Feminist theory is one of the major contemporary sociological theories, which analyzes the status of women and men in society with the purpose of using that knowledge to better women's lives. Feminist theorists have also started to question the differences between women, including how race, class, ethnicity, and age intersect with gender. Feminist theory is most concerned with giving a voice to women and highlighting the various ways women have contributed to society. There are four main types of feminist theory that attempt to explain the societal differences between men and women: Gender Differences: The gender difference perspective examines how women's location in, and experience of, social situations differ from men's. For example, cultural feminists look to the different values associated with womanhood and femininity as a reason why men and women experience the social world differently.
Such myths, Beauvoir explains, are derived trough literature and Social beliefs. The construct of the “essence of women” have been grossly misconstrued by a male dominated world. In her essay, she strongly argues about the two-sided opposition of the “self” and “other” through an existentialist perspective, which is through the experience of the human condition. She boldly announces that the male has appointed himself as “self” and the female as “other” in order to gain dominion and authority to call the female inferior, passive, or weak. I will take an in depth look at the contradictions and myths that men have created of women as outlined by Beauvoir.
In fact, the social perspective towards women was based on submission and passivity. As time progresses, Victorian scenario of men’s empowerment over women has changed and equity between sexes as a human right has gained significance. However, remaining sexist attitudes within contemporary societies could be taken as a reflection of sexism towards womanhood existent in Victorian Era. First of all, both the psychological phenomenon of the double standards and a high level of sexual repression in our societies catch the attention. Indeed, those concepts of sexual behavior have different views according to the historical context.
Lea Cherbaka February 17, 2010 Reaction Paper – The Social Construction of Gender “I am arguing that bodies differ in many ways physiologically, but they are completely transformed by social practices to fit into the salient categories of a society, the most pervasive of which are “female” and “male” and “women” and “men (Lorber 1990, 10).” The first thing that comes to people’s minds when they think of “the social construction of gender” is the characteristic that is normally associated with men and women. For example, men are strong and women are sensitive. In her article, Judith Lorber discusses the inequality between the genders and how society is the factor that has created such a divide between males and females. When reading this article I thought that Lorber provided a lot of examples for her argument, which allowed me to relate to many of them. For example, one of the main points she touched upon was the male dominance in sports.
Name: My Trinh Individuality and Social Conformity The purpose of this essay is about the theme relationship about individuality and social conformity and how it applies in today’s world with the reading selection by Doris Lessing and David Brooks. Throughout history, individuals have felt torn between adhering to established social norms and expectation and showing their individuality by rising up against conformity. The negative aspects of group think that is what Doris Lessing was referring to as dangerous –belong to a group but not understanding its rules and what are the reasons why some people rebel against groups and societies is what Brooks referred to as rebellion. There are number reasons why people conform. First, we may want to be a part of a group - a family, a community, accompany, a society.
(intro about 3-4 line, open topic of oppression and misogyny, short guide to essay) In their dystopian novels, both Atwood and Huxley offer an extremely sexist vision that portrays women as being obstructions to the success of men. Gender inequality was still prevalent even in 2001, when Atwood was writing Oryx and Crake, and the misogynistic issues shown in her dystopias such as child pornography and sex slaves may not have existed when Huxley was writing, however the motives of the authors are the same – they are trying to reflect the sexist society that they lived in. It was these presentations of misogynistic societies that made Deanna Maddern comment that in Brave New World ‘the women interfere with or prevent the men from achieving spiritually.’ There seems to be a lot of truth in this quotation, as in Brave New World we see how Helmholtz manages to rebel intellectually, and establish himself as a true poet, only when he decides to deprive himself of women and soma. Maddern’s view can also be extended to Atwood’s dystopia as the female protagonist, Oryx, is also presented as being a disruption to male characters work. We can see this by the way that she distracts Jimmy to such an extent that he is unable to do his work properly because he is tormented ‘night and day’ with the desire to ‘touch’ and ‘worship’ her.
The use of the pronoun ‘He’ could effectively represent men in general as being the main instigators of female oppression this then raises male dominance. In the novel walker uses the step father to further portray how family supported the oppression of their daughters and helped to limit aspirations. The verbal abuse “she ugly,” mentally affected the
Wollstonecraft was an advocate for women’s rights and through this we can see that “modern feminism in the English-speaking world begins with Mary Wollstonecraft’s bold appeals for women’s inclusion in public life overwhelmingly dominated by men”. She challenged views on the roles of males and females at a particular radical time in late eighteenth century England, and argued that the reason for women's inferiority in society was due to their lack of access to proper education. It was fundamental to her beliefs that women would hold a greater place in society through educational opportunities which was in direct contradiction to that of the historical and contemporary opinions held by men about women and women about themselves. This radical perception of Wollstonecraft’s had radical implications across society in relation to the woman’s status in the home, at work and in political circumstances. The perception that Mary Wollstonecraft presented to the late eighteenth century England was a radical notion which debated past ideas about women and their place in society.
Luce Irigaray takes an essentialist approach to feminism, and uses this essay to discuss ways to address feminist concerns and advance feminist ideals in a male-centered, male-driven society . This essay was challenging to understand (perhaps because, like some of the things we read from Lacan, it has been translated from the French). Its goal is to help women understand how to initiate discourse about gender appropriately and effectively, for only then can society’s construct of a “feminine” ideal be revealed as the inferior, artificial product it is. In discussing how women can begin to establish a voice for themselves, to break through the barriers of a hostile, masculine-oriented construct, she says: “There is, in an initial phase, perhaps only one “path,” the one historically assigned to the feminine: that of mimicry. One must assume the feminine role deliberately.
Today, the discrimination still goes on, with women who are objectified as sexual symbols in the media and minority groups who are stereotyped and profiled. In Catherine A. Mackinnon’s book Feminism Unmodified: Discourses of Life and Law, she states,” The law has been a male sphere. The values and qualities of these pursuits have defined both the male role and public life… I call this the dominance approach, and it is the ground I’ve been standing on in criticizing mainstream law.” MacKinnon argues that because men have traditionally created laws, there is no true gender equality (MacKinnon, 1987). According to her outlook, our laws were not designed for the other gender or others races, making the legal order discriminatorily in favor of the creators themselves. When considering this “standard legal order”, issues with race can also be considered.