Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: fall 2011, spring 2012, fall 2012, spring 2013, fall 2013, spring 2014

Oppression / Marilyn Frye

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   Marilyn Frye depicts the numerous ways in which women are oppressed even to this day. Frye defines oppression and says that,” something pressed is something caught between or among forces and barriers… jointly they restrain, restrict, or prevent the thing’s motion or mobility.”. Her definition is also followed by the focus of the double-blind. As women, our personalities, sexuality (sexually active or inactive), our language, and even the way in which we dress are held to an unachievable standard. It is a lose-lose situation. What baffled me the most was her example of rape: how both heterosexual activity and heterosexual inactivity are likely to be taken as proof that the woman wanted to be raped and thus was not even raped at all. 
    Marilyn explains that the experience of being oppressed is much like that of being caged in. This was my favorite point in this particular article of hers. When one looks very closely at just one wire of the cage, they do not recognize the immobility it causes. For example, being a woman.  However, when viewing the entire cage, it becomes obvious that the bird is “surrounded by a network of systematically related barriers”, or oppressed by many factors, that prevent it from moving anywhere else.

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