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A Feminist Examination of Pride and Prejudice - Research Paper Example

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This myth has been created, legitimized, and crystallized through the power of the pen. The writing of history, as well as the writing of stories, has served to…
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A Feminist Examination of Pride and Prejudice
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Download file to see previous pages Defining women in these terms has served to benefit men in all arenas, in the political, public, and private realms, while making this divide between the genders appear as a natural given that has always existed, throughout time. The ideology of gender has successfully placed women into a box, in which their voices are silenced, and their actions are rendered trivial, and thus invisible, or are highly scrutinized, and thus punished. However, the realization that the category of ‘woman’ is a social construction and not a biological imperative gave rise to a myriad of feminist theories that endeavored to locate and deconstruct “predominantly male cultural paradigms,” while salvaging women’s experiences from the wreckage of traditional historical and literary criticism that ignored, silenced and marginalized them (Green and Kahn 1).
At the center of the male cultural paradigm is the power to create and recreate meaning from a male perspective, however unilateral or skewed it may be; de Beauvoir argues that the “representation of the world, like the world itself, is the work of men; they describe it from their own point of view, which they confuse with the absolute truth” (qtd. in MacKinnon 537). Men have used this power to name, and thus own, everything from the beginning of time; in the Genesis story of creation, not only was Eve created from Adam’s rib, she was also named by Adam, and accordingly, she became perceived as his property. This ability to create and recreate meaning is deeply entrenched in telling stories, most conventionally known as the writing of history, which has been dominated by men, who have written about men for men. Feminists have argued that, as a result of being able to write things into existence, men wield an uncontrollable amount of power to write the female body into a multitude of oppressed roles, and through systemic racism, sexist, heterosexism, and classicist domination, women have been ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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