Thursday, February 12, 2015

Shaker Women and Community

I am simply fascinated by Mother Ann Lee because women at the time who spoke out, wrote literature, or tried to do something outside their designated gender roles were persecuted. Women during her timely rarely spoke out and for her to spread her word from town to town about this Shaker religion was astounding to me. She risked her life to better others, to give other women (and some men) a better life. Something else I liked about this community she had brought together was that it was emphasizing your talents that benefit the community, you were able to choose what you wanted to do for your life. That’s where this whole idea of community comes into play, they’re a community that works together, shares their life and beliefs together which is why so many people were drawn to this religion.

Americans have always idealized community. Historians and people today are still interested in the Shaker’s way of life because it brought simplicity, there was no competition to be the best because there was total equality of the sexes and everyone in the community because everyone has a common goal. Mrs. Gold talked about her personal experience when she spoke with (I forget the name of the religious leader) about how she had to forget her desire to find the perfect community because no matter where you go it’s messed up and you’ll be disappointed. That really stuck with me because personally I strive for the same thing. Even today’s society isn’t perfect but we are working on becoming better. Sometimes you have to take two steps back to take five steps forward. The Shaker society realized that they weren’t perfect and that people make mistakes and accepted strangers with open arms. I think we need to be so harsh on ourselves, we need to realize our society isn’t going to change overnight but in order to make changes we have to fight for what we believe in. If we as women, do not stand up for women’s rights and gender equality even if that’s not the “norm” of today, we will not advance or open other people’s eyes to what is really going on under the surface or today’s world.

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