Gender Equality: Language And Literature

The universal human rights principles propound that every person must be treated equally before the law regardless of their gender. However, gender discrimination is observed every day in various social institutions. Women authors express their dissatisfaction with their societies by telling their personal stories or through narrations based on real-life situations. Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening”, Adrienne Rich’s “Diving into the wreck”, Anne Sexton’s “Her Kind”, and Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll” are poetic masterpieces that play a significant role in advocating for women’s rights.

Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening”

Sexual and personal emancipation is crucial in a society that respects human rights. Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” features Edna who struggles to achieve personal and sexual deliverance in an oppressive society. The novel has themes of self-autonomy which is a key tenet of modern feminism (Ostman, 2020). The novel is consistent with my belief that adult women have the right to sexual expression and self-autonomy. I can use the novel’s message to encourage women to choose their marriage partners. Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” can be used to advocate for women’s rights in a society that is against self-autonomy and sexual emancipation.

Adrienne Rich “Diving into the wreck”

The use of metaphors to express women’s struggles is common among poets. Adrienne Rich’s “Diving into the wreck” uses extended metaphor and symbolism to communicate the problems faced by women in contemporary societies (Okonski & Gibbs, 2019). The poem presents the theme of women’s oppression and erasure by requiring them to learn from the “wreck” of their past. The poem is in agreement with my personal belief that women can learn from the past to identify a new way of surviving in an oppressive society. I can refer to the poem when encouraging women to embrace their life challenges. Therefore, Adrienne Rich encourages women to see opportunities in their oppression.

Anne Sexton “Her Kind”

Poets use imagery to express and narrate the uniqueness of a woman’s life. Anne Sexton’s “Her Kind” alludes to the poet’s difficult life and expresses solidarity with other women who are like her through diction and imagery. Additionally, it encourages bravery among women despite their difficult lives (Danler, 2019). Sexton’s averments that women go through many difficulties are consistent with my beliefs since I have witnessed many women being abused by their husbands. I can encourage women in my society to be proud of themselves, and learn to embrace their difficulties by alluding to Sexton’s “Her Kind”. While women face challenges in society, their unique experiences enhance bravery.

Marge Piercy “Barbie Doll”

Feminism plays a significant role in deconstructing gender roles to allow women to live free and empowered without traditional restrictions. Therefore, various poets explore the concept of feminism and its sentiments. Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll” discusses gender and its stereotypes through a narration of a girl’s life. The poem starts with the birth of the girl, and how she is given toys to learn to be a good mother and wife (Nirwinastu, 2019). When in puberty the lady faces insults from other children. Although the young woman is beautiful, society only sees her faults. The poem is in line with my personal belief that society can pressure women to harm themselves. I can use Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll” to discourage society from insulting women based on their physical appearance.


Women have equal rights to men, and society should advocate for a just society. Many women face difficulties and are shaped by those experiences. While some women positively take their struggles, some are discouraged to the extent of harming themselves. Various poets advocate for women’s rights through poems and other literary works. Marge Piercy’s “Barbie Doll”, Sexton’s “Her Kind”, Adrienne Rich’s “Diving into the wreck”, and Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening” are some of the pieces of literature that promote women’s rights. Therefore, as a women’s rights advocate, I can use the literature to promote gender equality.


Danler, S. (2019). Her Kind: A reaction to Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women. Sewanee Review, 127(3), 607-625.

Nirwinastu, D. G. (2021). Oppression towards Women as Depicted in Marge Piercy’s Selected Poems. Journal of Language and Literature, 21(2), 453-463.

Okonski, L., & Gibbs Jr, R. W. (2019). Diving into the wreck: can people resist allegorical meaning? Journal of Pragmatics, 141, 28-43.

Ostman, H. (2020). Kate Chopin and Catholicism. Palgrave Macmillan.