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Women’s problems are undoubtedly as old as human history. By giving legal rights and political and economic power to men only, the male-dominant society deprives women of the public sphere and makes them dependent on men. Marriage becomes the sole purpose of women because they are convinced that only
by this way they can take place in society. Reproduction and the care of the home and family are the main duties of women in the patriarchal structure. Once women begin to demand legal rights and freedom, the basis of feminism emerges. Liberal feminism can be said to be based on equal opportunities in education, women’s access to public sphere and economic equality. Liberal feminist approach defines the equality and freedom of women with men in legal, family and social life. When liberal feminist approach is applied to Bobbie Ann Mason’s “Shiloh”, it allows researchers to analyse the gender roles in the context of the patriarchal ideology of separate spheres. Norma Jean is an obedient housewife who accepts her duty of reproduction and care of the home and family in private sphere whereas her husband Leroy Moffitt is the breadwinner as a truck driver in the public sphere. However, Norma Jean takes a body-building class, enrols in a composition class at night school, writes a paper about music and becomes the breadwinner. According to liberal feminist approach, Norma Jean’s taking place in the public sphere is a manifestation of her claim of independence resulting in the breakdown of her marriage.

Liberal Feminism, Women’s Position, Separate Spheres, Bobbie Ann Mason, “Shiloh”.


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