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Not June Cleaver - Essay Example

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Not June Cleaver Women and Gender in Postwar America, 1945-1960 Subject Date Introduction The roles for American women significantly changed after World War II. Studies on women roles in the society in the post World War II era have generally inclined to the view that women activism never took a backstage…
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Not June Cleaver
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"Not June Cleaver"

Download file to see previous pages This paper explores women experiences and their contributions in the post-war American society by reviewing I Wanted the Whole World to See written by Ruth Feldstein and The Sexualized Woman written by Donna Penn. I Wanted the Whole World to See Ruth Feldstein tells the story of a young teenager who came face to face with the seriousness of racial segregation in Mississippi, in August 1955. Emmett Till was a bright and bold 14-year-old boy who met his death for flirting with a white woman, Carolyn Bryant. Although the boy and his peers seemed to care about the likely repercussions of flirting with a white woman, they immediately forgot about it, at least before his assailants caught up with him. Roy Bryant and John William Milam approached the boy in the company of Mose Wright and drove off with him. Three days later, the badly disfigured body of Emmett Till was found dumped in the Tallahatchie River.1 At first, the community was united, despite racial differences in expressing shock and condemned the heinous murder of the young boy. Bryant and Milam were apprehended for kidnapping soon after they drove away with the boy. In the verdict, it was argued that identity of the corpse could not be identified. Bryant and Milam also claimed that they had let Emmet Till free and did not kill him. Feldstein through this essay shows the challenges that women faced, especially African Americans. Emmett’s mother, Mamie Bradley, sought to nationalize her grief and therefore generally the challenges facing the African American women in the country. She did this by first making Till’s funeral service public. The service was conducted with an open casket shown. In this manner the world was able to see what had happened and equally significant the pain that African Americans experienced in Mississippi. The action of making the funeral service public and specifically the bold step of letting the casket remain open in the course of the funeral service had far reaching effect – it helped to tell the world, in the most powerful and persuasive way, the evils that were taking place in Mississippi against African Americans. Feldstein described the scenes of the savage repression of women, especially African American women, by the media. The story covered various scenes of pain and suffering that the boy and his mother went through as well as the shock and disbelief expressed by members of the society. Mourners from African descent saw the badly mutilated body of Emmett Till, and quickly recounted brutal repression which they had went through in the past.2 Additionally, it was evident from the story that many more African American women within the society had not yet come across such incidents or heard of them at all for that matter, because some of the regions in the United States like Chicago were more liberal compared to Mississippi.3 The discourse in the essay draw many similarities from June Cleaver’s scenario: for example, the suffering of black females as was the case for Mamie Bradley points to the fact that many African American women suffered in silence. The publication of pictures depicting various scenes in the murder of Emmett Till and his funeral touched the hearts of almost all members. Additionally, like the June Cleaver’s experiences, women still faced monumental resistance from men and agents of the status quo, despite a significant role of the media in highlighting the scenes of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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