Explore male domination in Top Girls.

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bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The role of women in society is one of the themes in Top Girls. We see examples of male domination in Marlene's job at the employment agency. Marlene interviews Jeanine for a possible job placement. Marlene warns her not to tell prospective employers that she's getting married or might have children because this would discourage companies, controlled by men, from hiring her. Marlene also interviews Louise, a forty-six-year-old woman who worked for the same company for twenty-one years. Twenty of those years she was in middle management because there were no opportunities for her to advance any higher. Marlene doesn't see much opportunity for Louise's future.

The patriarchal society is also seen in Marlene's job. She has just been promoted over Howard Kidd, a man at the employment agency. His wife visits Marlene and tries to get her to turn down the promotion so Howard can have it. She says her husband is upset that a woman beat him, and he has a family to support. Mrs. Kidd calls Marlene "unnatural" for refusing to give Howard the promotion he deserves.

We see how Marlene's disregard for a woman's proper role in society has cost her. She's unmarried and doesn't seem to have had any kind of long-term relationship. She gave up her own daughter to her sister whom she is estranged from. In her choice to be successful in a man's world, she is viewed as a threat by the men in society.