Womanhood and Human Nature

Womanhood and Human Nature

From the perspective of different authors, the way humans view themselves and their identities can be more complex and authentic. How people represent themselves in society is a question involving hegemonic norms and structure. The social reality calls for labels that categorize people even if they do not necessarily wish to be categorized. These labels are stuck with them and perhaps take a critical role in how society places people and guides them. In their works, Alice Walker, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Lorraine Hansberry have envisioned a world that recognizes people’s abilities to express human possibilities and limitations. These authors have helped me to complicate my perspective of human nature, womanhood, activism, and art.

Alice Walker, in her text, In Search of Our Mother’s Gardens: Womanist Prose has significantly challenged my initial assumptions concerning womanhood. In the text, Walker uses the word womanism and defines it as feminist, embodied, healing, Afrocentric and spiritual. According to her, womanhood refers to the feminism of women of color or African-American feminism (Moore, 1984). The name also entails black women’s fight against sexism, white women’s racism, and white patriarchy. It shows that black women’s condition was a total contrast to that of white women. Walker provides a critical, literary, and philosophical recognition of the intellectual, emotional, physical, and spiritual wholeness of Black women. Nonetheless, she recommends the need to develop a global community in which every society member is allowed to survive. A womanist is dedicated to ensuring the wholeness and survival of every person, both males, and females. Walker prefers womanhood since she believes that it is rooted in African-American culture to show black women’s experiences shape it clearly. Womanhood and black feminism may look interchangeable since they both focus on the struggle against sexism and racism (Longley, 2020). They also make efforts to achieve liberty and equality.

Adichie’s text We should all be feminists provides a significant perspective concerning womanhood. The text offers a remarkable exploration concerning what it means to be a woman during the 21st century. Adichie provides this explanation through a deep and clear connection with her readers and ends by calling out why we should all be feminists. Her ethos is crucial since it establishes a commonality with the audience (Adichie, 2014). Purposefully Adichie emphasizes critical elements about herself to which the readers can relate. She highlights womanhood, people of color, inequality as a woman and a person of color, and discrimination from friends and strangers. In the U.S, feminism issues have lasted for many years. In her text, Adichie, the imperfection marked by urgency, the exigence is the unfair and unjust treatment of women worldwide. She defines feminism and continues providing personal narratives that show how feminism should be and how it should look.

An assumption about womanhood and human nature that I have been holding for the longest time is that women are second-ranked in any social hierarchy and always subservient to a generic male in traditional arrangements. This is something that can only be opposed by active subversion of the power structure, and this is the point of feminism, Marxist feminism, real feminism. It seems to be a property of the social organization that human females are “supposed to be” lower than males. I also believed that it is human nature for women to be weaker and have lesser abilities than males. These assumptions have been challenged by Walker’s and Adichie’s works. From their work, I have learned that women have more excellent abilities and power than males. Even though women face many challenges in a society like inequality, discrimination, and sexism, they still have the power to challenge these issues.



A text that challenges my initial assumptions concerning art and activism is To Be Young, Gifted, and Black by Lorraine Hansberry. Through her writing, Hansberry showed how the importance of art, and through her voice, she showed what true activism means in the struggle for Black equality during the 1960s. To Be Young, Gifted and Black provide Hansberry’s story in the context of the expanding Civil Rights Movement. However, it explores her life from artistic and feminist perspectives to its credits (Nemiroff, 2021). At 27years old, Hansberry compiled her play, but out of frustration and exhaustion, she threw the script into the trash. After two years, the manuscript emerged to become a theatrical hit. Years later, Hansberry encouraged young aspiring winners of creative writing contests and writers to use their abilities and write about the world as it is. He advised them to work hard on their writing, care about it, tell their story since the nation needed their artistic gifts. At 19 years old, Hansberry took an art class and decided to pursue journalism and writing after quitting school. As a result, she was center among writers, neighbor’s intellectuals, activists, and actors who came up with works of art inspired generations of brilliant minds in the future (Peeks, 2018). Hansberry was also a renowned activist and an eloquent spokesperson for her identity. She never tried to disassociate herself being an African American. Hansberry has convinced the dignity of African-Americans was eroded by slavery, and it was up to them to fight until they achieve their renaissance. Her plays and books make people understand the importance of their human rights and how they should be committed to achieving what they want.

My initial assumption about art and activism is that both aspects are important because of the issues in our world that need solutions and immediate problem-solving. Activism through art can be achieved by being honest, unpretentious, and authentic in producing any form of art. Artists should not alter their art to what they think the public wants. The public expects artists to highlight something about the world or the place in it that they were unaware of and the beauty or horror in it.  I think it is excellent for people who want to change the world to start making an impact. Activism helps individuals change the world and stand up for what they believe is right and just. I have faced many challenges, including racism, discrimination, and prejudice due to my racial and gender identities. Due to this, I think art and activism are essential in helping many fighting issues in society. Many injustices in the world should never be justified, no matter the circumstances. Activists are the people who see these types of issues and try to help solve them and provide solutions. Hansberry and her work have confirmed my assumption concerning art and activism To Be Young, Gifted, and Black. Hansberry encouraged young people to use their art to speak what is essential. (Nemiroff, 2021) She also showed the importance of activism in fighting for liberty and equality for African Americans.

In their texts, Adichie and Walker have challenged my initial assumptions concerning how my identity and experience influence how I form my assumptions. In her text, Walker explains how women have experienced oppression and challenges due to their identity. In the text, Walker explores the exploration of Jean Toomer during the South Reconstruction period. In her exploration, Tommer found women who were lost and sexually abused who held power, beauty, and spirituality, which they were not aware of (Moore, 1984). The women had talents and influence, but life hardships had abandoned their forces. Women have since been on the quest for equality, especially for black female identity. Similarly, Adichie, in her text, tries to persuade her audience about participating in feminism. According to her, men and women have different experiences in the world. Nonetheless, genders color the way people experience the world. Adichie was speaking to any person of a gender willing to participate in actions that will help change the societal views concerning feminism (University of Liege, 2020). Feminists believe that there is a problem with gender, and it must be fixed. As a woman, Adichie experienced firsthand inequalities, and she explains the constraints she faced as a result of her identity as a woman and African American (Adichie, 2014). Most of the constraints she faced, including social discrimination, unfair treatment, and sexual harassment, were accepted social norms.

I have several assumptions concerning my identity that have shaped my worldview. Women’s power and areas of dominance are subtler than those of men’s. Men who do not understand this and consistently fail to reach a satisfactorily balanced accommodation with women will worsen their condition. The same will happen to a woman who fails to demand her fair share of the influence. My grandmother’s example instructs me on this point. She was born in 1878 and ruled her household with an iron fist. Men were expected to shave, dress in clean clothes for dinner, which was not offered to them otherwise. If they had been drinking, they understood they were sleeping in the barn. Certainly, the male of the species is generally stronger physically, although there are many exceptions in specific relationships, but every relationship is based on multiple power dynamics. Our laws have evolved to recognize the power differentials in many aspects of human existence (Adichie, 2014). A mother, for example, has enormous power in her relationship with a father. Some fathers may resent this and react physically if she uses that power in a way that he perceives as unreasonable or if he feels that he is losing control over his life outcomes as a result of her maternal power. This is at the heart of a great deal of domestic strife.

Women, in general, are given a great deal of power by social mores in most societies, even those which are apparently misogynist to a modern Western eye. Some very strict Muslim cultures, which mandate women covering their faces and bodies in public recognize that the woman’s power to bear children is at the heart of their social structures. The coverings are promoted because a woman has a different social function to men and that a female presence can lead to friction in male social domains. As a result, I believe that the fundamental power of women to make men behave more or less irrationally is indisputable.

Alice Walker and Adichie confirm my assumption concerning gender. Both authors highlighted how women have fought to obtain power and equal rights despite the challenges. I believe that the nature of the power cable to be exerted in an interpersonal relationship is different for each person. Still, it most certainly is not true that men dominate women. It could be argued that people of both sexes who feel the need to dominate others, rather than to strive for mutually beneficial outcomes, are intrinsically socially dysfunctional (Moore, 1984). I do not believe male domination of females is human nature. I also do not think that a specific race should dominate the minorities. Human nature is to survive and to aspire to live as comfortably and as happily as possible.









Adichie, C. N. (2014). We should all be feminists. New York: Vintage.

Longley, R. (2020). Womanist: How Alice Walker’s term includes race with feminism. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/womanist-feminism-definition-3528993

Moore, O. (1984). In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens by Alice Walker. Iowa Journal of Literary Studies, 5(1), 107-110.

Nemiroff, R. (2021). Lorraine Hansberry Literary Trust. Retrieved from https://www.lhlt.org/born-black-and-female

Peeks, S. (2018). Traces of autobiography in A Raisin in the sun. Retrieved from https://www.criterion.com/current/posts/5959-traces-of-autobiography-in-a-raisin-in-the-sun

The University of Liège. (2020). The Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Website: Biography. Retrieved from http://www.cerep.ulg.ac.be/adichie/cnabio.html


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