Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Oppression-Marilyn Frye

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This article is a basic definition of the word “oppression” as it pertains to feminism. Frye speaks of ways that women are immobilized and restricted because of the way our society has set us up for failure. For example she uses the fact that whether a woman chooses to remain a virgin or to be sexually active she is criticized. No matter which decision she makes, it is looked at negatively.

I enjoyed this article. I think she made some really good points and brought to my attention things I had never realized. I thought her example of how people can turn rape around to almost be an acceptable act was very enlightening and moving. Frye said, “Both heterosexual activity and heterosexual nonactivity are likely to be taken as proof that you wanted to be raped, and hence, of course, weren’t really raped at all. You can’t win. You are caught in a bind, caught between systematically related pressures.” I think that one statement really summarizes  oppression because even though not every woman is raped, our society tends to turn everything into a double standard and makes it to where no matter what we do, we are wrong and can’t win.  And of course I loved the end where she gave the metaphor of the caged bird!


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