Susan Sontag 's A Woman 's Beauty : Put Down Or Power Source?

1017 WordsOct 17, 20175 Pages
Women have historically been seen as sex objects while men have been seen as “success objects.” “Marked Women” by Deborah Tannen, “A Woman’s Beauty: Put Down or Power Source?” by Susan Sontag, “The Men We Carry in Our Minds” by Scott Russell Sanders, and “Man Bashing: Trivial Pursuits or a Truth with Consequences?” by Warren Farrell discuss these two sides to gender roles. These essays most effectively argue that women face more challenges in today’s society than men. Women are made to be sex objects by society; they are pressured to try to look beautiful while also being degraded as superficial and inept. As Sontag puts it, “To be called beautiful is thought to name something essential to women’s character and concerns. (In contrast to…show more content…
Men are seen as success objects. They have traditionally had the burden of being the breadwinners. The authors argue that while men were in a position of more power in a few cases in the past, overall, they faced just as much of a struggle as women; they were expected to provide for women. Sanders describes the men he knew as a child, explaining, “..the men I knew labored with their bodies. They were marginal farmers, just scraping by, or welders, steel-workers, carpenters; they swept floors, dug ditches, mined coal, or drove trucks, their forearms ropy with muscle; they trained horses, stoked furnaces, built tires, stood on assembly lines wrestling parts onto cars and refrigerators. They got up before light, worked all day long whatever the weather, and when they came home at night they looked as though somebody had been whipping them.” He illustrates how working class men faced the struggle of working dusk to dawn in harsh conditions doing arduous manual labor. As he came to find out, the men who were not in this majority were those in combat. He further explains that only a few men had the privilege of working a desk job, let alone being “the boss”. Sanders asks what joys and privileges of the earth men stole from women. “The right to go five days a week, twelve months a year, for thirty or forty years to a steel mill or a coal mine?[ …]The right to feel, when the layoff comes or the plant shuts
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