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Feminist Political Thought - Essay Example

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Subject: History and Political Science Date: March 7, 2012 Topic: Feminist Political Thought One perhaps never hears a discussion on the topic, “Men, their role in the society.” The discussions are always about the roles, duties and responsibilities of women…
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Feminist Political Thought
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Download file to see previous pages God has created her, given her the status of more equal. None can amend that right. It is the woman, in her role and condition as mother, gives protection in the initial nine months in her womb, to the creative force of the nature for perennial continuity of the human race, male or female. But unfortunately, a female child is victimized at every step of life, from the moment of birth, notwithstanding the fact that it is she who sacrifices at those steps. The main disadvantage of the woman is her body. Simone de Beauvoir, an avowed life-long existentialist, presents a different and somewhat confusing picture of human freedom, in which women struggle against the inherent disadvantages of the body, changing contours of her body and bodily functions, and how society casts its impact on this issue. Beauvoir presents female body in both its positive and negative aspects. She considers women partly oppressed and partly free and this condition depends on the disposition of the concerned woman to the challenges posed by the society, especially the male section of the society. Regarding the status of the body of the woman Beauvoir raises questions, provides answers and again raises questions and finally she finds it difficult to provide the final answer. Her opinions raise conflicting reactions not only for the men but also to women. What is important is her seriousness and earnestness to find an amicable solution to the vexed men-women issue? She sums up her quest and argues, “Within the given world, it is up to man to make the reign of freedom triumph, to carry off this supreme victory, men and women, must, among other things and beyond their natural differentiations, unequivocally, affirm their brotherhood.”(766) Beauvoir doesn’t visualise much of an issue for the woman on account of her biological conditions. The problem is about the attitude of the woman to such conditions, whether they are positive or negative. She argues, “But is also true that there are conditions without which the very fact of existence would seem to be impossible. Presence in the world vigorously implies the positing of a body that is both a thing of the world and a point of view on this world: but this body need not possess this or that particular structure.”(24) The observation of Beauvoir regarding the pre-adolescent boys and girls that they are not very different is notable. De Beauvoir points out that pre-adolescent boys and girls are really not very different: they “have the same interests and the same pleasures” (295). The initial psychological differences between them are relatively negligible. The interference and influence of the flesh brings forth new issues for the feminine gender. The changed conditions give rise to change in perceptions. With each brisk change, her experiences are traumatic and distance her more sharply from the opposite sex. Beauvoir argues about this condition of the female body, “The young girl feels that her body is getting away from her… on the street men follow her with their eyes and comment on her anatomy. She would like to be invisible; it frightens her to become flesh and to show flesh” (p333).Whether the body is a condition for the woman? In her efforts to find an answer to this question, Beauvoir is both confused and conciliatory about the physical and mental condition of an adolescent girl. She justifies her stand by giving ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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