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Woman's Civil Right Essay

1347 words - 6 pages

A Women’s Civil Right

The speech ”A Women’s Civil Right” was written in 1969 and the feminist author Betty Friedan delivered it. Betty Friedan was a proponent of the modern women’s movement and claimed that women in 1969 and onwards should not be trapped in the stereotypical housewife role. Friedan was convinces that social barriers in the society kept women imprisoned in “the housewife trap”. She wanted women to have better career opportunities, introduce equality with men and to eliminate the illusion of “the happy housewife”. This specific speech announces that abortion should be a part of a women’s civil right.

Betty Friedan singles out women to be the invisible minority in ...view middle of the document...

To contradict the denigration in the society, women have to remove all traces of inequality and self-decrease. By means of a forceful argument, Friedan clarifies her political position by using a rhetorical device called confutation. Betty Freidan makes certain reservations in her argument because she is aware of a possible opposing argument: “Am I saying that women must be liberated fro motherhood? No. I am saying that motherhood will only be a joyous and responsible human act when women are free to make, with full conscious choice and full human responsibility, the decisions to become mothers”- p. 2, l.8. The confutation is used to destroy the conceivable objections against the argument: “The essence of the denigration of women is our definition as sex objects”.

Betty Friedan supports abortion on demand. She believes that mother’s should have the liberty of choice. Mother’s ought to have the rights to creativity beyond being a mother. This creativity involves pursuing a career in different occupations and to reject the prejudices about being feminine. Friedan insists on a woman’s right to choose whether to have a child or not. She thinks that motherhood will be accepted joyfully and as a great experience in life, if the choice was freely chosen. The conflicts of being a mother will not exist once women are the masters of their own faith and the captain of their souls: “I am saying that motherhood will only be a joyous and responsible human act when women are free to make, with full conscious choice and full human responsibility, the decisions to become mothers” – p. 2, l. 25.
If the women choose wisely, the motherhood will cease to be the curse for the male population and for the children. Despite the influx of love from the outside world on e.g. Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day, women are often used as a subject in comedy and as an obscene instrument for comedians. Friedan states that the hostility between the world’s two sexes has never been worse. She makes use of symbolic objects to describe the male interpretation of the feminine ideals, which have a very negative value. A prime example is the Lolita. The Lolita doll is often related to sex and it is used as a sex item across the world. This vehement comparison between a woman and a Lolita doll creates a furious feeling in many women. The shared emotion among the female population produces a well-known feeling of solidarity and fellowship, which Betty Freidan could use to accomplish her political purposes. Friedan states that the comparison is a part of a punishment of women and that it is the most important factor in the question about abortion.

Betty Friedan compares the women with a cancer-cell to create the feeling of anger. She uses imagery to produce a picture of a mother’s unendurable life in America in 1969. Women are to dependent on their husband and children like a cancer cell is to another cell. They are oppressed creatures, who have been...

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