Woman’s War

What distinguishes one person from another is what that person is thinking and how he or she is able to express his or her thoughts.  “The only way for for a woman, as  for a man, to find herself, to know herself as a person, is by creative work of her own” Friedan concludes in her book, The Feminine Mystique. In the 1960’s woman had low skill level jobs as secretaries, house maids, sales woman, nurses or stay at home mom’s, but that did not count since there was no salary attached. These jobs restricted woman from becoming independents and kept them as sex objects and mentally slow.

“The Problem” that was unspoken and kept hidden was in the homes of every woman world wide. Woman were “a man’s wife [and] is the show window where he exhibits the measure of his achievement..The woman who cultivates a circle of worthwhile people, who belongs to clubs, who makes herself interesting and agreeable…is a help to her husband.” Zinn brings this quote to show what role woman were perceived to have. It was not two partners running a house together it was a single ruler, the man, who was the face of the house with the woman running the “behind the scenes” allowing for the face, the man, to inherit the credit. Woman were essentially robots doing everyday things without any meaning. No one was there to applaud the hard work a woman put into herself. That was the unspoken problem.

Cathy’s Cage

A maid, a husband who is in charge of a big corporation, two beautiful kids, and a nice sized suburban house, one would say that Mrs. Mangnatech’s life is picture perfect. However, that is far from the case.  Director Todd Haynes, depicts how tied up Cathy is from living an authentic life when her husband Frank walks in early from work with a full glass of whisky asking her, “is it true what I have heard.” This was referring to when one of her pretentious friends gossiped about her getting lunch with Frank on his side of town. With out hesitation she responded, “of course not Frank.” She is unable to defend her self to anyone at this point in the film. Although it seems as if she is at her peek of comfort when around Frank, Cathy was unable to stand up to her husband because she is living under his establishment.  Cathy not only has her struggling homosexual husband to stand up to whom is the least of her fears at this point.  Her wasp friends live to hear the next big news to spread, destroying or making one acceptable to society. With all her hiding and keeping her emotions in to keep her facade all perfect, Cathy ends up with no one at the end of the film.

The Political Game

“He [Lincoln] wrote to a friend: “I confess I hate to see the poor creatures hunted down…but I bite my lips and keep quiet.””

“Two months later in Charleston, southern Illinois, Lincoln told his audience:  I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races (applause); that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people…” 

Political or economical there was a reason for President Lincoln to keep his mouth open or shut in front of the nation of the United States.  Howard Zinn has a strong opinion in his depictions of history. He stresses the hardships the slaves had not only in the South but in the North as well. “The northern elite wanted economic expansion-free land, free labor, a free market, a high protective tariff for manufacturers…The slaves interest opposed all that.” The North was not right out racist in any form, they just had no interest in bettering the lives of the southern slaves. Their only interest was to improve their economic returns. These strong economic views did not have slaves freed.

After Lincoln was inaugurated as President the South threatened to secede. His first speech was directed toward the south stating: “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so.” Lincoln was put into a position fighting over the southern states making him play both sides of the coin. If Lincoln truly believed in the abolishment of slavery he would have put his foot down even in front of the South.  Zinn stresses that President Lincoln should not be seen as a hero, one who got rid of slavery but perhaps one who led the stoppage with the Emancipation Proclamation.