Social Utopias: Will Saada Fall 2015

December 15, 2015

Response Paper 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Saada @ 4:20 pm

In Flora Tristan’s Utopian Feminist, she recounts her travels to England: the great industrial power of the world.  Despite the tremendous wealth London has accumulated she is very quick to point out the corruption and inequality that result from their industrialization and poverty.  During this time period woman all over the world were oppressed by men and considered to be the inferior sex.  In England, the class differences and dominant stereotypes for English women amplified these issues.

In England there were three classes who each resided in a different part of the city.  By far the largest class, the proletariat, resided in the suburbs.  The way of life for working class men and women was very misfortunate.  The majority of men worked in factories where they were worked to death and not given a sufficient amount of money to pay their taxes and feed their families.  This lead to many vices such as theft, drinking, and prostitution adding to the miserable conditions of the suburbs.  The wealthy men of England hoard the country’s wealth and force the lower class to live a life of labor and misery.  Tristan highlights how women specifically are affected by this when she writes, “Girls born in the poor class are pushed into prostitution by hunger” (Tristan 69).  Women are excluded from most crafts and because so many women are left without a husband and sometimes a child to support they must turn to prostitution to avoid dying of starvation.  Some women worked in factories, but this craft was almost as dehumanizing as prostitution.  Prostitutes were so numerous in London, because single women had no other way to support themselves and their children.  Many women were left widows because so many factory workers died.  Because of the income inequality in England and a lack of opportunities for women to work the masses were subject to a laborious and miserable lifestyle, women were specifically forced into prostitution because they had no other source of income.

In addition to the extreme poverty in England the stereotypes forced women to live as secondary citizens, exempt from participation in political affairs.  In an attempt to learn more about England and its government, Flora Tristan made the bold decision to dress up as a man to witness the English Parliament in action.  Everyone sees through her disguise and reacts in such a way that allows the reader to understand how English men viewed women.  When she first asked a man if she could pretend to be him she explained his response, “My tory friend paled in freight, blushed in indignation, took his cane and hat, arose without looking at me, and told me that he could no longer visit me.  His last words were: ‘Woe to the maker of scandal’” (Tristan 57).  His response is difficult to understand in the modern age because women are not only allowed to spectate but also to participate in government affairs.  Women in England were subject to stereotypes that limited their ability to participate in society.  They were excluded from most occupations including farming.  The thought of a women entering parliament was considered to be a scandal.  Ultimately poverty and stereotypes were the two biggest contributions to the suppression of women in 19th century England.

I have neither given nor received unauthorized assistance in the completion of this work.

 

 

Works Cited

  1. Tristan, Flora, Doris Beik, and Paul Harold Beik. Flora Tristan, Utopian Feminist: Her Travel Diaries and Personal Crusade. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993.

Response Paper 7

Filed under: Uncategorized — William Saada @ 4:19 pm

The Amish way of life is very different from the lives of modern and old societies: their lifestyle has its benefits and its downfalls.  From the outside looking in, it is difficult to understand why one would subject themselves to their historic way of life.  Humans have a strong interest in technology and modern advancements.  The Amish decided they do not need much to be content.  Most of its inhabitants are perfectly happy with their way of life despite their intense workload and lack of technology.

The lives of the Amish are very simple, which keeps them focused on what is important.  In the newspaper article the Amish women describes how the Amish stick to one kind of clothing.  She writes, “The members simply adhere to one style of dress, while the world about them, the vain, pleasure-seeking, novelty-thirsting world, changes their style of its dress with the four seasons or oftener.”  This high critical explanation describes how the Amish only have one style of clothes which they never change despite the weather.  Essentially, from her criticism we can see how she finds her kind of life beneficial.  The Amish do not worry about how they look contrary to everyone else.  They follow the guidelines of their community.  By giving up the freedom to wear whatever they want, they are rewarded the freedom to not worry about what they wear.  Their clothes are just one example of living simply but they have other rules such as the removal theatre.  By keeping life simple, the Amish avoid problems people create for themselves, such as worrying about how they look.  Without having to deal with these problems and concerning themselves with various luxuries, they save time for necessities.  Therefore, members of the community focus on what is significant like completing their immense work load.

The Amish have a significant amount of work to complete: women are required to take care of the home and men must take care of the fields.  In her article, she repeatedly comments on how much work she must do including: cooking, cleaning, making clothes and other household chores.  This workload is so abundant that in a footnote she notes how difficult it was for her to spend so much time writing in addition to her hefty workload.  On the surface and intense amount of hard work may seem like a burden on one’s happiness.  Yet so many people in this community are willing to do this.  Amish communities have survived for a long time and spread all across the United States.  First, by working hard the Amish allow themselves to remain busy focused on their task.  Some people find it more enjoyable to do nothing, however, most people will become bored very easily.  One-way people counter depression and sadness is by keeping busy so one does not have time to dwell on their misfortunes.  Additionally, completing tasks gives people a sense of self-fulfillment.  By working hard, they are able to complete difficult tasks.  After a long and difficult farming season, the Amish can feast knowing that they did a great job and have a plentiful supply of food for the future.

I have neither given nor received unauthorized information in the completion of this work.

Bibliography:

 

  1. “One Day in the Life of an Amish Woman.” 1903.The Independent …Devoted to the Consideration of Politics, Social and Economic Tendencies, History, Literature, and the Arts (1848-1921), Jun 11, 1393.

September 1, 2015

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Filed under: Uncategorized — William Saada @ 12:48 pm

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