Objectifying Women In The Handmaid's Tale

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Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale (1985), presents several controversial yet realistic themes that can be linked to many social justice issues in today’s society. One central point that is highlighted throughout the novel is the objectification of women. In Atwoods novel women transition from normal citizens in society, to baby birthing machines. Women no longer acquire the respect, authority, freedom, and power that men have in the world of Gilead. This objectification that the handmaids are exposed to can be seen all throughout our environment, and there is no limit to where it can occur. At work, schools, on television news, in magazines...women are enclosed in this ideal image and set of standards that is far off from the average …show more content…

This form of objectification is often used as a means to appeal to men's sexual desires in order to promote and attract consumers, because marketers still latch onto the old “sex sells”, or so it would seem (Rowland, 2016). Music videos, magazines, fashion commercials, are all channels through which women are exploited and put out to be headless objects isolated for their bodies solely for sexual pleasure and viewing purposes. Rowland explains that although this charade may allure and trap most men, this is not the case for women. Emma Rooney cites in The Effects of Sexual Objectification on Women's Mental Health, “the sexual objectification of women is a driving and perpetuating component of gender oppression, systemic sexism, sexual harassment, and violence against women”. Jessica Vanlenti writes in ‘Worldwide sexism…Women’, that researchers from The University of Missouri-Kanas and Georgia State found these forms of objectification to be linked to women’s psychological distress, and are leading causes of suicide among young adolescent women. Women are being undermined, depreciated, and abused; the cause is the sexual attachment made everytime a women’s body is exposed to

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