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Gender Oppression

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The concept of gender oppression relays the idea that particular groups, centrally women, are disadvantaged and hindered simply due to their gender identity. The advancement of women’s rights has progressed greatly over time, however, there are still many barriers that women face today. A great barrier is the notion of what a woman actually is and the gender biases applied to it. As Beauvoir states in her piece, “[women] are urged, ‘Be women, stay women, become women’” (Beauvoir, 1949, p. 23). The concept of woman is often condensed into the abstraction of femininity, which is often met with a negative connotation (Beauvoir, 1949, p. 23). This connotation revolves around poor representations of the personification of woman, which include traits such as submission, fragility and sensitivity. Man asserts himself as the essential being, leaving woman as the other, or “Second Sex”, in which she is seen as subservient to men due to the construction of misogynistic social structures. These social structures assist in the creation of these negative traits as man is able to define himself with more affirmative attributes leaving negative attributes, such as the aforementioned ones, for woman to define herself with. As a result, man profits off the alterity of woman, which prevents woman from fully achieving an authentic life. Beauvoir further elaborates on this point stating that woman is confined as the Other due to man and is doomed to immanence, as man will always transcend the
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