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Females as Docile Bodies

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Females as Docile Bodies

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  • November 2011
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Females as Docile Bodies

“Women inspire male sexual desire simply by existing”
In western culture, especially in the twenty first century, women are constantly analysed by men solely based on their appearance. A women’s appearance alone creates male arousal which leads to the degrading demeanour of males towards the female body, reducing a woman as a whole being to only particular body parts like the genitalia. The ‘ever present male eyes’ stem the reaction in women that they must always be appeasing to men for approval and validation purposes. There are many factors which influence the female need to please the continuing rise of male powers and get justice in equality, but all of which compromise a woman’s autonomy. Sheets-Johnstone examines two of the largest philosophical themes regarding females as partial beings without a male present- seen in western thinking and religion, and Sartre’s view of women as holes. This results in the justification of male dominance and female passiveness. Sartre explains the different forms of oppressive objectifications towards females, an example being a moral attack upon a woman’s reproductive rights and agrees with Mackinnon, “that assumed objectivity of thought is oppressive in its intent”. He defines an object as something that can be handled, manipulated and definable, which in turn leads females to question and try to relate why women are identified by being objects. Feminists have responded to Sartre’s claim of women being like objects or holes by describing the ways in which women objectify themselves in response to the objectifications of their bodies by men. Women’s personal bodily changes can include liposuction, implants, hip reduction etc. to configure to a man’s image of a proper woman appearance wise. Thus women feeling threatened in their own environment by men will collaborate in foregoing males rise in society. One of Sartre’s most extreme examples of women is “slime”. Even though slime is not...

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