(A) “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)
(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) “Lessons in the art of being feminine lay all around me” (paragraph 1, sentence 1)
(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 option is (A) “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)
The author’s thesis, as expressed in the sentence, is that femininity is a challenge that should not be ignored by proud and self-respecting young women. The author argues that femininity holds significance and carries certain expectations and standards for women. The statement implies that embracing and embodying femininity is important and should be seen as a source of pride rather than a burden.
Throughout the passage, the author reflects on personal experiences and observations related to femininity. The author mentions how they enjoyed being a little girl and identifying as a fairy princess, indicating an early fascination with feminine roles and ideals. They also discuss how lessons in the art of being feminine were abundant in their surroundings, suggesting that femininity was deeply ingrained in their environment and cultural context.
The author further emphasizes the importance of femininity by mentioning the terrifying implications of comments like “Isn’t it remarkable how she manages to retain her femininity?” The implication here is that the ability to maintain femininity is seen as a significant accomplishment, which suggests that femininity holds substantial value and is highly regarded in society.
Additionally, the author introduces the concept of a “bottom-line failure” that is irreversible and overshadows everything else. This statement suggests that deviating from societal expectations of femininity could result in severe consequences or a loss of one’s identity and sense of self.
Overall, the passage conveys the author’s belief that femininity is a crucial aspect of a young woman’s life, something that should be acknowledged, embraced, and taken seriously. The author encourages women to view femininity as a challenge and an opportunity for personal growth and self-expression, rather than dismissing or neglecting it.