The Role of The Female in Western Culture Essay

The Role of The Female in Western Culture Essay

Length: 2070 words (5.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Term Papers

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Susie Orbach’s essay, “Fat as a Feminist Issue”, she argues that being fat is a rebellion against western society’s view of women. She begins her essay by explaining how prominent the issues of obesity and dieting have become, and how these issues negatively affect women. “Almost inevitably, the explanations offered for fatness point a finger at the failure of women themselves…” (para. 2), Orbach contends. She suggests that feminism, on the other hand, aligns itself with the perspective that women suffer from compulsive eating, and consequently obesity, not due to faults of their own, but because of “those painful personal experiences [that] derive from the social context into which female babies are born…and develop…” (para. 3). Furthermore, Orbach believes that insisting a woman’s heaviness is her own fault would not benefit anyone. She defends that overweight women are consciously defying the female stereotype in response to the inequalities between the sexes. She goes on to explain the difference between men and women—the capability to birth children—and how that affects women’s social roles. This difference, Orbach notes, “is used as the basis on which to divide unequally women and men’s labor, power, roles and expectations” (para. 5).
In western society, women have been confined to the social roles of the wife and the mother, which Orbach believes has effects that influence obesity. She states that a woman requires a man to step into either role, and that the acquisition of a man involves “learn[ing] to regard herself as an item, a commodity, a sex object” (para. 6). This perception of the female self leads to a preoccupation with appearance, claims Orbach, which necessitates critical inspection every element of a woman’...

... middle of paper ...

...n flaws readers may notice is that much of the information no longer seems relevant to western culture. I wonder how much more effective the paper could have been, had it been written more recently. If Orbach, who remains an active voice against dieting and a committed feminist, sought out up to date information and decided to rewrite this paper, I can only imagine how much more convincing it might be.

Works Cited

Cahill, Larry. “Why Sex Matters for Neuroscience.” Nature Reviews (10 May 2006). Web. 28 Sep. 2011. 1-8. Resources/Nature%20Review%20Neuroscience/Subjects/Neuroethics/Why%20sex%20matters%20for%20neuroscience.pdf>.

Orbach, Susie. “Fat as a Feminist Issue.” They Say I Say with Readings. Ed. Gerald Graff, Cathy Birkenstein, and Russell Durst. New York: W.W. Norton, 2009. 200-205.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Female Identity in Japan

- Is western influence in both the media and society affecting the authenticity of traditional gender roles and female identity within contemporary Japanese Culture. The face of unfamiliar and irrelevant representations is it difficult to assert as sense of identity. Although this is a concern of female assertion of identity and position in many different cultures, including western cultures like the United States. The essential issue that is wished to be resolved within these findings is whether cultural imperialism is the disabling factor of the female identity within Japanese society....   [tags: Western Culture, Japanese Gender Roles]

Term Papers
1421 words (4.1 pages)

Balinese Culture Essay

- BACKGROUND ON THE CULTURE The island of Bali is a city among the islands of Indonesia, located east of Java and west of Lombak in the Indian Ocean. As stated in “The Anthropological Romance of Bali 1597-1972,” Bali is “in the very center of the Indonesian archipelago” (Boon 1). This island is part of the largest nation in size and population in Southeast Asia. Bali is quite complex in their belief systems, especially when perceived by the western world. Their belief system is not comprised of a singular core religion, but of a sort of amalgam of various world religions....   [tags: Culture ]

Term Papers
1584 words (4.5 pages)

Essay about Negotiating in a Foreign Culture

- Case Study Summary When Anne Burns, an American expatriate, moved to Jordan with her husband to promote female entrepreneurship through the non-profit organization ExportJordan, she had no idea that her American style of communication and negotiation would clash so severely with the Jordanian culture. As she settled into her new office aided by a western educated female employee named Hayat, she quickly ran into a number of minor differences such as men not shaking her hand. Major issues soon started happening, as evidenced by her less than warm welcome by Jafar, a male employee who warned her about her attitude and actions with cryptic phrases and obvious disapproval....   [tags: Culture Sensitivity]

Term Papers
2165 words (6.2 pages)

Western Culture Media: Hazardous to the Health of Females Essay

- I believe that as long as Western Culture promotes thinness as “pinnacles of beauty” (McClelland, p. 394), beauty advertising will continue to be damaging to women (Orbach, p. 386) leaving them desiring to be accepted, to be beautiful and to feel good about themselves (Orbach, p.387). Magazines, television, movies, and the Internet portray women who are successful in love, career, finances to be slim (McClelland, p.393). The influence of Western Culture was clearly demonstrated when just “three years After the introduction of TV into Fiji in 1995, 11.9% of adolescent girls were puking into the toilet bowl trying to change their Fujian build into one that resembled the Western images they wer...   [tags: Beauty ]

Term Papers
1316 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on Female to Male as Nature is to Culture

- Female to Male as Nature is to Culture Gender relations form an integral part of human social interactions and are of great interest to anthropologists. Since the feminist movement in the late 1960s, one question that has been discussed is to what extent the opposition between women and men can be thought of in terms of the dichotomy between nature and culture and what implications this has for the position of women in society. This structuralist perspective was first formulated by Ortner (1974), drawing on Levi-Strauss and de Beauvoir, but has since been criticised for being simplistic and ethnocentric....   [tags: Papers]

Term Papers
2469 words (7.1 pages)

Essay on Green and Troup View on Gender in Society and Culture

- Gender, what is the exact meaning of this world in society. When people speak of gender in their conversation, it is most likely a way to distinguish if one’s a male or female. According to Merriam-Webster, gender is describe as a state of being male or female. The importance of the definition offered by Merriam-Webster is the part, “state of being.” Anyone in their own culture/society can define themselves as male or female, with no influence from biological parts. Gender issues have developed into a controversial topic but how did gender history come about....   [tags: male, female, society]

Term Papers
737 words (2.1 pages)

Female Agency in African History: From Solidarity to Innovation Essay

- Title For many Westerners, Africa is stereotyped as a continent of tribes with primitive social structures and hierarchies. Included in this stereotype is an idea of the African woman as subservient, vulnerable and in need of protection. However, reality shows these notions are incredibly misguided. Although there is no denying that males functioned as the dominant sex in Africa, there are many historical analyses which show that women often had an active social role. One such analysis is “The Iyalode in the Traditional Yoruba Political System,” an essay by Bolanle Awe, which describes the role women played in the governing systems of the Yoruba people of West Africa....   [tags: Culture ]

Term Papers
1709 words (4.9 pages)

The Empowerment of Japanese Women, through Strong Female Characters of Anime Film

- Within the mediums of popular culture, the representation of women has often been controversial, due to the use of their gender and the attitudes toward them. In a majority of anime themes, the women have been drawn for their sensuality and sexuality constraints. Their role was to be dominated by their male counterparts. It has reinforced the stereotypical role of women which is the passive and sensitive role. Why is popular culture important. It influences the thoughts of the people and shapes their attitudes and behaviours....   [tags: popular culture]

Term Papers
2331 words (6.7 pages)

Taoism in Chinese Culture Essay examples

- Taoism in Chinese Culture Taoism, known as “The Way,” can be categorized as both a Chinese philosophy and a religion. Taoists believe in accepting and yielding to the ways of life, complementing nature and being by internalizing their goals rather than worshipping a god externally. Taoism, in its metaphysical and philosophical nature, is much like Confucianism, but the ideal interests of the two religions are contrasting. Confucianism was formulated during a time of war and relies heavily upon a moral and political system that fashioned society and the Chinese empire, while Taoism correlates to a time of peace and honors spiritual and metaphysical preoccupation (Taoism 2)....   [tags: Taoism Chinese Culture Tao]

Term Papers
1009 words (2.9 pages)

Female Stereotypes Essay

- "For most of history, anonymous was a woman", quotes Virginia Woolf. (1) Throughout history, women’s lives were restricted to domesticity and family, and they were left oppressed and without political voice. Over the decades the roles of women have dramatically changed from chattels belonging to their husbands to gaining independence. Women became famous activists, thinkers, writers, and artists, like Frida Kahlo who was an important figure for women’s independence. The price women paid in their fight for equality was to die or be imprisoned along with men, and they were largely forgotten in written history....   [tags: Women's Rights ]

Term Papers
1335 words (3.8 pages)