Eliza Haywood's Fantomin Or, Love In A Maze

Decent Essays
In the 1700s women were supposed to play the role of doting woman standing by her man virtuous and loving. However, one can say that gender power dynamics could easily be turned when the idea of sex and prostitution in placed in the dynamics. The two texts to support this thesis will be Eliza Haywood’s short story Fantomina: Or, Love in a Maze. Being A Secret History of an Amour between Two Persons of Condition, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s poem “The Reasons that Induced Dr. S to write a Poem called ‘The Lady’s Dressing Room’”. In Haywood’s short story Fantomina we are introduced to an unnamed protagonist who sees a man by the Beauplaisir at a show and instantly intrigued by him. However, she notices that the men in the audience are…show more content…
Ideally, this role is stating that prostitute did not have to follow the gender normative roles. They had the ability to act in anyway such because they were being paid to be free and wild to a man’s desire. Fantomina was able to enjoy sex by playing this role and thrived on the power she received. This power leads her to continue to create roles to have sex with Beauplaisir. One could see this idea of a prostitute and sex in Lady Mary Wortley Montagu’s poem “The Reasons that Induced Dr. S to write a Poem called ‘The Lady’s Dressing Room’”. Montagu’s poem is satire poem criticizing Jonathan Swift’s poem “The Lady’s Dressing Room” and how his character Strephon viewed a woman after discovering her dressing room. In her poem she has a character by the name of the Dr. S experience erectile dysfunction with a prostitute and he berates her because it is her fault he cannot perform. “He swore, "The fault is not [in] me/Your damned close-stool so near my nose” (Montagu 69 – 70). He curses her out and states that the stench of her bowel movement is the reason that he cannot perform sexual. By Dr. S blaming the prostitute for the lack of sex and her “actions” allows him to try to gain his power as a man. By belittling her and criticizing her surroundings he tries to tear her down. Her job position permits him to do so, and he thinks that this will cause the woman to concede to his harshness. Yet this does not occur, she does not falter under his
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