As with all theories, this feminist approach to Louise Halfe’s “Body Politics” does not come without its flaws. While it can be argued that this poem criticizes the performativity of feminine gender roles in a patriarchal society, this cannot be proven definitively without knowing the author’s original intentions. Furthermore, the poem does not give its readers enough information to conclude that the society the women live in is in fact a patriarchal society. This becomes evident, as there is no reference to any masculine figure – so any assumptions about the masculine-dominant culture are purely speculative. It is possible that Halfe wrote this poem in an attempt to challenge the gender binary, however one stands to question how successfully she is in doing so.
After skimming through Volume 1 of The Norton Anthology Literature by Women, I noticed the reoccurring themes of patriarchy, women subordination, and the strength to be creative despite oppression. During the times that these literary pieces were written, women were constantly battling the patriarchy in order to get basic rights. During the earlier time periods, intelligence was seen as a sign of an evil spirit in a woman, resulting in miniscule amounts of literary works written by women. Women were not provided with equal spaces to creatively express themselves, as mentioned by Virginia Woolf. Moreover, they were not given the same publishing opportunities, many women either went anonymous or by a fake male name to have their works published.
Role of women in Frankenstein Frankenstein brings out some of the most important issues related to feminism and the perspective of the feminists in the society. In the novel, women are brought out in different ways all which show the stereotyped manner in which the society views the women. Shelley, in the novel, shows the ways in which the women are treated by the men and the idea that some of the women like Elizabeth have chosen to be subjective the treatments. Women are shown to be passive, objective, submissive and disposable. The women are also answerable for some of the acts that they have not committed.
Furthermore, she points out how the many scripts were leaked and how the public scrutinized the writers on their attempts to represent an accurate Wonder Woman character (144-145). Similarly, she discusses how many female directors were afraid to even attempt to direct a Wonder Woman film (149). Altogether, Howell argues many valid points along with examples of the gender bias in popular culture. With her focus on DC Comics and their failed attempts to market and produce a film for a character, such as Wonder Woman, was a solid representation of the gender bias that has and continues to exist in popular culture. Charlotte E. Howell argued many great points in her article, “Tricky” Connotations: Wonder Woman as DC’s Brand Disruptor.” Just as DC Comics had
As her novels gave more liberty to women than was common during that era, Haywood sparked controversy and faced severe criticism from the patriarchal society. She intentionally created a mysterious sort of persona as she kept her personal life away from the public. Nevertheless, from behind the guise of her numerous heroines, she managed to offer thousands of women the advice they needed to survive the prevailing issues of the eighteenth century.
Though any character in Shakespeare's Hamlet could easily be the epitome of lunacy, there is no character more obviously unsound that Ophelia, whose personality is the embodiment of codependency. Every time Ophelia speaks the symptoms are apparent as she can not seem to converse about anything but men. This is stereotypical of women at the time,in society as much as in literature. One can not fully blame Ophelia however as she is a product of her time period and used by the other characters. Ophelia’s character not only confirms Hamlet's suspicions about women but serves as pawn in the metaphorical chess game between Claudius and Hamlet.
In the novel Dracula, Bram Stoker highlights the theme of sexuality that challenge ideas of sex to both the female and male characters. The author objectifies the female characters in the novel to be over sexualized and portrays sex to empower women. Stoker may present the theme of female sexuality; however, he demonstrates gender inequality triumphs at the end leaving women in the shadows again. Women in the eighteenth century hardly had any type of power outside of overseeing the household and they probably contained much less power expressing any type of sexual emotions. Stoker’s novel gives readers a different perspective of the female sexuality as if almost empowering women and stating that they too can be sexual creatures like men.
Angela Davis in her book, Are Prisons Obsolete?, argues for the overall abolishment of prisons. Amongst the significant claims that support Davis’ argument for abolition, the inadequacy of prison reforms stands out as the most compelling. Reform movements truthfully only seek to slightly improve prison conditions, however, reform protocols are eventually placed unevenly between women and men. Additionally, while some feminist women considered the crusade to implement separate prisons for women and men as progressive, this reform movement proved faulty as female convicts increasingly became sexually assaulted. Following the theme of ineffectiveness, the reform movement that advocated for a female approach to punishment only succeeded in strengthening
Shelley did include a section about Frankenstein creating a female companion for the creature in the original novel, but unlike in the movie, Victor destroys it before it is complete. In that vein, Whale’s and Universal’s retelling may be even more radical and morally fraught than Shelley, but they endeavor to mitigate their culpability as much as possible. By opening with a scene depicting the real Mary Shelley telling the story to others – as if she’s the one who is making the movie, not Whale and Universal – the filmmakers immediately indemnify themselves by passing on authorship credit to Shelley. Such a sociopolitical and moral calculus of blame-shifting frees Whale up to essentially make up whatever new story or addenda or subplot or continuation he wants, all the while attributing it to
Throughout history, fragile masculinity has undeniably oppressed women’s rights. The patriarchy believes in its superiority to all women. In the 1600s, misogyny was so embedded into society that it was accepted as normal. Feminists were nonexistent because the male population exerted their power over them. Nathaniel Hawthorne shattered these boundaries with his novel, The Scarlet Letter.
The Downfall of Victor Frankenstein Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Mary Shelley, believed that women should be treated as equals and said as much in A Vindication of the Rights of Woman; therefore, it is hard to imagine how Mary Shelley, daughter of one of the leading feminists during the Romantic era, managed to write such a horrific novel that is devoid of any strong female leads. The theme of Frankenstein could actually stem from the fact that, even though men are the main characters, it is full of mistakes they make; therefore, it makes sense that In the story Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, Victor 's loss of influential women in his life, ultimately leads to his downfall. Caroline Frankenstein’s death leads to the early loss of Victors
In the 1800’s and even the 1900’s women were not considered as equal as they are today, and misogyny was expected. Even still women are constantly fighting for equal rights, so the idea of men always having power or superiority over women hasn’t gone away. Considering that the two texts The Yellow Wallpaper and The Story of an Hour were both written in the early 1880’s, they have a very different approach to the men and women’s relationships that are present in the texts. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, Yellow Wallpaper and Kate Chopin’s, The Story of an Hour both authors explore how the women in the stories have to hide their true identity, due to the influence of the men in their lives. The two writers each use similes/metaphors, a similar mood throughout the story and a great deal of imagery to outline how
Sexism runs rampant through the institutions of contemporary life. While politics, marriage, education, and athletics are a few of many institutions plagued by sexism, women’s healthcare is perhaps the most egregious of them all because it is a life or death proposition. Women’s healthcare is often put second to men’s healthcare, as physicians neglect to recognize the biological differences between the sexes. This results in women receiving improper treatment for their symptoms or having their needs entirely neglected. Not only do these issues affect women, but also, being that females are child bearers, the lack of attention paid to female health potentially impacts the wellbeing of future children.
The roles of women are immanently transcending as society continues to alter their perception of the female race. Since the misogynistic Elizabethan era, women exceed the expectations of encompassing subservient and docile characteristics to becoming respectable individuals capable of embracing their own beliefs rather than a man’s. However, equality for women’s rights only began with the recognition of society’s unequal treatment towards women. The Taming of the Shrew in its own sense stands as small step of recognition towards the early fight for the rights of women. Shakespeare uses this piece of literature to essentially reveal and criticize the manner in which male-dominated societies treat women as animals that are to be tamed.