Gender and Women’s Bodies

Published 06 Jul 2017

This selection of readings deal with the attitude of women regarding their bodies and their fear and longing to look attractive and appealing to others, particularly men. The readings also deal with the stereotype regarding women sexuality and sexual behavior.

First article in this selection which came to my attention was “The Beauty Myth”. This article gave me great insight about the misleading fact about female beauty, which makes the life of every woman pursuing this kind of unrealistic idealism miserable. It is quite obvious that the primary goal of the majority of women is to prove themselves beautiful and desirable by others, mostly by men. Our society has put so much emphasis on physical beauty that most women forget that being healthy and enjoying life is more important than pursuing this unrealistic dream. The most touching part of the article was exposing the fact that this emphasis on female beauty in the media and popular culture is just the outcome of the fear of the male dominated institution, that they are losing grip.

Other selections like the poem “When I was growing up” was very inspiring, as it spoke about the dilemma, which most teenage girls face during their adolescence. “Body Politics” and “Breaking the Model” also speaks about the same problem and gives us insight regarding the feelings of young girls and how they starting losing their appetite and starved themselves in order to lose some weight and get a perfect body. Eating disorder and anorexia is common in most teenage girls in the United States.

The next part of the selection deals with sexuality and relationship. Since in most societies sex is defined as the heterosexual relationship between a man and a woman it becomes problematic for most women who perceive sex the other way around. The article “Lusting for Freedom” gives hope to most women that they must always give preference to their own pleasure and safety regardless of stereotypes and taboos in the society.

The next article which picked my attention was “We don’t sleep around like White Girls do: Family, Culture, Gender in Filipina-American lives”. This article gives enlightens us about the oppression and unequal treatment most of the second generation Asian women face. The dilemma of immigrant Asian parents is that they want to settle in the United States or United Kingdom or other European countries, but they do not want to leave their culture behind. Since most of the second generation Asian-Americans are born in these western countries they are born in the environment of freedom, liberty and are taught that men and women are equal and all the stereotypes and discrimination on the basis of gender inequality is wrong. Therefore they regard them equal to their peers, whether they are of the same sex or the opposite sex. Their parents on the other hand are not that assimilated in the Western culture. They want to bring up their children as they should have been brought up in their home country. Since this is practically impossible, they try to enforce their views upon their children, which results in family conflicts and tensions.

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