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Patriarchy and Capitalism in Written Works
Transcript of Patriarchy and Capitalism in Written Works
In a Capitalist society, classes are divided by financial borders. There are the "haves" and the "have nots". The amount of capital accumulated typically signifies the magnitude of power held not only by corporations, but also by individuals. This is true not only among classes, but within familial structure as well. Men typically make more money than women in their own class, leaving them to be their family's primary providers, and allowing them more freedom and power over other members of the family. Financial power and social freedom also strengthen mens' influence on their peers. This money and power are not easily earned. In fact, most men do not earn their wealth, but gain it through other means. This flawed capitalist system of unattainable wealth is theorized and explained in many ways. Writers such as Kate Millet, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Tennessee Williams, and Meridel Le Sueur have theorized causes for patriarchal influence on capitalism.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper
Kate Millett: "Theory of Sexual Politics"
Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire
Meridel Le Sueur's Works
pressure on women to want to have children and be mothers
infantilization of women: ("little girl", "darling" are terms John uses to address his wife)
lack of proper information on mental illness (post partum depression/psychosis/baby blues)
stigma for mental illness among women
women underestimated and expected to contribute to family structure by having children
Gilman: [The story] "was not intended to drive people crazy, but to save people from being driven crazy..."
writer, lecturer, magazine editor, feminist
advocated for equality among men and women
In This Our World, The Yellow Wallpaper, Women and Economics
feminist writer, professor of English at Waseda University in Japan, sculptor
awarded a Courage Award of the Arts in 2012
committee member of NOW
a.k.a. a collection of badasses taking down the patriarchy
"sex (gender) is a status category with political implications"
"The function of class or ethnic mores in patriarchy is largely a matter of how overtly displayed or how loudly enunciated the general ethic of masculine supremacy allows itself to become."
"The limited role allotted the female tends to arrest her at the level of biological experience."
"coitus... set so deeply within the larger context of human affairs that it serves as a changed microcosm of the variety of attitudes and values to which culture subscribes."
attended University of Missouri, Washington University, and University of Iowa
suffered a nervous breakdown as a result of being overworked and unsuccessful
Stanley Kowalski modeled after Williams during his breakdown
Stanley, the breadwinner, exhibits the most power among the characters and is considered a hypermasculine character which is seen through aggression, drunkenness, and sexual dominance.
Blanche as well as Stanley used to show how patriarchy creates the need to exaggerate characteristics in order to fit into society.
"The best I could do was make my own living Blanche." -Stella Kowalski
member of the communist party
writer for liberal newspapers
left high school and enrolled in American Academy of Dramatic Art
progressively feminist for her time
"Women on the Breadlines": working-class women confined to roles established by patriarchy
The Girl: coming-of-age novel that focuses on the struggle of working-class men to find work during prohibition, their reliance on women, and the way women suffer as a result of men buckling under pressure of the patriarchy.
The "American Dream" is corrupted by crime and corporation.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Meridel Le Sueur