The Other within Us: Feminist Explorations of Women and Aging

By Marilyn Pearsall | Go to book overview

growing canon of "Lives of Saints" for women. Morrison's novels can be read as part of the modern feminine gospel. Thoughout the essay we have shown how our reading as a whole is biracial and how each critic's approach has enriched and enlarged the other's. Our approach has been the "both/and" approach that Ann Bedford Ulanov, a theologian, describes as matriarchal wisdom. Our approach has not been the patriarchal reasoning of "either/or" 35 that would select one of our readings as more right than the other. With ease and affection we have encouraged the other in her diverse reading. We believe this is a natural gift of being women, to respect the other's individuation even when it challenges our own.


Notes
1.
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye ( New York: Holt, Rinehart ∧ Winston, 1970).
2.
Toni Morrison, Sula ( New York: New American Library, 1973).
3.
Toni Morrison, Tar Baby ( New York: Knopf, 1981).
4.
Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon ( New York: Knopf, 1977).
5.
Barbara Christian, Black Feminist Criticism ( New York: Pergamon Press, 1985), p. 48.
6.
Janice Hale, "The Black Woman and Child Rearing", in The Black Woman, ed. LaFrances Rodgers-Rose ( Beverly Hills: Sage, 1980), p. 80.
7.
Mari Evans, ed., Black Women Writers ( New York: Anchor Press, 1984), p. 344.
9.
Janice Hale, "The Black Woman and Child Rearing", in Black Woman, ed. LaFrances Rodgers-Rose, p. 81.
10.
John Mbiti, The Prayers of African Religion ( Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1975), p. 102.
11.
Carrie Allen McCray, "The Black Woman and Family Roles", in Black Woman, ed. LaFrances Rodgers-Rose, pp. 70-71. I write further on this role of the Black mother, specifically in terms of how motherhood is historically a theme, either literally or spiritually, for Black women writers in my book The Character of the Word: The Fiction of Zora Neale Hurston ( Greenwood Press, 1986).
12.
Stephanie Demetrakopoulos, Listening to Our Bodies ( Boston: Beacon Press, 1984), see ch. 7. "Femininity as Entrapment: The Older Woman in Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon".
13.
There are two excellent articles on Käthe Kollwitz's visual art, drawings, paintings and sculpture. She commonly enlarges hands and shoulders to emphasize the nurturing, sheltering elements of her women; she arranges them standing together in fortress formation to protect the children. See Estella Lauther and Dominque Rozenberg, "The Transformation of the Mother in Works of Káthe Kollwitz", Anima 5 (Spring 1979): 89-98; Elizabeth Curry, "Káthe Kollwitz as Role Model for the Older Woman", Chrysalis 7 ( 1979): 55-70.
14.
Hestia is a very complex figure as are all the goddesses; see my essay on "Hestia, Goddess of the Hearth: Notes on an Oppressed Archetype", Spring, An Annual of Archetypal Psychology and Jungian Thought ( Irving, Texas: Spring Publications, 1979): 55-77.

-193-

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The Other within Us: Feminist Explorations of Women and Aging
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 16
  • Part One - Situating 17
  • 1 - The Double Standard of Aging 19
  • 2 - Portnoy's Mother's Complaints 25
  • 3 - The Plight of Older Black Women 37
  • References 41
  • 4 - The Feminization of Poverty Among the Elderly 43
  • Notes 54
  • 5 - Older Women in the City 57
  • Notes 68
  • Part Two - Problematizing 71
  • 6 Friends or Foes - Gerontological and Feminist Theory 73
  • Notes 91
  • References 91
  • 7 Heresy in the Female Body - The Rhetorics of Menopause 95
  • Notes 110
  • References 110
  • 8 Gender, Race, and Class - Beyond the Feminization of Poverty in Later Life 113
  • Notes 119
  • References 119
  • 9 - The View from Over the Hill 121
  • Notes 134
  • 10 - Adult Daughters and Care for the Elderly 135
  • Notes 146
  • 11 What Setting Limits May Mean - A Feminist Critique of Danielcallahan's Setting Limits 151
  • Notes 158
  • References 159
  • Part Three - Representing 161
  • 12 Sunset Boulevard - Fading Stars 163
  • Notes 175
  • 13 - Remembering Our Foremothers Older Black Women, Politics of Age, Politics of Survival as Embodied in the Novels of Toni Morrison 177
  • Notes 193
  • 14 Visible Difference - Women Artists and Aging 197
  • Notes 214
  • 15 - Time Will Tell 221
  • Part Four - Privileging 227
  • 16 - Toward Another Dimension . . . 229
  • 17 - Indian Summer 233
  • 18 - In the Heat of Shadow 239
  • 19 - Mirror of Strength Portrait of Two Chilean Arpilleristas 243
  • 20 - The Space Crone 249
  • 21 - Serenity and Power 253
  • Notes 273
  • Credits 275
  • About the Book and Editor 277
  • About the Contributors 279
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