By Diana Tietjens Meyers
How do patriarchal representations of gender effect on women's lives? What approximately their results on men's attitudes towards ladies? How can the deleterious results of this opposed cultural atmosphere be triumph over? those are the critical questions Gender within the reflect poses.Culturally primary imagery of female sexuality, attractiveness, and motherhood worms its manner into women's subjectivity and employer. through offering authoritative language during which girls describe themselves and undertaking their lives into the longer term, this imagery constrains their self-determination. by means of reinforcing sexism in males, it undermines women's equality and jeopardizes feminist gains.Resisting those pernicious impacts calls for own in addition to cultural swap. girls have to collect self-reading and self-direction abilities that let them to articulate their wishes of their personal phrases and to enact their very own existence tales. Gender within the reflect defends a thought of self-determination that is smart of women's means to discover their very own voices and rewrite their self-narratives. yet feminist objectives can't be met until patriarchal cultural contexts are reconfigured -- except emancipatory gender imagery supplants patriarchal representations of womanhood. Gender within the reflect proposes replacement imagery of female sexuality, attractiveness, and motherhood and advances an account of feminist discursive politics that takes at the problem of neutralizing patriarchal imagery.
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Additional info for Gender in the Mirror: Cultural Imagery and Women's Agency (Studies in Feminist Philosophy)
In sum, a woman's mother- hood decision is crucial to her personal well-being, definitive of her social persona, and predictive of her economic horizons. Because motherhood decisions are singularly personal and unsurpassably important, feminists have long struggled to secure women's autonomy over these decisions. Demanding that women's right to procreate be respected, feminists have opposed coercive methods of curbing fertility, such as forced sterilization and withholding welfare supplements for new babies.
Evidently, the scope of socially condoned autonomy with respect to motherhood is far less extensive than it initially appears to be. Indeed, I am convinced that even where both the right to procreate and the right to refrain from procreating are tolerably secure, women's decisions about childbearing and motherhood are seldom as autonomous as they could be. In my judgment, then, winning these legal guarantees, although absolutely vital, still falls short of achieving feminist emancipatory goals.
An arresting feature of much of the testimony is that it clusters either around the pole of casualness or around the pole of adamance. Some women regard having children as an inevitable part of life: "I can't remember if I ever thought I had a choice. I think I thought you just did it. " (Ireland 1993,70) "When I was a child, I assumed I would have children. " (Lang 1991, 96) "I don't remember a time when I didn't want to be a mother. " (Ireland 1993, 32) Such nonchalance seems to be the rule. Most people presume that children are necessary to personal fulfillment and never consider not having children (Veevers 1980, 40-41; Rogers and Larson, 1988, 48).