Throughout “A Room of One’s Own” Virginia Woolf discusses how men portray women. Men have a perceived notion that women are meant to stay at home and deal with the household issues. Some of these household issues include cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the children.
“Mr. John Langdon Davies warns women “that when children cease to be altogether desirable, women cease to be altogether necessary (71).”’
This is saying that if women don’t desire to have children then they will be utterly useless. He feels that is the only aspect of life that women are important for. Men also believe that women are inferior to them. They believe that men hold the power.
“”Wife-Beating was a recognized right of man, and was practiced without shame by high as well as low…””
Men would even go as far as beating up women just to prove that they had power.
Virginia Woolf even did a little digging to figure out men’s opinion on women. While doing her study she couldn’t come to a solid conclusion on what men thought of women.
Samuel Butler says “Wise Men never say what they think of Women (29).” Woolf then goes on to say that if they say that “wise men never say anything else apparently (29).” This sarcasm makes readers believe that Men should speak up about women. Going along with this idea Pope says “Most women have no character at all (29).”
Contradicting these accusations is French moralist La Bruyere. He states that “Les femmes sont extremes; elles sont meilleures ou pires que les homes (29). This translates to “Women are extreme; they are either better or worse.” Bruyere states that women may be better than men.
Overall in the text Woolf perceives men as having a negative connotation with women. Women should not do anything out of the “social norms.” She does go on to say that we should start to act out of these ideas of what women should do. She mentions that women were able to vote, write and even attend some schools. Now days women have a lot more options than when what we used to have. I believe these options will continue to grow overtime. If Virginia Woolf was around now she would be amazed at how far women have come.
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