Their Eyes were Watching God:Real World

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Updated: Jul 05, 2021
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Their Eyes were Watching God:Real World essay

Gender discrimination and sexism has been a problem since the beginning of time. From stereotypes to leadership, there has been an anti-women bias crisis that keeps increasing over the years and something needs to be done. In Their Eyes Were Watching God, Joe never wanted Janie to speak up or give her opinion. “You getting too moufy, Janie. Go fetch me de checker-board”(Hurston 75). See, Joe had one of those men are smarter than women mentalities and his arrogant character screamed it throughout the novel. To Joe, Janie’s role was to basically cook, work, and clean. “So when the bread did not rise… he slapped Janie until she had a ringing sound in her ears”(Hurston 72). With him being worshiped by almost everyone else around him, the authority that he had over Janie was, to him, an advantage. “For women, very often it comes down to a feeling of the world setting expectations that are unattainable and often counter to their personal beliefs”(Klapow Bustle). When he began to age he even started belittling her because he was in denial. He was always secretly insecure about himself and Hurtson revealed it when she said, “he caught Walter standing behind Janie… brushing his hand… across the end of her braid. That night he ordered Janie to tie her hair up around the store”(Hurtson 55). But the difference is that in the novel, it wasn’t fully realistic. In reality, gender discrimination and sexism goes more in depth than that.

My first point, gender discrimination and sexism and its effect on self-esteem. From sexual and physical harassment to negative comments, anything type of discrimination can lead to a result of disempowerment. “”We are so conditioned to many experiences in our everyday lives that harm our self-esteem [and] we attempt to push them away in order to get through the day”(Roberts Bustle). Honestly, almost something may be toxic if it happens during a context of disempowerment or lack of information or shallowness. In the novel, Joe talks about how Janie isn’t as young as she used to be and how nobody is looking at her old self. “Every day the media tells women that their value lies in their youth, beauty, and sexuality over their intelligence and agency”(Newsome Bustle). Whether or not if it’s the ads we have a tendency to see on a daily basis or the dearth of illustration in our regular lives; the negative pictures have sweeping negative consequences for women’s health and well being. This brings me to the contrast that Janie was stronger than most and did not really let Joe get to her. She didn’t change anything about herself except after he was dead and gone.

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My next point is gender discrimination and sexism and the effect on women’s lives. “Regarding to this problem, American people seem to appreciate the position of women, meanwhile, the Chinese tend to think of higher power of men in life”(Chang n.d.). Back in the day, men had more power than women but today, not saying there’s complete equality, but women actually have a title and/or voice in society. No matter how much power we think women have, there was always be a sense of men empowerment due to the population ratio of men to women. “It’s so easy to make yo’self out God almighty when you ain’t got nothin’ tuh strain against but women and chickens”(Hurtson 75). If this continues, it will result in quite a few consequences in security and therefore the order of society before wedding age of kids as a result of there’ll lack brides ensuing from outnumbered new-born boys from ladies. That is going to be a difficult problem to solve.

Another point I wanted to bring up was how men like to approach us. In the beginning of the novel, men would call out to the women while walking down the street. Janie, for example, walks down the street, strutting in her overalls in her confident self. The women getting the attention would love it while others would gossip. ““Why aren’t you smiling?” is a frequent insult, suggesting that women must always look happy, not feel their feelings, and respond affirmatively even when they are facing street harassment”(Berlinsky-Schine). So women are supposed to engage in a conversation with strangers that don’t introduce themselves yet gets questioned about minding their own business.

The last point I wanted to talk about was the gender discrimination in the workplace. Many authors from the time period portrayed discrimination through literature. For example, Neale Hurston’s character, Janie, worked at their store so there wasn’t really a problem except that she couldn’t do “the simple things” right. One day a man came into the store and wanted a piece of tobacco. Janie cut too big of a piece and Joe had a fit; he knew Janie didn’t like cutting anyway, but instead he wanted to embarrass her.

As a solution, even though the problem cannot be solved completely, there are lots of changes created in terms of fixing attitudes of individuals regarding the difference of genders. To some extent, the Noble Committee declared that we have a tendency to cannot reach democracy and peace unless we wouldn’t offer equal rights and probabilities for girls have. There has been effort made on schooling. This allows the women to feel confident in her study while being able to develop gender-sensitivity subject.

From what was discussed, gender discrimination and sexism is a serious problem in the world. Even though this problem has decreased, it still exists and women go through the consequences everyday. And there are several reasons resulting in gender discrimination that can not be solved simply. However, with education and progressive thoughts of individuals, there also are reasons to trust within the way forward for gender difference being stopped. Then, hopefully, individuals will sleep in fairness regardless of what gender they are.

Works Cited

  1. Grant, Eva Taylor. “11 Subtle But Toxic Ways Women Experience Sexism Every Day.” Bustle, Bustle, 17 Dec. 2018,
  2. “Everything You Need to Know About Sexism.” Jobs and Company Reviews for Women,
  3. Hurston, Zora Neale. Their Eyes Were Watching God: Zora Neale Hurston. J.B Lippincott & Co., 1937.
  4. KR”

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Their Eyes Were Watching God:Real World. (2021, Jul 05). Retrieved from