The Oppression of Women as Women

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The oppression of women as women
PHIL 202 – Assignment 1
26/01/2012

The patriarchal society in which we live has systematically oppressed women for centuries. It is not until extremely recent history, with the Women’s Liberation Movement, that women have been able to take meaningful strides towards a more equal and just society. We have come a long way since that time, women can now vote, work, practice politics and live independently of men: it seems as though we have come very close to the equality that we have worked so hard to achieve. However that statement has proven to be incredibly false. If we examine Marilyn Frye’s metaphor of the bird cage and apply it to the changes that have been brought upon our society we can see how the oppression of women not only still exists, but has gained new dimensions. By inspecting the progress women have made to integrate into patriarchal society we can see that we have succeeded to remove some of the wires that have held us back from escaping the cage, however the removal of these wires has added new responsibilities for the female gender and it is these new responsibilities that have added completely new wires to our cages. By examining Marilyn Frye’s article Oppression we will examine why she believes that “women are oppressed as women” (Frye, p.16) and why it is that, even though men face barriers and difficulties, she believes that they are not “oppressed as men” (Frye, p.16) Whilst reading Frye’s article I was truly disagreeing with the points she was making. How can she state that men are not also oppressed in some way: they have the burden of supporting their families, they cannot express any emotions without seeming weak, and they don’t have the choice of spending as much time with their children? These facts made me certain that men too were oppressed, however in a different way than women. As I neared the end of the article I came to a sudden realization: the opinions I had formed were a product of my...
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