- 3. Final paper topics
- 4. Is Heart of Darkness a racist text or is it a text that depicts racism?
- 5. Comparison of two of the texts we've read since the midterm
- 6. Tagore or Chekhov compared to the New York Times article of your choice
- 7. Notes from Underground linked to an article in the New York Times
- 8. Nicholas Kristof's "Not Quite a Teen, Yet Sold for Sex," compared to Harriet Jacobs's Incidents
- Citations from Oroonoko that connect to our themes
- Midterm paper topics
- Shrew and Oroonoko
- Shrew, Act 1
- Shrew, MRS and Ph.D.
Category Archives: Shrew, MRS and Ph.D.
In Taming of the Shrew we see that the issue of getting married is the main idea of the happy life for the woman. And as every father Baptista wants his daughters to get married, as it is a idea of happiness, so he hires the tutors for his daughters to teach them music and Latin. The girls will be more educated therefore will be more attractive to the future husbands. However we also see that the girls didn’t take such classes as philosophy or Law since those subjects were not considered as” woman” subjects at that time. The subjects which could make the woman more educated and developed her independent opinion on the world around her where not needed at that time. Since no man wanted his future wife to be very smart, wise and to show her intelligence, since with the intelligence and critical thinking the wife also become less dependent and more confident personality. At those times the personality of the woman was not a desirable quality. We see this difference between two sisters – Kate who is a personality is less desirable and even not desirable at all, as oppose to her sister Bianca –who is blank, “Tabula Rasa” but she is beautiful, can play musical instruments and is calm and therefore is very desirable among her admirers.
We can see that the idea of educated woman is not desirable for marriage is not only a story for the play it is a reality acording to “The M.R.S. and the Ph.D.” by Stephanie Coontz. “An educated woman developed a “self-assertive, independent character” that made it “impossible to love, honor and obey” as real wife should.” We can see that even now, in 21 century the educated woman is more likely to face the issue that man could be afraid of her because of her knowledge and education. The idea that less educated woman could be a better wife, mother is not so common today, but still present. I think it still present because of the man tendency to be the leader in the family, to finance and support the family. For the last 100 years woman began slowly but constantly moving in the direction of playing almost the same role in family and society as man did. It probably scared man and even affected their self-esteem. But every new tendency which happens in our world is a little bit weird at the beginning and become as a norm after the period of time. I think that our generation is far more different that generation of our grandmothers and who knows what would happened with the generation of our grand-kids.
What is holding men from Katharina in the play is Katharina’s personality. She is “curst and shrewd.” The article “The M.R.S. and the Ph. D.” by Stephanie Coontz published by New York Times states that women’s chance of marriage can be affected by their education. In the past, women had to choose between education and marriage. In the 1990s less-educated women were more likely to get married than educated women, but this is not the case today.
“An educated woman develops a “self-assertive, independent character” that made it “impossible to love, honor and obey” as a real wife should” said a physician in 1905. He stated that the more educated a woman is, the harder she find it to marry because of her confidence and independence. He also warned that middle-class men look for women who are less educated than themselves.
The play Taming of the Shrew both daughter of Baptisa were being educated but this didn’t help them to get marry. Bianca had suitors to educate her, but she doesn’t need to be educated in order to get married since she has several men trying to woo her. I don’t think education plays an important role in marriage. Today Society is different; couples marry each because they believe they should be together for their life and not because they want to find someone who has a matching or similar education.
The parallels between “The Taming of The Shrew” and “The M.R.S. and the Ph. D.” is very interesting because even though the women were to be married, Baptista still employed school masters to provide some level of education to the women. Also, despite that the article states that over time, men have evolved to desire a highly educated woman, it never points out the fact that most women, more so than men, with college degrees are still forced to put their career on hold one way or another in order to raise a family. Despite all the progress that has been made, the fact still remains that there are still more women who make sacrifices to raise a family than there are men.
This leads me to question, do men just want women with a certain level of education because they value her knowledge and highly respect it? Or do men believe that having an educated wife is a reflection of who they are? The M.R.S and the Ph.D states, “By 1996, intelligence and education had moved up to No. 5 on men’s ranking of desirable qualities in a mate. The desire for a good cook and housekeeper had dropped to 14th place, near the bottom of the 18-point scale.”(The M.R.S and the Ph. D…paragraph 10) I believe that is because society as a whole has evolved to judge a person by who their spouse is and that over time it became more desirable for a man to have a wife with a higher education. In the past, when women seeked to marry a man of high education, it was in hopes that he would have a respectable career and be able to provide for a family. I personally do not believe that men are now rating education of higher importance because they want a woman who is capable of securing a good job in order to provide for a family.
Even during Bianca’s and Katherine’s time, it was standard for a woman from a high class family to be educated in the arts, such as singing and playing music. Both Bianca and Katherine are provided lessons in Latin and taught how to play musical instruments, being as they were both destined to marry one way or another, does it not make it appear as though they were provided education so they could entertain and carry a decent conversation with their husband and his peers? What other purpose could there have been for the women to be educated in the musical arts? Even as Hortensio and Lucio pretend to be tudors in order to woo Bianca, it is apparent that none of them care whether she is thoroughly educated or not. They are both more interested in getting close to her than her education. During Lucentio’s session with her he says, “…as I told you before…I am Lucentio,…Vicentio of Pisa…disguised thus to get your love…”(Act3 Scene1 Lines33-35). Prior to Petruchio expressing interest in Katherine, it seems as though Baptista only had intentions of providing education for the daughter that was more likely to get married and yet when it appears as though there is a potential mate for Katherine, Baptista then offers Katherine an education after all. So even in that time period, women were educated to some extent, however limited it was.
In today’s society, even though men rate the importance of education higher than they did in the past, do they actually encourage their wife’s to pursue their professional career and become high earning CEO’s? Or does the average man want a smart wife who will be a good reflection of him to his family, friends and co-workers? I do not disagree that an educated woman is much more likely to get and stay married as opposed to an uneducated woman, as the article states, “…by age 30, and especially at ages 35 and 40, college-educated women are significantly more likely to be married than any other group… an educated woman still single at age 40 is much more likely to marry in the next decade than her less educated counterparts.” .”(The M.R.S and the Ph. D…Page1 paragraph13) It is very undeniable that if a woman was to try and play ‘dumb’ in order to get married in this century, they will not be met with success.
The progress that society has made as far as valuing an educated women is very apparent however, it still remains that there are more successful men than there are women and also, it is more likely for a woman to make some sort of sacrifice in order to raise a family than a man. Even though there are some families in which both partners have their own degrees, careers and also equally share the household chores, the average family today has a wife and husband both with college degrees and yet the husband is the main bread winner whereas the wife bares the responsibility of being the home maker. Having a degree and using it are two completely different things. Most of the women getting divorced today have at least a bachelor’s degree and yet with no work experience they are realizing that it is hard to obtain employment in the field they have their degree in. Why is it the woman who always has to put her career on hold in order to maintain the home and raise the children? So yes, the average man do now seek higher educated women and yet he stills expects his wives to cook clean, keep the children clean and run to embrace him when he comes home from work and yells out “I’m home dear.”… (While her college degree collects dust in the attic or hangs on the wall). I also find it very telling that the article says that when a man is married to a highly educated woman, he is more likely to help her with the house work. As the article states, “the higher a woman’s human capital in relation to her husband — measured by her educational resources and earnings potential — the more help with housework she actually gets from her mate.”(The M.R.S. and the Ph. D Page2 Paragraph4)…my question is why is it considered that he is “helping her” when it should be both their responsibility to take care of the home? So yes, men now prefer a woman with a higher education…my question is why then is it still primarily the woman’s responsibility to do all the household chores? Unless of course she is highly educated enough to receive some assistance from her husband. I am not disagreeing that great progress has been made however ,there is still some work to be done to achieve true fair balance and equality.
In the M.R.S. and the Ph.D. by Stephanie Cootz, several intrinsic and compelling observations are made about the educational statuses of women and their effects on their ability to attain marriage. More interestingly, are the apparent similarities between the evolution of women in a predominately male dominated workforce and Kate and Pretruchio’s evolving relationship throughout Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare.
Cootz stated that “…manuals advised women to “play dumb” to catch a man.” This statement reminds us of Bianca, Kate’s sister. While Kate appears to be sharp-tongued and quick witted, Bianca is a simple, peaceful woman who does not seem to have much of a personality-hence, a woman playing dumb. At that time, men were certainly intimidated by a woman of valor and substance as no one seemed to be interested in the older sister Kate. Statements from Gremio confirm their insecurities of strong-willed woman: “I say a ‘devil.’ Think’st thou, Hortensio, though her father be very rich, any man is so very a fool to be married to hell” (Shrew Act. 1, Scene 1).
Cootz goes on to discuss the variances in men’s prejudices of a women’s education over the years. “But over the past 30 years, these prejudices have largely disappeared.” While Pertruchio’s friends such as Lucentio seem to be in awe of women like Bianca, Petruchio represents the change in society that Cootz brings to our attention. Whereas men in his time seem to want a docile, submissive woman, he pursues the valiant shrew. It is not clear if he wants to marry Kate other than for monetary purposes. However, it is clear that he is not intimated of Kate in making his plans clear to break her; “And thus I’ll curb her mad and headstrong humor. He that knows better how to tame a shrew, now let him speak; ‘tis charity to shew” (Shrew Act 4, Scene 2).
Lastly, probably the most intriguing points that Cootz makes which directly correlates to Kate, is the fact that “…the higher a woman’s human capital in relation to her husband-measured by her educational resources and earnings potential-the more help with housework she actually gets from her mate.” This is such a pivotal statement as it suggests that Kate-like women today- understand how to get what she wants from her husband. By the end of the play, Kate makes a speech to the widow and Bianca encouraging them to submit to their husbands; “I am ashamed that women are so simple to offer war where they should kneel for peace” (Shrew Act 5, Scene 2). We see a complete three sixty turn in Kate’s personality, but we must remember that she is a very intelligent woman. It seems that she has figured out that acting a certain way will get her in turn what she wants. Like educated women in the 21st century, being educated and financially independent will yield a more helpful husband. This confirms that more men today, like Pertruchio, are truly impressed by a strong-headed woman and will give her what she wants.
When the times of Shakespeare are considered as a point of reference from which one can use to infer about what society was like then, and to try to understand which values were prevalent at the time, and how morals and tradition played an important role, as well as the family, in the life of the woman of those times, one can understand better which traits are acceptable and expected in a lady, and how the apparently misogynistic aspects of “The Taming of the Shrew” were mere and common for that time.
Not too long ago, women were not allowed to vote in the US, however, Power Relationships between men and women are not new. Not to go into detail about other times in history, when women were on top, in different societies and times.
Women today only seem to be considered a very important group during the elections, since women make up about 50% of the US population, and are capable of influencing the entire family, thus important enough for the candidacies of all. But still, inequalities are evident in all places, except for fashion models and porn stars, as a rule.
Not too long ago, the woman who pursued an education, a career, was not considered suitable for marriage. And this issue is also present in “The Taming of the Shrew”. Not only did the woman in Shakespeare’s time was submissive to her husband, she also abdicated of her needs and wants for the service of those she loved the most. And the shrew, who was rough, and sharp-tongued, hateful, well, she opposed largely from that time’s model of the ideal wife.
That is precisely the myth that Stephanie Coontz says is fading away. In her opinion column in the NY Times, she wrote this article called “The MRS and the Ph.D.” to talk about, among other things, how this old notion that women would have to choose between an education and a husband is hardly vanishing, given;
“TODAY women earn almost 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees and more than half of master’s and Ph.D.’s. Many people believe that, while this may be good for women as income earners, it bodes ill for their marital prospects.”
The other side of the coin, in the marriage front that is, seems to be “what men want”. The shift in men’s preferences may be due to the fact that post-war industrialism, when women joined the workforce to maintain production during the times of war, caused a shift in the behavior and what we have today are the consequences of the re-allocation of limited resources – economics explains sociology well! Of course there are centuries of repression suddenly the opening we were all waiting for all of us to break free, from ancient thought, from the oppression of those who must not have had mothers.
According to Stephanie Coontz, nowadays men want intelligent, good looking ladies to socialize with, as opposed to Shakespeare’s version of the 3D women of today (Dinners, Diamonds, Divorce), compared to the antique, muted and black and white “re-run” that grandpa used to love, or so they said. Maybe that old notion is tiring, boring, and perhaps there lies the link that many miss, between obedience and monogamy.
Most importantly, is the common sense, which supposedly allowed freedom to happen, really true? Or is “our time” a very subtle form of control, where choices are but a dream.
The parallels between “The Taming of The Shrew” and “The M.R.S. and the Ph. D.” is very interesting because even though the women were to be married, Baptista still employed school masters to provide some level of education to the women. Also, though the article states that over time, men have evolved to desire a highly educated woman, it never points out the fact that most women with college degrees are forced to put their career on hold in order to raise a family. This leads me to
me to question, do men just want a women with a certain level of education so that she can hold her own in a conversation with him and his peers? Or do men believe that having an educated wife is a reflection of who they are? Both Bianca and Katherine are provided lessons in Latin and taught how to play musical instruments, being as they were both destined to marry one way or another, does it not make it appear as though they were provided education so they could entertain and carry a decent conversation with their husband and his peers? In today’s society, even though men rate the importance of education higher than they did in the past, do they actually encourage their wife’s to pursue their professional career and become high earning CEO’s? Or does the average man want a smart wife who will be a good reflection of him to his family, friends and co-workers? Even though there are some families in which both partners have their own degrees, careers and also equally share the household chores, the average family today has a wife and husband both with college degrees and yet the husband is the main bread winner whereas the wife is more of a home maker. Having a degree and using it are two completely different things. Most of the women getting divorced today have a bachelor’s degree and yet with no work experience they are realizing that it is hard to obtain employment in the field they have their degree in. Why is it the woman who always has to put her career on hold in order to maintain the home and raise the children? So yes, the average man do now seek higher educated women and yet he stills expects his wives to cook clean, keep the children clean and run to embrace him when he comes home from work and yells out “I’m home dear.”… (While her college degree collects dust in the attic or hangs on the wall)
In Taming of The Shrew, Act 1 we see how Katherine and Bianca are being forced into marriage by their father. Bianca does not seem to mind so much but not everyone would enjoy having their family not only force them into marriage, but pick out a husband for them such as Bianca’s sister Katherine. Katherine is very outspoken, confident and reluctant to have others in her life decide her future. The men in the play say Katherine’s outspoken personality holds her back from having anyone approach her and possibly court her. What happens when a woman’s high education level becomes the reason why a man is afraid to build a relationship with her?
The M.R.S. and the Ph.D. starts off by saying, “TODAY women earn almost 60 percent of all bachelor’s degrees and more than half of master’s and Ph.D.’s which should make any woman proud. This however would hold women back from getting married from 1940 – 1970 when women were told they were too educated to marry. Luckily we have come a long way from this time period where women had to put their education aside in order to marry.
Act 1 of Taming of The Shrew not only shows us the amount of growth women have made but also the importance of understanding how reading what was going on during a time period such as Shakespeare’s, gives us an insight as to why women are now more outspoken and continue to push the envelope to be heard and be respected.