The “Perfect” Society
February 18, 2012 § 1 Comment
When reading Leslie Marmon Silko’s essay, my first emotion was honestly annoyance. I realize that this first reaction is probably different that one would expect to read from a feminist, but I could not help but feel that way. In class we talked about how this could be or should be the “ideal” society. Sure it was a nice thought. I think the fact that to me, it seems so far off is what’s so annoying. I know that for all (or more fairly, most) of us wish for a “perfect society” like this, but I found many flaws within this writing. I know she is a fiction writer, so there is a good chance that some of the events were either fictionalized or just immature due to her young age, but I could help but feel kind of hesitant of her story.
One “societal imperfection” that I could find with the paragraph that mentions homosexual marriages. It’s quite contradictory. Even in this society, the gender roles are put into place. Men can marry men, if one dresses like a woman. Women and marry women, if one dresses like a man. It’s interesting that in this situation, cross-dressing seems more acceptable than gay marriage.
Lately in my generation, young, premarital pregnancies seem much more common. I have a handful of friends with babies and no hubby. I also know of many girls that are in this situation. The age seems to be getting younger and younger, and actual relationships seem to be more far off than ever. According to Silko, in this society, pregnancy before marriage is a good sign. It talks of martial empowerment. Children belonged to their mother, while the paternal side was not necessary. This
“ideal” arrangement does not make much sense to me. Obviously it is possible for children to be raised by just mothers and turn out wonderful without a paternal figure. My argument is, isn’t it possible for the same outcome to be just as great with just a father? If this article is meant to be ideal, then this paragraph is a step back. Over the last few weeks we have talked about how capable men are, and how many fathers just want to spend time with their children. If in this society, children “belong” to their mothers and her clans, then to me, this is anything but perfect.
It is possible that I am just being pessimistic about this article. I know the intentions were good, and the thoughts were nice. These two specific situations stood out to me in a way that made me question the entire article. What is ideal for some might not be ideal for others. So is it really possible to have a perfect society?