The Woman of Yesterday versus the New Woman

Catherine Oglesby

in Corra Harris and the Divided Mind of the New South

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780813032474
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038728 | DOI:
The Woman of Yesterday versus the New Woman

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This chapter examines Harris's thoughts on what she called the “ancient fate of women”. It looks at some of the most troubling ideas with which she struggled in her effort to reconcile contradictions between her belief and experience. This chapter focuses on the rather conflicting stand of Harris on the issue of gender identity. The contradictions of what she valued, what she believed, and what she experienced as a writer formed complex arguments that made her struggle to create a definite stand on the issue of gender identity. Harris made a living seemingly promoting values that her life defied, and the effort to reconcile those contradictions caused her great turmoil. But if she never outgrew her misgivings on the nature of woman or her convictions on the role of women in the public sphere, Harris did come to see that whatever biology was, gender was a social construct. Apart from examining the effects of Paul More's teachings and impact on Harris's ideas and thinking on gender, the chapter also assesses other influences in Harris's struggle and turmoil to reconcile belief, values, and experience.

Keywords: thoughts; gender identity; misgivings; nature of woman; role of women; social construct; Paul More; influences

Chapter.  8541 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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