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Gender Inequality In Kindred

Decent Essays
In the novel, Kindred, Butler shows that race is not the only factor in the power hierarchy between white men and black women in the story. Gender plays just as a significant role in power than race. We, the readers, see how white women like Margaret Weylin are seen as inferior to their husbands, who have a public presence in society and can do as they please. In addition, society expects them to be nothing more than wives and mothers. On the other hand, black women are constantly victimized and treated inhumanly even till the present but in more subtle forms. This is shown with the treatment of 20th century women like Dana who still seemed to be undermined by white men like Kevin, who is shown to reinforce patriarchal values through his treatment of her. Moreover, it is repeatedly shown in the novel that 19th century black women were even more oppressed than their white counterparts as they are deprived of their basic roles as mothers and wives and even indiscriminately raped. Due to their gender and race, black women had their human rights rescinded and were subject to even worse condition than black men. In the novel, when Dana gets back to the present after being away from Rufus for fifteen days, she recounts her horrific experience to Kevin. She states, “You mean you could forgive me for having been raped?” (245). Dana is in a state of disbelief when Kevin insinuates that he could forgive an intimate act with Rufus if she has been raped by him in the past. This comment
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