"A Doll's House" Act 2 Response
Please listen to the audio recording of Ani DiFranco’s cover of the song, “Wishin’ and Hopin’.” Here is one excerpt of the lyrical content:
Show him that you care, just for him
Do the things that he likes to do.
Wear your hair just for him,‘cause
You won’t get him, thinkin’ and a prayin’
Wishin’ and hopin’.
In your Primary Post, you should:
(1) argue that such gender roles of dominance and submission still exist in today’s society; OR
(2) argue that today our society no longer desires such gender specific behaviors, and that true love and
marriage is based on mutual respect.
Your Secondary Response Post can:
(1) challenge your colleague's points, OR
(2) make connections to your own lives, OR
(3) support and defend a shared view, OR
(4) somehow create a dialogue about the characters' actions and choices
***To add depth to your discussion, you may wish to discuss the irony of Ani DiFranco singing this song.
Part One Expectations (respond to the prompt above): 200-250 words, quotes from Act 2 AND "Wishin' and Hopin,'" minimal errors in grammar and usage, thoughtful and thorough writing. Please use the assigned "pen name" given to you in class
Part Two Expectations (read everyone's first responses, select two that interest you, and respond to their ideas): 100-150 words EACH, minimal errors in grammar and usage, thoughtful and thorough writing. Please use the assigned "pen name" given to you in class.
3/6/2014 09:11:55 am
Our society no longer likes gender-specific behaviors, even if they may still be common to an extent. The song may seem quite misogynistic or in favor of “ye olde gender roles,” but there are connotations of equality in there too. When DiFranco says that after proving a woman loves her husband, “she will be his.” But DiFranco NEVER explicitly states what the woman will be – in case what I just said is unclear, let me put it this way: his WHAT? His wife? His lover? His property? We do not know. I believe that if a woman proves she loves “her” man, she will be his equal. She will be referred to as someone of equal standing. Her husband wouldn’t be afraid to listen to her and use her advice to make decisions. He wouldn’t resist by claiming that he would be “made a laughing stock before the entire staff” (Ibsen 35). The two would use logic to find an agreement both could accept. In today’s society, women and men are much more equalized though both sides still have some advantages, as is generally seen in our society. Where one person excels in a field, the pair accept this and allow it to be so. If it happens that the woman is better at cooking, she generally cooks. If the man is better, he would. In today’s society, this is more a show of who is more proficient inherently at a skill than it is a show of gender-specific behavior.
3/6/2014 10:30:52 am
Wow, very well said! The fact that, because of our history, there is a certain behavior that a women "must have" or a man "must have" is obviously very different from their behavior today. If men know how to cook and the women like to do crafts, as in building their own cabinets, paint and work, then that is what they are good at and like to do. When you get to know someone, before you marry, you should definitely talk about this because I know from hearing about other marriages that this miscommunication is a problem. Some men expect certain things from a women and women expect certain things from a man. You also made a great point that a man shouldn't be afraid to get advice from his wife. Sometimes it's helpful to have someone who loves and cares for you tell you what they think is best for the person and vice versa. You have a great thought and I agree 100%.
3/9/2014 03:55:03 am
I really like the way you phrased your idea about how who does what is based off of who does it better, not based off of their gender roles. I completely agree with that idea and think that’s definitely how the modern couple does things. I also agree with the idea that if a woman shows her man that she loves him then they will become equals. I feel like that is what should happen but not necessarily what always does happen, although I feel like our culture is definitely heading there. I feel like woman are more and more often accepted as being equals to men, even in the workplace. I definitely agree that being equals in a marriage is something essential and common in this day and age.
3/12/2014 08:32:57 am
I agree that our society as a whole tends to prefer things less gender specific. People may tend toward the traditional roles of their sex, but diverging away from them is widely accepted in the West. I think it is best for everyone that individuals pursue what they are good at and what they want, regardless of gender. Stifling talents based on who the person is cannot benefit anyone at all, only hurt us. In regards to the song, the lyrics seem to indicate a female seeking a male partner, wanting to be “his”. On the surface, it seems like she wants to be owned, but possessive pronouns do not have to suggest dominance of any kind. You would call your friend “my friend”, but you are likely not claiming ownership of them, just saying that they are a friend of yours.
3/6/2014 10:31:36 am
I do not quite understand why this song would be considered an example of “dominance and submission”, “gender roles” makes sense, but the former is inaccurate in my opinion. Dominance and submission are certainly prevalent in “A Doll’s House”, one instance being when Nora says to Torvald “Wonderful. But aren’t I good to give in to you?” (Act II, page 34). This is an obvious and rather stereotypical instance of a wife submitting to her husband. Even Torvald sounds uncomfortable with it when he responds: “Good – because you give in to your husband? You funny little thing. I know you didn’t mean it like that. Go on, I won’t trouble you. I imagine you want to try [the dress] on,” (Act II, page 34).
3/9/2014 01:06:16 am
I agree that the gender roles of dominance and submission are obviously in A Doll's House, and that these gender roles do not make for a good marriage. What you were saying about the song, I agree with also. I think of Thousand Splendid Suns. The woman always tries to look good for the husband and tries to compete for his affection. How can that lead to a good marriage?
3/6/2014 02:08:43 pm
Gender roles of dominance and submission still exist in today’s society. Many women, to this day, still try to do whatever it takes to get their husband or rather any man’s attention. As mentioned in the song Wishin’ and Hopin, “Do the things that he likes to do. Wear your hair just for him, ‘cause you won’t get him, thinking and a prayin’,” some women will even go out of their own way and do their hair and make-up to make themselves more appealing and try to make their significant other pay more attention to them. Some women are still submissive to their husbands because they don’t want to be kicked out of their own home or even have their husbands lash out at them. Some women find it much easier and “good to give in to,” (Ibsen 34), because they would rather not waste their time fighting with their hotheaded and, often sexist, husbands, seeing as our society has grown up with this idea that the men are supposed to be more dominant and assertive, and the women are supposed to be submissive and weak. Men feel like if they let their wives, or women in general, dictate them that they would be viewed as a weaker male. Which is a prime example of when Helmer told Nora that he if he listened to her and followed through with her command he would “be made a laughing stock before the entire staff. People would start to think I didn’t have a mind of my own,” (Ibsen 35).
3/8/2014 01:18:09 am
I agree with your statements about how women still try to get attention of men today. If they weren’t, why would such…for lack of a better term “slutty” outfits exist? I mean like skirts that go about 3 inches below the waist and tops with such a low cut it might as well be Aladdin’s vest (because that didn’t have a middle section). Also, your statement on women being submissive to their husbands is still true; after all, abuse continues to happen. People don’t do anything to stop it, they just accept it in some stupid form of mild insanity (because let’s be honest here – if you’re being abused and you don’t try to stop it because [speaking from point of person being abused] “it’s probably my fault” then you have to be at least slightly delusional). Those men who feel like they can’t listen to women were probably just brought up in misogynistic households – all that can fix this is time.
3/8/2014 08:47:24 am
I certainly agree with your reply, #2. It is so true that "Many women, to this day, still try to do whatever it takes to get their husband or rather any man’s attention."(#21)
3/9/2014 01:10:43 am
I find your view accurate and thoughtful. I think that the example you gave about women trying to always look good for a mans attention is accurate, but I think that more an more, men are doing the same thing. I think that presently men also try to do the things a girl likes to please them in a relationship. Either way I don't think that competing for someone's affection will ever make for a good relationship.
3/6/2014 02:37:04 pm
Of course gender roles of dominance and submission still exist in society today. It's easy to see that in the way immature guys in the school hallways talk about the sexual things they expect their so-called...female dogs...to do for them. This expectation of women's submission to men seems to be prevalent in just about every mainstream rap song, as well. It's sadly a big part of our culture, though not to the extent that it was when "A Doll's House" was written.
3/8/2014 01:24:35 am
I’d like to start this by pointing out the behavior you begin with is not surprising. The key word is ‘immature.’ It pains me to help the dogs in this way, but also keep in mind that you speak of students in EHHS – it’s not exactly “Thug Land,” but I’d say it’s quite close to it. You’re right about the prevalence in rap and other cultures, especially video games where the women are generally around either to drive the plot (as in “this is why I do X, Y and Z”) or to be a walking piece of eye candy (I seriously hope I don’t need to elaborate on that). The song itself is, like you said, far from this level of sexism. I agree with the notion that this sort of thing – sexism and gender roles and whatnot – is far less prevalent now, and I feel like you’ve used the quotes to say this well. It is amusing to note how we can overreact at the slightest misstep, as well.
3/9/2014 04:03:13 am
Although I feel that the expected behavior of woman towards a man has changed in a positive way over the years, I agree with your statement that is still is present in our culture. You make a good point about what goes on even within the hallways of EHHS but with that being said I’d like to point out that in the hallways there are also plenty of girls who stand there and use vulgar language to guys and act completely disrespectful to them in return. None of that behavior is okay but it shows that it isn’t one sided. Decades ago a woman would be way out of place to even dare speak to a male in such a manner. I agree with you that gender roles are still present, but I believe that at this point in history women are strong enough to personally free themselves of such expectations.
3/9/2014 01:15:38 pm
I believe it is true that males talk down on females in such a way these days that is degrading and vulgar, but you fail to mention the females that they are speaking about. The females most males are talking down on are the ones that have no respect for themselves and don’t present themselves in such a way that Daddy would approve of. Males will disrespect a woman that does not respect themselves, but will not dare walk on the shoes of a woman who walks with respect. From personal experience, if a female gives off that they have self-respect and don’t make themselves inferior to the opposing race, they will be talked about with respect and not be deluded to the ideas that men have about women that give off the vibe that it’s okay to disrespect them. Men will only disrespect what women allow them to. It is all not just the men being disrespectful, it is also the women being disrespectful to themselves.
3/9/2014 01:55:58 pm
I agree with your statements. About 98 percent of all rap songs elaborately detail the things that they do to women or the things that they expect the women to do to them. In my opinion, the gist of every rap song is to degrade women and worry about getting high and money. It's also rather disgusting and degrading the way the immature young "men" treat the females in our school. It's so annoying watching everyone fall into the same habit of expecting certain behaviors from male and females. Just because a man is a man, does not justify the fact that they can be the only ones to carry the dominant genes around in society. However, I also do concur with you on the idea that men still seem to be prevalent, just not to the extent to which it was back when the play had been written.
3/16/2014 02:31:25 pm
I agree with your beginning statement about males degrading words towards females, but society has taught us that it is okay for men to say such things. Tv shows portray that women in fact like being degraded, but in reality that's not the case . The song itself is far from high levels of sexism. Gender roles are still and will be present for generations to come, that's how the world was made and it sucks.
3/6/2014 05:32:31 pm
The song "Wishin and Hopin" is a good parallel to how life was in "A Doll House" even though there is one hundred years difference. The women are trying to please the man. "Show him that you care, just for him, Do the things that he likes to do. Wear your hair just for him,‘cause,You won’t get him..." In today's society it's fair that a women should be equally treated in marriage but there is still dominant with men treating women like there an animal. Not only here in America but all over the world there is this submission unto men. Nora said, "Wonderful. But aren't I good to give in to you? (Ibsen 34) Helmer's response was, "Good-because you give in to your husband? You funny little thing. I know you didn't mean that. (Ibsen 34) There definitely show submission that even Trovalt felt uncomfortable and said "Go on," to Nora.
3/16/2014 10:08:08 am
I find it interesting that though, as you said, there are hundreds of years of difference between "A Doll's House" and "Wishin' and Hopin'", the same ideals are seen to be constant within the two. It's scary to think that it takes hundreds of years sometimes just to make progress with reforming an idea. From slavery to women's rights, all of these movements and ideas took years and years to make little progress bit by bit. It just goes to show that the saying "Old habits die hard" is certainly true.
3/8/2014 11:56:54 am
In my opinion marriage is based on mutual respect between the husband and wife, and that the husband and wife both have responsibilities in the marriage. From a traditional perspective the man is the head of the household. I think that this tradition is definitely still present in todays society. However I do not think that just because a man is a man, that he is in any way more capable than a women in any possible way. I think that in a marriage, it is a man's responsibility to lead his family. This leadership, however should not limit a woman in any way and should not in any way look like Nora and Helmer in "A Doll's House" where Helmer treats Nora as inferior to himself. If a man's family is not getting what it needs, it is the man's responsibility to fix that.
3/9/2014 11:44:30 am
I agree with your opinion, marriage is based on mutual respect between husband and wife. Both parties have a responsibility to themselves and to their union. Marriage is still a big part of human culture although it’s been criticized for not meaning the same as it once. Leadership is usually given to the man in most parts of the world; however, both man and wife should share equal responsibilities. Women shouldn’t be a servant to her husband, they should be equal partners. But that isn’t the case in A Doll’s House, Nora isn’t an equal partner. Helmer controls the majority of her life and treats her as if she’s beneath him.
3/9/2014 03:46:24 am
The song “Wishin’ and Hopin,” shares similarities with the story “A Doll’s House” in that they both display the dominance of a man, along with the desire for a woman to make one happy. In both the story and the song there is the idea that women must be dependent on their looks and use that to make a man happy. “Isn’t she absolutely adorable?”(Isben, 52) says Helmer in regards to his wife as he brags about her to Kristine. The song “Wishin’ and Hopin,” says “wear your hair just for him” which suggests that you need to impress him to keep him content. The song also claims “You won’t get him, thinkin’, and a prayin’, which means they solely need to impress a man by appearance, not what’s inside. I do believe that this expectation for woman to be dolled up for men still exists but I believe that in most cases it is by choice. Women nowadays choose to look nice and put in effort to please the eyes of others because they want to, not because they have to and depend on it to find a husband. Women now have much more to depend on then just their looks. They have skills and ideas that can make their worth just as, if not more, valuable than a man’s position in any given career. When Helmer says to Nora “You pathetic fool” and continues to degrade her, she realizes that just like marriages of today, healthy relationships are based off of mutual respect.
3/9/2014 08:14:43 am
I wonder whether such expectations for women to make themselves beautiful for men to look at have made society shallower. Perhaps it's caused women to become more focused on their appearances, especially in the context of romance, while suggesting to men that they have to care greatly about women's appearances and will be ridiculed if seen dating a women who isn't outwardly impressive.
3/9/2014 01:09:02 pm
I agree with your contrary opinion on the need for women to impress their husband still exists, but mainly by choice. Many women these days get dolled up in order to find a man, but usually make themselves less than what they really are to do so. By choice, women will make themselves inferior to men in such a way. A lot of women have now started to go with a natural and casual look which makes men attracted to them intellectually and look into them instead of looking at what they have to offer them. Whether women are inferior to men or equal to them is their choice, they decide what they would like to be treated as instead of how they will always be treated. A woman with respect for herself will be looked on with good intentions instead of someone dumbing themselves down to be attracted by bad intentions.
3/9/2014 06:51:03 am
The song, "WIshin' and Hopin'" shares many qualities that are similar to "A Doll's House" because they share the idea that a man will do anything to make a women happy. In both the song/play a women must act upon her looks, be cutesy for the man to get what she desires most. "Isn't she absolutely adorable?"(Isben, 52), shows how Helmer regards is wife, he brags about her as if she is a trophy, that's maybe where the term, "trophy wife" comes into play. Women in our generation try to look their best to please men around them. Women are now more dependent on their looks than their smarts in our culture, and society plays a huge role on that.
3/9/2014 12:13:35 pm
3/9/2014 11:07:25 am
Gender roles of dominance and submission still very much exist today. In simple terms, the man is the head of the household, organization, workplace, etc. This isn’t true majority of the time in western cultures but for the majority of the world this statement is remains true. Unfortunately, we will always live in a society where men are treated with privilege and opportunity more than a female. It has always been that the women are here to serve the man and make sure that she doesn’t rise above anyone. “Wear your hair just for him” this part of the song is an example of how women are supposed to think in a male dominated society. In The Doll’s House, Nora is treated like a little girl who is ditzy and supposed to be submissive to her husband. “Little fritter bird, yes, I know them well. Let’s do as I say.” (Page 9 ACT one). Helmer treats Nora like a plaything; he calls her pet names like singing bird, fritter bird, squeal and doesn’t address her by her name with assertiveness. He is dominant in the household by giving her money anytime she asks for something he gives it to her.
3/9/2014 12:48:54 pm
Just because we live in a male-dominated society now, that doesn't mean that this will always be the way things are. I also disagree that in Western cultures, male domination isn't the norm. I think it is true for the majority of cases that the higher-ups in business, politics, and other things are men. I'm less certain, though, about how often husbands are the head of the household in our society. Times seem to be changing so that women can now sometimes rise above men. I doubt that ours will ever become a matriarchal society or anything like that, but if it lasts for a long time, who knows--hopefully someday it will be equal.
3/9/2014 01:02:48 pm
In today’s society, gender roles definitely still linger amongst the workplace and relationships but most people have alluded to the idea that true love and marriages is based on mutual respect for one another. Women still to this day make themselves fill the cup of men’s desires in order to get farther with them; they present themselves in such a way that would make no man turn the other way. But, most marriages tend to create a mutual respect for their spouse and condone each other to work to their highest potential. In ways, men can feel inferior to the woman and cause problems in the relationship since he still needs that need for superiority over them. This all can be shown by the parallels in the song “Wishin’ and Hopin’” and the play “A Doll’s House.” In the song, it says “Wear your hair just for him, ‘cause you won’t get him thinkin’ and prayin’, wishin’ and hopin.’ This shows that woman believe that they must use their looks instead of their soul in order to get a man and feel they won’t be noticed unless they do so. Also, in “A Doll’s House” Nora says to her husband, “Don’t worry, I’ll look beautiful for you” (Ibsen 34). This also proves women’s desire to please their husband. Then, in the play, when Nora is speaking to Helmer about keeping Krogstad at the Joint Stock Bank he becomes very defensive towards her input by saying “If little Miss Stubbornshoes gets her way, I’d be made a laughing stock before the entire staff. People would start to think I didn’t have a mind of my own” (Ibsen 35). This shows Helmer’s desire to still be superior to his wife though her ideas make sense.
3/9/2014 02:02:54 pm
I liked your response. I thought it was really concise and accurate. Even though marriages and relationships are now on a more equal and leveled out playing field, sometimes men still have the decency to show that they're the starting players. But it's not always just men's fault, it's also the women's fault. Most of the time women find themselves subjecting and obliging to their significant other, like for instances "dolling themselves up," cleaning the house for their husbands pure benefit of coming home to a clean house and etc.
3/16/2014 02:34:32 pm
Your response was well executed, women are expected to please their husband, it's a role that was put onto them by society's expectations and grounding rules. Women do their hair/makeup to make themselves feel less pitiful but they always want their significant other to notice that they're not some hag that just sits around the house to clean up after their messes.
3/9/2014 05:16:35 pm
Gender roles and submission are prevalent in today’s society. Just looking around the media, such things like grinding, twerking, and certain lyrics off of certain songs glorifies this idea. The media glorifies the idea of women getting as much negative male attention as possible and being submissive while at the same time glorifying male’s dominance over the opposite gender. The lyrics of the song “Wishin’ and hopin’” “you won’t get him wishin’ and hopin’ “ gives the negative message that a women just can’t be herself and that she can’t believe in childish notions to get a man. No. Instead, it implies that a women has to do whatever she can to grab and hold the attention of a guy and not wish or hope since its all up to the man to decide whether she’s a keeper or not. It’s sad really.
3/10/2014 10:05:44 am
I agree completely but I just think that you know twerking and grinding is degradeable but it's just kind of fun. I have no idea how to stop if you have any ideas let me know. I also agree with the idea that the song gives of you doing whatever you can to get the males attention as if it's the most important thing in a female's life. I'm almost wondering if the song in general is sarcastic and not just Ani Difranco singing it even though I understand her irony. I just wonder if Dusty Springfield was being sarcastic also with that song.
3/10/2014 10:01:41 am
Gender roles are still dominant in today's society, but different from what it used to be as it would be due to change that naturally happens. Women before used to have to cover up and look innocent and pure and only sexual for her husband mostly. Only her husband should see what she really looks like and not your every day people or in media. Now however women are sexualized everywhere you go. Women are told showing off your assetts too much is what gets the male attention because we're told that's what men want. In the media especially we see these women showing way to much skin from commercials to movies and etc. In a movie it's not even a suprise really anymore for women to show their breast (nothing else of course, I don't watch those kinds of movies) but basic movie theatre movies it can be common to find that. It's shocking because most of us are so used to seeing women show more skin that it just goes right over out heads. By the time they do get married there won't even be an element of suprise for her husband, but instead just something he's seen before or pretty much.
3/10/2014 09:53:52 pm
Today in our society people there are no longer desires of specific gender roles. However women still do things to catch a man’s eye and men say things to women to also get the women attracted to them. Like the saying goes “men like what they see and women like what they here that’s why men lie and women wear makeup.” We have the freedom to do whatever we want in our society in this modern time. Women don’t have to leave their house with makeup and men could talk with women without have the intension of marrying her or getting her in bed.
3/12/2014 08:53:32 am
It is very common, and perhaps natural, for an individual to try to impress another with the goal of gaining admiration. This song describes a girl pining for the love of a guy, but it is important to note that it is not always females chasing after males. Sexual selection in the animal kingdom is in many cases the choice of the female. For example, male peacocks display their bright, pretty feathers to attract peahens as potential mates. The ladies then take their picks from the best looking birds. Human males also often have to make themselves look/sound/seem impressive to gain female attention, so this is not a one-sided issue.
3/16/2014 10:18:30 am
I completely agree with this comment. Though focus of this song is on women prettying themselves up for men, men do the same thing in order to attract women to themselves. I personally believe that men do more of the chasing nowadays, as their seems to be this attitude among women that the men should chase while women play hard to get. Who made these rules?
3/16/2014 09:52:04 am
Although our society has made great strides in enabling women to have equal say in households and workplaces, the gender roles of dominance and submission within men are still present in our world today. Within marriages, there seems to be equal respect for each other, something that wasn't seen very often in times of old, but men are still considered the head of households and people still think of men first when talking about positions of authority. Women, even though it is to a lesser degree, are still seen as having one major responsibility, and that is to please their men. We see these ideas displayed in both "Wishin' and Hopin'" and "A Doll's House". In “Wishin’ and Hopin’”, one of the lyrics says “Show him that you care just for him, do the things he likes to do, wear your hair just for him, cause you won’t get him thinkin’ and a-prayin’, wishin’ and hopin’” This lyric shows that women feel that they have a responsibility in making sure a man is taken care of and happy. Nora says to Torvald on page 34, “Don’t worry, I’ll look beautiful for you.” This quote also shows that women’s values were primarily based on the pleasure of their men.
I could argue that such gender roles of dominance and submission still exist in today’s society. I could also argue that today, our society no longer desires such gender specific behaviors and that true love and marriage is based on mutual respect. But the truth of the matter is although dominance and submission still exists today, however it’s highly reduced due to the amount of knowledge women have today. They are more aware of what is going on around them and realizing their true worth. The lyrics of this song is true to the extent that women need to “show him that you care” along with other things to grab the attention of a man because one night stands will be in relationships forever. Same applies to a man. They need to show compassion to their partners. Like the saying goes, “you get what you give”. It shouldn't be the woman’s duty to carry the weight of a relationship. It should be shared amongst the two.
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