The Savior of the Bees is a compelling short story that is empowering especially to women despite their background. For the longest time women have been marginalized based on their gender and forced by society to live their lives reserved in a world that has made the roles of women define them. America is a developed nation that is the envy of the other nations the world over. Despite of this, women in the American society has not always been empowered. As late as during the Great Depression, women in the American society were still defined by their roles and were not empowered to live their lives to their full potential. It should not be forgotten that it has been just recently that women have been allowed to engage in duties and responsibilities beyond their stipulated roles as women. All the progress that they have made has been over a few years and one can wonder just how far women could be today if they had been allowed to pursue other interests earlier.
This short story is set in the early days when development and technology was unheard of. The area where the story is set in is a small town village in Texas in the year nineteen eighty three (1983) and the story revolves around a family with a father, mother and a young boy called Jimmy. There are no farm inputs and all the work that is available is done by hand. Jimmy is concerned that the family has not gone on any vacations for the longest time despite of the fact that his mother has been planning trips for them all the time. He even recalls a trip where his mother had even asked him to tell his father that it would benefit his school work. Despite all his mother’s effort, they still missed the trip. This goes on to show that as late as 1983 there still were people who looked down on women as Jimmy’s father did, he could not even let his wife make a decision as simple as the family’s vacation. On his mother’s birthday Jimmy and his father get her a pressure cooker and he does not understand why she cries instead of being happy. To him, a pressure cooker was perfect for her since it would assist her when she prepared jam. All he could get her for her birthday was a kitchen appliance since he only expected her to be doing a lot of cooking or farm work. Jimmy’s mother had cried after seeing the pressure cooker and she told her husband that she felt that she had more to offer besides the work she put in on the farm. Women have had this feeling all over the world but the chance to try out new things in the work place besides being home keepers has eluded them for the longest time.
Women have to work twice as hard and to try harder than men to prove that they can do something more than just house chores. Jimmy’s mother even had a different opinion on the importance of bees and wasps. They have had to endure a lot of criticism from the society to gain the respect that they get today. Women were looked down on as home keepers whose duties revolved around giving birth and raising children, while looking after the home and carrying out errands like fetching water and washing clothes besides cooking for their families. This had been the norm the world over and even a mighty country took America took its time in accepting the fact that women had more to offer. When women are allowed to explore their full potential, the results can be astonishing. Most of the women who make news today have thriving businesses or careers and also have families that they bring up besides having a lot of work to deal with. Women are good at multi tasking and this is an advantage for them as they can juggle their careers and raising families while still managing to take care of themselves image wise.
Jimmy’s mother chooses to leave her home and her husband since she feels unappreciated and that her husband does not even support her quest to learn and discover her full potential. Jimmy knows it that the only time her mother can get the books that she loves reading is when she goes into the town. Her father on the other hand seeks to know why she wants to go town and what she has to go and get from the town to allow her to go while in essence she uses this trips to get books from the library which she reads. Jimmy’s mother starts feeling like all she can do is look pretty and cook for her family and this even makes her depressed since she thinks that the work on the farm has made her old and ugly. All she ever wanted were nice things like bracelets and jewelry and also a chance to seek her full potential outside her home boundary but she got none of this and it finally broke her family.
The world has taken time to accept women’s potential and slowly women have been able to pursue education like men and are thus occupying seats of power in boardrooms the world over across all kinds of sectors. Women today have the voice to air their feelings and thoughts since they are no longer tied up in the cocoon that is gender defined roles. All the jobs that had been reserved for women are now open for women and the women who take up this kind of jobs do not cry out for favor just because they are women.
Education is the most important key in opening the way for women to be able to have an informed decision making mindset on what they would like their life to be like. As much as women still are the fundamental blocks that hold the home together, their input in the society is beyond merely life giving duties. Any society that seeks to grow and develop in all aspects has to empower their girl child. It has been said for the longest time that empowering a girl child is empowering the whole nation. As Jimmy’s mother says, it is better to be a bee and make good things like honey rather than be a wasp and have every one hate you for what you are.