Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gender: An Overview of Monday's Reading

The theme that I found most prevalent in the introduction of "Becoming Visible" was gender. As for the reading itself since it was an introduction to a text that complied essays on women in European History it focused on its own purpose and the themes over which the essays portend. The themes that the introduction are split into are gender relations, women's work, and women in politics. The reason the intro falls under the theme gender is because that is what is discussed throughout the work. Under each heading or theme the author goes through time, starting with ancient Egypt down to the present, and elaborates on the differences between the genders. It also explains the generalized differences between what was expected of men and women during those different times and throughout different cultures. The significance of using the gender theme in the introduction is that it shows us, somewhat briefly, the overall changes in gender, in relations between the two, in the work of women, and in women in politics.

As for the second piece of reading it also falls under the theme of gender. In Joan Kelly's work she uses gender or the differing ideals of men and women, as well as the differences in their power during the Medieval period and that of the Renaissance period, to show that unlike most men the Renaissance for women actually meant a decrease in power and another shift in gender relations. To some the piece could more directly be placed under the theme of marriage and family because of Kelly's emphasis. But that is only part of the whole picture, because Kelly uses marriage, family, the courtly love of the medieval period, and ladies of the court in the Renaissance to show the shift in even the minor power that was granted women in the medieval period to that of their husbands.

No comments:

Post a Comment