Essay Analysis: The Politics of Muscles by Gloria Steinem

Pages: 1 (468 words) Published: October 20, 2014
The mass media, television, internet, radio, newspapers, magazines and film is part of our everyday life. It is a powerful tool that provides us with information and entertainment. It reflects our society and it influences the way we think. The media has been criticized for its portrayal of women as objects whose value is measured in terms of their usefulness to others. It becomes difficult to see them as thinking, feeling, and capable people. Constantly portraying women in a highly sexualized way makes it more likely all women will be seen as sexual objects. This becomes a human right issue.

The Politics of Muscle" by Gloria Steinem is an essay arguing the difference in strength between men and women. Steinem starts her essay by stating how she grew up in a generation where women didn't participate in a lot, if any, sport activities. She goes on to say that she believes this is the reason why women of her generation believe that it's not what the female body does, but how it looks. Steinem feels that women always seemed to be owned in some degree as the means of reproduction. She believes that women are made to feel ashamed of their strength and that "only when women rebel against patriarchal standards does female muscle become more accepted." (pg 372)

I think that Steinem's intended audience is primarily for all women. I feel she wrote this because she feels strongly about how the power of women is viewed versus the power of how men are viewed. I think her primary purpose is to speak to women and to get them to realize how much of an impact increasing our physical strength could have on our everyday lives. Steinem wants to let it be known that women are not objects and that having muscles and strength can in fact be feminine.

I agree with the author that society does view women as the weaker sex. I also believe that it is true that some of the more athletic woman today are not always viewed as being as beautiful as the skinny models in the...
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