This first week and a half of Shrew you has been filled with new knowledge, reflection, and examination. As we’ve begun this project, and learned more about what life was like for women in the past, one thing I’ve started to realize is how many stories have been lost to history. In our common-lit reading, specifically Verses Written By a Young Lady, On Women Born to Be Controll’d, it’s unfamiliar to hear a woman’s perspective from so long ago. It’s strange, but sometimes you forget that a group of people were present in a part of history because it wasn’t documented well. When I think of these eras throughout time I rarely find a woman’s picture in my mind, yet they were there the whole time.
I’ve always known that women had to deal with specific problems and barriers but learning more about what life was really like back then has been quite eye opening. It feels like women have been equal to men for a long time, but in fact this idea of equality between the genders is very new, white women only getting to vote 100 years ago and much more recently for other female minorities, as we learned when studying suffrage. Women, especially in recent history have fought so hard for equality and respect, and navigating this world as a woman is still a battle. When watching and evaluating clips surrounding the use and idea of the s-word, like Golden Girls, or Sex and the City, it really showed the power that it holds over women, and the extra pressures and expectations that women are expected to live up to in our society. This was continued when reading Taming of the Shrew, and seeing how the story/ characters handled and treated Kate versus Bianca.
I personally find this project very important, for the young men and women in our class who are setting up to become adults and having to learn to navigate through the world. As a young woman myself I have always seen a difference between the genders, be it power imbalances or just harmless differences, and I’ve known that women in the past had it hard, but I’ve never been taught the real history. Throughout our 12 years at school it feels like all we’ve learned about is the men, which is good because men were a huge part of history, but women were too, 50% in fact.
I have some goals for this project, that I wish to achieve, which are as follows:
- I want to gain a deeper understanding of what women went through in the past, and to be able to connect it to present day and identify where these patterns are still a part of our society.
- I want to read and evaluate Taming of the Shrew, and use it to figure out where Shakespeare was coming from when writing the female characters and how that can connect to the time period.
- I want to improve my writing and communication skills, to be able to fully illustrate the point and connections I’m trying to make.
- I want to improve my time management, and give myself enough time to finish all of my work with care and quality.