Femininity and sexuality are not her only traits

The dehumanization of women is the outcome of myths associated with her. These myths profoundly affect customs, behaviors and conducts. From there comes the significant question of stating the precise relation between these myths allied with women, bear with reality. There are different kinds of myths a woman is surrounded with her whole life. The biggest myth is the sublimating divide between a man and woman. This platonic idea is endowed with absolute veracity, so it’s not negotiable at any level. This gives rise to another myth: “femininity”. One would ask that how come it is a myth. Well, it is considered incorrect when someone says that femininity is a false entity and women concerned aren’t feminine. Honestly, facts with experiences are impotent against this myth. Because woman has always been a feminine entity. She is gauged with this scale. So, it widens the gaps between the idea of masculinity and femininity. This rivalry gives rise to the fierce struggle between genders, apparent in love, desire, eroticism, hate and friendship. This mutual struggle confirms the freedom of other gender and a mutual desire to feel essential and significant. That is how a woman becomes “other”.  That is how a woman becomes a commodity, as she is easy to get objectified due to her physiology. Here she becomes a subject.

In L’Aged’homme Michel Leiris describes his vision of the feminine organs without any elaboration. He says there is nothing mythical about the female body and her natural make up. How come it is still an enigma? Wondering at the female body and dislike for menstrual blood? Woman is not a mere carnal object. Why at this age of postmodernism she is more confined to her type only and her “animality” is way too manifested and objectified. To assimilate her to such objectified traits is total prejudice.

Honestly, a woman appears under many aspects. Myths start building around the subject of women and that’s how she is literally summed up. Evidently, society and individuals adjust themselves according to their needs. This is how a man becomes dominant and a woman is placed in different societal institutions with a lot of responsibilities assigned to her. Paternalism claims her heart and home is defined as a sentimental place for her. Home is the only place where she belongs and that’s it. There comes another myth: “altruism”.  There is no way of vocation for her out of anything. According to the mythology of Augustus Comte, to define woman with altruism is to impose categorical imperative on woman. She gets limited and bounded. Society makes her obligated to feel this way and limits her to her existence only. This is banality.

The physiological nature of a woman is very complicated. Her body doesn’t seem to be a clear expression of herself – that is how she has become a mystery to man. This enigma is presented in the most disturbing form. This gives rise to the ever increasing issue of sexualization of women. The idea of knowing the worth of woman measured by her sexual appeal and appearance.  What a shame. It encourages the male sexual violence towards women. She has become the fodder for the desires without shame. Particularly for contemporary feminist argumentation Immanuel Kant’s views are very influential about sexuality of women. He argued that sexuality is way too problematic, because it leads to objectification and exploitation.

He claims that in the Lectures on Ethics that “as soon as that appetite (sexual) has been stilled, the person is cast aside as one casts away a lemon which has been sucked dry… as soon as a person becomes an Object of appetite for another, all motives of moral relationship cease to function, because as an Object of appetite for another a person becomes a thing and can be treated and used as such by everyone”. This leads to lowering the woman to an object and undermining her true existence. The main question that arises here is about filling the gap between the basic human nature of a man and a woman. It needs the capacity for rationality. In this world of patriarchal societies, to discover the woman nature is highly tricky. Women are submissive. They are dealt as submissive and sexual object. This is the biggest myth we have to deal with. This is the result of gender inequality. So far, this gender inequality is the sustained issue. Catharine Mackinnon, a feminist, bluntly said, “if [we] look neutrally on the reality of gender so produced, the harm that has been done will not be perceptible as harm. It becomes just the way things are” (MacKinnon 1987). So, it has become a status quo. A total mainstream situation. We can’t deny it, because we have to be conformists. Sally Haslanger, a professor of philosophy adds to this idea by quoting that “Once we have cast women as submissive and deferential ‘by nature’, then efforts to change this role appear unmotivated, even pointless…” Such practical decision-making depends on the gender hierarchy, which strengthens the social arrangements. As far as efforts are concerned, to put woman into the classification of a “human being” is not difficult.  It doesn’t need to improvise or lose the diversity or richness of a woman. It needs acceptance and to discard the myths doesn’t mean to destroy the dramatic relations between men and women. It also doesn’t mean to do away with love, romance, eroticism and adventure. It only demands passion, compassion and sentiment to reveal the façade nature of woman and straighten out these myths related to her sexuality and animality. Our dilemma is that a woman is always seen through men’s eyes. It is not justified to see her through her body or assume her role as a mistress or mother. A woman can claim autonomy in both sexuality and motherhood. This is so clichéd that to reveal herself as a “true woman”, she has to recognize herself as an “other”,as a total different being, just because society’sdouble standards. We can claim that a man is willing to accept her as a “follow being”, but still wants her to be inessential.

With time, it is quite evident that society’s sensibility about women is being modified. New aesthetics have been built. But still woman is a carnal prey.  It is very certain that it’s quite difficult to get that position of autonomous individual for a woman. A womanly destiny is difficult. Still, there is a hope that myths about women get settled in some perfect world.

A woman needs to start living without anguish. Arthur Rimbaud beautifully wrote on the woman of the future as, “the endless servitude of woman is broken, when she lives for and by herself, man – hitherto detestable – having released her, she too will be poet! Woman will find the unknown! Will her world of ideas be different from ours? She will find strange, unfathomable, repulsive, delicious things; we will take them, we will understand them.”

She needs to be set free. She is not a mere sexual object to feel unsafe. No one has a right to objectify her body and her persona to her discomfort.  It’s unjust for a woman to cultivate her image and create a reputation of conventional, serious, nerdy,formal and prudish to make her feel safe from harassment of any kind and secure her dignity among the patriarchal society. A woman doesn’t need to raise her voice every time to make sure that she is worthy of safety and respect. Period!

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  1. shelly says

    this article is great so truthfull

    1. Faryal says

      Thank you.

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