The Edible Woman

A Delicate Balance: Gender and “Women As Writers” College

How far have we, as women, come – politically, economically, and socially? With a female nominee for president, a tightening of the gender pay gap, and a push towards more family-friendly maternity/paternity leave, a cursory glance would reveal astounding advancement in comparison to our twentieth-century female counterparts. But delving more deeply into our concerns and our futures, there's a troubling repetition of themes that, despite our advances, haven't evaporated, merely transformed: gender equality, identity, and motherhood. Three books examined in WNMU’s “Women as Writers” course demonstrate these concerns: The Edible Woman (1969) by Margaret Atwood, Are You Somebody?: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman (1996) by Nuala O’Faolain, and Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman (1798) by Mary Wollstonecraft. These books provide an exceptional method used to compare the experiences of the characters with how contemporary women view their place in society, in the workplace, and in their personal relationships.

“Trapped” By Relationships

Gender equality concerns figure prominently in all three books. Maria: or, The Wrongs of Women, published a century-and-a-half prior to The Edible Woman, is dedicated to the struggles women face...

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