Does Feminism Present Challenges To Male Domination English Literature Essay

Broad feminism can be defined as a construct concentrating on a adult female ‘s personal ability to keep equality through actions and picks. It is the belief that adult females should hold the same rights as work forces when it comes to reproduction, wage, instruction, and health care ( ) . Pasque has argued that the broad women’s rightist position “ expounds upon the virtues of a flat playing field that would let adult females to seek the same chances as work forces ” ( Pasque, 2011:5 ) , which is similar to McLaughlin ‘s analysis, which adds “ particularly with respect to their moral and rational features ” ( McLaughlin, 2006:236 ) . The definition of patriarchate is a societal system where the function of the male as the primary authorization figure is cardinal to societal administration. It is the institutionally strengthened authorization of a male parent over members of his family. This permeates the full society, but its footing is the patriarchal household ( SEP, 2011 ) . There is a argument about the definition of patriarchate, but for the intent of this essay, I will believe patriarchate to depict the establishments of male regulation and privilege, dependant on female subordination. It is through these relationships that work forces dominate adult females, particularly in work forces ‘s traditional function of being the breadwinners of the household in the populace sphere whereas the adult females are in charge of the family and kids, staying in the private domain. The relationship between feminism and patriarchate is complex: “ The intersection is the thought that, in Locke ‘s celebrated preparation, ‘Every adult male has belongings in his ain Person ‘ … everyone owns the belongings in their capacities and attributes [ an thought ] cardinal to the battle against… patriarchal domination. ” ( Pateman, 1988:13 ) . Harriet Taylor in ‘The Enfranchisement of Women ‘ ( 1851 ) said “ The great alteration would be that the married woman would now be raised from the place of a retainer to that of a spouse ” ( Pateman, 1988:163 ) . + expl

This essay will discourse whether broad feminism, a construct posited in SATC, successfully presents a challenge to male domination in society. I will look at illustrations that express the competition to patriarchy and heterosexual power dealingss through the jubilation of straightforwardness, fiscal independency, the credence of homosexualism, the embrace of unconventional positions on sex and relationships, the acceptance of male features, female authorization, the queering of heterosexual power dealingss and the rejection of traditional maternity. I will so analyze ways in which patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss have been reproduced in SATC and conclude which instance is stronger.

Female fiscal independency is a cardinal manner that patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss are challenged. In the past “ societal usage and jurisprudence deprived adult females of the chance to gain their ain life… matrimony was their lone hope of a nice life ” ( Pateman, 1988:158 ) showing how adult females would be to the full dependent on work forces. In SATC, all four adult females have occupations and belongingss and do non necessitate a adult male to supply for them, countering the traditional position. The ‘breadwinner-housewife ‘ relationship is non demonstrated at any clip in the series with respects to the four chief characters ; even when Miranda marries Steve, she retains her high-octane lawyer place. This personal liberty challenges the patriarchal position that adult females should stay in the private sphere as alternatively, all four adult females have established places in the populace sphere, for illustration Samantha owns her ain PR house and Carrie is a ‘celebrity ‘ journalist.

Patriarchy and heterosexual power dealingss are challenged by SATC by its non traditional positions of sex and dealingss, for illustration through its portraiture of homosexualism, the rejection of maternity and promiscuousness. The unbounded credence of homosexualism and homosexual life styles are expressed illustrations of how heterosexual power dealingss are challenged in SATC. Traditionally, homosexualism has been labelled as incorrect and unnatural by society. The increased tolerance of homosexualism, both of work forces and adult females, is a broad impression. In SATC this is by and large portrayed through the adult females ‘s friendly relationships with cheery work forces ; for illustration Carrie ‘s good friend Stanford ‘s homosexualism is discussed openly, showing credence. In add-on, Miranda ‘s co-worker sets her up with a adult female, Syd ( 4 ) . Though Miranda does non really get down a sapphic relationship, she allows her foreman to believe that she and Syd are a twosome. Her belief that sitting as a tribade would assist her calling instead than impede it is an interesting point uncovering how accepting of homosexualism SATC is.

The desire to foster a kid is thought to be so intrinsic that has been reduced to instinct. However, from a broad women’s rightist position, it is possible for adult females to be happy and content with other facets of life, including calling, relationships and friends. This excessively, is presented in SATC where holding kids is non portrayed as a precedence. All four chief characters are without kids in their mid 30s, and do non experience the demand to hold kids to finish their lives. Alternatively Miranda professes to disliking kids, and when she begins dating a divorced adult male who has a kid, she is uncomfortable with the kid ‘s presence in her life ( 3 ) .

In SATC, Miranda becomes pregnant out of marriage by her fellow Steve, and the twosome raise the babe together until Miranda finds out Steve has cheated on her. They break up and Miranda raises Brady chiefly on her ain, with merely the aid of a maidservant. Single maternity goes against conventional heterosexual power dealingss, as a adult female frequently gives birth outside of the traditional confines of matrimony and raises her kid independently, whilst still go oning her occupation. The fact that Miranda attends to her babe every bit good as her demanding occupation, assisting her provide for her boy, surely goes against usage.

Abortion is another option portrayed in SATC ; Miranda contemplates abortion when happening out she is pregnant, but decides against it at the last minute. Carrie admits that she had had an abortion, so once more the authorising thought of pick is presented, disputing patriarchate. “ The claim that adult females own the belongings in their individuals has animated many feminist runs past and present, from efforts to reform matrimony jurisprudence and to win citizenship to demands for abortion rights… To win recognition that adult females own the belongings in their individuals therefore seems to strike a decisive blow against patriarchate. ” ( Pateman, 1988:14 )

Traditionally, adult females are expected to acquire married, but being individual and promiscuous is a lifestyle which is justified and even promoted in SATC. The embrace of individual life is a peculiarly broad value. Being sexually active is shown to authorise adult females and give them the same picks as work forces. Carrie frequently uses the footings “ individual New Yorkers, ” thereby grouping individual people in a distinguishable class of humanity. This clearly challenges traditional patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss, where adult females were expected to be under the control of their hubbies and were “ non supposed to hold sexual desires ” ( Pateman, 1988:159 ) . When Carrie says “ I ‘m get downing to believe I ‘m non the marrying sort ” ( 2 ) , non merely does she show her possible antipathy for a married life style, but she besides sets up a duality: that there are people who are the “ marrying sort, ” and those who are n’t. This duality is solidified with Miranda ‘s overdone remark that “ married people are the enemy ” ( 2 ) . “ Monogamous heterosexual matrimony is one comparatively recent and efficient signifier that seems to let work forces to command both these countries. ” ( Dale, 1981:197 ) , hence individual adult females with multiple sexual spouses in SATC go straight against this position of patriarchate and traditional heterosexual power dealingss. Broad women’s rightist ideas are portrayed through the lens of adult females who have the desire for promiscuousness, for illustration. When Miranda sleeps with Skipper, she does non desire a monogamous relationship ( 4 ) .

Adopting male character traits is another manner that the adult females of SATC challenge patriarchate. They are aggressive, profane, have sexual authorization and are unfastened ; a clear contradiction to patriarchy. Aggression is shown when Miranda gets angry with her co-worker because he assumed that she must be a sapphic ( 2 ) . Another manifestation of aggressiveness in SATC is lingual daze value ; the usage of profanity, so adult females utilizing profanity can be seen as a “ political public-service corporation for raising consciousness, denouncing sexism and authorising adult females ” ( Cameron, 1985 ) . SATC ‘s posting miss for coarse linguistic communication is Samantha. Samantha adopts typically male behavior by cussing invariably and frequently demoing aggression: “ What ‘s the point of being in the suburbs if you ‘re non traveling to sleep together a nurseryman? ” ( 6 ) , mentioning to her fellow ‘s “ large, black prick, ” ( 7 ) and naming Mr. Big a asshole ( 4 ) . She expresses many of her most dear sentiments with the aid of profanity: “ If you turn into one of those married bastards, I ‘ll kill you. ” ( 2 ) Broad feminism is disputing patriarchate as adult females have adopted male qualities film overing the differentiation between genders and enabling adult females to be equal to work forces.

Sexual authorization is displayed most visibly through varied and frequent gender. Although Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte are all really unfastened sexually, Samantha is by far the most unapologetically sexually charged. Out of the four adult females, she is the least interested in holding a committed relationship, alternatively prioritizing her sexual demands – she is shown with a new adult male each episode. Frequently, she ‘ll originate the meeting and even more often, she ‘ll kip with him on the first day of the month. Samantha is non ashamed to profess that the lone usage she has for a adult male is sex, a position surely disputing patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss. Additionally, Samantha is shown masturbating several times, something that adult females are non thought to be interested in. By portraying Samantha as a extremely sexual being, non merely does SATC rebut the traditional gender functions where work forces are expected to be highly-charged sexual existences and adult females are expected to desire committed, monogamous relationships, but it creates a locale for duologue between changing types of sexual authorization. This is accomplished through Samantha ‘s sexual antonym, Charlotte. Charlotte is sexually empowered, but this is manifested in a different manner. She has a stiff, structured regimen as to when to kip with a adult male, when non to and what it should all experience like. However, this representation of female gender can besides be seen as sceptered and ambitious patriarchate, because Charlotte is making what she wants to make. Furthermore, when she does take to kip with a adult male, she is shown to bask the experience. While polar antonyms, the presence of both Samantha ‘s hyper-sexuality and Charlotte ‘s traditional gender serve to demo that sex can be enjoyed by adult females in a assortment of different ways, all of which are acceptable and authorising.

Female sexual authorization can besides be seen in blunt treatments of subjects of an overtly sexual nature. The characters are so comfy with their personal positions on gender that they often and explicitly discuss subjects of a sexual nature in public scenes. They delve deep into topics such as fellatio, cunnilinctus, “ fetid kindling, ” dildos, preferable phallus size, and the similar during tiffins, dinners, drinks and parties, indifferent as to who might hear. Not merely does this show a degree of comfort with gender that adult females are n’t by and large thought to hold, but through their many treatments it farther shows that there are a figure of different ways adult females can experience about sexual issues, all of which are acceptable and authorising.

The creative activity of a non-traditional, non-nuclear household based on sistership shows a queering and break of heterosexual power dealingss as their friendly relationships are portrayed as stronger and more changeless than any romantic relationship. The importance of friendly relationship over love affair is emphasised when Carrie realises that “ she had committed the central wickedness – I ‘d abandon my girlfriends for my new fellow ” ( 4 ) by concentrating excessively intently on her new relationship with Mr Big. The relationship between the four SATC girlfriends is the most close and strong bond seen on the programme, using girlfriends as a primary support system and showing a signifier of sapphic feminism and demonstrates a replacement to holding a fellow. Charlotte besides asks the misss “ What if we were each others ‘ psyche couples? And so we could allow work forces be merely these great nice cats to hold merriment with? ” ( 9 ) . Patriarchy is challenged as adult females have a wider household pick which is against traditional convention ; they are self-sufficing, depend more on other adult females instead than work forces and are financially and emotionally independent of work forces. This is demonstrated when Mr Big says to Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte: “ You ‘re the loves of her life and a cat ‘s merely lucky to come in 4th ” ( 8 ) . The manner adult females relate to one another and defy the demand for work forces in their life, challenges the thought of heterosexual dealingss being important in society.

Power is represented through the adult females ‘s callings and the kineticss within their relationships with work forces. All four adult females are successful career-wise, and in each of their occupations, they possess a certain degree of power. Carrie is a author of a popular sex column for The New York Observer, frequently being recognised in public and is shown having particular privileges that merely well-known people would have ; she has a high degree of influence within the metropolis. Samantha is a PR executive who owns her ain house, stand foring many of the New York elite, throwing parties and set uping other signifiers of promotion. Miranda is a spouse at a big, successful jurisprudence house, a place few adult females hold. Charlotte is the manager of an art gallery, interceding with creative persons and traders. Though the adult females are non shown at their workplaces really frequently, mention is frequently made to their callings, so it remains at the head of their characters ‘ individualities. Additionally, when they are shown to be at work, they are perceptibly in charge. Carrie writes from her place, rather evidently non under any supervising. Furthermore, her column is so well-received and respected that a major film studio wants to do it into a movie ( 14 ) .

However, the most permeant manner that the adult females of SATC are shown to possess power is through sex and relationships. In about every relationship that is shown, each adult female has at least an equal sum of control, if non more control than her spouse. This is seen when Samantha attempts to be after retaliation on her ex-boyfriend, denoting “ Ancient history! I ‘m the 1 with the power now. I ‘ve evolved past him. ” ( 12 ) It can be seen when Miranda wo n’t allow Steve assist her place from the physician ( 10 ) , when Charlotte attempts to learn the “ bad osculator ” how to snog ( 7 ) or when Charlotte proposes to Trey. ( 13 ) These state of affairss are varied, but all illustrate a sense of female laterality within a relationship.

The adult females of SATC are sexually powerful, and they know it. From their many treatments, it is easy to see that they are good cognizant of the power they hold over work forces through their gender. Samantha illustrates this during a conversation about unwritten sex: “ The sense of power is such a bend on. Possibly you ‘re on your articulatio genuss, but you ‘ve got him by the balls. ” ( 4 ) This sexual power is besides sometimes seen as being held over other adult females. Samantha says that “ married adult females are threatened [ by us ] because we can hold sex anytime, anyplace, with anyone. ” ( 2 )

Within SATC, traditional heterosexual power dealingss are non presented. Big and Carrie in the movies are shown as holding a balanced relationship, with neither being dominant. Big ‘s alpha-male position, his professional power and tall physical visual aspect all suggest that he would be dominant in his relationship with Carrie. However, Carrie holds her ain, asseverating her sentiments and feelings throughout the class of their relationship. Some illustrations are when Carrie tells Big that another adult male wants to take her place in an attempt to acquire him to perpetrate to her ( 4 ) , she becomes visibly irritated with the other adult females Big is seeing and confronts him while he ‘s on a day of the month ( 11 ) , she tries to score him while he ‘s watching a pugilism lucifer ( 11 ) , she leaves personal points at Mr. Bag ‘s flat without inquiring and when he brings them back to her she tells him she meant to go forth them ( 12 ) . Carrie ‘s assertiveness in her relationship is notable, but has farther importance when contrasted with the function of Big as the ultimate adult male ‘s adult male. She refuses to follow his lead, doing certain that her voice is heard and guaranting an equal presence in their relationship. This goes against traditional male/female sex functions within relationships, where adult females are expected to be low-level to work forces who have an ultimate authorization, turn outing that broad feminism can show a challenge to heterosexual power dealingss. In 1860, a feminist address was given claiming “ There is one sort of matrimony that has non been tried, and that is a contract made by equal parties to take an equal life, with equal restraints and privileges on either side. ” ( Pateman, 1988:154 ) . Broad feminism allows for this antecedently unseasoned matrimony contract to go a world, disputing gender inequality, as shown with Carrie and Big ‘s matrimony.

Authorization has led to adult females holding the pick as to what sort of life style they wish to take repressing traditional patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss. “ Men keep this control by… curtailing adult females ‘s gender ” ( Dale, 1981:197 ) But, a farther pick is demonstrated ; the pick to disassociate and populate an single life style. This is a direct interruption from the traditional and sacred ‘marriage contract ‘ . After her divorce from Trey, due to the deficiency of sex in the relationship, Charlotte marries Harry, her divorce attorney. Samantha does non show any desire to get married, and ends up dividing up from her first long-run fellow, Smith, in the first film.

Although broad feminism is demonstrated by a imperfect, modern life style where adult females incorporate sexual release, modern positions on sex and independency into their lives, some traditional patriarchal positions remain and are reproduced in SATC. Double criterions between work forces and adult females are a good illustration of this. Contradictions occur when males and females are seen as different despite populating the exact same life style. A clear illustration of this is when Miranda points out the disagreement between the being of individual work forces and adult females: “ A 34 twelvemonth old cat with no money and no topographic point to populate, because he ‘s individual, he ‘s a gimmick. But a 34 twelvemonth old adult female with a occupation and a great place, because she ‘s individual, is considered tragic. ” ( 13 )

Womans being in charge of the family and transporting out jobs is another manner that patriarchate can be said to be reproduced. Charlotte is domesticated and in charge of the private kingdom through making the interior decorating of her matrimonial place while Trey goes to work. However, this is countered by Carrie, who ne’er cooks and even uses her oven as excess storage infinite for her apparels. Miranda, nevertheless, has Magda, her aged maidservant, to look after her house and mind her babe, undertakings traditionally expected to be completed by the adult female of the family. However, the fact that these differing points of position are shown in SATC demonstrates empowerment as broad feminism allows adult females to hold the pick as to which lifestyle they lead.

Sexual torment could besides been seen as a manner that patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss are reproduced, as work forces appear to still retain sexual power over adult females. However, this topic is non tackled by SATC. As it is an of import issue to cover with, I believe it should hold been, but this may turn out how SATC shows a more idealized version of broad feminism as factors which counter it are non given much importance.

Gerhart negotiations of household pick. She believes that primary dealingss should be with adult females, whereas work forces come and travel. SATC has a household made out of four adult females. However, heterosexual power dealingss are reproduced because all the adult females end up in relationships with work forces and at the terminal of the films, all four had settled into heterosexual relationships.

Traditional facets of heterosexual power dealingss are portrayed when Charlotte says “ Everyone needs a adult male. That ‘s why I rent. If you own and he still rents, so the power construction is all away. It ‘s castrating. Men do n’t desire a adult female who ‘s excessively self-sufficing. ” ( 16 )

With these illustrations in head, can it truly be so that broad feminism does dispute patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss? With different ways of specifying patriarchate, heterosexual power dealingss and broad feminism, are they germinating footings which change with clip? By construing them as inactive constructs, are the developments of the footings being disregarded?

SATC is a really successful portraiture of broad feminism, through the agencies of the book, telecasting episodes and movies. The challenges presented to patriarchy and heterosexual power dealingss include: … However, they are countered slightly by the ways in which heterosexual power dealingss and gender inequality are corroborated in the series: …

In decision, the challenges presented to patriarchy and heterosexual power dealingss do outweigh the limited ways in which they are corroborated in the series. Although SATC can be seen as a more optimistic version of broad feminism, there are many true to life state of affairss and illustrations used in the book, telecasting series and movies. “ Womans have to be brought into civil life on precisely the same terms as their hubbies… since few adult females can gain every bit much as work forces, merely some in-between category, professional adult females are likely to be in a place to negociate ” ( Pateman, 1988:155 ) SATC adult females are non the usual world. They are really fortunate adult females to be able to hold the picks to do. Not all adult females are so lucky. SATC nowadayss feminist ideals through the portraiture of “ typical upper category, sexy Manhattanites ” , which is non the norm. SATC adult females have at least one version of what well-off, white, heterosexual feminist-minded adult females today strive to go: comparatively emotionally stable, successful in their callings and wealthy. An individualized position of equality is presented in SATC, some independent adult females may be able to move like work forces and have the resources to make so, which include economic and cultural capital. However, most adult females ca n’t. SATC adult females have power because they have entree to resources and because they are extremely educated, for illustration Miranda is a alumnus of Harvard Law School.

If adult females sought to affect themselves at an equal degree to work forces in the workplace “ The barrier of sexual high quality and domination would be broken down: adult females would see a possibility… of going peers, non merely in domestic but in civil life, with work forces. ” ( Thompson, 1825:164 ) . Because the SATC adult females have done merely that, it can be concluded that broad feminism can dispute patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss.

The domination of all work forces over adult females within the populace every bit good as private kingdom is a effect of patriarchate, particularly as historically, the public kingdom has to the full excluded adult females. In 1680, Filmer said in ‘Patriarcha ‘ that patriarchate was under menace. Now in the twenty-first century, it is safe to state that patriarchate is so in diminution in societies worldwide. ( SEP, 2011 ) . If adult females behave like work forces, they will pay the monetary value subsequently on. Samantha adopts a masculine place and seeks blink of an eye satisfaction, non romantic sex. Charlotte, nevertheless, has more conventional thoughts about matrimony. Modern matrimony discourse, traditional matrimony and childs relationship, but joint kingdoms and calling, non breadwinner-housewife relationship.

It is certain that broad feminism does fulfill and transcend Hooks ‘ definition of feminism as “ a motion to stop sexism, sexist development, and subjugation ” ( Hooks, 2000:1 ) Liberal feminism ‘s vision of feminist adult females include modern, aggressive, sisters, sexually empowered, self-conscious and possessing power and pick. SATC fulfils each of these feminist classs and hence, proves to be an first-class illustration of broad feminism, particularly in demoing how it can dispute patriarchate and heterosexual power dealingss. Modernity was seen through their attitudes towards singlehood, homosexualism and how they conducted their sexual and romantic relationships. Aggressiveness was seen through choler, female usage of profanity or coarseness and control within relationships with work forces. Sisterhood was seen through plentifulness of “ adult females ‘s talk, ” a present twenty-four hours consciousness raising and the placing of importance on female friendly relationships over relationships with work forces. Sexual authorization was seen through varied and frequent sexual brushs, along with each adult female being wholly in control of her gender. Power is shown through their successful callings and once more, in their dealingss with sexual or romantic spouses. Self-awareness is seen through their really obvious assurance and the presence of self-respect. Finally, pick is seen through their assorted life experiences and is built-in in the lives they lead. SATC serves to link with and empower adult females to get the better of the boundaries that “ sexism, sexist development, and subjugation ” have set for us in the countries of sex and relationships, adhering to patriarchal positions.

Samantha has said “ Money is power. Sexual activity is power. Therefore, acquiring money for sex is merely an exchange of power. ”

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