Joan Jett, a 1980s rock guitarist and song writer once said "Other people will call me a rebel, but I just feel like I'm living my life and doing what I want to do. Sometimes people call that rebellion, especially when you're a woman." In our patriarchal society men are able to have opinions and live their lives however they see fit but women are not allowed to do the same. This was especially true for women back in the 19th century and earlier because for the longest time women were expected to be somebody's daughter until they were somebody's wife, then somebody's mom. This is evident in Kate Chopin's "The Story of an Hour": when we apply a feminist theory lens, we see marriage as a tool to control women and how being a wife is gendered role.
"The story of an hour" is about Mrs. Mallard, but also in the story is her sister; Josephine, her husband; Brently Mallard, and her husband's friend; Richards. The story begins with Richards finding Brently's name among the list of "killed" in a railroad disaster, he then takes the news to the widow, Mrs. Mallard. Even though she was initially sad, Mrs. Mallard soon began to feel a sense of freedom. But her new found freedom didn't last long because she died later that same day "of the joy that kills" when she saw her husband come through the door, alive and well (Chopin 2).
There are many branches and approaches to feminist theory, but my favorite is radical feminism, which seeks to free both men and women from gendered roles forced upon them by institutions in our society. In "What does it mean that Gender is Performative?" the transcript of an interview between Max miller and Judith Butler, Judith Butler said " we've taken on a role that we're acting in some way and that our acting or our role playing is crucial to the gender that we are and the gender that we present to the world Think about how difficult it is for sissy boys or how difficult it is for tomboys to function socially without being bullied or without being teased " (Butler par 2).