Monday, September 20, 2010

Response to Brittany (9/20)

I thought Frye's comment about how some people say that "oppressing is oppressive to those who oppress as well as those they oppress," particularly referring to men, was very interesting. She goes on to say that some men say their are oppressed by how they have to act out a certain concept of masculinity (the tough, unemotional guy, who should not ever cry). I found this point really interesting and something I never really thought about. While it may be too intense to say that men are "oppressed" to the same extent that women are, men are also definitely "caged in" in a certain way. They too face double binds. Men are also "in a bind where neither sexual activity nor sexual inactivity is all right." If men are not "sex-crazy" they are often viewed as emasculated, unmacho, and lame (mainly by fellow men). However, if they are extremely active sexually and essentially "man-whores", they are viewed by women as shallow, disgusting, and "not boyfriend material."

Frye's discussion of the double binds that women face made me think about the sticky position, which we have talked (and read about) that women feminists are in. If they dress extremely sexily or femininely, people might say that they are either presenting themselves as sexual objects for men or playing their part in continuing gender stereotypes (for example, that women must wear skirts, dresses, lots of make-up, pink, etc.). Or in general, if they care about how they look, people might think that they are validating the belief that women only care about their looks. However, if feminists do not give much attention to how they dress and look, they are viewed as manly, butch, and lesbian. How can they win?!

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