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Women’s Perspective

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In Maxine Sheets-Johnstone’s excerpt, “Females as Docile Bodies” she claims that “women inspire male sexual desire simply by existing.” In western culture, especially in the twenty first century, women are constantly analyzed by men solely based on their appearance. A women’s appearance alone creates male arousal which leads to the degrading demeanor of males towards the female body, reducing a woman as a whole being to only particular body parts like the genitalia. You hear about examples of this instance in the media all the time. The real question is as women, should we conform to the opinions of the world and agree with this claim. Should we truly just leave ourselves as women, subject to the perception of the world? As women we don’t have to try hard to stimulate a man’s sexuality or sexual thoughts; it happens visually by “being in the eyes of males”.

The very concept of ‘woman’, de Beauvoir argues, “is a male concept: woman is always ‘other’ because the male is the ‘seer’: he is the subject and she the object – the meaning of what it is to be a woman is given by men.” A woman can be known as high the CEO of a company or in other words “the other”, and be the only woman in the midst of a majority of men. Yet, does she receive the respect, an attentiveness from “the seer” or a man that she should for obtaining a high position of authority? No, because a man will always think of her as a minority, a woman, and a man only subjected to her assets or her physical appearance. As a woman with only men in the majority , Sheets-Johnstone observes Sartre’s explanation, “of females as holes, and the long tradition in Western philosophy and religion of viewing females as incomplete, that as lacking something that males have”. She observes this and states it as a ground to female docility, and as a justification of male dominance and female passiveness.

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