The Challenges of Women’s Writers in a Patriarchal Society

In a patriarchal society, women writers were required to behave in accordance with traditional gender role since men had authority in all aspect of the society. From the time one was born, they were instructed to follow a strict code of behavior that varied depending on their gender. It is damaging when you force men and women to fit into gender roles since it may result in gender stereotypes. The invention of a separate sphere made women understand their role in society was in the domestic sphere while men engaged in the public sphere. Although women had the knowledge and abilities, they could not adequately contribute to the literary scene because they were restricted from expressing their views, the patriarchal controlled the language, and they were perceived to lack certain characteristic of a good writer.

The patriarchal society controlled the language thus closing down possibilities for women doing the writing. Patriarchal control of language created difficulty for women since they were to follow certain rules when writing. Therefore, when writing their novels, women had to consider certain limits that were socially acceptable. It was difficult for women to write things that constituted the feminine imaginary. Men thought that the inventive interpretation of language by women would free them from their trapped and confined space. In the article, the author tries to describe the outcome in a situation when women writers decide to reject patriarchal control of language. Women will control the meaning of words and orders and define themselves (Cohoon 189).

Women writers were restricted from expressing their views. Although women tried to challenge the concepts of the domestic sphere, their action was not fruition. Women received a lot of criticism compared to men writers. In some instances, women writers had to use a male pseudonym to avoid the limits so that they could adequately express their perception of the society. Women writers wanted to have values similar to men; however, due to the stereotype that they were inferior, they could only be compared to other women writers. In the text, “Clamorous to Learn” the author describes how her childhood friend made a grammar mistake that landed her in trouble. The girl used the words “I might could” which the teacher could not tolerate; however, she was not given the opportunity to express herself. The teacher was impervious to foolish excuses (Welty 560).

Women writers were perceived to lack certain characteristic of a good writer. Critics thought that women writers are not innovators; therefore, they would always fit in the group of imitators. I was always believed that women could not feel honor, ambition or passion. In a patriarchal society, women were considered to have basic knowledge and could not process as much information as men. In the article, the author explains women’ creative use of language. Gloria exhibited a unique interpretation of language (Cohoon 188).

In conclusion, women faced the challenge of expressing their true self while complying with the requirements of the society. The patriarchal society left women writers with limited options to pick from; however, they struggled to overcome the challenge. Women used their heroines and raised awareness on women rights. Some rejected the patriarchal control of language and used their creativity to write good novels. Female writers overcame the perception that they lack originality and creativity by producing powerful and passionate work. The text by Welty explains how women use creative language. The author draws memorable characters that describe why some students who are not vocal may hate school.


Works Cited

Cohoon, Lorinda B. ““Thank Goodness the Goose Is Here”: Creativity and Women’s Writing in Eudora Welty’s The Shoe Bird.” Children’s Literature in Education 33.3 (2002): 185-201.

Welty, Eudora. “Clamorous to Learn.” One Writer’s Beginning, n.d, pp. 555-560.

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