As much as I would love to tell you that my college admissions process was rewarding and deeply self exploratory, it was none of those things. I applied to two schools, neither of which offered great scholarships. To be completely honest, I was not happy at that time in my life. I was paralyzed in a myriad confusion. To be honest I did not feel “ready” for school. Now this does not mean that I was in anyway intimidated by the coming changes or colossal workload. A large part of the dark cloud that I felt was casted over my life, I had no idea how I was useful. What could I do well? What was I good at? Who was I really? Inquires like this forced me to check and recheck my personal values. There was no spark there. After my gap year I felt rejuvenated. I was not completely ready to go to school and begin a career but it was time. I went from my German escape back to a bitter reality in about three weeks. The contrast was a very intense reverse culture shock.
Being at an HBCU, there is a certain amount of pride that goes with the experience. I was excited to be around a group of young black professionals. I felt like the best part about Germany was stretching myself in uncomfortable situations. It was tiring and exhausting, just ask my Host mom (I slept at every chance I got!). I wanted to make sure that I was going to do the same in college. Participating in Senate this year will be another opportunity to put myself into a challenging position.
I put alot of pressure on myself. I am the type of person who wants to produce 100% all of the time. Whenever I feel like I am not where I should be I remember a poem by W.E. Henley. So as I serve as a Senator at Oakwood University USM, I will be an example of that change and innovation that I would love to see on campus.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
Gender roles in our society can be confusing. Have you ever imagined how men and women would act in a new environment? Envision a completely new place with little influence of the outside world. Tocqueville came to a budding new nation called America. While here he compared the social behaviors and attitudes of American and French women.
Does Democracy make the difference? Tocqueville observed that political structure was a very important difference in America. The “political economy” of the sexes is the great task of dividing the duties of men and women in American society. Europeans and Americans believe in equality but in Europe men and women are not only equal but alike. This mindset ends up damaging both sexes, creating weak men and disorderly women. In America, we recognize the differences between the sexes and place great value in them.
Tocqueville observed that American women do not allow the constraints of society to define their roles as women, but often times set their own standards. They are able to maintain a great sense of femininity but also show that they can have the hearts and minds of men. How then do we tackle the issue of marriage? Is matrimony also subject to our liberated gender roles? No. We understand the importance of a male lead relationship, and take a certain pride in the voluntary surrender of marriage.
In contrast, european men can be seen as the slaves of their male counterparts. Women are lavished upon and cared for but, never seen as equals. American women were not as lavished but, men showed daily that esteemed them. Where as European women are guarded from the hardships of life, American women were not as delicate.
The point of Tocqueville’s observations is that America’s culture had created a new breed of women. The French saw it as sacrificing womanhood for equality. The author believed that American women had found a new and somewhat improved way of defining genders.
The main points of this essay are that the rights of women have changed but, not always positively in Tocqueville’s eyes. He did not necessarily approve of the way that American women were allowed to freely express themselves as a male would.
The author made some comparisons that I appreciated. I have never really thought about the differences in european and american women. I think that women everywhere decide for themselves how they would like to be treated. A society has only but so much impact and/or input in the lives of women. One thing that I found very interesting was the comment on rape. The european punishment for rape is not as serious as it is in America. I think this is fundamental and it says alot about the their attitudes of women. When a woman is raped here it is considered the uttermost disrespect. She was seen as no longer human but as a sexual object. It is punishable by death here in the states. In Europe, the consequences are less harsh. Men are pardoned more often because they were tempted and unable to control their impulses.
Overall, Americas understanding of equality the sexes is an understanding of each side. Our appreciation of differences helps us to better balance our society.
A beautiful night with wonderful Women
Waiting for the first snowfall of the year was definitely worth it. As a Southern girl, I was disappointed to not have had a white Christmas. I did sulk for a while, but I loved every moment of the ice cold weather. This winter was one of the longest in about fourty years. I can honestly say that as soon as the sunny weather began to show up, people were immediately lighting up Grills and wearing shorts. The only problem was that these “summer days” were only a preview. I remember one weekend being somewhere in the sixties, and the next day having ice cold rain. Instead of whining about the weather, I tried to enjoy the season for what they were.
At the first of every month, there is a service in St. Agnes Church. This is a wonderfully beautiful church. On Christmas my family and I went to a ceremony that truly took me breath away.