2 November 2012
Shadow of Oppression
As human beings, the need for power is as strong as a need for love or belonging. In The Naked Citadel by Susan Faludi the students grab this power from women or even other students. They are stripped down to nothing and the only way they see to regain this power is through dominating the opposite gender and even violently taking control of their own gender. Through Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi the male government and male figures in their lives oppress the women, and they ultimately find refuge in a literature class that break down these gender barriers. In both articles the constant search for true identity of a broken down human being forces, whether good or bad, a search of an important form of power. Having a woman cadet was seen as a challenge to The Citadel’s firm traditions. One of the cadets said- “she would be destroying a long and proud tradition”(Faludi 82). The Citadel’s administration and cadets simply follow the traditions and reject her. According to their beliefs, strength and bravery is men’s territory. They thought they were teaching men to protect women, because women needed protection from the rest of the world. But in reality they were teaching them to hold power over women, to beat them and overreact if these women didn’t do exactly what they wanted. One of the cadets admits, “the great majority of guys here are very misogynistic…all they talk about is how girls are pigs and sluts” (Faludi 82). This showcases the student’s need for domination, and over-empowering of anything they feel is beneath them. Their egos are also under attack. The President of the Citadel admits if women were enrolled there would be “a different form of intimidation- not wanting to be embarrassed in front of a girl”(Faludi 83). Bringing women in will further these hidden insecurities of the cadets, and it is seen as a threat to the men’s power. Many cadets find the need to be in...