In today’s American society, men are encouraged to either respect or devalue women based on their values and laws. This is despite the fact that anti-discrimination statutes exist to prohibit such action. Women face sexism in a variety of settings, including the workplace and their homes. Women may be refused a chance or a promotion in the workplace due to vague specifications such as their height, or they may become pregnant. At home, they are left to provide for their families in the absence of spiritual and financial assistance from their unfaithful partners. A man is more likely than a woman to be hired for a position for which he is underqualified. A woman is also most likely to be judged by her appearance and how they represent themselves to their male counterparts. On a light note, the female gender may not only be discriminated against for being pretty, they may also be judged for being too old, less pretty and not sexy enough for certain work positions (sales) (Yarber et al.).
Women are important in the society and when they are devalued, there will be no development. The Song of Solomon themes of women, feminism, and discrimination is clearly emulated in the current American society that the people live in. A series of lawsuits that have been passed out to the courts is a clear indication that women are still not treasured (Hong, 18). As the current American events give men more prominence, so did the book of Song of Solomon give to the male gender. This paper will focus on how women are paving ways in their lives and the events that they are exposed to so that they establish their lives in an individualistic society.
This thesis is significant because it will emulate the role of women in the society. The women are a source of life and if they are exposed to continuous hate, they feel devalued. Generations with a succession of women hate will end up rotten (Kittay, 1). The Milkman follows suit the act of his father towards women. He casually disrespects the women whom he should respect the most. The act of fleeing from their spouses was not right and also the discrimination based on women lighter skin complexion. Someone becomes a man when he fully learns to respect the role of women in the society. when the society learns from women, they act with kindness, learn from their wisdom and accept the role of women. The Milkman learned to become a man with love and respect simply because he identified his wisdom was from a woman.
Efforts have ever since been made to compare how different genders fare both economically and socially. The male counterparts have always been doing well and it has created an alarm. Women may be working for more hours in this world but they gain much less than men. Across the American continent, there is an inconsistent number of women who are denied the access to basic life necessities, education, and quality healthcare. Women are faced with various forms of discrimination that makes their status to be inferior to that of their male counterparts. The variation in inequalities is experienced all over America.
Discrimination at Workplace
Women are discriminated in the workplace in terms of roles, pay, hiring, and promotions. Their earnings, when compared to those of their male colleague, is slightly lower in almost every occupation despite their gender domination at work. In the workplaces, women are faced with various form of challenges, from harassment, ridicule to sexual harassment. Despite the challenges, most of them manage to advance. There have been rules that ensure women are safe in their workplace, however, they have always been ignored. Women in the American society are in the same shoes as women who try to pursue their passion in the book Song of Solomon. The women are trapped in their roles and when they try to pursue what they love most they are discouraged. The feminity and masculinity in men make them pursue different roles in the society. in Song of Solomon, most of the women are confined to house chores. Ruth tries to be different and picks her talent instead of house chores. She hopes it will please her husband Macon but at the end, he is not impressed. Corinthians fails to secure herself a job after graduating, however, he fails to get one, he ends up becoming a maid.
There are certain laws in America that suppress the women from acquiring the same legal rights as those of men. These unfair laws include denying women the right to divorce, obtaining of guardianship in divorce cases, inheritance, and legal protection against sexual violence. Women are unable to get a divorce if they lack physical evidence unless there is an eyewitness to testify (Alden, 271). There are many deadbeat fathers who do not want to be responsible for their children. In the Song of Solomon, women are placed in unjust situations. There is a series of repeated abandonment of women that shows how female suffer without getting protection from the law. The women, in a way, pay for the price of their men’s freedom (Peach, 233). Guitar refers to men as workhorses of humanity which is actually the opposite. This description suits the women in the novel. The men in the novel only take responsibility for themselves but the women take care of themselves, families and the whole community. Solomon flew to Africa without alerting his wife Ryna. Ryna is left and is forced to raise many children. This emulates how men in the current America divorce their wives and leave them with no guardianship. The divorced wives are left to care for their children with less income. Guitar’s father’s death forces the grandmother to raise Guitar’s siblings. Despite the grandmother being elderly and ill, she supports the children emotionally, financially, and intellectually.
Social discrimination in women is experienced in each day of their living. Women discrimination in the society is based on their height, weight, age, level of education, clothing and economic status (Middleton, 30). If a woman doesn’t fill the collective representation of normal, she is unworthwhile to the society. a U.S. based clothing known as Abercrombie & Fitch has excluded the plus-sized teenagers from fitting their clothing, this means they have been misled with the concept that women need to be in a specific size. In the book of Song of Solomon, women are expected to do things in the right way. Men abandon their families and they are revered as champions (Alden, 271). If the women do so, they are seen as being unreliable. Solomon left his family and went to Africa and years later, he is glorified for being a patriarch of the community. Ryna who was abandoned to take care of 21 children is remembered as a mad woman who was too weak to be responsible. In addition, Corinthians fails to get a spouse because everyman man thinks that she is intelligent.
Women’s freedom is limited and most of the time they are wanted to only associate with their family members. Some families want their daughters to pursue only feminine job and leave the rest to the men. This means that women are trapped in the things that they do to enhance their lives. In the current world most men are infidels and if women are exposed, they become objects of shame. Most males get wealth from their parents even if they don’t obtain an education. In Song of Solomon, Milkman does not go to college because he imprisoned to his devotion of money. Setting aside business obligations, men enjoy greater freedom than women, they travel much easier and safer than women (Blake, 80). In addition, the men in the novel do not stick to one woman, they easily move from one sexual partner to another. Men are encouraged to develop their sexual potency while women are condemned for infidelity.
With the many injustices and discrimination that women face today, there has been much focus on finding ways that can develop women’s potential. Many communities are affected in America with 5% of women facing sexual harassment in workplaces. Men and women are empowered to stop the daily injustices that they face. Gender lens is used to connect issues which aim to bring change. Comprehensive measures are made not only to empower women but to change their way of response to the regular societal discrimination that they face.
Alden, Robert L. “Song of Songs 8: 12a: Who Said it?.” JETS31 (1988): 271-278.
Blake, Susan L. “Folklore and Community in Song of Solomon.” Melus 7.3 (1980): 77-82.
Hong, L. U. O. “The dual discourses in the construction of identity——African American women writers’ creation and the themes of their works [J].” Journal of Yunnan Normal University (Philosophy and Social Sciences Edition) 4 (2005): 018.
Kittay, Eva Feder. Love’s labor: Essays on women, equality and dependency. Routledge, 2013.
Middleton, David L., ed. Toni Morrison’s fiction: contemporary criticism. Vol. 30. Routledge, 2016.
Peach, Linden. “Toni Morrison.” The Cambridge Companion to American Fiction After 1945 233 (2011).
Yarber, William Lee, Barbara Werner Sayad, and Bryan Strong. Human sexuality: Diversity in contemporary America. McGraw-Hill, 2013.