adrienne rich

Elizabeth Whittemore Tommy B. McDonell Adrienne Rich Final There are many cultural phantoms that we must face as we write and read in todays society. Adrienne Rich, author of an article titled When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision, tells us of a gender phantom who prevented the development of her writing. To this day, gender inhibits female creativity, but in this day and age, so does sexual orientation. Today, readers are not only affected by an authors gender but by whom a writer decides to love. For gay and lesbian writers, this is continually a hindrance. As if being a female writer was not difficult enough, now a woman must worry about her sexuality getting in the way of success. Adrienne Rich tells us that because she was a typical housewife in the 1950s her writing was restricted. She explains that even when she started writing she wrote to please her father, or rather, not to displease him. Men and women have been assigned specific gender roles through socialization. (Kimmel,1987). (The Role of Casual Attributions in Competitive Situations). Rich blames the times for her inability to overcome her creative blocks. In an article called Professions for Women, Virginia Woolf calls this sort of block her angel; one that peers over her shoulder telling her to conform to male society. Rich uses this angel to describe how she felt when she tried to write for anyone else but herself. Rich explains that because of this type of repression, today, much poetry by women- and prose for that matter- is charged with anger. Due to this repression, society often decides that an opinionated woman equals a bitch. Even more so, lesbians are considered to have an attitude because they express different views. Their work is not allowed to be published, they are subjected to sexual discrimination, and, sometimes, even name-calling. Some publishers automatically ass…

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