Sexual Oppression Essays

Essay on Women's Sexuality

956 Words4 Pages

Women of society from the earliest of times to the present day have faced a multitude of struggles. The issue of sexuality is especially critical to the lives of women. If one’s personality is the set of characteristics about them, including attitude, interests, emotionality and behavioral patterns, than sexuality is a part of that identity. As people we take pride in who we are, and are taught that self-esteem is important to our mental health. In our society however, women are programmed to shame their sexualities, and in turn, themselves. This is a great contradiction. Women should be encouraged to embrace their sexualities safely and positively and seek the empowerment and self-discovery that can come from it. The repression of…show more content…

I was [laughs] a kind of a tomboy.
I didn’t really agree with that…playing house [when we were younger], the wife was the one doing the entire household and everything, and afterwards the husband arrived …
In our games, we also began to follow these models. In these games, there was obviously also a part of sexuality … We pretended to be a couple, but there were no kisses … [it was] something like dating … We started to understand better how things worked, how relationships [work], how we should behave.” -Marta, 21 years, heterosexual, Braga (Costa. Nogueira, Lopez 7) “From a very early age, I felt that something was not really good about it…[it was] related to guilt” says a woman speaking about her early feelings of sexuality (Costa, Nogueira, Lopez 5). As we see from the above testimonies, in times of youth repression of sexual identity can be most damaging. Adolescent confusion seeks answers wherever they can be found, but for girls, discovery via her own body is off limits, is shameful. The pornographic conceptualization of sexuality and eroticism (as defined by Audre Lorde) is what has tainted sex and it’s kin, yet it is the dominant example that can be found everywhere: on television, the internet, billboards, in magazines even in our homes. Dominant discourses of femininity represent women as an inferior group which has little power over their own bodies. In this discourse women are the object of

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Oppression Essay

1908 Words8 Pages

Oppression signifies an authority over another group, disengaging that particular group from the rest of society. “The term oppression encapsulates the fusion of institutional and systemic discrimination, personal bias, bigotry, and social prejudice in a complex web of relationships and structures that shade most aspects of life in our society” (Bell, 1997). In one way or another every individual experiences some form of oppression, whether it be through race, sex, gender, religion, age, wealth and/or sexual orientation. These cultural minorities experience inequality where a dominant culture casts its authority and power through exercises of unjust and cruel methods; these methods have been experienced through the Women’s Movement, the…show more content…

“A great achievement of women’s movements worldwide has been their success in ‘breaking the silence’ about male violence against women in intimate relationships” (Vickers, 2002). Having broken the silence of violence it has also broken the silence of oppression. The ongoing battle(s) of women’s rights suggests that the silence of oppression is of the past and the future holds equality for all alike. “…power is the capacity to terrorize, to use self and strength to inculcate fear, fear in a whole class of persons” (Dworkin, 1981). Male dominance exhibits and practices fear toward those of different classes, its use is to gain power to which control is given. “In the male system, sex is the penis, the penis is sexual power, its use in fucking is manhood” (Dworkin, 1981). The male mind indicates that without a penis an authority of power is dismissed and overlooked. Unfortunate for society today male hierarchy continues to be the dominant practice and the penis is a visual and vital form of power. “Male sexual power is the substance of culture” (Dworkin, 1981). Although women have come a long way their oppression and limited amount of power in society has yet to be broken and adjusted because of this visual of the male penis extracting power in society.

With the Women’s Movement challenging women’s rights it did however omit African American women from the process. The Civil Rights

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