The Women's Room Questions and Answers
by Marilyn French, Marilyn Edwards

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1. Why does Mira make the choice she does with regard to Ben? 2. Why does Chapter 7 illustrate no justice existed for the "perfect wife"?

Mira make her choice with regard to Ben because she intends to continue with her career, does not want more children, needs to develop her independent identity, and does not want to repeat her experience of marriage.

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In The Women’s Room, Mira enters a romantic and sexual relationship with Ben while they are in graduate school. Part of their compatibility stems from the fact that each of them had decided to pursue their intellectual interests in formulating their career paths. As their relationship develops, Ben is offered opportunities to pursue his career goals sooner than Mira gains similar options. If she went to Africa with him, she would be giving up the chance to build the career for which she has been studying.

In addition, Ben is childless, while Mira has already raised two children. A central issues that comes between them is his desire for a child, while Mira feels that she does not need to become a mother again. Ben cannot really imagine deferring his own career plans or devoting himself primarily to raising their child.

As they struggle with figuring out a possible joint future, Mira realizes that many aspects of Ben’s personality and expectations are very conventional. In fact, he increasingly reminds her of her ex-husband. Mira knows how much of her personal identity she sacrifices while she was married, and she is at a point when operating autonomously is key to further self-realization. She fears getting trapped in a replica of her unhappy marriage.