What is feminism? Well, feminism is the belief that there should be an equality of power between men and women. Yet, the importance or inclusion of intersectionality between gender and race, class, or sexuality are often times disagreed upon. Now, with that being said, feminism has been deemed with the stereotypical crazy woman who yells and goes berserk when something that is slightly demeaning towards a woman, albeit funny: such as a woman cooking in the kitchen while the man sits and watches a football game with his buddies and some beer; a “traditional” aspect of things. But, that’s not all that feminism is about. Susan Bordo, in her book Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body: Chapter 5 “The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity” states that “The body—what we eat, how we dress, the daily rituals through which we attend to the body—is a medium of culture.” (2240) Feminism is far beyond just a woman yelling at a movie scene because the woman is portrayed as the submissive type with no will power.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the media created an image of the “ideal woman”, which created a severe diversion in the image of women. In order to subvert the desired burdening male view of women, Bordo claims three psychological disorders arose as a facility by which women could passively work through:
– Hysteria: disables the body for both sex and work
– Anorexia: drastic transformation of the body through hunger strike
– Agoraphobia: refusal to leave the house to participate in a stereotypical female activity—shopping.
“Working within this framework, we see that whether we look at hysteria, agoraphobia, or anorexia, we find the body of the sufferer deeply inscribed with an ideological construction of femininity emblematic of the period in question. The construction, of course, is always homogenizing and normalizing, erasing racial, class, and other differences and insisting that all women aspire to a coercive, standardized ideal.” (2243)
Just look at the Olsen twins.
In our society today, the media has dubbed this (look at the picture) the ideal of what women should look like.
<<--This, is what society says is pretty. The Olsen twins are the best example for Anorexia and they live up to Bordo's claim about the body as a text, and how there has been a sever diversion in the image of women.
Word Count: 394
Bordo, Susan. "The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity". The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism. W.W. Norton & Company; Second Edition. New York, 2001. Pages 2240 -2254. Print