These 7 points are basically from Gender Studies that are based on feminism and women in Gender Studies. These cover women rights, women problems and the way women are discriminated against because of their gender.
1-Oppressive Ideological Formation Regarding Women Rights:
“Any oppressive system has at its core the IDEA that one group is somehow better than another, and in some measure has the right to control the other group. This idea gets elaborated in many ways—more intelligent, hardworking, stronger, more capable, nobler, more deserving, more advanced, chosen, superior, and so on”.
The dominant group holds this idea about itself. And, of course, the opposite qualities are attributed to the other group—stupid, lazy, weak, incompetent, worthless, less deserving, backward, inferior. The most important oppressive ideology insists “women are unequal to men”.
The sense of superiority in men starts from sisters and continues till they bring their wives. Here comes an oppressive ideology that a woman is supposed to be a robot with no emotions. Men have full rights to say anything they like and pour out their frustration over wives, be it’s his job tension or anything else.
His wife is the only object which he can treat the way he likes. What’s the role of women in this, she can never say even the right thing or can answer or defend herself. She cannot even defend her parents and listens silently. Women get beaten up by their husbands and the whole family standstill.
The sword of divorce is always hanging over her head. She bears all things silently because if she belongs to a poor house, they cannot manage to take care of her. In the end, she has to return to her husband’s home and this oppression continues till her death.
The worst ideology is that when a woman comes into her husband house she can only leave it after death. The other one is about marriage. When a girl grows up, it’s all social responsibility to recall her parents that she is growing up and they have to tie the knot. She has to get married no matter what kind of guy he is because girls cannot decide their standards. It’s just boys families standards that can reject her.
A rejection based on her physical appearance to her parents’ property and nowadays whether she is doing a well-settled job or not. However, it is the girl choice whether she wants to marry or not, when she will get married and whom she wants to marry. We know this is a war against society. Let’s see how far we can survive with this ideology of ours.
2- Paying Attention to her Looks or Not? A Woman is damned in both ways:
Sexualisation and objectification undermine confidence in and comfort with one’s own body, leading to a host of negative emotional consequences, such as shame, anxiety, and even self-disgust. The association between self-objectification and anxiety about appearance and feelings of shame has been found in adolescent girls as well as in adult women. Women are blamed to pay too much attention to their looks and that they take too much time to get ready.
There are so many jokes about women’s un-necessary attention to their looks. What about those women who lack beauty and do not fit the standards that society has set for beauty. They are damned too and the same kinds of sexist jokes circulate about them. There is a competition between women to reach that standard of beauty that society has set for them. Women are criticized to use cosmetics, whitening injections, and go through surgeries procedures.
The question is why there is a need for women to go under all these processes? They do this because of their insecurity regarding their looks and who make them feel like this. All social standards come from men. Men want to see women like a perfect thing. They want them to be seen as an object of attractiveness. They have set the standards regarding their colour, height which parts of their bodies should be like this or that. Because society has set rules like this, women want to be accepted so they do all kinds of things.
If a woman goes through surgery, change the shape of her nose, jaw, lips that’s because society was not ready to accept her with her natural looks, so now to survive in society she is compelled to change her looks. She cannot fight with society with her natural looks. She is damned if she does pay attention to her looks and if she does not she is damned too.
3- Politics of Publications:
Many of us (specifically female) think when they read a book written by a female writer in some library that why this book is not included in some course work. Women have been writing fewer books than men because of the obvious reasons that they were not even allowed to read books. Almost every book that we read in our course is written by men and scarcely have we come across a book written by a woman writer.
The question is whether women write less as compared to men? This is not the case, women have developed consciousness.
The first thing that we have observed if a woman writes something, the publishers don’t allow her to publish her book. If a woman writes under a male name, the scenario is different. There was an article in which one writer expressed her feelings, that she wrote some work and sent a mail to 10 different publishers, only one responded and then again she sent email under a male name and almost 6-7 responded.
Many women authors were not haphazardly forgotten but deliberately buried because their writing was far too critical of contemporary sexual norms for them to survive the censorship of influential male critics. Why does this happen? Because men think if a woman will write, they will present a better picture of their fellow women.
As a result, they will make them conscious and it will be difficult for them to survive with conscious women. Moreover, a talented male writer would have an easier journey than a talented female writer, who might get bad reviews. It depends enormously on who reviews the work, and the irony is that almost all critics are male.
4- Male domination under class rule:
Mary Inman claimed that all women are oppressed in all area of life and insisted that the working-class men could himself be an oppressor of his wife. She called this male domination under the class rule. We agree with her claim. If we look around and see proletariat women such as maids. What we first observe, in most cases that their husbands don’t work at all.
If they work, they spend their money on gambling. Maids do all work, be it in other houses or the work of their own houses and children are also their responsibility. What do they get in return? Beaten up by their husbands. But still, every decision of their houses is made by their husbands and they cannot leave them because of the same traditional statement that has been put in their minds that a woman cannot survive alone and above all, he is the father of the children.
Male domination is not limited to one class, though proletariat class woman suffers most because of lack of education and also because there is no other way to go there as their parents are also not in a condition to accept them back. As a result, they tolerate that oppression and male domination continues.
5- It is very brave to be a woman and then to be black:
Being brave is something that doesn’t come easily to many of us. That’s because “bravery isn’t a trait we’re born with, it’s a learned attribute and one that comes from experience and fear”. Why it’s brave to be a woman? Here are some reasons. Men shout sexually suggestive comments, while women walk on roads, or doing work somewhere. They are alone or in a group, it doesn’t matter.
Many times, men take the solo presence of a woman as an open invitation. This is just one reason to be brave and survive in this society. The list of injustices and oppression is very long. Why it’s brave to be black? Because for a long time, they used to be the most oppressed group. They compelled to be a slave for a long time and now when we talk about slavery, the image of a black person appears in our minds. So obviously it really needs the courage to be a woman and then to be black. It’s like double oppression.
First, she has to suffer as a woman and then if she is black it means she is not fulfilling the standard of social rules of beauty. As a result, she has to face racism too. Society neglect women’s intelligence, efforts, give them less importance because she is a woman and if she is black then she is eliminated overall. Black women are obviously braver than all women because they are facing oppression as women and then as being black.
The same goes for brown complexion women in Pakistan and India, as the obsession for fair colour complexion is very deep in our roots.
6- Representation of women is not the same thing as reality but it is part of reality:
Representation of women might not be the same thing as reality, but it is a part of reality. The images we see or read about are part of the context in which we live. If we look at literary work, women are representing as weak, obedient, passive and then if we look around we can clearly see a lot of women who r the same. If we see men as the main theme in some work, then we can clearly see that around too.
Men are the centre of the universe around us. Every woman has to revolve around them. Second, with these kinds of representations, a concept is built that all women should be like this and they give a set of rules that every woman should follow. Everyone starts expecting, that particular kind of behaviour which they have seen in some book or in some movie. It’s like a circle that goes round and round between the representations of women in some work and how society perceives it and how women are living around us and then they portray them in some work.
7- Woman as writer effect the woman reader:
Readers’ attention, imagery, and feelings while engaged with a text form a distinct mental process that facilitates readers’ transportation to a narrative world. When engaged in a fictional narrative, readers draw upon their personal memories and imagination to escape to another form of reality. It is within this alternative “peculiar reality” that readers experience emotions vicariously through the main character and can incorporate a range of accurate or inaccurate social information into their belief systems.
Female students respond very personally to the text of female writers, sympathize with the characters and situations, discussing what they would do if they were in their place. The one reason can be, women think those female writers can better portray female characters as they themselves live that kind of life. Their characters are more lifelike.
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