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Androcentrism: Feminists for Equality

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Throughout history, women have had the misfortune of being labeled as “the other” to men. According to many philosophers, women are the second sex. This idea of women as the second sex is fueled by the notion that the feminine is a mistake, and that masculinity is the correct approach to life. This idea has even been given a new name recently: androcentrism. Androcentrism is a new kind of sexism that, rather than just favoring men over women, favors masculinity over feminist universally. This new term perfectly sums up what many philosophers have touted during this course: women are the second sex, and masculinity is the superior norm. These ideas can be spotted in the rhetoric of Freud, Gilligan, Aristotle, Schopenhauer, and even Beauvoir. However, how masculinity and femininity are defined affect all genders negatively, and I believe the idea of women as a second sex that has been popularized by the patriarchy is oppressing both men and women.

The term androcentrism was recently coined by The Society Pages, a website that documents sociological trends. The article, written by Lisa Wade (a professor at Occidental College) is extremely brief. The point is one that does not need much explanation: it is acceptable for women to act like men, because being a boy is good. For a boy to look like or act like a girl, however, is degrading. Being a woman is seen as degrading. Wade provides about ten examples that prove this idea. Among them, articles about people using derivations of female descriptors as insults (sissy, for example), or articles that inflate the importance of doing things “like a dude”: in short, you should do everything you can to not be feminine. The problem of course, as Wade points out, is that women are both re...

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...94. 22-31. Print.

De Beauvoir, Simone. "The Second Sex." Philosophy of Woman: An Anthology of Classic to Current Concepts. Ed. Mary Briody Mahowald. Indianapolis [etc.: Hackett, 1994. 201-21. Print.

Freud, Sigmund. "Femininity." Philosophy of Woman: An Anthology of Classic to Current Concepts. Ed. Mary Briody Mahowald. Indianapolis [etc.: Hackett, 1994. 224-41. Print.

Gilligan, Carol. In a Different Voice. Digital image. E-Learning. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Dec. 2013. .

Schopenhauer, Arthur. "On Women." Philosophy of Woman: An Anthology of Classic to Current Concepts. Ed. Mary Briody Mahowald. Indianapolis [etc.: Hackett, 1994. 134-46. Print.

Wade, Lisa. "Androcentrism." Sociological Images RSS. The Society Pages, 12 June 2011. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.
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