Essay about The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf

Essay about The Beauty Myth, by Naomi Wolf

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"Our culture is depicting sex as rape so that men and women will become interested in it."
- Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth (1991)

Feminists for decades have been battling against the media for depicting images of women that they consider to be demeaning and obscene for the sake of beauty. This quotation, taken from feminist best-seller, Naomi Wolf, puts into perspective the feminist views of the damage that media induces on its female consumers and the subliminal message it sends to both men and women. Do women actually enjoy being raped? I find this statement quite hard to stomach. Such a traumatic event results in post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, as well as a loss of self-esteem and trust, and on-going intimacy issues. Thus, it is hard to fathom that under enough exposure to the same event would cause any women, much less a rape victim, to become sexually aroused by the event.
In her book, The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf argues that while feminism has fought to earn the rights of women to vote, to denounce the stigma of sole domesticity as ‘a woman’s place and priority,’ and to their “reproductive rights [giving] Western women control over their own bodies,” the media has managed to find ways to undermine women’s liberation through what she defines as “beauty pornography,” and “beauty sadomasochism” (Wolf).
The idea or belief many of these feminists have is that all of these acts manifest a similar message: that women must enjoy forceful submission and subversion in order to achieve ultimate ecstasy and satisfaction. Some of these messages are misconstrued in order to prove their point. In the preface of the book Who Stole Feminism?, Christina Somm (Siegel) (Hedges) (Soble)ers describes on many occasions how she refer...


... middle of paper ...


...to dictate the standard of their individual reality, dissatisfaction and dishonesty is sure to ensue.



Works Cited

Division, Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS). "UCR Program Changes Definition of Rape." The CJIS Link (2012): 7-8.
Hedges, Chris. Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle . Nation Books , 2009.
Newman, Cathy. National Geographic . n.d. 15 December 2013 .
Siegel, Lisa Z. International Exposure: Perspectives on Modern European Pornography: 1800-2000 . Rutgers University Press, 2005.
Soble, Alan. Pornography, Sex, and Feminism. Prometheus Books, 2010.
Sommers, Christina H. Who Stole Feminism?: How women have betrayed women. Simon and Schuster, 1995.
Wolf, Naomi. The Beauty Myth. Harper Perennial, 2002.

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