Comparing The Oppression Of Women And A Metaphorical Birdcage, By Marilyn Frye

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In comparing the oppression of women to a metaphorical birdcage, Marilyn Frye’s essay “Oppression” expands the definition of what constitutes as an oppressive act. In doing so, some would argue that her definition allows for nearly every interaction between men and women to have some underlying sexist tone. Others, including myself, would deny such a claim and argue that as opposed to stretching the realms of sexism, Frye’s interpretation contributes to a deeper understanding of sexism in modern society. While it is true that Frye’s metaphor could be over applied and abused, in the long term, it is more beneficial than detrimental. Because the situation of women in the western world has improved vastly in comparison to other societies,…show more content…
It is my belief that the sexism in this act lied firmly in the way he chuckled, and shook his head condescendingly at me. It was as though he were thinking to himself how cute it was that a little woman like me to hold open the door for a strong, capable man such as himself. In laughing at this simple, objectively polite act he confirmed the thought-process behind this “chivalrous act”. Men hold open the door for woman, not because it’s necessarily polite, but because men subconsciously believe women to be weak. Not only that, but consider the fact that rarely do men hold open the door for men. This is no doubt because men consider other men to be capable of handling themselves in all manners, especially in things as simple as holding open a door. However, this is only one side of the argument, and without the opposing side the discussion is limited. Others would argue that holding open a door is just that, nothing more or less. It is a polite act instilled in many people, especially those living in the Southern areas of the United States, where politeness is particularly emphasized. It could certainly be that is not the act that is sexist but the individual reasons as to why one opens the door for another person. While one man may do so because he believes a woman needs unnecessary help, another may do it because it is not an out of the way gesture. One man may laugh at the act of a woman holding open the door for him, while another
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