Androcentrism: Feminists for Equality

2854 Words Jun 19th, 2018 12 Pages
Throughout history, women have had the misfortune of being labeled as “the other” to men. According to many philosophers, women are the second sex. This idea of women as the second sex is fueled by the notion that the feminine is a mistake, and that masculinity is the correct approach to life. This idea has even been given a new name recently: androcentrism. Androcentrism is a new kind of sexism that, rather than just favoring men over women, favors masculinity over feminist universally. This new term perfectly sums up what many philosophers have touted during this course: women are the second sex, and masculinity is the superior norm. These ideas can be spotted in the rhetoric of Freud, Gilligan, Aristotle, Schopenhauer, and even …show more content…
(25-30) Aristotle also has ideas of “hotness” and “coldness”, “upness” and “downness”, among other dualities; and in each of these pairings, women are, of course, associated with the lesser of the two. For example: logic and reasoning is masculine, according to Aristotle, while emotion and relationships are feminine principles. Since emotion is seen as being negative (part of the false physical world), it is given to women. Logic and reasoning, the glory of Aristotelian philosophy, is awarded to a man’s nature.
Aristotle also briefly touches upon gender roles in this composition (and in others not included in Philosophy of Woman). Namely, the idea that women should be the ones to raise children, stay at home and perform domestic work for the community. Thus begins a precedent of gender roles for both men and women, restricting the duties of leadership and home-making to each gender respectively. Aristotle certainly begins this precedent of femininity being disparate to masculinity in society, and with it began the idea of women as a second inferior sex. However, he is certainly not the only philosopher who illustrates this idea.
In Philosophy of Woman, Schopenhauer’s excerpts begin with a flourish of sexism. From this first paragraph, it is immediately very clear what Schopenhauer thinks of women (and femininity). Schopenhauer describes women as being unfit for great labor, psychically or mentally. (135-136) He also describes that woman

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