ENGLISH ISP OUTLINE- THE COLOR PURPLE What comes to your mind when thinking of the colour purple? For many it’s the symbol of royalty sexual frustration and mystery.Yet You may not think of it but it also represents the equilibrium of social construct. From the second we are born we’re wrapped in gender segregated coloured blankets, red for girls, blue for boys. Yet when you mix those two colours it makes purple. Thus becoming a symbol of unity amongst the two genders. Like the meaning of this hue, The colour Purple by Alice Walker is an outstanding novel that sheds a feminist light on the relationship between men and women, sexuality and gender roles in the early 20th century South Georgia (Show picture of Celie and Nettie) We’re exposed to the main character and narrator, Celie, a young African American girl who writes down her experiences in letters initially meant for God. Celie had been abused sexually, psychically and emotionally through the hands of men her entire life. Her sexist father was the first to do so, impregnating her twice which and causing her to give up her chance in education. as a teen she then gives herself up to man whom initially intended to marry her younger and more attractive sister, Nettie. Celie, saw that her sister was more worthy of freedom as she deemed her to be more intelligent and capable of overcoming the gender roles imposed onto them.We see that Celie’s sacrifices did not go wasted as Nettie was capable of moving to Africa as a missionary and becoming an independent woman free from any male dominance. As the novel progresses, Cellie is continuously abused by her husband Mr.__ and begins to manifest internalized sexism, she believes that her abuse is acceptable and that she as a woman should expect this as it the the social norm. Mr.__ was seeking a wife not for love or a steady relationship but to replace his last one so she could complete the domestic housework women are expected to do. Celie was objectified in becoming a labourer and a form of pleasure for him. (pause) As many of us know, The First wave of feminism called on the women’s right to vote, and in 1920 through the 19th amendment of the United States, they gained that success. And although this is rarely mentioned in history class, not all women were truly granted that right, many barriers and issues would prevent women of color from voting specifically those in the South such as Celie. Society was still very much patriarchal and as a result it led not only other groups but as well as the men in African American communities to marginalize women of colour . In other words misogynoir was heavily at play through Celie’s life. You may be asking, what is misogynoir, I don’t blame you as it’s a very recent term, It was coined in 2010? Anyways, Back to the term, Misogynoir is a the notion in which both racism and sexism become hand in hand. To emphasize that African American women are not only discriminated against due to their race but along with their gender. We’re able to see that the interactions taken place between the two genders are hostile and disturbing, much of it emulating a slave and master relationship.This is specifically apparent in the way Celie address her husband as Mr__, through the entirety of the novel,, she never once mentions his last name. She only refers to him as Mr.___. The literal blank space helps us to realize that she views him to be a owner and is a representation of every dominant male women have faced, by giving him a name it grants him a sense of humanity, which he no longer possesses. (SHOW PIC OF SHUG AVERY) If you cant tell by now, The Colour Purple is a gynocentric narrative revolving around strong female characters and is a direct challenge to the easily dominated phallocentric or male narrative. The sisterhood that Celie experiences with other influential females leads to consolation from the male abuse she had been going through. Shug Avery, an attractive Blues singer along with one of Mr___ past lover, aided in helping Celie realize her self worth. Because of the misogynistic men in her life, abusing her and using her only as an object of one sided sexual pleasure. Celie began to inhabit a fear of men and would find more comfort in women, she says quote I don’t even look at mens. That’s the truth. I look at women, tho, cause I’m not scared of them. as a result it commenced her to form her homosexuality and she began to fall in love with Shug. You see,Nettie, her sister was the platonic comfort she seeked When Cellie would get raped by her father back in their house,. Yet upon getting married she was deprived of that necessity. So when Shug an independent, sexually assertive woman began living in Mr__ home, she became her role model and mentor in allowing Celie to love herself for the first time in her life. By reclaiming her body as her own, she gained that power. The power to realize that she is a person that her needs and wants should not go neglected . Various gender roles have been situated on characters that had led them to become miserable and frustrated. We see Harpo, Mr’s__ eldest son who conveys” feminine characteristics” such as showing affection for his children and enjoys housework considered to be exclusive for women. On the other hand there’s Sofia, Harpo’s wife who is strong Willed and is not easily dominated by the “norms” imposed. Of course his father, Mr sees an issue at the fact that his son seems to be overpowered by Sofia and Celie jealous because of Sofias will , both order Harpo to beat Sofia so she can become a submissive wife, yet Sofia holds her ground she says quote,All my life I had to fight. I had to fight my daddy. I had to fight my brothers. I had to fight my cousins and my uncles. A girl child ain’t safe in a family of men. But I never thought I’d have to fight in my own house. Parallel to the patriarchal society in America, the Olinka Tribe, Nettie resided in believed that there is no use for young girls to go to school as they believed that a girl is nothing until they become the mother of their husband’s children. Similarly how a passive wife in the American South was deemed ideal I’d like to mention that Growing up as a young girl from watching Disney movies to playing Super Mario, one theme that was the most evident was the carried out damsel in distress. Girls were always told to wait for a man to save them from their current situation. It seemed to be that men were the only salvation a woman had of course only if you were desirable enough in his eyes. Similarly boys were told to be macho and deem masculine qualities. And sadly for a long time I believed these ideas, And I’m pretty sure at least some of you did too. so when Celie realized there is no man that will miraculously save her and the only person who can save her is herself. Celie stood up to her abuser and in rejecting the notion of being withheld by gender roles. She goes to live in her own home and becomes an entrepreneur by selling and sewing pants for all people regardless of age, gender and race. Her entire life, Celie would never wear pants as they’re seen as masculine, but this simple piece of clothing becomes a symbol of liberation from the patriarchal society. You may be thinking, how is this in any way a feminist novel? Majority of the men you mentioned are constantly depicted as villains. However Alice Walker’s intention was not to display men as innately evil people rather, to reveal men as victims of oppression as well. The fact that Harpo felt pressured to act more masculine and when Mister reconciles with Celie at the end of the novel, he opens up that he enjoyed sewing as a young boy but his father refused to allow him to take part in it. Rather than being angry at her abuser, Celie forgives him, because in actuality she realizes the they aren’t that different . So these two characters who at first seemed so distant, began to form a platonic foundation of trust , She even begins to use his first name, Albert, revealing the comfort Celie now felt with him. and by sewing together they eradicated the roles and expectations of society. I’d like to say that Social Construct does exist you cannot deny that! Remember the last time you were told you were acting too masculine or feminize and the next time that ever occurs remember that only you should have the capability to decide for yourself what you would like to do, act and wear. One society may see dresses strictly worn on females and another as a clothing for both genders, such as the Olinka Tribe. In other words, these gender roles mean absolutely nothing, they should be broken down, we should have the capability to decide freely as to what we would like to do.