Womens Rights/ Gender Roles

by Maddy Svetlecic and Alex Parkins

Overall Message:

The theme is that the standard set for women restricted them from succeeding.

How the theme is expressed in the play:

Well it is expressed by how Beneatha wanted to be a doctor but because she is a woman she is expected to just stay at home and work with other women.

Song: Jack Jones Wives and Lovers.

Hey, little girl
Comb your hair, fix your make-up
Soon he will open the door
Don't think because
There's a ring on your finger
You needn't try any more

For wives should always be lovers, too
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you
I'm warning you

Day after day
There are girls at the office
And men will always be men
Don't send him off
With your hair still in curlers
You may not see him again

For wives should always be lovers, too
Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you
He's almost here

Hey, little girl
Better wear something pretty
Something you'd wear to go to the city
And dim all the lights
Pour the wine, start the music
Time to get ready for love

Oh, time to get ready,
Time to get ready
Time to get ready
For love.

This is a sexist song that basically says that wives should always look good for their husbands. There is a line in the song that says "Run to his arms the moment he comes home to you." This implies that women stay at home, while men go out to work. After that it says "I'm warning you" this is basically a threat. This is a way of the man saying he is dominant over the woman. Also the way this song is written, it is like he is demanding her to do all of these things for him.

No Doubt - Just A Girl

No Doubt - Just A Girl

The song itself is written about Gwen Stefani's exasperation over female stereotypes, portraying women as weak and in need of a man to look after them. This is evident from lyrics such as "Don't you think I know / Exactly where I stand? / This world is forcing me / To hold your hand.

Modern justice for women

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton's Remarks to the Fourth Women's Conference in Beijing, China

Hillary Clintons Speech:

This is video footage of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton delivering a speech to the Fourth Women's Conference in Beijing, China. This footage is provided by the Clinton Presidential Library. Date: September 5, 1995 Location: Beijing, China

Civil Rights Era Quote

In the adjustment of the new order of things, we women demand an equal voice; we shall accept nothing less.

-Carrie Chapman Catt

Carrie is saying that as things change, so should customs and traditional values. She is saying that women should be treated as equals to men.

Civil Rights era Picture

This Van Heusen tie advertisement is a great example of how men saw women back before they had rights. She is just like a servant in this picture as she gives him breakfast in bed. This also reinforces the stereotype that women belong in the kitchen.

Civil Rights Era Speech


This is a speech made by Shirley Chrisholm in 1969. Some of the important parts include when she says "Why is it acceptable for women to be secretaries, librarians, and teachers, but totally unacceptable for them to be managers, administrators, doctors, lawyers, and Members of Congress."

This news article above:

Is about women's rights. The whole website is about different things that important women are doing around the world.

Sarah Palin:

Women's rights leader and Governor of Alaska
Batman Returns Trailer (1992)

The two above:

The video and the link above are plays and movies about women's rights in the modern day and how it is still happening. Like in Batman Returns Cat-woman is not supposed to go out and do what she does because she is a girl but she still does because even though she is a women she can still do what men can do.
The link above is a website of a bunch of short stories that are about women's rights. Some of the examples are: “A New England Nun” by Mary Wilkins Freeman, and “The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. and so on.

Alice Paul: CIvil Rights activist

Alice Paul organized the largest parade ever to occur in Washington D.C. This parade was for Women's right to vote. She also organized the first ever picketing of the White House.


The poem above is about how women need to rise and go into the world. On how they need to stop staying at home and just doing what "women" are supposed to do but what they want to do. Go out and get a job and go out and rule instead of the men. It is pretty much saying that it is our time to take a stand and be strong independent women!

Documentary: Makers: Women Who Make America

The story of the birth of the modern Women’s Movement. When Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique came out in 1963, millions of American women felt the constraints of 1950s post-war culture, which confined them to the home or to low-paying, dead end jobs. At the same time, another group of women were emerging from the anti-war and civil rights movement determined to achieve their own revolution. (Aired: 02/26/2013)

Magazine Article: Women's suffrage


This is a magazine article from 1940 that talks about the effect that women voting had on presidential elections. They say that when women started voting, the difference between the votes for the two candidates increased by quite a lot.

Movie: Women in revolt.

This movie was made in 1971 and it basically makes fun of the women's liberation movement. It about three women who join a feminist group called P.I.G. (Politically Involved Girls). They find out that having rights and freedom doesn't end up making them any happier.

Short story: Double Jeopardy: to be black and female

This is a short story that was originally a pamphlet. It talks about how being a woman and being african american has affected her. It says that in 1969 the average black woman made three times less money that the average white man.

Poem: Men by Maya Angelou

This is a poem that was written in 1928 it is a sad poem about how the author longs for men but once she has one she is dissatisfied with him. It's about how men are selfish and don't care about how women feel. But the last line "Maybe" shows that her faith in men hasn't completely vanished.

When I was young, I used to
Watch behind the curtains
As men walked up and down the street. Wino men, old men.
Young men sharp as mustard.
See them. Men are always
Going somewhere.
They knew I was there. Fifteen
Years old and starving for them.
Under my window, they would pauses,
Their shoulders high like the
Breasts of a young girl,
Jacket tails slapping over
Those behinds,

One day they hold you in the
Palms of their hands, gentle, as if you
Were the last raw egg in the world. Then
They tighten up. Just a little. The
First squeeze is nice. A quick hug.
Soft into your defenselessness. A little
More. The hurt begins. Wrench out a
Smile that slides around the fear. When the
Air disappears,
Your mind pops, exploding fiercely, briefly,
Like the head of a kitchen match. Shattered.
It is your juice
That runs down their legs. Staining their shoes.
When the earth rights itself again,
And taste tries to return to the tongue,
Your body has slammed shut. Forever.
No keys exist.

Then the window draws full upon
Your mind. There, just beyond
The sway of curtains, men walk.
Knowing something.
Going someplace.
But this time, I will simply
Stand and watch.


Extremely Sexist 1950s Film "The Trouble With Women"

1950's film: the trouble with women 1:38-3:33 5:10- 5:30

This is an interesting video about a man that seems to have a problem with women. He assumes that if a couple of women aren't good workers, then all women aren't good workers.