Critical Analysis of Monique Wittig

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Critical Analysis of ‘One Is Not Born a Woman’ by Monique Wittig

In her essay, One is Not Born a Woman, Monique Wittig explains, “‘Women’ is not each one of us, but the political and ideological formation which negates ‘women’ (the product of a relation of exploitation). ‘Women’ is there to confuse us, to hide the reality ‘women’ . . . For what makes a woman is a specific social relation to a man, a relation that we call servitude.” Monique Wittig attacks the concept of naturalizing biology and the ‘woman’ category. She believes that the form of a woman’s identity is a product of normal and intrinsic human facts. Thus, her main point is that one is not born a woman but becomes a woman based upon the social constructs of gender and sexuality. This analysis serves to expose the holes in Wittig’s arguments, especially her criteria for a sex-less society. Without a doubt, Wittig is a very opinionated individual. I intentionally used the word ‘individual’ to describe her because it is unclear to me what she wants to be, at times. She effectively disreputes the Man/Woman category to create a new sexless category. It is possible that her way of thinking could undo the heterosexual society and create a system of sexlessness which would put an end to the oppression of women or whatever adjective can be used to describe people who are not men. Personally, I have never been a fan of radical feminism. I do not care much for Wittig’s beliefs especially. Not because I am a man but because her work is an obfuscation. Her point is unclear, her premise, obscure. My reasons for this opinion will be explained during the course of this essay. Nonetheless, it is a classic. I have no qualms with the idea that it is unsafe to actively recognize one’s oppression by celebrating the myths that make up a woman’s nature (as opposed to recognizing particular characteristics bestowed on her, but still are not inherent to her being). On the other hand, reproduction is a fact which is tied...
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