Women’s Freedom and Gender-Based Oppression

2001 Words5 Pages
As well-known feminist theorists, both Catherine Mackinnon and Simone Beauvoir dissect the nature of gender-based oppression as well as how it plays into women’s liberation from male supremacy in their published writings. While Mackinnon’s vision of liberation, in her book “Feminism Unmodified,” differentiates from Beauvoir’s vision in “the Second Sex,” in that it focuses on the political sphere rather than the social sphere, there is still an element of commonality between the two written pieces. Sex, as the major element of commonality, is intertwined throughout each of their works for the reason that it is fundamental to discovering the ontological status of men and women and the ontological shifts that are necessary for liberating women from male supremacy. However, each has a different understanding of what sex is in their arguments. There are certain concepts besides Sex that both authors use to articulate what they believe is required for an ontological shift including “the Other”, women as pleasing objects, men as subjects, subordination, objectification, and freedom. Although both Mackinnon and Beauvoir discuss these concepts in terms of dialectical relationships, only Beauvoir goes as far as connecting happiness to women’s inability to attain freedom. By comparing each author’s vision of liberation from patriarchy, this paper will explore the notion of women’s “freedom”, how to obtain it, and the ontological shifts that are required for women’s liberation from male supremacy.

Before delving deeper into the complexities of the relationship between women’s freedom and gender-based oppression, we must first understand what the ontological status of women and men is, why they are different, and the role that they play in ...

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... maintain sex difference, we will not be able to obtain equality.

Women’s freedom and liberation from a male supremacy is conceivable but it will only succeed with the support and cooperation from the women of the world, which is extremely improbable. In order for women to obtain freedom and equality, we would have to break our ties with men. It has been built into us that a man is a necessity for a woman’s survival in the chaotic world we live in. Many women would be unable to give that up for something that would only make their lives more difficult.

Works Cited

Beauvoir, Simone De. ""Introduction" to The Second Sex." The Second Wave: A Reader in Feminist Theory. Ed. Linda Nicholson. New York [u.a.: Routledge, 1997. 11-18. Print.

Mackinnon, Catharine A. Feminism Unmodified: Discourses on Life and Law. Cambridge (Massachusetts): Harvard UP, 1987. Print.
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