Upon reading “The Intimately Oppressed,” I was faced with anger, as I have been with all the other chapters in this book. I thought it was very interesting that this chapter came after the chapters about enslavement, so the comparison could’ve been made about being a woman and a slave. It is funny that I always knew that women were seen as property as were slaves and never made that connection, and I assume most people haven’t. The idea of using “biology” to justify treating people as inferior is what disgusts me the most though. Most of the time when I learned about feminism, and the feminism movement, it referred to the 1900s so it was what I was expecting from these readings, but I was surprised to see a form of rebellion or the slightest appreciation of women of the 1800s, who I had never heard of.
Anne Bradstreet was someone who’s poetry was beautiful and spoke about things that pertained to women. Her poem “To My Dear and Loving Husband” was a type of poem only women could relate to, and as I read it I kept trying to analyze it as sarcasm, but I actually do think she loves her husband, which says something about the times we live in today versus the times she lived in. Although Bradstreet was important in the sense that she was the first woman published, Wheatley actually surprised me the most. As I read about her, I was very surprised that she was able to accomplish what she did within her given circumstances. When I read her poetry, it felt more emotional and rawer, like good poetry is, and it actually made me feel something.
As I write this, right after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I have a deeper appreciation for Zinn’s writing about women’s history, and all the women he mentioned. Ginsburg was someone who was so greatly credited for women’s rights, and someone who fought so hard and changed so much for the benefit of women, that this assignment being assigned right after her death is almost eerie. It feels so closely connected and so relevant at the same time.