Intro to Women's Studies 2010

etsu: 2011-2014

Frye’s “Oppression”

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In “Oppression,” Frye states that women are physically restrained in our society. One example is that women can be physically restrained in the work place. That is also called the double bind. The double bind is where if a woman decides to be nice and does not try to strive ahead at her job, then she is liked, but she is not respected.  On the other hand, if she does strive to get ahead and doesn’t care about what people think about her, then she is respected but not liked. However, men do not have this issue.  In the work place they can be respected and liked at the same time.

Another way that women are physically restrained is their sexual activity. If a young woman is sexually active, then she is more than likely going to be called a whore and a slut.  Other women look down on her, and they think that she is “loose.”  Most likely men will also think that she is an easy lay.  The woman will also feel the need to hide her sexuality from her parents because of fear of what they will think of her.

On the flip-side, women are badgered about their sexual inactivity.  When a young woman doesn’t want to have sex, guys feel the need to  try to pressure her into having sex.  They also tell the woman that she is a tease and that she is uptight.  They also tell her that she needs to loosen up, let her hair down, and to have fun.  The woman’s disinterest in boys can also make her parents think that “there is something wrong with her” and that she isn’t “normal”.

There is also the notion that some women, especially virgins, want to get raped. Many people suggest that the virgin was so uptight and sexually frustrated that she needed to get raped, and even that she secretly wanted it.  When a so-called “slut” gets raped then people say that she deserved it because she “tempted” males by “sleeping around”.


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