The Potential for Change: The relationship between male/female with culture/nature

Essay by lals001University, Bachelor's December 2006

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Since early history and the ancient civilization of man, women have played a secondary role, and are continuing to be in viewed as less then men. Throughout history women have taken the role of housewife, mother, and nurturer. Many women today want careers outside the home and a place of greater significance in this world. The paintings by Charles Lamb, in the Glucksman Gallery, which portrayed woman's role as being solely in the home. He offset hyper-masculinity against hyper-femininity which impacted on the construction of Irish female identity, whereby women were portrayed by the Irish Free State government against a backdrop of a wild rural landscape, dressed in peasant costumes, working on the land or tending to children. The rural dress worn by these women was the antithesis of contemporary fashions elsewhere, proclaiming the new Free State as an anti-urban entity. As Ortner states in her essay; "...she accepts her own devaluation and takes culture's point of view".

The independent women of our times want to stand on their own two feet, and desire to become self-sustaining individuals, independent and free from other individuals.

Taking into a historical context, the Easter Rising was as revolutionary in its inclusion of women as it was in other respects. It made its appeal to Irishwomen as well as Irishmen, and promised universal suffrage, 'equal rights and equal opportunities to all its citizens'. However, women brought a radical edge to the struggle that could well have been lacking in an exclusively male campaign. Perhaps their own experiences of exclusion had helped to radicalize many of them. They challenged authority in ways that broke down many of the old gender roles and social boundaries, and opened the way to a genuinely egalitarian, open and tolerant society. If, as James Connolly said, "the cause of labour...