Women And WritingSince the beginning of times, human beings have found various ways to expressthemselves and more specifically how to declare their feelings and emotions.
Weall know that art (in a general term) is supposed to be the tool used forexpression. People from different communities, cultural backgrounds, andreligions, have been appealed to manifest and share their uniqueness throughart. Art, whether it was music, painting, sculpting or writing has been highlycensured through time because of its contents of truth. The majorities of asociety did not allow minorities to fully express themselves with fear ofmanifestations and revolts .Order now
Women, as a minority have fought to tell the truth. In order to understand better the meaning of Women’s writing, we will firstanalyze the factors that pushed women to write, then we will go over theobstacles that women encountered and finally, we will discuss what the writerswanted to achieve through their writing. Factors that pushed women to write”There are writers who need to make sense of the world theylive”(Dorothy Allison, Trash, p. 19. ) This sentence shows that the writerneeded to write to see and understand herself through writing.
This young whitewoman was living a life filled with alcohol and drug addiction, she tried toescape that trap by fooling herself and by rebuilding a total new idealisticimage of her person (working as a social worker. ) However, throughout herprogression, she has been writing everything about herself on a yellow pad,whatever she would do, wherever she would be, those yellow pads were there, as arepresentation of her truth. She could fool herself, but not her yellow pads,her truth was written there. Allison as many women in the world has been tryingto hide her suffering. Constantly fooling herself, she still had to yell out hertruth, this, by spreading her pain on paper. However, the papers were taboo,just like someone would litter an embarrassing amount of trash.
Allison had totake out her story and anger, even if they were full of shame. She could notlive without writing, it was a matter of survival. This urge to write was sharedby some other women writers. The search of an understanding was the factor thatpushed Bell Hooks to write “I began to feel uncertain, displaced, estrangedeven, this was the condition of my spirit when I decided to be a writer, to seekfor that light in words” (Bell Hooks, remembered ruptures, p. 15) after thatshe declares “Searching for a space were writing could be understood, Iasked for a diary” (Bell Hooks, remembered ruptures, p.
15. ) Writing was away to understand herself a little like Dorothy Allison, a way to look atone’s own person in a global manner, from a different angle, in other words, away to be objective about oneself ?situation. Not only do women write forthemselves with the thought that nobody can understand them, but they also writefor others, a way to make a declaration to the world, a way to change the truthby saying it . In her writings, Sandra Cisneros implies that she wants to changethe world. In her book “The House on Mango Street” she declares thatshe wants to leave the unpleasant neighborhood of Mango street, however, shesays that she will come back, probably not physically, but at least trough herbook.
Coming back might mean that she wanted to do something to change Mangostreet, and that is trough her book, that’s why she wrote it. Edwidge Danticattells us how her desire to write was consuming her in a society where Women’swriting was absolutely forbidden, something to do in the corner. Danticatlearned how her female ancestors have been expressing themselves through nothingelse than cooking, hair braiding or even carving potatoes. But she wanted toperpetuate the creativity of her ancestors, she just needed to do it throughwriting. “It was their whispers that pushed you, their murmurs over potssizzling in your head. A thousand women urging you to speak through the blunttip of your pencil.
” (Edwidge Danticat, Kirk? Krak! p. 8. ) By writing, shewould have passed along a culture, just like braiding or cooking. However, herwriting was threatening “the natural functioning” of a patriarchalsociety.
Whether women write for themselves or for others, the main matter isthat they write for an urge of understanding. There is a clear desire ofcomprehension. Obstacles that women encountered In her paper “A Room ofOne’s Own”, Virginia Woolf wonders ironically “why women arepoor?” She then tells us that it would have been near to impossible for awoman of that era to be wealthy. Women couldn’t do anything else than havechildren and be submissive housewives, “Making a fortune and bearingthirteen children-no human being could stand it” (Virginia Woolf, A Room ofOne’s Own, p. 22.
) And even if women had been able to earn money, they couldnot keep it until 1870. Unable to keep her money, a woman gives up the idea toearn it, and so , she confirms her idea that her natural place is in the house. This last idea was (and still is) adopted in most of the places of the world. Most of the world’s societies have defined women as a housekeeper. But howcould this endanger their ability to write? It could be said that if women are”doomed” to stay home taking care of the house, their business isnowhere else. Men do not want to be invaded in the workplace, so women stayhome.
Also staying home could just as well include writing at home. But we allknow that only about sixty years ago, reading was profaned for women. A womenliterate was the devil incarnated. This was probably set that way because weknow that reading and writing both develop the ability to think in a criticalmanner, and again, men did not want to have rivals in that sector. Maybe Woolftried to warn us in her paper since she declared that women need a room of theirown to be able to write. To be able to write, women needed a material andfinancial independence.
Apparently, the major obstacle to women’s writing wasthe presence, influence and domination of men. It Is in fact hard to be a rebelin an already very set and rooted culture. In Danticat’s society, writing wasforbidden, something to do in the corner when you could have been learning tocook. She describes how writing was considered a curse, by giving us theexplanations her mother gave her.
She was a prisoner of her education andculture. Again, it was the same concept of society’s manipulation andconditioning. If Danticat had had tried to rebel, she would have probably beenseen as the devil “you and your writing demons in your head” (EdwidgeDanticat, Kirk? Krak! p. 10.
), therefore, she would have been left on the sideand set as an example to any other young girl that would have had her ideas. There was always a fear to disappoint family, community and society by notstanding up to her “good old culture” “You remember her silencewhen you laid your first notebook in front of her, her disappointment when youtold her that words would be your life’s work, like the kitchen had alwaysbeen hers. ” . ” (Edwidge Danticat, Kirk? Krak! p. 7.
) The societyDanticat was living in was very intolerant, and there is to believe that thesanctions were very strict for leaving the “natural destiny of awoman”, the cultural imperialism she was living in was totalitarian. Whatthe writers wanted to achieve by writing A woman who writes may want to achievedifferent tasks. As we have seen, a woman may have the urge to write, Bell Hooksfor instance, because she needs to understand herself since she doesn’t findunderstanding among her surrounding. She could also need to write like AllisonDorothy, because she needs to face herself and she has so much inside her thatcan not been taken out unless it is trough writing. A woman may need to write toreveal a truth to the world the way Sandra Cisneros did it. Also, just likeEdwidge Dandicat, a woman may want to give the voice to kitchen poets in orderto fight cultural imperialism.
Virginia Woolf as well probably surprised (orshocked) many people by trying to fight cultural imperialism by approaching thetaboo of Lesbianism “Cloe likes Olivia?do not blush” (Virginia Woolf,A Room of One’s Own, p. 82. ) Since the beginning of times, human beings havealways needed to express themselves, whether they are male or female. It iscrucial to the development of our societies that people speak out loud, so,whether it is spoken by a male or a female, the message has to go through. Also,each individual will express only his or her own feelings.
That is maybe why, wedid not see any man talking about Lesbianism around the 1920s, it might also bewhy no men wrote anything like the concept of the Red Clowns of Sandra Cisnerosin the House on Mango Street. In other words, some things may just not beperceivable to men, just as other might not be to women. It is not said herethat there is a distinctive separation between male and female writing, theremight just be a different way of thinking. It is therefore of the utmostimportance for the sake of the good development of our world, that everybodygets a chance to express and share his or her ideas, in the least censuredmanner possible.