In this paper, I will talk about De Beauvoir’s argument on how women became the Other in society and how this subconsciously affects them. De Beauvoir claims we have biases in society because of religion, philosophers, and writers, which all advocated for sexist ideas. She gives the example of Eve and Pandora—both brought evil into this world. Historical figures like Aristotle and St Thomas claimed women lack intelligence (28). As a result of the biases that are perpetuated in society, women are seen as lesser entities.
Human rights are the freedoms that all individuals are entitled to, regardless of their sex or gender. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood portrays a dystopian society where women are governed by the dominance of men. Human rights, for all women, are taken away under the rule of The Republic of Gilead, where women are perceived as property and lose their independence. Atwood portrays a society that attempts to reshape the role of women to “keep them safe” in a male dominant society which progressively leads women to oppression. In this new Gileadean society, Atwood gives women a false perception of being further “protected” under the restrictions of The Republic of Gilead.
Women are condemned to resign themselves and become what social institutions based on religions and morals wanted them to be. The society acted as a representation of women backgrounds and the forces that tried to make them obey. The image of a woman and their feminine nature required and presented by the society are very old: her images as a mother and as a wife. More relevant is the alienation if women, as they accept these images, portrayed of them and don’t intend on changing anything. Later with the beginning of the 19th century, women considered their intellectual inferiority is created by the lack of education and they kept on accusing the men and society of keeping them in ignorance so as to dominate them better.
However, one person who might think that that narrative might be hard to change would be Simone de Beauvoir. She wrote the book The Second Sex in order to show how she believed women were looked at to as inferior to men, not because of something biological, but because throughout history women have been referred to as “the Other”. I see her argument as a stepping-stone
Stanton comments on how women 's basic rights are not fulfilled because they are not allowed ownership of property or wage. To a degree, Stanton not only depicts her opinions on gender inequality, but also conveys her anguish on the
This is not the ideal situation for writing, or the proper environment for genius. Therefore, through her revolutionary way of examining women’s position in society, Woolf proves that the “masculine complex” and low expectations of women impeded upon their writing process. One major theme this essay illuminates is that of what subordinated women and how that inferiority was maintained. Woolf states, “Even in the nineteenth century a woman was not encouraged to be an artist” (55). In fact she was discouraged and made to believe such a vocation was beyond her capabilities.
This oppressive treatment, however, parallels the oppression of women. As such, “The Yellow Wallpaper” has been interpreted as a feminist work. In the story, Gilman comments on the status of women, the nature and source of their confinement and the possible modes of escape. Afflicted by hysteria and “nervous depression,” the narrator in this story, symbolic of all women, is confined. The condition of the narrator is such that she is “absolutely forbidden to ‘work’” and unable to “relieve the press of ideas” through creative endeavours.
In Mary Wollstonecraft 's A Vindication of the Rights of Women, she contemplates the subordinate role of women in society and the many factors, natural and artificial, that contributes to this inequality of power among the sexes. She advocates for the equal playing field of education. Women are only educated to the degree of what is seen as useful to what is considered their natural, sexual character. She says virtue cannot be held to different standards or criteria because that would make virtue relative. Although there are obvious differences and physical inequalities between the sexes, these cannot make one sex superior to the other because what truly sets mankind apart from other brute creatures is our ability to reason.
She points out that the root of this is that there is no real definition for feminism. While she views it as the struggle to end sexist oppression, many women view it as a lifestyle or associate feminism with lesbianism. In addition, many women view feminism as a white women’s rights group. This excludes oppressed ethnic groups of women. She makes a good point with this issue because before any further goals can be reached, feminism must become something that women want to be a part of.
Women continuously are portrayed as subordinate in comparison to men. This idea eventually created another idea; feminism. Sheryl Sandberg, wrote a book about these feminist concerns, claiming that women are the source of the inequalities. Sandberg believes women need to alter their life in accommodation to equality. However female activist bell hooks writes in response to Sandberg arguing that men created this stereotypical “stay at home” woman.