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Think about how you would describe women’s work experience based on your own personal, family, and/or social experience.

Readings

  • Ensler, E. (2013). In the body of the world [PDF]. New York, NY: Henry Holt & Company. Retrieved from http://inthebodyoftheworld.com/pdf/EveEnsler-InTheBodyOfTheWorld-Excerpt.pdf

    This excerpt, assigned in Week 1, will be a reference for the Week 2 Assignment as well. As you review this very personal narrative, consider the dynamics of the work in a broader sense as it aligns with Ensler’s role as writer and public speaker.
  • Campo, N. (2009). ‘Feminism failed me’: Childcare, maternity leave and the denigration of motherhood. Australian Feminist Studies24(61), 325–342.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    This article provides a perspective related to work outside of the home and motherhood as full-time work. This article can be used to inform this week’s Discussion.
  • Carpenter-Aeby, T., & Aeby, V. (2009). Rewriting family stories during successful transition from an alternative school: One student’s story of “violent female” to “phenomenal woman.” Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment19(3), 281–297.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    This article is a case study that incorporates the literary forms of both biography and autobiography. This article is analyzed for this week’s Application Assignment.
  • Ron, P. (2009). Daughters as caregivers of aging parents: The shattering myth. Journal of Gerontological Social Work52(2), 135–153.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    This article examines the experience of women in the position of caretaker for both parents and children. This article can be used to inform this week’s Discussion.
  • Truth, S. (1999). Look at me! Ain’t I a woman? New Crisis, 106(1), 31.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

    This speech highlights the different experiences of white and black women as it relates to women’s rights and experiences with work. Please note that Truth’s words/speech are classified as personal narrative (a kind of literature), which includes autobiography. This speech is examined in this week’s Discussion and Application Assignment.
  • Walden University. (2015b). APA style: Overview. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/apa
  • Walden University. (2015e). Writing center. Retrieved from http://academicguides.waldenu.edu/writingcenter/home
  • Document: Glossary of Terms and Techniques for Literature and Creative Writing (PDF)

    This resource provides support in analyzing various forms of literature. Use this to identify elements of style and apply literary terms to assignments.

Media

  • Laureate Education (Producer). (2015). Women’s voices and social change [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

    With this week’s content on women in work in mind, review the brief biographies of Eve Ensler, Sojourner Truth, Natasha Campo, Pnina Ron, and Tracy Carpenter-Aeby, noting the placement of each in the timeline continuum.

Optional Resources

Song Lyric Search Resources

Songs

Note: The following songs can be considered for this week’s Discussion. These are examples of women songwriters addressing themes of social change.
  • Ashford, N., & Simpson, V. (1978). I’m every woman [Recorded by C. Khan]. On Chaka [Record]. Burbank, CA: Warner Bros Records.
  • Hamer, F. L. (1997). Walk with me Lord. On Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American freedom songs 1960–1966 [MP3]. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
  • Sweet Honey in the Rock. (1988). More than a paycheck. On Breaths [MP3]. Chicago, IL: Flying Fish.

Web resources in support of this week’s topic

Application: Women’s Work Experience Through Personal Narrative

If you had to learn about women working in the U.S. public school system in the 1950s and could read a textbook chapter on the subject or read 20 interviews of women telling their stories in their own words, which would you choose? If you read both the textbook and interviews, which one do you think you would remember? Most likely you would remember the women’s personal stories. The sharing of personal experience to communicate information captures a different level of attention and has a way of securing a place in the long-term memory of the reader. A personal narrative is a story about a personal experience of the writer. In this week’s Assignment, you examine women’s work experience through personal narrative.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Think about how you would describe women’s work experience based on your own personal, family, and/or social experience.
  • Review the Sojourner Truth and Ensler readings from this week’s Learning Resources. What does Truth say directly about women’s work experience? What can you infer about women’s work experience from Ensler?
  • Review Carpenter-Aeby’s article for an example of personal narrative.
  • Truth’s and Ensler’s works are considered examples of personal narrative. What makes these works memorable? How effective are the authors in getting their point across to their respective audiences? What literary techniques do the authors employ to engage the audience?
  • Consider whether Truth’s or Ensler’s messages would be more or less powerful if it were in another literary form, such as an essay or a short story, instead of a personal narrative. Why or why not?
  • Review postings from this week’s Discussion to identify examples of personal narrative in song lyrics regarding women’s work experiences.

The Assignment:

Compose 1–2 pages responding to the following:

  • What meaning did Truth’s “Look At Me! Ain’t I A Woman?” and Ensler’s In the Body of the World add to your understanding of women’s work experience? Evaluate the effectiveness of the literary form of personal narrative.
  • Relate the case in the Carpenter-Aeby article to your analysis. What does this article reveal about the power of the personal narrative that is also evident in the works of Ensler and Truth?

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