I haven't agreed with all I have read here, but her points against pornography, S&M, sexual liberation, queer and gender theory, and transgenderisI haven't agreed with all I have read here, but her points against pornography, S&M, sexual liberation, queer and gender theory, and transgenderism as well as her critique of Foucault are the reasons that motivated me to read this. I know she's critiquing things no other feminists would dare to, but it still has a long way to go.
Before starting this review, I'd like to make clear that I don't agree with the terms "straight", "gay", "lesbian" and I'd rather use "heterosexual / homosexual male / female" to describe persons with SSA attractions, but I will use them because the definition of the person is political for radical feminists. Nor do I believe in gender theory or I identify as radical feminist or feminist of any sort. These three terms denote, especially a political position, and a critique to the use of such is not a critique to the persons struggling with such temptations.
This is possibly my fourth feminist reading. And my first radical feminist reading. Leaving my stance on homosexuality aside, it's possible to recognize that, in this book, Sheila Jeffreys assumes it's a conscious choice of resistance against what she considers the "heteropatriarchal" scheme to become a homosexual woman.
She also points out the hatred of women within the male homosexual community, especially of self-identified lesbians comparing it to racism because:
"Men and women, whatever their sexual orientation, are raised in a male supremacist society which teaches that women’s bodies are disgusting, whereas penises confer honour and pride."
This is described as "ick factor" as the female body produces repulsion in them. Proceeds to cover the homosexual male pornography issue as well as addresses the inconvenients of the commodification of sex understood as dialectics of domination, and how this would be subjugation to patriarchal values.
Masculinity is the practice of such behaviors, and Jeffreys consider herself to be a gender abolitionist. While recognizing the differences between the sexes at a biological level, she criticizes the current roles.
She talks about the hijacking of lesbian feminism in the 1990s by the introduction of transgenderism.
Feminism has always been a women centered human rights movement, and as such, to declare shapeless things as gender theory or transsexualism as the new core, is to deny what women and men are, essentially different biologically, and when it comes to their interests too.
Gay liberation is born in the late 60s, early 70s as an influence of socialist and feminist movements. In the two previous decades, homophile associations paved the way to end legal penalities. It also aimed to the critique of gay destined businesses and rejected the medical model of homosexuality as sickness. But it wasn't a trouble free situation
"Sexism is also reflected in the roles homosexuals have copied from straight society. The labels might differ, but it is the same unequal situation, as long as roles are rigidly defined, as long as one person exercises power over another. For straights it is male-female, master/ mistress. For gays it is butch/femme, aggressive-passive. And the extreme, in either case, is sadist-masochist. Human beings become objectified, are treated as property, as if one person could own another."
But the 1990s made of such roleplaying an authentic experience of homosexuality. And this is what Jeffreys rejects.
"Another common current between gay liberation and women’s liberation at this time was the challenge to marriage and the nuclear family. Marriage was considered by both to be a contract of exploitation and male dominance, which necessitated precisely the ‘sex roles’ which were seen to be so oppressive. So fundamental was the opposition to marriage that it was emphasized by Jill Tweedie, an influential Guardian opinion columnist, in a positive piece about gay liberation: ‘Gay Lib does not plead for the right of homosexuals to marry. Gay Lib questions marriage’"
This challenges the assimilation of current queer politics. However this movement did not last much. Because liberalism corrupted it with its agenda and myth of equality. With this, they lost the idea of sexual tendencies as social constructions and made a determinist vision out of them, while making them "acceptable". Jeffreys agrees with D'Emilio that the radicalism of the gay liberation front is what made them fail, because they were "prescriptive" when it came to sexuality, which is the same critique made to radical feminism.
The gay liberation front thought the change was much easier than it is. And so the sexual politics reduced to a campaign against prohibitions. Such ideas had no mass appeal.
Since lesbians had always been a minority, they entered into lesbian feminism because of the discrimination they suffered within the homosexual subculture, which was not erased by the gay liberation movement, and sexual practice was seen as the core objective.
But transgenderism also played its role: the imitation of feminine traits offended lesbians because it affected women's spaces, though transsexuals attempted to destroy masculinity by the adoption of such behaviors, while reinforcing a cult of masculinity instead.
"Lesbian feminism starts from the understanding that the interests of lesbians and gay men are in many respects very different, because lesbians are members of the political class of women. Lesbian liberation thus requires the destruction of men’s power over women."
The difference with queer politics, once again reside in a political choice of lesbianism: "woman-loving; separatist organization, community and ideas; the idea that lesbianism is about choice and resistance; the idea that the personal is political; a rejection of hierarchy in the form of role-playing and sadomasochism; a critique of the sexuality of male supremacy which eroticizes inequality".
The role of sexual activity is also important
"Sex was not absent, but it did not have the significance that it has for ‘queer’ lesbians who excoriate lesbian feminists for being ‘anti-sex’."
In the following pages, Jeffreys express each one of these principles and the coining of specific feminist desigend terms for them as well as their implications and did not only reduce it to the sexual but the friendship plane, while comparing it to the male plane and assuming a inherent hostility in the latter: lesbian feminism is reactionary against such inclinations of a male dominated culture.
And lesbianism is the only way out of such culture. Men and women are not eager to understand each other, and cannot do so. This also includes the rejection of Freudian politics and the Foucaultian thought which endorsed sadism. In certain kinds of separatism, Jeffreys argues, there can be isolation from the world.
"Raymond recommends a different kind of separatism, in which the ‘inside outsider’ manages to live in the world men have made, whilst working to change it from a separate base in women’s friendship and culture."
"Lesbian feminist theorists extended the understanding that the personal is political into a critique, not just of some oppressive aspects of heterosexuality, but of heterosexuality itself. They argued that heterosexuality is a political institution rather than the result of biology or individual preference. Adrienne Rich, for instance, says that heterosexuality needs to be analysed as a political system which is as influential as capitalism and the caste system"
Sexology constructed the eroticization of women under women's subordination. Feminist groups had debates in the late 70s and early 80s over the nature of pornography, which liberal feminists considered freedom of speech.
"The wars or debates constituted a politically crucial watershed in the history of this wave of feminism. The ‘debates’ halted real progress towards creating a sexuality of equality, and set in train a backward march in which the sexual and gender practices that feminist theorists and activists had challenged as hostile to women’s interests came to be promoted as ‘freedom’, or even ‘transgressive’, and politically revolutionary in themselves. The power difference between men and women was eroticized in sadomasochism, for instance, rather than dismantled."
"Protecting this sexuality [lesbianism] required the reprivatization of sexuality. In order to make sexual response and practice off limits for political analysis, they had to be separated out from the political, and made private once again.
Transgenderism is born from a hatred women are made feel because of queer politics, which are male dominated.
"Where practices that gay liberationists had analysed as resulting from oppression were commodified by business interests, as in bath houses and transsexual surgery, they were celebrated in the new queer politics instead of criticized. A powerful new gay economic sector was now making serious profits from a gay sex industry of pornography and prostitution. Its interests were defended and given theoretical legitimacy within queer politics."
Following Shane Phelan, the factors that helped to the creation of queer politics were the departure of many lesbians, the demanding of recognition that bisexuals did, and the apparition of AIDS, which created an alliance between gay men and lesbians.
Queer politics took Sade as a base, because it's following a traditionally masculine notion of sexual freedom.
"Men’s sexual rights, renamed as the release of repression and claimed to be biologically necessary by the science of sexology, were enshrined in a new regime of sexual liberalism. Gay men’s version of men’s ‘sexual freedom’ is celebrated by queer theorists such as Michael Warner as the end goal of queer politics".
Problematization of queer theory: created by a man who has nothing to say about women or lesbians. The terms homosexual, queer and gay are seen as generic by Jeffreys, with this, the acceptance of paedophilia came hand in hand.
"Both bisexuality and transsexualism are forms of behaviour which have been criticized by lesbian feminists as being contrary to lesbian interests rather than consonant with them."
"Janice Raymond has argued convincingly that transsexual surgery is about social control. The medical industry that has grown up to profit from transsexualism pushes those who do not feel comfortable with politically constructed categories of gender and sexuality to mutilate their bodies to fit in. I have argued that transsexual surgery needs to be understood as a harmful cultural practice and a violation of human rights."
Queer politics rejoice in the minority status of their advocacy, while lesbian feminism aims for massive appeal.
"From post-structuralism queer theory takes the celebration of lack of theoretical certainty about identity, or anything else, and the celebration of ‘difference’ for its own sake."
"The deconstruction of identity in queer theory has been criticized for making political action difficult, since people determinedly unsure of who and what they are do not make a powerful revolutionary force."
Criticism of queer theorists:
Judith Butler (written off as unoriginal and as having chosen her lifestyle on the basis of not being able to renounce to S&M practices, and not wanting to get rid of gender as performance)
Sedgwick (written off as heterosexual woman fascinated with homosexual male practices in borderline fetishism and violent sexual fantasies, rejection of womanhood).
Sexual liberalism contributed to the AIDS epidemic and as well, the defense of pornography allows prostitution and other human right violations which are male dominated to go on. There's a self destructive tendency in these practices. Commercialization of human beings and their sexual behaviors can be done thanks to a lack of maturity, means of selling transgression as politics, while it's just a quest for hedonism.
Queer theory often defends practices that imply violence such as pederasty and sadomasochism.
There's a chapter on "Gay male pornography" and its defensors and detractors. A defense of aggressive masculinity is what pro-pornography groups do, while feminist critiques aim to abolish this domination of masculinity in every area of life. Jeffreys includes testomonies of abuse and what pornography stars have to endure.
The next chapter covers sadomasochistic practices, the endangering behaviors are becoming norm and putting lives at risk. All of this was done to prove masculinity in some level or another, and could have devastating results for victims of domestic abuse.
Jeffrey's theory debunks sadomasochism advocates as they make of it a new age cult to prove masculinity, there's an involvement in pornography and sadomasochism that aims to prove worth within an abusive mindset. Some lesbians used these practices to acquire temporary power. One of the reasons why pornography and sadomasochism might be attractive to some people is because of stories of child abuse, according to the author.
Criticism of piercing and self mutilation in general. Transsexualism FTM (female to male) as endangering and mutilation for lesbians, while challenging those who don't accept transsexuals as their partners. Blurry differences between butch lesbians and FTM transition. Damage provoked by transition surgeries. Transsexualism as self hatred, self mutiliation, a way of escaping child abuse. Sadomasochism would be an antecedent and a part of this suicidal scheme. Transsexualism is also done out of a fear of aging, a worship of the male sex.
Criticism of surrogacy as ownership of women's bodies and exploitation of poor women, as well as baby selling, for the interests of gay men "to participate in oppressive institutions as marriage".
There's a final chapter on how lesbianism is the alternative because it includes no exploitation and it doesn't need to imitate the heterosexual society.
What’s completely left off in Jeffreys’ book though, is how the species will continue if a) the only way to escape male dominance is becoming a lesbian and b) surrogacy is strictly forbidden: even if women used men as tools of reproduction, there’s a chance that men still will be born out of their own wombs, and since men are beings who cannot coexist with women, as long as masculinity and feminity exist, then we’re in a problem. Besides, that’d be explotation of men because of their sexual “roles”. But it’s obvious she’d never support a pro-family / marriage vision.
I would never support surrogacy, but if she expected women to take her position, there’d be no more children and we’d die out. ...more
I don't think there's much I could say, but it's obvious that Iago's character is the most developed here, I thought that my most hated character fromI don't think there's much I could say, but it's obvious that Iago's character is the most developed here, I thought that my most hated character from Shakespeare's plays so far was Lady Macbeth, but we have a new winner. Drawing further into this comparison, Macbeth is also like Othello, the weakest in will, since he seems convinced at the first lie of his servant. All of his power turns out be really useless against a bad tongue whose judgement he considers true under all circumstance.
Though of course, the main motive of Macbeth aren't insecurities but his ambition.
It isn't until much later that Othello discovers the truth and decides to die, since he has killed an innocent woman....more
As a Catholic and a future teacher this was a good read. Comprehensive for a short one, it addressed the importance of Catholic education in all levelAs a Catholic and a future teacher this was a good read. Comprehensive for a short one, it addressed the importance of Catholic education in all levels and the involvement of society as a whole. I definitely need to read more in the subject but this was a nice start.
Recommended for those who badmouth the Catholic principles, arguing that Catholic institutions just care about indoctrination....more
I obviously paid more attention to everything having to do with Mrs. Dalloway, for there had been too much comment on texts of hers that I had not reaI obviously paid more attention to everything having to do with Mrs. Dalloway, for there had been too much comment on texts of hers that I had not read yet, but this definitely was interesting and I'm looking forward to re-reading it more closely in the future. I feel like Virginia Woolf's work gives a lot of room to be commented on from many perspectives, and that denotes its richness....more
An eleven chapter long, must read novel.It brings some social perspective regarding the First World war. Paul Bäumer, a young student, loses all his fAn eleven chapter long, must read novel.It brings some social perspective regarding the First World war. Paul Bäumer, a young student, loses all his future and hope as he's convinced to fight the good fight, and the lies of patriotism and honor crumble before his own eyes with the irreparable loss of the ones he has loved, as well as his first killing, which is perhaps one of the most moving moments of the book. Knowing how impacting this must have been in a moment between two World Wars, and how despised the author was by the Nazi Regime, it's peculiar that I hadn't read this before or even heard of it. But here we are. And I guess that despite all its crude content it preserves some youthful outlook, perhaps to remind us that the young are the ones called to awake, to leave hate behind, even when it's drawn by apparently more powerful forces with experience and "authority".
"I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slay one another. I see that the keenest brains of the world invent weapons and words to make it yet more refined and enduring. And all men of my age, here and over there, throughout the whole world see these things; all my generation is experiencing these things with me. What would our fathers do if we suddenly stood up and came before them and proffered our account? What do they expect of us if a time ever comes when the war is over? Through the years our business has been killing;--it was our first calling in life. Our knowledge of life is limited to death. What will happen afterwards? And what shall come out of us?"
It definitely leaves a lot of thinking to do....more
I've wanted to read Mulieris Dignitatem for too long and maybe it works as an answer after having read a feminist, well known outlook on the situationI've wanted to read Mulieris Dignitatem for too long and maybe it works as an answer after having read a feminist, well known outlook on the situation of women. Maybe, it also works as an answer in a society where women are ridiculed by following a religion, claiming independence of men by becoming objects and succumbing to bad worldly things in the name of liberation, things that make them renounce their own nature.
Pope John Paul II starts this letter with a brief introduction on how dignity of women has been biblically rooted, and its progress discussed in preceeding encyclicals to his own, and the declaration of St. Thérèse Lisieux and St. Catherine Siena as Doctors of the Church. Then, he moves on forward to the explanation of human dignity, being what allows us to unite with God. The vocation of the Virgin Mary, expressing a particular union with God that's exclusive of women as it is the relationship between Mother and Son. This express a peak on the recognition of the vocation of women that's fulfilled in Mary.
In the Council of Ephesus (431 AD), the essential meaning of the motherhood of Mary was formulated in a solemn way. She's not only the mother of Jesus as a human but also of the divine person, since motherhood involves all the person, and this is what the title Θεοτόκος (Mater Dei) expresses. It's a gift from the Holy Spirit but also a decision that Mary has assumed with her free will. With her confirmation, Mary turned into the authentic subject of that union with God, realized in the mystery of Incarnation of the Word. Every action of God in the history of man always respects the will of men. The same occurs with the Announciation in Nazareth.
The Announciation is a dialogue and is defined as such by the words that the Angel says to her: "gratia plena" . All of the dialog reveals the supernatural dimension of the event. Grace does not annulate or do without Nature, it makes Nature more perfect and noble. This peak of Grace means a peak of perfection of what's feminine. This is the archetype of female dignity.
Both Mary and Christ are always conscious of the fact that they are there to serve God. To serve means to reign. Every woman and men created to image and likeness of God cannot realize themselves outside this image.
There's no contradiction between the two texts in Genesis that describe the creation of male and female. When the woman is created from the rib she's put as an interlocutor with man. Woman, called to existence is immediatly known by man as "flesh from his flesh and bone from his bones", and this is why she's called a "woman". The biblical text provides enough evidence to recognize the essential equality between women and men given their humanity. Institution of marriage is called by God in the moment He commands them: " Crescite et multiplicamini, et replete terram". Man is a rational animal, this is what makes men and women able to dominate the animal world. Institution of marriage in the moment of creation.
Unity of men and women. Humanity is a call to interpersonal communion. The masculine and feminine are God-given, wanted qualities.
Because man is made in God's image, God must be somewhat similar to man and this is why He can be known.
Anthropomorphic nature of God: neither masculine of feminine but root of all love, specially parental love since He's Our Creator. Men and women are procreators.
Nature of original sin and how it wounds us while failing to destroy the image of God there is in us. Woman will be dominated by man when the unity is lost because of it. Marriage demands respect and to make the true personal subjectivity of both more perfect. Woman can't be an object of man. By carrying sin, both men and women carry the tendency to break that armony that's God-given. The oppostiion to male domination cannot result into the masculinization of women, because it'd deform her feminity.
Personal resources of feminity aren't inferior to those of masculinity, but different. Men and women must understand self realization as a person, their dignity and vocation over those resources. Woman and the author of sin will be enemies. Prefiguration of Mary in the Announce of the Redeemer. Contrast between Eve and Mary. Mary receives and embraces the mystery of womanhood that Eve has already experienced. Eve was the mother of humanity, but Mary is the new Eve, the new beginning of the dignity and vocation of women.
Christ was, before his contemporaries, a person who promoted women's true dignity and their vocation. Unnatural condition of divorce. Women in Jesus' life and sayings. Forgiving of prostitutes who repent. Women who are left alone with their kids, the evil of abortion, all those are signs of sin.
Women must evangelize, the woman who's forgiven by Christ turns into a disciple that announces her Savior. She announces the Faith's deeper truths. Christ shows affection, admiration by the feminine answer of faith, and this lovingly way of doing so is put as an example. To the feet of the Cross women were in the first place. They also were the first witnessess of the Resurrection. There's a special sensibility that belongs to women. Unity in Christ does not make diversity become null.
Motherhood and virginity are two dimensions of the woman's vocation in its realization. They both coexist in Mary without excluding or limiting each other. Motherhood is possible through the union of two persons. Knowledge in the biblical sense. Parents must be open to a new life after this. Women are naturally designed to become mothers. Mention of scientific study and discovery, as well as analysis of pregnancy. Though women must not be preys of this scientific reductionism. Men must assume the responsibility of parenthood too. Motherhood is not only linked to flesh and blood but to something more profound. Pain of women during the process of giving birth and its relationship to the Easter mystery. The suffering linked to mtoherhood and the well being of her children.
Celibate freely chosen in order to reach Heaven. Virginity is also a vocation and a way to God for women. Spiritual motherhood in nuns and missionaries. Without Mary is impossible to understand the mystery of the Church and its reality. The mystery of the woman that's mother- virgin and spouse. The Church is Christ's bride. Importance of apostolic letters. ...more
I understand the impact of this book and I agree with some of the critiques it makes, though I would not use the same arguments, I'm also against historical materialism. But I cannot wrap it around my head, this is so close to libertarianism that it's truly scary. At least she admits that socialism won't work. It still feels as if she didn't know what she wanted. Some of the arguments such as: "It's easier to blame one sex than to excuse the other", a quote by Montaigne, are very much applicable to modern feminism (which still does both to a great extent). I don't understand how women are simultaneously about half of the world's population when some of the statistics don't seem to match. What she has in hand demonstrates that somehow, more women die. Because of biology, and biology has been alered because of oppression. She never claimed women and men's biology to be exactly the same, but this is saying women have become weaker than they ought to be because of oppression and that there's no way to escape it. Hermaphrodites are neither, and women with more masculine traits because of hormones are still women, still oppressed.
So as long as we don't surrender to socialism, we'll keep hanging onto a comfortable oppression, because we side with men, and not with women from other races / classes. The fact that pregnancy is merely stated as passive suffering right after it's implied that physically it represents no benefit but that psychologically it might or might not be, that is a litle difficult to understand for me.
She also claims that women had no religion or history of their own and that restraint from sexual activities cannot be imposed by the state or anyone at all.
Matriarchy in the past is a myth according to her. Because the woman has never been an equal to man. She makes this very contradictory statement often heard from the mouths of feminists that says "Things are much better than they used to be, but women still have it much worse", while, at the same time, telling the reader to beware of feminists because it's all meaningless talk, they're essentialists still. "Society has always been masculine and political power has always been in the hands of men". Biological privilege is stated as the reason why patriarchy took over. The start of private property made women be much worse than they had been until up to that point because they became men's property. Still, destroying the family is nearly impossible: humans are social beings.
Romans made the situation a bit better by making her able to divorce. But at the same time, she's made independent from the family and denied many other rights such as professions. Prostitution and adultery are ways to cope, even when the latter is condemned by law and thus satirists start attacking women.
Christianity is oppressive and it has made the situation of the women go even more backwards. St. Paul reaffirms, in Beavouir's eyes, the Jewish tradition, strongly anti feminist (please, let me scream anti-semitism, at least). Ironically, Judith is a pop icon to modern day feminists. It's weird that she cherrypicks some Fathers of the Church to quote from, those who exactly make her point by claiming that marriage is not compatible with sainthood. I would have to check that, but in reality, I think that would enter in contradiction with the Holy Family. Perhaps one ought to remember that a lot of the thought of the Renaissance wasn't so distant from the Middle Ages, not to mention the start of the Marian cult... establishing the prayer through Rosary... all of that don't seem very oppressive practices to me. Hildegard von Bingen was a very important figure too.
Germans are also oppressive, subjugate women and the Middle Ages was a mixture of the two. Feudalism praised and also denigrated women. And in a span of four centuries, according to Beauvoir (from the 15th century to the 19th) things have remained pretty stable, except in the wealthy classes. Renaissance is highly praised.
The 17th century marks some entering into education, though not as organized and deep as men's. Women start getting involved in politics. Actresses came somewhere at the end of the 1500s. In the 18th century, liberty grows though the choices for women still are severe and few: marriage or convent. During the Ancient Regime, the shelter of women is literature.
Mention of Woolf's A Room of One's Own and her conception of the "sister of Shakespeare". There's a bit of french history in between. French Revolution did not change women's luck. Because it was male dominated.
Socialism is women's liberation. That, in her mind, is the key. At moments it's very reminiscent of Freire's Pedagogy of the oppressed in its tone, if it werent by the topic being somewhat different, the Marxist rhetoric is utterly predictable.
Women and work from Marx's point of view and the creation of unions allow Beauvoir to deduce that the progress has been slow and that women have been exploited for longer than men as their rights took more time to be recognized.
One of the problems is the conciliation between the reproductive role and the working possibilities of women.
The very interesting part is when she tells how the Christian doctrine philosophically defended the anti-abortion stance even since St. Augustine, though of course she considers this as ancient moral which restricts the freedom of women. Obviously her politics advocate for birth control as she predicts that maybe in the future, women will be able to reduce the quantity of pregnancies they experience and dominate her body.
There's a section dedicated to laws of divorce and how they evolved in the US, Sweden and France. Praises John Stuart Mill and the Socialist Congress of 1879. Tells the history of women's suffrage and admits both the Catholics and extreme left see it as good (for different reasons, of course). Italy's fascism was antifeminist, while the USSR is the country where the feminist movement acquired major freedom to act.
All of it to conclude that the problem of women has not been solved by women but by men, and therefore this solution cannot be accepted. The only way women would get power is by abolishing their feminity. The new emancipation has resulted in double burden: work and family.It's curious that many feminists claim women to be liberated when being able to do the same as Beauvoir claims the exact opposite.
Her historical commentary and review gets reduced, often ambivalent but very critical of every religion, citing religious texts and social practices. Showing how all of these cults have marginalized women, and considers Christianity the most dangerous one, because she sees in the image of the Virgin and the consequences of marriage as well as the different, negative outlooks on menstruation and virginity.
Symbolism of women through male written an dominated philosophy, art and religion have contributed to her domination and categorization into what's known as the virgin / prostitute dichotomy. Women are trusted as mothers, educators, but also seen as deprived of their youth. Old women are not seen as something worthy of attention in a male dominated world which conceives women as objects. Passivenes through french literature and romances involving knights, as women are often kidnapped and rescued by men. She also shoes the contemproary validity of this conception with US crime novels and movies. It's an ideal that's man-made, where man projects his own trascendent plane. Once the woman is dominated through her inclusion in society as wife and mother (servant), she's deprived of her magic (sexual attractive).
Women's education is what's discussed in the fourth part. Women as they are, there's not such a thing. One is not a woman, rather becomes one. Freudian analysis of the baby or little kid psychological / instinct approach to the figure of the mother. Everything is a world of sensations. It also talks about how kids resent the separation from their mothers that's done progressively as they grow. But female kids still have the privilege of maternal attention. Men have an earlier separation from the mother, and what's demanded from them is more important, the role of the penis remakrs the difference that women point out. The destiny of women is another thing, they do not suffer this lack of sexual distinction. Debunks the myth of the female envy of the penis as presented by Freud because women tend to be ignorant of male anatomy until much later.
Influence of clothing in the self-perception of women and the consequences related to urinating. Dolls are passive objects given to girls as they do not have a body part to project themselves in, like boys do with their penises. The doll represents a body in its entirety. Sel-identification with the doll and self-objectification. Narcisssism. Boys are obliged to deprive from their anatomical discovery as they are expected to socialize, but in women, the tendency of kids to think of themselves as objects is reinforced. Women thinking of themselves as feminine is, then, a social construct, not a biological fact. To be something that is desirable, women must renounce to their autonomy, and this is what they're told. Clothing as severly excluding, male manners are something rejected.
Boys escape from their mother's understanding at an early age, girls must be included in the feminine world. Mothers have an ambivalent relationship with their daughters as they're their double but also someone they can take revenge on by imposing them their destiny. Girls resign to an education related to manners and aesthetics that sacrifices their freedom, unlike the boys. Girls and boys have different conceptions of motherhood during their early childhood. Girls are turned into housewives and tend to envy boys' manhood as they grow up.
When boys become older, the masculine superiority is affirmed and the hierarchy of sexes is discovered in the family structure. In all the dominant mythology, women have been created for men and not because of their own dignity. Fairies and such are more attractive than biblical myths as they escape male domination. Popular culture feeds her hope of having to rely on a man who will come to rescue her, the myth of the charming prince and this somehow shapes an early desire for men in little girls as old as 10. Games and dreams drive women towards passiveness. Because of this, they later perceive that they do not have the smae freedom as boys and do not desire to be girls. There's very few exceptions to the rule. De Beauvoir then proceeds to, once more, as she has done in the preface, compare this with the slavery of the blacks in the US.
Motherhood provokes horror in the girl who perceives the baby as a parasite which will alter her body, according to the author. it's important to note how these visions, while they preserve some truth attached, aren't as strong in the 21st century, as it is imposed to women to renounce to their feminity as much as possible, or to only use it when it can get her what she wants. Feminism has turned into an ambivalent protest where women are the puppets of companies' designs. There's many testimonies that back up her case, but I don't think that with everything that has happened since the publishing of this book, the fears remain exactly the same.
A perception of strangeness associated to the woman's body development that she cannot control (such as growth of their breasts and menstruation) during puberty is also a key factor in this part of the book. Of course, boys do not perceive their own body changes with such negativity and shame.
The body is an objective expression of the self during teenage years, to discover weakness destroys women and condemns them to passiveness. Because of all of these things, there's an inferiority complex that women develop. Women do not have initiative and do not plan activities alone, since they fear being raped, and because women are obliged to retain self control at all times, as it is socially imposed because of their sex. Their spontaneous behavior is tamed through this education in fear. Self-affirmation is essentially anti feminine as the patriarchy defines. Being male and a human being do not contradict each other, since ambition is a manly value. Dehumanization is the key to feminity. During teenage years, women have to renounce to their autonomy. There's not only a big difference between the past and the future, all her erotic impulses and relationships seem subordinated to social expectation and passiveness. This is when some women conceive themselves as frustrated projects of what was intended to be a boy and then they have a tendency to homosexuality. [?] (Oh,this is somewhat traditional for someone who believes that identities of feminity and masculinity are constructed, for she seems to imply that lesbians are just frustrated women that aimed to be men, then again I don't know enough about the nature of homosexuality and its causes to approve this, but in any case I'd believe it's the parents, or the environment where a person is raised in, that fails to show the person a way to relate to the other individual, and only teaches through fear and prohibition, though I'm not an advocate of sexual liberation at all)
Analysis of female friendships as a projection of homosexuality or extension of their narcissism. Men are to women like a divinity that provokes horror in them, and at the same time, a divinity they worship. She makes then a choice to be able to love a man despite certain obstacles that she has previewed in purpouse, to make of love an abstract, purely subjective experience that does not present any risky to her integrity (this is a bit hard to understand, and perhaps denotes some immaturity). If the person is near her, then it doesn't matter how unattractive and old he can be, if it's more further and inaccessible, then she'll consent to lay his eyes upon a more attractive man.It's the kind of love that reaffirms her narcissism with no real presence of the other. With this, the teenager can elaborate an intense emotional life, to cope with her fear and avoid it all costs. To elude the problems of sexuality, women become pretentious in partner choices. Maybe they do suffer of the same problem as men, aiming to be in a relationship with an ideal and by this logic, men would be responsible for their lack of realism
The topic of the female that's finally dominated, such as in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, is another topic that Simone de Beauvoir renders all too common and seductive for both men and women, for men because it reaffirms their dominant role in society. For women, because they have been educated as to accept the man's desires. Another common trope is the woman feeling fascinated by men and losing interest only once they are, in fact, capable of entering into a relationship, and are also drawn to men who pursue many women. Again, I've observed this is also common in men, a lack of proper education regarding the relationship of men and women has induced them to see women as objects that are either an ideal or all too common, but they're also seduced by "experienced" women while they'd also reject the fact that they're not as pure as their ideal conceived them.
Male desire provokes irritation and is flattering at the same time for women during teenage years. Women do fear as soon as they realize that such behavior may initiate them into passiveness. Laughter also is a form of rejection of sexuality that's common among teenagers. This is somehow similar and could be connected to Henri Bergson's theory of laughter as we are able to laugh about things we fear such as death or others. The use of language that's not proper, is also a way to challenge adults.Her theory is that some women become masochists as to prove men that they're not afraid of the sexual act [?].
When teenage boys challenge authority, they self-affirm their existence, according to Beauvoir this is not allowed to women. This is why some resort to destroying physical objects as a way to fight against her future as a servant. There's women that remain infantile for most of their lives and there's some who are able to be more mature as they grow up. These women who are able to bury childhood as a past phase, think of marriage more than love, and a social stable position as a result. Female friendships break as they're seen as rivals by each other, and the search for a man to settle down becomes more desperate as years go by. If women are distracted by personal projects, this phase will be less painful to her in a sentimental and sexual sense, but society [?] will put obstacles that will make her goal harder. Weomen will dedicate lesss time to thier study than thinking of finding a man because of how they have been brought up. A woman must sacrifice education if she wants to marry. Some women are destined to a long period of virginity because of personal circumstances that feed their fear of men.
Erotism of women is more complex than men's. Women are penetrated and impregnated by men through their vagina, which is only converted in an erotic center by intervertion of men, this will always imply some sort of violation, a kind of violence that turns her into a woman [?] (I have serious objections to this particular part, I'm pretty sure that men could see it this way, if they're not properly educated to conceive women as objects, and that women who fear men might see it this way, but it's not an objective fact). A diatribe about the nature of female orgasm follows before Simone de Beauvoir makes the assertion that: "Many men just aim to satisfy their desire and do not care for women during the act, women are objects during this event. Sex is only gotten through male consent and it only aims to satisfaction of the male sex" [?] Again, I have serious objections to that and I wholeheartedly point at oversexualization, pornography, promiscuity and similar kind of evils as a cause for this, but it's also possible that making this kind of assumption that a lot of men are like this and there's nothing we can do but turn into a socialist world which confuses equality with sameness is part of the problem.
There's a brief paragraph on the antiquity of dildos before she jumps into the all very known theory that society confined women into pure chastity and men into total sexual liberation (at least she doesn't attribute this to the church but to the ~patriarchy~, at the same time the church is seen as a patriarchal institution, so...it's more or less the same). To the man, the sexual act is conquest and victory. So men are seen as this aggressive animal which some women may reject for too long, and they become homosexuals or pedophiles (this is her theory, not mine). Then there's a few stereotypes of how women of different nationalities are and react to sex [?] (this, in a book by a feminist icon? Surprising but not any less disgusting). Comparation of male and female sexual desires. Frigidity might be a consequence of many insecurities concerning body image that women present and are reinforced by their husbands (this I cannot discuss, for I know absolutely nothing on the topic). Phallic penetration is always comparable to rape in its violence because it's not the caress or known pleasure women expect [?] (Again, I have serious objections to this because I think that while painful, rape is not just this and she's assuming all sexual acts will imply domination under the "patriarchy" even when men can openly reject a domination model). Also, the vocabulary which is used to refer to sexual excitement is to Beauvoir something that makes women feel ashamed for theit asosciate it with urinating.
For some reason I kept leaving this one for later as a big part of his essays. Never doing that again. His reflections are something I'd have misssed,For some reason I kept leaving this one for later as a big part of his essays. Never doing that again. His reflections are something I'd have misssed, had I postponed this one day more. It's a bit more in depth about his life and his vision in Christianity, or should I say specifically the figure of Christ and His real purpouse. But no matter how many words I write, none of them will make it justice. I had gone through some hard times recently, and a lot of what Wilde seems to say about suffering -that even if it's endless it should have meaning- is more profound than it appears, it's not just the scream of a rationalist begging for the world to make sense, but the search for a more profund meaning of our whole experiences. Oh, may I have the time to re-read this more and more, for it is one of the best things I have read, and this with as little bias as possible, even if Oscar Wilde is my favorite author. This is so different to everything else I've read by him. No intentional cynicism, just an aspiration to understand something beyond him. ...more
When you like the method, a distinct poem book where the avant garde techniques can be used to tell a story, but not the final result: a very urban, pWhen you like the method, a distinct poem book where the avant garde techniques can be used to tell a story, but not the final result: a very urban, post modern setting oversimplifying certain sectors of society and ideologies, this is the only review that can come out.
There's a difference between rebellion as a pose and authentic rebelion. Authentic rebellion has goals, you could question them and its methods, but I am not sure how this would apply here. ...more
I do not know how to speak about Chesterton without sounding entirely biased, so you might as well forgive me. More than an historical account of theI do not know how to speak about Chesterton without sounding entirely biased, so you might as well forgive me. More than an historical account of the facts, it's a free essay on the artistic vision of Geoffrey Chaucer in general, beyond The Canterbury Tales, but also a picture of the medieval man, debunking the modernist myth.
I wish I had not been so tired at the moment of reading it, but the quantity of interest quotes you can extract from it is incredible, and most of it, shows that Chaucer can remain very actual and understood, above all. As well as it is a perfect example of Chesterton's brilliant mind. ...more
Because sainthood can flourish even in the most hostile places, and because revenge is not what will bring true freedom to aborigin people, Ceferino wBecause sainthood can flourish even in the most hostile places, and because revenge is not what will bring true freedom to aborigin people, Ceferino was an example of humility, purity, innocence and vocation to seek God. Despite the political manipulation of his story, his testimony of love for the Church is alive in numerous documents and memories....more
Sé que va a ser diferente en cuanto mire los textos con los que se nos propone meditar acerca de los tipos de oración, pero de todas formas me gustó pSé que va a ser diferente en cuanto mire los textos con los que se nos propone meditar acerca de los tipos de oración, pero de todas formas me gustó porque me aportó información acerca de cosas que desconocía, como el rosario musulmán....more