(A) “Lessons in the art of being feminine lay all around me” (paragraph 1, sentence 1)
(B) “I loved being a little girl, or rather I loved being a fairy princess, for that was who I thought I was”(paragraph 1, sentence 2)
(C) “Femininity was a challenge thrown down to the female sex, a challenge no proud, self-respectingyoung woman could afford to ignore” (paragraph 2, sentence 2)
(D) “‘Isn’t it remarkable how she manages to retain her femininity?’ had terrifying implications” (paragraph3, sentence 1)
(E) “They spoke of a bottom-line failure so irreversible that nothing else mattered” (paragraph 3, sentence 2
The correct answer is option (C) “Femininity was a challenge thrown down to the female sex, a challenge no proud, self-respecting young woman could afford to ignore” (paragraph 2, sentence 2)
The author’s thesis, as expressed in the statement “Femininity was a challenge thrown down to the female sex, a challenge no proud, self-respecting young woman could afford to ignore” (paragraph 2, sentence 2), suggests that femininity is not just a natural trait or a societal expectation, but rather a demanding test or challenge that women face. The author argues that embracing and embodying femininity is crucial for any self-respecting woman.
Throughout the passage, the author reflects on her own experiences and observations of femininity. She mentions that lessons in the art of being feminine were all around her and that she loved the idea of being a fairy princess when she was a little girl. These early experiences indicate her initial positive perception of femininity.
However, as the author grows older, she realizes that femininity is not simply an inherent part of being a woman but rather a complex and demanding standard imposed by society. The author suggests that retaining femininity becomes a matter of importance and even pride. The phrase “Isn’t it remarkable how she manages to retain her femininity?” (paragraph 3, sentence 1) implies that femininity is something that can be lost or compromised, and this realization carries “terrifying implications.”
The author’s thesis suggests that femininity is not a frivolous or trivial aspect of womanhood but a fundamental challenge that women must confront and navigate. It is portrayed as an integral part of one’s identity and a marker of strength and self-respect. The passage highlights the author’s understanding of femininity as an ongoing struggle and underscores the significance attached to it in the societal context.