What A Woman Is Not Born, By Simone De Beauvoir

1246 Words Oct 20th, 2016 5 Pages
“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” French existentialist writer, Simone de Beauvoir, states in The Second Sex (1949), powerful analysis of what a woman should be in the West. She goes into detail on how femininity is a social construct and was constructed for the male gaze, the patriarchy (Nigel Warburton, 2014). This is an argument in both Sandra Lee Bartky’s Foucault, Femininity, and the Modernization of Patriarchal Power, according to her, you are born into your gender, not the characteristics of it (2010, 27). And in Rosalind Gill’s Supersexualize Me!: Advertising and the ‘Midriffs’, she discusses how advertisements are a major factor in shaping our views on what is masculine and feminine (2007, 95). In this essay, I will compare each chapters’ arguments, this includes power and femininity and who is to blame for disciplining women’s bodies to fit a narrow spectrum of femininity; and the similarities of the arguments when discussing how femininity is being shown in the size, movement and appearance of a women’s body and how they both reject societal meanings of femininity. As for the first difference, power and femininity are shown in very different lights. Gill argues that women in our modern media portray a form of ‘sexual power’, which is an active subject for the male gaze (2007, 100). She discusses the shift of society’s definition of femininity from child-like passive individuals to an active sexual subject for the male gaze. And when portrayed as…
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