rather is unique in that the female identity is shaped by genetic , environmental personal and impersonal forces in he life (VII

The female identity is largely a social construct and hence , its definition in every culture and society varies . Its lack of absolute definition presupposes that everyone around us have different conception of what a female should be like . However , due to the conventions of our culture , we are likely to follow what the females aside from physical differences would have the following features : sensitive , emotional less capable , and more sympathetic . In this definition , female career choices are then confined mainly to household works , nursing , assistants to males in the office and support staff . Consequently , in earlier times and even in contemporary traditional societies , females would be confined in the home to take care of the house and the children while it is the man who pursues the economic needs of the household

Thus , the conception that women are weaker than men physically emotionally and financially is prevalent within this definition . Women on the other hand , would tend to cry , endure pain and would have to live as second rate in the area of work , in politics , economics and the business world . Hence , it is common to see women who are working to have lesser salaries than men of the same position they are also less likely to be promoted and are not accepted in some positions . For instance , it is typical that women...

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