Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Decent Essays
Perhaps one of the most pressing issues of the century, objectification of the female gender is a world-wide phenomena. While sometimes referenced of as a fading issue, women’s rights, or the lack thereof, is still prevalent across many regions of the planet. Often times denied even the simplest forms of human rights, women have always been forced to take the least dominant path within society, and are frequently expected to be weaker than men. However, potentially no example of female objectification is more apparent than the lives of women today, as well as various Japanese Geisha in the early 1900’s; specifically in the novel Memoirs of A Geisha, by Arthur Golden. Set in the early years before World War 1, it was within the lives of these Geisha that objectification was not only displayed, but was exemplified. Outrightly told to listen to men, apply cosmetics, and act with reservation within society, similarities between both old-world Geishas and modern day women are easily correlated. Beginning on their initiation day, Geisha were taught exactly how to act around men; submissive and dainty. Ordered to tend to the every want or desire of the opposite sex, Geisha made little difference within her own realms of existence. This is best demonstrated through Sayuri, a young apprentice within the Geisha community of Gion. Within mere minutes of arriving at her assigned living quarters, she is greeted, and succinctly told, “Listen here stupid girl. Keep your eyes
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