Oppressed Women


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Sexual Oppression

Many people believe that this oppression begins with what Freud referred to as “penis envy”, where a girl first realizes she doesn’t have a penis and she resents her mother (and later herself) for this, then the young boys begin to believe that they are superior to the girls, and so on. Oppression doesn’t end there; Girls are constantly oppressed all through their lives. According to Barbara Duke, “Women, in particular, are limited by our role as child-bearers in a society which does not allow mothers a full role in production. It is hardly surprising that popular literature, from pornography to the tabloids, portrays women as almost exclusively creatures of the kitchen and the bedroom. (Duke)” According to Shulamith Firestone, there are two explanations of what causes women’s oppression, the first one being,” In the past, women’s social roles (wife and mother) related to reproduction and the social institutions supporting them (Firestone)”, and the second reason being, “In the present, women’s social roles related to sex and sexuality, and the social institution of romantic love supporting them (Firestone).”

Sex, Censorship and Womens Rights by Barbara Duke

"The Culture of Romance" from Shulamith Firestones The Dialectics of Sex

Last updated November 23, 2004
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