Men We Carry In Our Minds By

Sanders Essay, Research Paper

Sanders wrote an argument entitles, "The Men We Carry In Our Minds."

It deals with the problems that exist between sex and social class issues. This

short work demonstrates troubles that lie between rich and poor, males and

females. The time period that this piece was written tells of issues dealing

with the earlier part of the 20th century. Sander’s was born into a poor,

low-class family that had only known hard labor. During his childhood he

witnessed many a men go to the same job day in and day out to do back breaking

labor so as to support their families. From his yard he had a view of the prison

and watched black prisoner’s slave away against the land. Watching them were

guards dressed in white that didn’t raise an arm or bend their backs to do their

job. Sanders claimed that, "As a boy, [he] also knew of another sort of

[man], who did not sweat and break down like mules" (Sanders 515). He saw

soldiers, who didn’t work in the factories or the fields, as far as he could

tell they didn’t work at all. He watched these soldiers from his house on a

military base in Ohio. He knew the life of the soldier conceived of little

excitement except for in the time of war. Either way, he knew that he neither

wanted to inherit his father’s life, though after time he prospered, or join the

military. As a youngster, he also saw the difference in men and women in the

workplace. His ideas of women were ladies who sat around the house reading,

tidying up and running errands. To him this was a life of luxury. But as

Sander’s said, "I was slow to understand the deep grievances of women"

(Sanders 516). He idolized them, though they suffered as men suffered when money

was tight, it wasn’t their fault or responsibility. As Sanders say’s,

"?they were not the ones who failed" (Sanders 516). This idea took a

transition when he went to college. Sander’s was very fortunate to attend

college. He himself was very surprised, for among people of his social class, it

was a rare opportunity. IT was here that his views of the world were put into

logical perspective. His socialization with the women opened his eyes to the

hardships they had to undertake. To get out of the shadow of being a female and

be respected for their intellect and hard work. As he felt helpless before for

being poor, they in relation felt the same for being of a different gender. He

thought he’d made an alliance because of the alienable circumstances that they’d

been through. To his dismay, the females at college did not take him in as a

friend, but perceived him as the enemy. For in their lives growing up, being

daughters of affluent families, they knew from birth that men would become the

ones with degrees and would be successful. This was a paradigm shift for

Sanders; everything he thought he knew about women was turned upside down.

Sanders proclaimed, "It was not my fate to become a woman, so it was easier

for me to see the graces" (Sanders 517). In conclusion, Sanders realized

that the women he met wanted to share in the grandeur of wealthy jobs worthy of

degrees and intelligence. He also realized, "The difference between me and

these daughters was that they saw me, because of my sex, as destined from birth

to become like their fathers, and therefore as an enemy to their desires"

(Sanders 518). Sanders main point was that it is easier to overcome gender than

class, which is portrayed in his argument.

Sanders, Scott Russell. The Men We Carry In Our Minds. Literacies. Brunk,

Terence. Diamond, Suzzane. Perkins, Priscilla. Smith, Ken. New York, N.Y.: W. W.

Norton & Company, 1997. 513-518.


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