Feminism In Louise Halfe's Body Politics

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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. In Butler’s theory, she introduces the idea that each woman’s feminism is her…show more content…
Judith Butler’s Gender Troubles emphasizes gender as the constant repetition of non-existent ideals to uphold a masculine-dominant culture. Likewise, “Body Politics” highlights this belief within the overtly feminine qualities of city women. As a whole, the poem contrasts idealized feminine “city women” with a “real woman” who possesses both feminine and masculine qualities. The mother figure challenges both the gender binary and the patriarchal order by rejecting the feminine gender norms of the society. This feminist reading of the poem makes many valuable and probable claims, however the feminist approach contains some weaknesses. This becomes evident in a lack of information about the type of society, and the reader therefore lacks a complete understanding of how the women are oppressed. As a whole, this poem sets forth the idea that female gender is fluid, and asks its readers to questions what it means to be a woman in a male dominant
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