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Women in Comparison

  • Date Submitted: 10/27/2010 04:34 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 71.9 
  • Words: 1682
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Sexual identity in American women has always been difficult to ascertain. Being an American woman myself, I know this to be true. It has long been up to our mothers and fathers to shape and mold us, praying all the while that we wouldn’t end up as “that girl”. The girl who is forced into an early marriage, or ends up an unwed mother barely out of childhood herself.   Through the course of my reading, I came across two stories that spoke to me. Dorothy Allison’s “from Two or Three Things I Know For Sure”, and “One Thousand Dollars”, by I.Z. reveal just how difficult it is to raise a daughter.   Raising daughters in contemporary America to have good morals is next to impossible.

Raising a daughter to have good morals means more than telling her she is “pretty”, or that she needs a man to complete her.   Halfway through I.Z.’s story, she says she couldn’t turn to her father for money or help, because he never approved of any of her choices in life.   When Anne and her sister are talking about their childhood, Anne relates how she felt her mother loved the sister more, when the sister felt their mother loved Anne more. I.Z.’s father stopped physically abusing her as she got older, but his cold, indifferent attitude formed this woman’s opinion of herself. Her own mother tried repeatedly to drive a bigger wedge between I.Z. and her father, having lost his love for her. Anne tells her sister some of the things said to her over the years, “you think you pretty, girl? Ha! You ain’t nothing but another piece of dirt masquerading as better.” “Sex ruined that girl,” one woman told their mother. “shoulda kept her legs closed, shoulda known what would happen to her.” A baby was the least of I.Z.’s concerns. She was just trying to live one day to the next.

We as parents must guard our daughters from growing up too fast. Children need time to just be children, without living up to society’s expectations of them.   Anne’s mother telling her all the time how pretty she was, and...


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