Women are beautiful creations put upon this earth to bless its prefecture’s and their significant other. With every woman, is an adventure—mysteries that awaken new journeys. No two souls are the same in feeling and towards understanding. What one has, is sacred and should be treated as such. Through true admiration, one will strive to see the difference of such voyage. However, with propaganda, coitus promulgations become arts of deceit. They are throwaway publications that feed the most inner feats—a dampening congestion that affects both men and women. Indubitably, these voiceless encounters speak more words than an individual’s plea for enmity’s liberty. These ideas are expressed in the articles “Struggling for Perfection” by Amy L. Beck and “The Issue Isn’t Sex, It’s Violence” by Caryl Rivers. Amy L. Beck argues that the outward publications of women are responsible for defining what sexy is and reinforce the belief that aesthetic appeal is a women’s highest virtue. Caryl Rivers shares the same sentiment in which she emphasizes that the lyrics presented within songs, induce violence and often does not acquire attention when said lyrics are directed towards women. Thus, upon hearing both wiles gone forth, the representations of women in the media and entertainment industry have a negative impact upon females.

One negative impact the representation of women in the media and entertainment industry have upon females consist of the subjection to manipulation. When reoccurring images of the “perfect woman” is absorbed by society, it requests that women lower their morals in order to comply with the new established norm. The request is never helpful to the development of women, for it tears down and destroy their current standing—their beliefs of what it is to be a woman. In the article, “Struggling for Perfection” Beck states that, “[Females] become convinced by the media and popular culture to believe that, as women, they should look a certain way and that only if they looked that way would they be loved and respected, [thus] they [turn] to dieting as a means of personal fulfillment and self-definition” (Beck 304). In other words, it becomes more of an incentive for a woman to fulfill these requirements. They desire the rewards that lie ahead but are not aware of the sacrifice needed in order achieve such success and transformation. Rivers makes a similar correlation in which she states that, “[Images] of women are not staying on the fringes of society. They are entering the mainstream at a rapid rate [and many] people regard what they see on TV as the truth” (Rivers 361). Therefore, women of society readily accept such portrayed images, for the idea of subjection helps with the transitioning and transformation of their appearance.

Moreover, the loss of one’s identity through prescribed conformality negatively impact females due to the presentation of women in the media and entertainment industry. When a movement trends, people follow without having consideration for the pivotal bane of their existence. They believe, if everyone is participating in such endeavors, then why shouldn’t they commit themselves to participating as well? Beck understands the initiative to follow such an appealing pursuit of happiness. She states that, “The power of popular culture to affect how we dress and how we behave is enormous” (Beck 305). This openness to change is forever welcomed, but of course, there are later unwanted strings attached. That is: violence against women. Rivers brings to fruition that “Violence against women, particularly in a sexual content, [becomes] legitimized in two ways: the increasing movement of images into the mainstream of the media in TV. Films, magazines, albums videos, and by the silence of it” (Rivers 362). As a result, men use this norm of accepted abuse as an excuse to do as they please. Their actions are often overlooked because “[V]iolence against women is greeted by silence” (Rivers 361). Naturally, having presided in a man’s world, women are preempted from their basic right to express who they truly as opposed to the doll in a house man wish them to become.

Ultimately, the representation of women in the media and entertainment industry has caused females to reject love and personal relationships within this contemporary age. The violence excused by those unaffected by it, has caused the birth of trust issues within women. This occurrence manifests because women lack the confidence and competence to engage in a serious relationship for they fear abuse is imminent. In the article, “Struggling for Perfection” Beck states:
In many cases, domestic battering [is] chronic, occurring weekly or daily whenever the victim broke some sort of household rule, such as serving dinner late or dressing ‘too sexy.’ The majority of sexual abuse victims [are] raped by people close to them: relatives, ex-boyfriends, or family friends. The men who committed these heinous crimes [are] rarely pathological rapists or batterers. They are men who view the real women in their lives in the same manner that they would view a Playboy model, a waitress a Hooters or a prostitute—as objects that exist solely for their pleasure and convenience. Men are not genetically predisposed to disrespect and abuse women. Their attitudes towards women [are] societally conditioned (305).
That said, women’s reactions to advances, however friendly and genuine, are just. It is hard to trust someone who may be under the influence of society’s norms because their intent is made known. It is more proper and acceptable unto women to dismiss these encounters for they become classified as threats to their existence. Under these circumstances, one is able to see why women regard men as the ordure and desecration to human society. In conjunction with this study, Rivers believe that, “[I]mages have a tremendous power to create an atmosphere in which violence against [women] is sanctioned” (362). Considering this is so, men’s behavior has no repercussions because there are no expectations that dictate what they can and cannot do. Thus, the philosophy of “boys will be boys” stays true to this day without any intervention or discretion.

Certainly, women objectification will always remain a problem as long as the media continues to reproduce dehumanizing images. It is hard to address the issue when females do not have the majority say in the content that is distributed within society. Furthermore, there is discontent in what is being done to resolve this issue on a societal standard. Although feminism movements spread awareness, it is still not enough to create the so desired change women seek. All that matters and all that has ever been requested is the establishment of equity, respect, and liberty for women. To attain such independence and power would be a step in the right direction for a revolution.

Works Cited
Beck, L. Amy. “Struggling for Perfection.” The Compact Reader, edited by Jane Aaron, Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 1999, pp.303-305
Rivers, Caryl. “The Issue Isn’t Sex, It’s Violence.” Viewpoints, edited by W. Royce Adams, Houghton Mifflin, 2004, pp.361-363

Resident Writer 

To Say No

Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1851 to Eliza Faris O’Flaherty and Thomas O’Flaherty. Her mother was a member of the prominent French-Creole community whilst her father was an Irish immigrant who had successfully established himself as a merchant [which invited him to partake] in various business ventures. Thomas had been a founder of the Pacific Railroad. During the train ride of its inaugural voyage, the train plunged into the Gasconade River, due to a bridge collapsing. Kate Chopin was [merely] a child when her father died. Having to go through the motions of her father’s death, Chopin developed a more intimate relationship with her mother who had grown more religious. Moreover, she also began to develop a strong connection to her great grandmother who aided her with her studies at the piano, the language of French, and moral counseling.

Chopin developed an infatuable love for reading and a large appetite for fairy tales, religious allegory, poetry, and novelists ranging from Walter Scott to Charles Dickens. That love would later increase due to the loss of her great-grandmother and her half-brother. These losses propelled Chopin to delve more deeper into literature. She excelled in her formal studies at [her] Catholic school, gaining a repute as a proficient and creative storyteller. Chopin graduated from the Catholic school in 1868, and for the next two years, she enjoyed life as a belle in St. Louis’s high society, earning admiration for both her beauty and her wit. Her love for reading flourished, as she did it religiously, not limiting her interests to the classics, but embracing the works of many contemporary writers. Moreover, Chopin continued to devote herself to music, often practicing the piano and polishing her craft as a pianist.

As she enjoyed the frivolity and stature of the St. Louis society, Chopin became increasingly independent in thought and action. She began to question Catholicism’s implicit authoritarianism, which dictated subservience for women to male domination, whilst showing awareness of the idiocies involved in socializing. With her awakened conscience, Chopin’s pursuit of life’s withheld freedom allowed her to adopt a habit of smoking cigarette’s and walking unaccompanied through the city—habits which were most unusual for young women. She found it important for herself and women in general, to maintain solace and independence. Doing so, allowed one to experience the world in a manner that does not necessarily fall within the ruling of societal norms. There becomes an encompassing support that not only promotes the entitlement of individualism but celebrates the autonomy of a woman’s mind.

Women are virtuous gifts that are declined of freedom and self-expression. Their expenditure regarding freedom itself, has always been frowned upon by society and its moral obligations to uphold the esoteric relationship of master and servant. Kate Chopin understood this and made a strive to raise awareness through the publications of her work. “A Story of An Hour”, is a prime example. The protagonist, Mrs. Mallard, having heard the news of the passing of her husband, instantly gains freedom from her husband and her marriage. However, when the news turns out to be false and a case of mistaken identity, the wife immediately dies. Chopin uses gender to show the obscurity of life and the societal imprisonment women remain dormant in, whilst having the main character’s death symbolizes the extent to which female roles are defined and described.

The purpose of exchanging wedding vows is to vocalize the representation of the love promised unto each other. When one says, “I do,” they fail to realize that they are spiritually biding themselves to another person, till death do they part. This is the obscurity of life and the societal imprisonment women linger in. Mrs. Mallard briefly recognizes this, when she realizes, “There would be no one to live for her during those years; she would live for herself. There would be no powerful will bending hers in that blind persistence with which men and women believe they have the right to impose a private will upon a fellow creature” (Chopin 2). The dedication to uphold the vows of a marriage, enables a woman to lose themselves throughout its entirety. In this instance, Mrs. Mallard felt empty even though she was free—by the death of her husband, from doing society’s bidding of how to live and to be happy.

According to the article, “Women in Very Low-Quality Marriages Gain Life Satisfaction Following Divorce” by Kyle J. Bourassa, David A. Sbarra and Mark A. Whisman “Poor quality marriages [are] harmful to those involved. This is [a resultant] of life transitions, which suggests that leaving from higher quality marriages evidenced lower happiness” (Bourassa K., Sbarra D., Whisman M. 1). In this brief instance, Mrs. Mallards, did not know how to cope with the loss of her husband. His death symbolized their divorce. It pricked her mind as to how she would transition from a life of bondage to a life tranquility and independence. The feeling of happiness, she was not familiar with, but after recanting her thoughts of her life being over, she happily welcomed them. Thus, the transition from “[L]eaving a highly stressful social role (e.g., a low-quality marriage) to positive outcomes” (Bourassa K., Sbarra D., Whisman M. 1), began.

Gender and gender roles often initiate the course of life for women. It is an exchange of one’s liberty for servitude that engulfs the possibility of ever understanding and feeling what it is to live, rather than surviving through the flinging’s of man’s arbitrary control. According to the article, “When Women Get Mad” by Katha Pollitt, “Being a [women] is about pleasing men: what they think of you and want from you and how you negotiate that in a world that does not want to hear about the darker side of what that can mean” (Pollitt 1). Chopin confirms this accordingly in “The Story of An Hour” when Mrs. Mallard acknowledges the fact that her marriage, was often times one-sided and required that obedience be met. Such obedience entailed pledging false emotions that weren’t necessarily the feelings of Mrs. Mallard, but societal expectations she needed to uphold, as a wife. Chopin states, “She knew she would weep again when she saw the kind, tender hands folded in death; the face that had never looked save with love upon her, fixed and gray and dead” (Chopin 2). Thus, one is able to see the explicit bereavement being forced upon not only Mrs. Mallard, but women as a whole.

Men are scoundrels of the earth. They effortlessly penetrate a woman’s independence through the ramifications of financial stability—postmortem feelings that only occurs after the expulsion of what was lust, cradled by a means to free their hearts of her world. According to the article, “Characteristics of Women With Children Who Divorce in Midlife Compared to Those Who Remain Married”
Traditional gender role beliefs emphasize the dichotomy between the husband, as the breadwinner, and wife as homemaker, and the power that each role holds. Men tend to resist changes in established gender roles because they benefit from maintain the status quo. Therefore, as wives’ attitudes become more nontraditional, their marriages are likely to become less stable. In contrast, women with traditional gender role beliefs tend to be comfortable with deferring power to their husbands, which stabilizes the marriage. [T]he husband’s gender role beliefs are a strong determinant of marital stability. When the husband is more traditional than his wife, she resists what she perceives as inequities I the relationship. [Conversely], women who perceive inequity in their marriages experience higher levels of stress, worry, and anxiety and lower levels of sexual satisfactions, martial happiness and marital stability (Hilton J.M., Anderson T.L. 1).

In other words, men are perceived as lionhearts by society. There need to meet status quo, is evident. In the midst of this bigotry, their demeanor and gender role grant them an excuse from ethical and moral obligations of a women’s wellbeing. Though not directly stated in “The Story of An Hour” one can assume that Mrs. Mallard’s husband never catered enough to her emotional and communal comfort. Thus, her death was eminent. At the beginning of the story, Chopin, states “Mrs. Mallard was afflicted with heart trouble” (Chopin 1), therefore, any news of tragedy or news of the highest contentment would cut her life span within an instant. When she accepted the news of her husband death, she was most happy. However, seeing her husband alive and well, brought back the insignificance of marriage that would have crippled her “suspension of intelligent thought” (Chopin 1).

How we are perceived by society, dictates our inability to look past the gender roles and stereotypes placed on us. We become a product of norms that limit our ability to think for ourselves. Kate Chopin’s work is centered around this idea, for she understood that life itself should not be limited to our gender. There is much more to living. How we choose to live, will, indubitably redefine our existence within society. We spend much of our time cradling trauma in hopes of it maturing into a child we proudly call rehabilitation. It is our way of comforting ourselves from the denial that we will be sane once again. However, Chopin illuminates the idea that is it is okay to say no the façade you humbly cater to. They too, will slowly begin to consume you until you become a frivolous being without a heart to love and be independently at peace with yourself.



Work Cited
“Kate Chopin.” Authors and Artists for Young Adults, vol. 33, Gale, 2000. Gale In Context: Biography, https://link-gale-com.bcc.ezproxy.cuny.edu/apps/doc/K1603000607/BIC?u=cuny_bronxcc&sid=BIC&xid=b12c9fce. Accessed 11 Dec. 2019.
POLLITT, KATHA. “When Women Get Mad.” Nation, vol. 307, no. 10, Oct. 2018, pp. 3–4. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=132140437&site=ehost-live.
Bourassa, Kyle J., et al. “Women in Very Low Quality Marriages Gain Life Satisfaction Following Divorce.” Journal of Family Psychology, vol. 29, no. 3, June 2015, pp. 490–499. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1037/fam0000075.
Hilton, JeanneM., and TamaraL. Anderson. “Characteristics of Women With Children Who Divorce in Midlife Compared to Those Who Remain Married.” Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, vol. 50, no. 5, July 2009, pp. 309–329. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/10502550902766365.

Resident Writer Camois Foster

A Childhood is Promised

The moment it is decided to bring a seed to fruition, those responsible for this decision has chosen to protect and serve that child with every bit of love a human can offer. This is a pronouncement that becomes an obligatory indenture no matter what the circumstances may be. It ensures that the parents belonging to their child pursues an abundance of healthy practices that encourage child development. Thus, it is expected that the child should be raised to speak like a child, think like a child and reason as one. Never should they be unhappy to be who they are nor rebuke the decision made for their life to be procreated. Though life can be a provocative time for parents, it is essential that their love and composure towards their child be maintained always. How they address life’s unfortunate events, should not be how they address the child throughout their childhood. A reflected appraisal is what determines the child’s meaning in life if they feel they cannot please the parent. Therefore, when there is recurrent longing for recognition projected by the child, the parental reaction can lead to either abuse or neglect. Taking this into consideration, one can perceive the later effects of child abuse on the victim.

Children are often prone to manipulation because of the reward system parents have instilled within them throughout their childhood. Therefore, they understand the consequences of lying versus telling the truth. Depending on the situation and the spheres of influence, they are likely to tell the truth the first time around. However, if the parent(s) does not acknowledge what they child is saying, may be true, then that child becomes subjected to a world of longsuffering and distrust amongst their guardian. Whether it is the mother or father doing the abuse, because of the love for their spouse, they will not be quick to believe the child. It will be concluded that the child does not know what he is saying or experiencing, by the abuser, which allows the spouse and child to be submitted unto the exploitation by the offender. In the article “Protection Children from Exploitation” it is agreed that “Punishment and mainly physical is the most common type of child abuse which is more tolerated by society in the guise of re-education and the demarcation of the child” (Tsitsis N., Chrysomallis M., Kourkouta L. 147). This then allows the abuse to be further dismissed without any repercussions. Moreover, when confronted, their reasoning is “[I]t is hard to have discipline without punishment or fear” (Tsitsis N., Chrysomallis M., Kourkouta L. 147), while in retrospect, the “discipline through punishment [and] fear does not lead to the adoption of desirable or acceptable behavior but rather enhances the event of inappropriate behavior and contributes to increased aggressive behavior” (Tsitsis N., Chrysomallis M., Kourkouta L. 147). Vindictively, this allows the appropriation of abuse to continue. Without any intervention, abuse, once committed, can be repeated and lead to revictimization.

Through negligence and exposure, does passivity and receptivity bring forth revictimization. Defined as the occurrence of multiple instances of abuse across childhood and adulthood, children at their tender age, lose the ability to self-disclose about their incidents. Their perceptions regarding their life has been ruled, useless, due to the lack of competence in pleasing their offender. Their self-concept begins to affect their self-esteem, for children begin to form negative thoughts which is reinforced by their negative behavior. Being that self-esteem is something that is developed during childhood, it takes a lot to reimagine their poise. Children, unconsciously, begin to develop a form of cognitive conservation in terms of everything that they are plausibly doing wrong which has led them to a life of unfortunate events. Furthermore, they become stuck in a translucent trance of manipulation (as previously touched upon) because they are targeted due to the child’s projected feeble disposition. The article “Child Sexual Abuse, Peer Sexual Abuse, and Sexual Assault in Adulthood: A Multi-Risk Model of Revictimization” pleads that “Child abuse critically damages identity, functioning, and relationships. This damage [often leads] to greater high-risk behaviors and decreased self-protective skills” (Maker, Kemmelmeier, Peterson 353). In other words, how a child is treated/mistreated, is detrimental to the equivocal existence of their social moral and character as a whole. Similarly, the article “The Consequences of Childhood Abuse” advocates for the claim made by Maker, Kemmelmeier, and Peterson by inciting that:
The experience of abuse in childhood has many unfavorable consequences for the physical and mental health of children, but also their social and interpersonal functioning, both during the childhood and later in life… [It] is [imperative] to emphasize the importance of early recognition and discovery of child abuse to be able to react in good time and reduce the severity of possible consequences (Tusic, Flander, Mateskovic 9).
As it stands, these counter measures can produce safety for children, if it is practiced relentlessly. However, in most circumstances, such options never present themselves which tend to create psychopathological problems for the child.

Psychopathology, ambiguously defined as the collective study of mental disorders, is the sequential resultant of manipulation/exploitation, and revictimization. Children can be classified by the Michelangelo Phenomenon—the way how significant others sculpt one another’s self-concept. In other words, children are moldable beings, by human intervention. Their survivability is dependent upon how their spheres of influence (parents, family members/friends) impact their lives. Whether it is a virtuous or depraved engagement that is transplanted within the livelihood of children, it becomes a pillar of guidance. Children tend to embrace the environmental upbringing for what it was and how it gave the direction towards one’s true self. Consequently, such embrace can lead to an inhibition regarding the conformality towards human beings. It is the experiences that determine how a child communicates in social affairs and the implicit perception given towards others who have not sustained any form of abuse. In the article, Child Sexual Abuse: Contributing Factors, Effects, and Relevant Practice Issues” it states:
Victims of child sexual abuse describe feeling rejected, used, trapped, confused, humiliated, betrayed, and disgraced. Other victim reactions include fear, anger, phobias and mood changes, hysterical seizures, hyperactivity, nightmares, anxiety, guilt, complaints, withdrawal isolation, self-mutilation, and suicidal tendencies (Wodarski, Johnson 162).
Videlicet, the emotional instability probed by trauma, creates a fountain of self and involuntary-inflicted torture towards children. However, by means of hope, the article “The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse” denounces such destitute carnal feelings. The article states that “[H]ealing is possible. The victim is not at fault, the victim is not alone as there are many victims, healing is possible, and the healing process is predictable” (Bass, Davis 1), thus proving my point accordingly. In order to inspire the wandering souls of children to come forth from the pinnacle of darkness, they require encouragement and endearment. It is the only way children will be able to properly (emotionally and socially) flourish as human beings in a world tainted by evil.

Indubitably, child abuse is a heinous crime that cannot go unpunished. How children are raised, determines the future of society. Abuse at a tender age ultimately, in some way or form, will lead to abuse during adolescence, which then causes the adolescent to reenact the maltreatment provided by their abuser, unto another child. It becomes a cycle that is not as easy to stop nor prevent. Thus, it is repeated. While it is agreed that intervention is key, some children’s inclination proves to be ineffective towards acquired help. This is due to snap judgments and first impressions that the child may have in recognition to the attempt of creating a safe space by an individual. To avoid this phase of discomfort, it is essential in the recovery process that children learn not to let things go, nor leave it be. All things, no matter how little, is of great importance when it comes to the lives of children. Their safety, by the parent(s), was promised and should be upheld. That is their sole duty in life when it came to a consensus that their child would roam the earth in search of joy and frivolity.

Work Cited
Tsitsis, N., et al. “Protection Children from Exploitation.” Progress in Health Sciences, vol. 3, no. 2, Dec. 2013, pp. 145-150. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=93517278&site=ehost-live
Maker, Azmaira Hamid, et al. “Child Sexual Abuse, Peer Sexual Abuse, and Sexual Assault in Adulthood: A Multi-Risk Model of Revictimization.” Journal of Traumatic Stress, vol. 14, no. 2, Apr. 2001, p. 351. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=11308686&site=ehost-live.
JELIC TUSCIC, Swea, et al. “The Consequences of Childhood Abuse.” Pedijatrija Danas: Pediatrics Today, vol. 9, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 24-35. EBSCOhost, doi:10.5457/p2005-114.58.
Wodarski, John S. and Sandy R. Johnson. “Child Sexual Abuse: Contributing Factors, Effects and Relevant Practice Issues.” Family Therapy, vol. 15, no. 2, 1988, pp. 157-173. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=psyh&AN=1989-16467-001&site=ehost-live.
Alpert, Judith L. “Review of the Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and the Courage to Heal Workbook: For Women and Men Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse.” Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, vol. 28, no. 1, Spr 1991, p. 188. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1037/h0092236.

Resident Writer Camois Foster