Women And Their Adversities

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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Woman, half of the population is made up of us. Woman is the mother of life. If we are not here, there will be no father, no sons, no husbands, and no human beings. Adversity is a very difficult situation or problem that you face in lifetime. Every day women around the world face their adversities because of their sex, their colour, their religion, and what they wear.

Good morning, everyone! I am Alice Walker. I am a black woman. From my experiences I have to say being a woman in a patriarchal society is not easy, and being a black woman is even harder.

I lost one of my eyes when I was eight. It was the one of the major adversities in my life. And I overcame it by working to my full potential in school. Education plays a big part in my life. I overcame many adversities by education.

The education I am talking about is not just going to school and learn the thing in the textbook. It can also mean watching TV, read book, and learning new things and skills.

I believe that the quickest way to learn new things is through the media. One of my favourite movies is called "˜Paradise Road'. It based on a true World War II story. It tells a group of women with different background who were held captive in Singapore by the Japanese in 1942. With the support from one another and their incredible courage they survived the inhumane conditions in the concentration camp. They formed a music band with their voice, which expressed their unbreakable spirit of survival. The strong bonding developed among them and their courage touches me and inspires my writings.

I also like to read novels and poems. In the poem "˜Legend' by famous Australian poet Judith Wright, the adventure of a blacksmith's boy was described. It shows the aspects of the human journey of transformation and growth through adversities. I always believe that the Blacksmith's boy in the poem symbolise all of us, especially those willing to climb mountains on their both physical and psychological journey of life. It gives me strength and courage when I am in face of my adversity, if a young boy can do it, so can I.

Once I read a novel called "˜The Cage of Butterfly' by Brian Castle. Some people said it is a novel for children. But I think it suits everyone in today's society, just like the poem "˜Legend' does. It talks about how a group of young people helped other five children to escape from the lab in which they were used as lad rats. It explores the power of love, unity and friendship among these young people. It shows me that no matter how weak you are, with true love and true friendship everything is possible in life.

I've gained knowledge and inspiration from other's work, and used them as sources for my own writings. My novel "˜The Colour Purple' tells the life story of a black woman Celie. From the beginning of her life, because of her gender and her colour, she experienced environmental adversities in patriarchal society, such as the discrimination from the white people and also from her people who had lighter skin. She also experienced physical adversity caused by her stepfather who raped her and sold her two children. Because of the lack of education and poverty, which were the other two adversities faced by her, she developed a low self-esteem and a negative feeling towards men and it soon became the psychological adversity for her. After she married Mr.__, her life was miserable filled with slavery and abuse from her husband.

But thankfully she met a series of other black women who became her salvation: Nettie, her beloved sister; Shug, a woman with free spirit; Sofia, the strong-willed daughter in law whose strength and courage inspire her; and Squeak, who goes through awakenings of her own. In the process of escape from the cage of abuse and discrimination, the strong relationship between these women gave her inspiration and both emotional and physical support. Celie finally found the new meaning of life. My experiences of racism and sexism and the things I saw and heard about sex abuse, low education and poverty has influenced my writing deeply.

The life of Celie was common in her time, and we know, it is still happening in the society today. May be less, but there are cases like this. Probably those women are sitting with us in this room now. They need our support and love. If we don't help them, no one can. Remember we are all women, black women. We are meant to be free and live happily in the sun. We are not nothing; we are everything that we want be.