In chapter 3 of A Room Of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf talks about how women throughout history in big events and in literature were often not given credit for what they did or hid behind a veil. She talks about women who were given credit for what they did and how they were often treated badly for it. It was very rare that they were accepted and praised for the events and literature they involved themselves in.
I disagree with this and believe that this is an untrue generalization that she is making about women. I believe that many women of this time were given credit for their accomplishments during their life times and were given the praise and the attention they deserved for the work that they did. I do believe that a lot of women were criticized for their work and the things they participated in and did not get the recognition they deserved but not most of the women of this time. Woolf states that,”Indeed, if woman had no existence save in the fiction written by men, one would imagine her a person of the utmost importance; very various; heroic and mean; splendid and sordid; infinitely beautiful and hideous in the extreme; as great as a man, she think even greater. But this is woman in fiction. In fact, as professor Trevelyan points out, she was locked up, beaten and flung about the room.” (A Room Of One’s Own, Pg. 43).
If this was true for most women of her time then we most likely would not still have many of the books written then available today nor would we know about women who participated in big historical events. One of these examples Anne Bradstreet, whose poetry volume was published first in 1650 and was widely acclaimed in very favorably and was very popular for everyone. Bradstreet did not die until 1672, therefore it was published during her lifetime and was criticized by very few people, those who like her poetry greatly outnumber the criticisms. A second example would be Marie Curie. She won the nobel prize in Chemistry, during her life time, for finding radium and polonium and coining the term “Radioactivity”, showing that women were truly recognized for their accomplishments. If they were not she would not have won because a man would have taken credit for her work and won the prize instead.
Woolf also says that, “Anonymity runs in their blood. The desire to be veiled still possesses them.” (A Room of One’s Own, Pg. 50). This is not true in my opinion. I believe that men thought that women should be veiled and they believed that women wanted to be veiled but women themselves did not want to be veiled. One example being Jane Austen, when she wrote her books she did not let anyone know she was writing but even though she didn’t put her name on her books she still marked them by a lady so that people would know that women were still writing literature no matter what. Another example being the Brontë Sisters, they may not have published their books under pseudonyms to hide who they but they used women’s names to show that women would not hide behind a veil put in front of them by men and society.
I agree that some women were not recognized or praised for what they accomplished and what they wrote in there own life time but still many were recognized during their lifetime for the great things that they managed to do in the realm of history as well as the realm of literature. I believe that women need wanted to hide behind a veil push and pressed upon them by their society.