Why do I want a wife?

Today we will explore the meanings of several words related to marriage and gender issues. As a learning outcome, you should come away with an understanding that words can have different meanings within different contexts. Audience and purpose are important concepts to shaping the meaning of the words in this essay.

Pre-reading
What kinds of associations do you have with the word ‘wife’?

What about the words “wife”, “mother”, “woman”? Create a mind map with the characteristics that you associate with each of them.

Critical reading
Judy Syfers was inspired to write this essay, ‘I want a wife’, after visiting a feminist conference in 1970. She wrote her piece and read it to a crowd in San Francisco on the 50th aniversary of women’s rights to vote. Her essay was reprinted in Ms. magazine in 1990.

Read the text your teacher will give you and answer the questions!

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