Every aspect of society works not only to gain control over those of low social standing, but also show a significantly great amount of prejudice against women. In this way, the societies enforce their patriarchy onto its citizens, allowing modern time readers to draw contrasts between their own societies and the ones in the novels that oppose ideas of freedom through indoctrination, using education as a form of empowerment and violence to evoke fear. Men are only regarded the monarchs of society once women have been demeaned. This is evidenced through Attwood’s use of animalistic language to display the false power the Commander holds over Offred. Upon their first meeting, Offred states that she thought ‘he might be toying, some cat-and-mouse routine, but now [she] thinks that his motives and desires weren’t obvious even to him’.
Furthermore, Feminist Criticism provides a better view of literature because it shows that women can be powerful. When Emilia finds out that her husband has been plotting an evil plan she says,” Tis proper I obey him, but not now”(Othello V.2.195). Emilia refuses to help her husband after she finds the cruel intentions he has despite the expectation of women always being submissive to their husbands. Women also have a voice and feelings, they are capable of defying their husbands commands when they know what he expects is simply wrong. In a literary article,The Role of Women in Othello: A Feminist Reading states that,” Society weighs heavily on the shoulders of women; they feel that they must support the men and defer to them, even if the actions of the men are questionable” (Literary Articles).
He establishes the connection between masculinity and by emphasizing the effort Nurse Ratched puts forth to hide her feminine features. This connection is again highlighted after Billy performs a masculine act and is able to resist the Nurse’s control. In society, women are routinely placed in submissive roles while men get to enjoy the positions of power. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest furthers this idea by stressing the necessity to hide all femininity in order to gain a position of power not traditionally held by women. Nurse Ratched is only able to gain such an iron grip over the patients by taking away from the masculinity of them.
Some of these methods include destroying identity through classification, objectification, and indoctrination. Most women of Gilead are sufficiently repressed that they seem to accept their assigned roles, at least outwardly resigned to their fate. Atwood uses gender roles in The Handmaid’s Tale to show the lengths to which misogynistic totalitarian governments will go, to protect their dictatorships. The Republic of Gilead is a hierarchical society which requires complete submission of women to men. By taking away women’s paid jobs, confiscating their property, draining their bank accounts, and giving them no recourse, the male leadership leaves women in a fully dependent and subservient position.
When Lengel, the “kingpin” of the A&P takes notice of the girls’ actions, he quickly steps up to protect his masculinity. In removing the girls from the A&P, he is attempting to put them back in their established place. As one critic noted, the male characters feel that “Either women were to stay in one place and allow themselves to be walked on as ‘houseslaves’ or mothers or they were to provide their sexual services when men so desired” (Douglass). The male characters expect
For example Anthony says, “but this oligarchy of sex, which makes father, brothers, husband, sons, the oligarchs over the mother and sisters, the wife and daughters, of every household” This is very sad since women and girls should not be ruled or told what to do because they are thought of to be less than man. The constitution is in place to have a unified country not to have an oligarchy of men lead households. The pathos appeal is used to show what suffering women are going through due to men ruling them, and not knowing how to fight back. Susan B. Anthony in her speech also says, “Are women persons?.....and no state has the right to make a law, or to enforce an old law, that shall abridge their privileges and immunities.”, which also connects with the emotions of the audience. She is trying to make people feel bad that women are treated less even though they are just as righteous as men to have the same privileges.
There’s a power balance between the three men and the two women in The Reeve's Tale that is influenced by patriarchal values. The author limits actions performed by female characters to carry stereotypical assumptions of gender expectations. If you examine closely, the miller's wife is unnamed purposefully because she is considered untrustworthy and invaluable to Symkyn. Also, any credibility that is given to a female, has to have a man present to accept those responsibilities. This formulates that women cannot exist without having some type of man to establish their credibility.
Tough composed his books on the premise of his own supposition of women. He consequently enables them to act in non-conventional ways, so they are not viewed as perfect Victorian ladies. While in his time most ladies needed to manage without independence of any sort, the ladies in his books endeavor to acquire genuine social uniformity and reject the longstanding conviction that ladies are powerless and need to rely on upon men to make due in this world. In Far from the Madding Crowd Hardy rejects the conventional idea of marriage. He nearly saw the sexual orientation inclination inborn in the Victorian culture and culture.
Women’s writings before Woolf, were timid and mostly fearful from true expression of thought and emotion, fearing male dominance; they were disabled and unable to attain their true potential and express themselves the truth outwardly. For Virginia Woolf, women writers are the key to incinerating such male patriarchal thought and recreate history through a female perspective. Confronting the imperialistic set up of the English Society proves to be difficult but shows women often failing but still continuing to challenge and seeking an outlet of expression. Woolf’s communicates such trials in subtle manners through her work, pointing out that Women’s Oppression through the times, like mentioned earlier, is deeply rooted in Social, Political, Economic spheres of a society.
This distinction was first used to undermine the idea of "biology-as-destiny." But, if this distinction is pushed too far, then the idea of gender becomes disconnected from the body - and one never will understand the process of how sex and gender are socially assigned. Maybe sex is a gendered
Both the article Oppression by Marilyn Frye and the article Feminism is for everybody that includes men by Katherine Fritz both talk about the way women are demoralized by society on what society assumes about the person not what they know about the individual. That just because a woman dresses sexy does not mean she is sexually easy or deserves to be called derogatory names or harassed or worse raped. There should also not be one set of rules for men and another set for women. If a man has multiple sexual partners, he is labeled a stud and if a woman has the same number of sexual partners, she is labeled a whore or slut. Society attaches labels to us since birth, which is where female oppression starts.
The following quote should hopefully secure the idea that oppression is still very much a prominent part of society that affects women, “We look silly, incompetent, weak, and generally contemptible” Frye writes, regarding the differences between female restrains and male restraints, “Our exercise of this discipline tends to low esteem and self-esteem. It does not benefit us. It fits in a network of behaviors through which we constantly announce to others our membership in a lower caste and our unwillingness and/or inability to defend our bodily or moral integrity” (16). In essence, this quote displays how women are mocked for attempting to develop their own independence.
Language is the most powerful tools in connecting between the author and the readers. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood uses word choice and sentence structure to expose that the shocking cultures of Gilead society are built upon foundations of sexism. Additionally, with the use of double entendre, Atwood emphasizes the theme throughout the novel: the presence of power. Atwood shows Gilead society is a corrupted place where people seek to break the rules and to show power through the action between the Commander and Offred.
A Loose Contradiction: Moira’s Situation In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood describes Moira’s situation by playing with the word “loose” to emphasize how Moira could be at risk and a to her surroundings. When Offred discovers what had happened to Moira, she reflects how Moira’s actions could affect her and the other roles in the Republic of Gilead in a vague manner; “Moira had power now, she’d been set loose, she’d set herself loose. She was now a loose woman” (Atwood 133). By Atwood stating that Moira was set loose, she implies that Moira was allowed to leave Gilead; moreover, Moira didn’t have to go through a manhunt to find her freedom.