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An Analysis of “Looking At Women” by Scott Russell Sanders

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Scott Russell Sanders in his essay “looking at Women” has his views shaped by the people he is surrounded by. This trend is apparent even in his early child hood. He continues this trend thru early adulthood. Well into adult hood this trend show it self through his actions, and through the quotes that he chooses. Sanders forms his opinions from the opinions of others in this essay, and demonstrates thoroughly.

Two people, the first of which is a friend, affect Sanders first realization of sexuality. Norman, his friend, points out the girl to Sanders, saying, “check out that chassis.” This sets the tone for half of Sanders views on looking at women. He considers this half to be the evil half to be controlled and withheld from society.

Another person to have an effect on view of how women should be looked upon is his college roommate. This person enlightened Sanders to a completely different view on women; one, which he felt, was disgusting. That feeling was derived from the initial sexual experience. His emotional state is interesting as he describes what he sees in the highly derogatory manor as a “meat Market.”

Norman’s mother also played an integral part in the formation of Sanders views on women and sexuality. She taught him to think of the feelings of others and to consider their emotional well being as well. She essentially asks him “How do you think she feels?” That question stuck with him through out is life.

Another group that affected him was his neighbors who owned a store called bare essentials. They distributed lingerie or “intimate apparel.” This interests him because it seems to him to provide no functional purpose but to dehumanize the wearer. It puzzles him why any one would dehumanize them self.

Feminist writers have also had a large amount of influence on Sanders. They have provided him with a woman’s perspective and shown him that point of view. This is evident due to his heavy quoting of feminist writers. A good example of this is Simon De Beauvoir whom he quotes several times.

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