Critical Analysis of Monique Wittig

1419 WordsSep 28, 20126 Pages
Critical Analysis of ‘One Is Not Born a Woman’ by Monique Wittig In her essay, One is Not Born a Woman, Monique Wittig explains, “‘Women’ is not each one of us, but the political and ideological formation which negates ‘women’ (the product of a relation of exploitation). ‘Women’ is there to confuse us, to hide the reality ‘women’ . . . For what makes a woman is a specific social relation to a man, a relation that we call servitude.” Monique Wittig attacks the concept of naturalizing biology and the ‘woman’ category. She believes that the form of a woman’s identity is a product of normal and intrinsic human facts. Thus, her main point is that one is not born a woman but becomes a woman based upon the social constructs of gender and…show more content…
Her article is laden with obfuscation. Is she saying that sex is not an eternal category or does she mean that gender is not eternal and can therefore, be destroyed? I disagree that gender can be undone by focusing only on materialist grounds. The ideas of masculinity and femininity are so deeply engraved in our collective subconscious and are impossible to separate from our daily interactions that we continuously affirm gender no matter how much we try not to. She makes another statement affirming her position that female oppression could be related to anything but human constructs that must be destroyed: “…there are lesbians who affirm that “women and men are different species or races (the words are used interchangeably): men are biologically inferior to women; male violence is a biological inevitability…” By doing this, by admitting that there is a “natural” division between women and men, we naturalize history, we assume that “men” and “women” have always existed and will always exist.’” I strongly disagree with this statement because there is a natural physiological division between males and females which can be explained through sexual dimorphism as I mentioned earlier. This dissimilarity between males and females does not influence our needs, reactions, constructs or tastes. Most importantly, it is totally out of one’s control. It’s because of this undeniable truth that I recommended the separation of reproduction from the other criteria

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