Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Response 10/4

One of the themes that most interested me in this week's reading was the idea that women get their power through their sexuality. As Susan Douglas says in "Sex 'R' Us", "the true path to power comes from being an object of desire, girls and women should now actively choose - even celebrate and embrace - being sex objects (156). Thus our culture today is supporting and maintaining the notion that the way for girls and women to be empowered is by performing the role of the sexual object for men. We can use our sexuality and sexual appeal to gain power over men, when we otherwise would not be able to. Some women may delight in this power, but I think that it is extremely sad that to have power women have to resort to their body and sexuality. While reading about women's sexual power, I could not help connecting this idea to Homer's Odyssey. A few years ago I wrote a paper on how women are powerful figures in this great epic, but they only attain their power through their body, sexuality, appeal, and generally their ability to seduce men into doing what they want. Calypso and Circe, two beautiful nymphs, are able to use their sexual appeal and charm to lure Odysseus into delaying his journey (as he cannot help but stay with them and have sex with them). Circe is even able to gain enough power over Odysseus and distract him with sex and her beauty that she is able to transform his whole crew into pigs. The infamous Sirens also, represent a force of female power through seduction in the book. While we, as women, can use our sexuality to get what we want from men, I think it is about time women reach into their bag of tools and find ways to hold power without relying solely on their body and sex appeal.

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