The Whale Rider- Women can do anything Men can

Salvador Gomez
Mr. Cottom
As time went on men gained power while women’s place in society fell. Today, at a time where social justice between both genders is nearly complete. There are still many examples of media showing how men and women are equal. Two examples of this are the novel, The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera and in an online article on Forbes, “Motherhood is not liability to a woman’s ability in business” by Amy Rees Anderson. These two articles show women are more than capable of doing anything men can.
In The Whale Rider, every leader or chief of Maori in Whangara has been a male ever since the appearance of the whale rider. However, during the time of Koro Apirana something went wrong, a girl named Kahu after the Whale Rider was born, this came to anger Koro as he states on page 13, “ “A girl” Grandfather, Koro Apirana, said, disgusted. “I will have nothing to do with her. She has broken the male line of descent to our tribe” (Ihimaera 13). Due to Kahu’s gender, Koro has come to hate Kahu for many years of their lives. Koro even went as far as to look for a boy in the tribe that was worthy of becoming, even though Kahu has proven that she can do things that past leaders who were male have done, such as swimming underwater for a very long time, the ability to communicate with whales and she is able to speak the old Maori language that only male chiefs have known.. Later on Koro states, “You’re the best great-grandchild in the whole wide world,” he said. “Boy or girl, it doesn’t matter.”” (Ihimaera 149). After Kahu was taken away by the Whale Rider’s Whale, Koro realizes that a women could be as great of a chief as a man and that everyone has their own values regardless of gender. Koro even goes on to tell Kahu that once she gets well she can take her place as chief. In the end, all other people including Koro who once doubted her capabilities, because of her gender discovered that a women could do anything a man can.
Something that people fail to see is that everyone has something to do, sure while we look back men usually had more occupations compared to women back in other times. Yet times have changed, women have many things to take care off and things like this are what women think affect their social status and helpfulness according to men as stated, “What I remember about was whether people would perceive the fact that I was a mother of two small children to be a weakness in business.” (Anderson). It’s not that just some men believe that women are inferior, this symbolizes that since women have been in men’s shadow for quite some time, they themselves believe not to have some time, and they themselves believe not to have much authority as men. Yet, when Anderson realizes that a male employer is in a similar situation, and speaks up, that she should be able to get the same rights just like him. Anderson states, “The next time someone asked to Schedule a meeting when it conflicted with one of my children’s events I simply spoke confidently and unapologetically and told them that we would need to pick a different data… they were FINE with it!” (Anderson). By telling everyone what she could do and couldn’t she found out that she had the same power as a man. In reality everyone is equal, it’s just that insecurities that everyone has are what stops us from moving forward and what makes society seem like an endless loop in which men have always been superior. Yet if people do not overcome these insecurities nothing will never change, it must be an effort between everyone to lead to a more socially equal future.
Both stories have one similar message that a woman can do anything a man can. Even though in today’s society some people consider men superior these two articles show that women can do as much if not more than men as respected members of society.


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