Feature image of Naomi Wolf; Photo credit The New Republic
A survey study with reference to Naomi Wolf’s
The Beauty Myth
Since the dawn of history, philosophers and psychologists in every corner of the world have been exerting real effort to understand the concept of being right and equal concerning the female gender. Starting with Plato and Aristotle and other thinkers and philosophers in old and modern world. All tried to discover that everything in this universe should have it correlative not only to consider this from the romantic, abstract side in order to understand the truth of equity. Man today uses science to explain everything in this universe. That is what Naomi Wolf does in her novel The Beauty Myth. She studies the relationships between men and women from statistic point of view. She criticises men severely to a degree that exacerbates the problem of quality and justice. Throughout this paper, there are efforts done to make general view on women, being as one of the biggest mysteries of human beings and maintain stability. She is the bisection of this world with the man, who supplements the other. All the creatures consist of male and female, who integrate, collaborate, communicate and coordinate their own lives and families successfully. When there is a need for any missing subjects, whether it is incorporeal or corporeal, both couple will try to fulfil that need to complete their mission as parents. Moreover, there must be resistance, refractoriness and stamina toward disadvantage, injustice, insult and zenana. Both couple must uplift, elevate and boost their spiritual, social and intellectual conditions. Women’s movements make shift from a narrow and more reasonable understanding of development and equality, to more social, economical, gendered and holistic developments. A bolt from the blue came when the narcissism in some female characters go so far to be misandrists, queer, and lesbians. This paper is an attempt to cover the feminist movements from the beginning till reaching their myriad of versatilities. It also tries to make an advocacy to problematise why these movements make inroads into the system of this universe. This paper will proof that these movements pass limits and trespass by molestation. They are in need for modified paths and shake up to reach the amendment and modification for hope far from fear, freedom and life. Starting from the point of view of Naomi Wolf, which exacerbates the whole concept of quality and justice, let aside the negative and questionable waves, which are imposed on feminism.
I. Feminism in literature: a Survey
Although organised activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests in the 21st Century is a mix of different feminist beliefs, the core of all these theories is that men and women should be equal politically and socially. Feminism is thus a term that emerged long after women started questioning their inferior status and demanding an amelioration in their social position. The term ‘feminist’ seems to have ﬁrst been used in 1871 in a French medical text to describe a cessation in development of the sexual organs and characteristics in male patients. (Freedman:2-3) It is an ideology that has changed significantly over time, as has the role of women throughout history done. Literary feminism is considered as one of the useful approaches in explaining the meanings of literary texts. Since the old ages woman was treated as a queen or odalisque. It depends on the culture and the conceptual belief of certain society. There were Cleopatra, Zenobia and Sheherazade. All reflect the earliest concept of feminism in the Arabic culture and literature. To some woman serves as the neck of the head(man). Man loved to be in charge and the woman could make him believe so, however, she could turn him to any direction she liked, by her subtleness. While others (a surprisingly large number) who still believed women should be, and were inferior to men. That time was very strongly biased towards patriarchal society models. Plato is the only great philosopher who can plausibly be called feminist by his admiration of Diotima, in Plato’s Symposium the members of a party discuss the meaning of love, for her, the most correct use of love of other human beings is to direct one’s mind to love of Divinity He explains that a woman who displays shills of a philosophical nature and cares not for things of the body will reenter life as a man. (John G. :1-3) A person should be judged on his or her soul and not on external appearance is the basis for this claim. While Aristotle describes the women as having lack of reason to determine the good. Hence, they are obligated to achieve virtue. (Ibid.)
To start talking about feminism in English literature means to start with the Medieval Literature. In Beowulf the female figure represents Grendel Mother rather than a father figure. It could be inferred that her femininity gives her a weaker ground for making the claim against the Danes, therefore, her position as a lesser creature is reinforced by her being a female. Despite the fact that the focus of most English literature research is directed more at her lineage is that descendant of Cane, the presence of such a monster as a woman, and as a mother is one of the most notable and infamous women of middle ages literature. Grendel’s Mother is not a popular character because she is feminine. She has been analysed as an example of a strong and autonomous woman or as a feminine archetype on the mythical level. The other form of female character is Wealhtheow, Queen of the Danes and wife of Hrothgar, is the most fully depicted female character. Her character is a fully integrated part of the poetic structure. What is more, she actively struggles to fulfill her duties of a peace weaver and achieve her own goals (peace weaver). Both samples are able to influence the decisions of their male relatives and they are actively struggling to achieve their own goals. As for the poetic structure of Beowulf, the female figures are represented symmetrically, offering parallels based on both comparisons and contrasts. They have an indispensable place in the poetic structure as well as in the story itself (Procházková: 38). That reflects the importance of female character in life and literature. The women of Beowulf have an important role to play in Medieval Danish society, like the men around them. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, 14th Century, is a lively Arthurian romance about a young knight of the round table who takes on the challenge of a mysterious green knight who wanders into Arthur’s hall. Mary is unique among women in Christianity. She is the model of female behaviour representing humility and obedience to God in her role as the Mother of God. She is a virgin, untainted by sexuality, which is considered the root of all evil in the early Christian church, as the author The Virgin Mary (as the singular female archetype representing spiritual love, obedience, chastity, and life) against Morgan and Bertilak’s wife (who represent the traditional female archetypes of courtly love, disobedience, lust and death) the Gawain poet points out the conflict between courtly love and spiritual love which he, and other critics of the time, felt had drastically weakened the religious values behind chivalry. As such, the poem is a warning to its Aristocratic readers that the traditional religious values underlying the feudal system must be upheld in order to avert destruction of their way of life. (Arkin:1) The women in the story are painted in a negative light and that women have been the down fall of many historical men.
During a patriarchal time, Chaucer created distinctly matriarchal and feminist viewpoints, to help women be seen as something more than property. In The Wife of Bath, Chaucer’s ulterior motive of subtly introducing Alison as an example of women’s ability to be placed in traditionally male roles and perform equally as well is in the reference to her as a school master, he pushes the traditional ideas of what a woman should be during his time and provides an outlet through which to subtly plant the seeds of feminist understanding for his readers (Tiffany :76-79). Chaucer’s Legend of Good Women, (1380s) according to the prologue, Chaucer planned to write twenty tales about good women. He finished eight and left a ninth just short of completion. The theme of all the legends is the fidelity of women in love. All the heroines suffer for, and the majority die for their love. All are treated as wholly admirable, even saintly. It is more about bad men than good women. the work is a satire on conventional notions of morality, to turn his literature to didactic purposes (Dr. Michael: 1-2). His works serve as evidence that Chaucer was a sort of proto-feminist and a moral manual for the 1300’s and years after. Although prohibiting women from teaching, and instructing them to remain silent as the Bible says that Eve became known as the source and symbol of lust and the dangers of the flesh; it was she who led Adam astray. Women in Medieval society often participated in vital roles in the lives of peasants, domestic, urban, labour, trades and crafts. Women assisted their families yet they could not assist themselves, because of the injustice system that ruled them to inequality. It made men rule the roost. (Bovey: 1-4) Despite the fact that women were the hub of all the activities of life, the focal point even in protection, defence and safeguard of their nations Joan of Arc (1412 – 1431) the saint and national heroin united her nation in a critical time and turned the Hundred years’ war in France’s Favour. (“Hundred year’s war” Encarta Encyclopedia) A simultaneous perceptual deep religious faith and sorrowed for the afflictions of her country (Norman: 16). Woman had the power to inspire many educated, enlightened people to be aware of their importance no matter what the patriarchal believed. Looking beyond the description of a female character’s actions or speech gives insights to what effect male and female might have, not only “Who is speaking?” but perhaps more importantly, that age-old feminist question, “From whose perspective? “What is the text in question showing us about women and gender and social relations as opposed to imply hierarchies that cannot be undone by simply reversing the poles of a given dyad. Looking instead for narrative and cultural formations that rely on the seemingly paradoxical construction of both land, since women so often occupy a given cultural or rhetorical position and its opposite at the same time (E. JANE: 5).
Edmund Spenser (1552/1553 – 1599) utilises the crises of feminine virtue. He shows how some females are ruined by ignoring it, while others are made stronger and happier by practicing virtue, thus fulfilling the didactic purpose of teaching all the virtues that create a perfect person fit for salvation, which was the ultimate goal of Spenser in his allegoric tale. In the attempt to maintain their chastity which is deemed central to their social value, influenced by systems of patriarchal control that challenge women’s autonomy over their actions as well as their bodies. His books depict women struggling against the codified assumptions of social law (SAGE: 92). However, William Shakespeare’s female characters are mostly based off of Queen Elizabeth (1533-1603), whose provocative clothing and men’s battle armor are reflecting her forceful personality, despite the fact that she believed women to be inferior to men, these characters were frank and intelligent. These revolutionary qualities generated greater respect for the female gender (Mary:1). In fact, education for women during the Elizabethan era was to read, sew, play musical instruments, dance, and be able to present themselves and sound well in front of other people. Although men of this time were likely misogynists, most men did not seek education for the women, they were in charge of as women were entirely in the power of their husbands. Throughout Hamlet, the queen of Denmark, is characterised as naïve and ignorant. As a playwright, Shakespeare was writing and producing plays in order to entertain his audience, and of course earn money. Therefore, in order to achieve both of these points, he had to fit the plays to be accustomed to the society, and be aligned with the societal values (Laura: 1). Yet it could be said that it is a criticism to this ideology, because in Julius Caesar, Shakespeare revealed his feminist side, which is similar to that of Plato, when he presents Portia (Brutus’ wife) not only to help to move the plot along. But to reflect her intelligence, mentality and potency. “I have a man’s mind, but woman’s might” (Shakespeare:77). Moreover, Calpurnia (Caesar’s wife) does this with her dream and her begging Caesar to stay at home instead of going to the Senate. She helps to bring forth the theme of superstition. Antony and Cleopatra is the last tragedy of love that Shakespeare wrote in (1606-7) ten years after Julius Caesar. Although he followed Plutarch texts, Shakespeare paid attention to Cleopatra’s thoughts and feelings rather than elaborating her beauty only (Kenneth: 209). The idea of a victim with in the patriarchal society was explored by Shakespeare when the gender roles are inverted. Antony was unable to accept the patriarchal laws of strength, virtues and power of control (Catharine: 197).
Despite the fact that the ultimate of being called the first feminist are: Mary, Lady Charleigh (1656– 1710) was a lady of great virtue as well as great understanding’, who, by ‘her own love of books and her great capacity to improve herself by them enabled her to make a considerable figure among the literati of her time. Her reputation has endured through a handful of anthologies and biographical dictionaries under various appellations, including an ‘Eminent Lady’, a ‘Female Worthy’ and, ultimately, in the late twentieth century a ‘First Feminist’. Whichever title one chooses, Charleigh made a unique contribution to an early feminist movement that employed rational arguments on behalf of women’s intellectual and spiritual autonomy. (Rebecca: 50) Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) is most famous through her writing A Vindication of the Rights of the Women: with Structures of political and Moral Subjects (1792), the first feminine treaties. According to her feminist ideology women who were kept at home were not given enough to occupy their minds; therefore, they took it out to their children and their servants till they became domestic tyrants. All that can be changed if they were given the same educational opportunities as men. Moreover, women must be treated as rational beings and given the chance to develop their own characters. (Mary: 99-105). In Examples of the harm done by women’s ignorance
The categorical classification of the Victorian society and literary heritage as well as the religion are the main factors that instituted an inferior position to women and superior one to men. As a consequence of the inferior status in this age and the preceding ages the concept of ideal woman was produced. To develop and shape inferiority in aesthetic form in the Victorian era (Al- Aqedi: 1-2). To avoid social criticism woman should follow the Victorian social code. She should appear in prudish clothes and should not put make up or ornamented or she would be considered a fallen woman. She should appear totally ignorant of intellectual arguments especially the political ones, except for the aristocratic class. The ideal woman was the married woman, while the challenge spinsters are treated as handicaps (Geneva: 1-6). The ideal woman should keep on begetting children to ensure the continuity of her husband’s offspring, for instance, Queen Victoria gave birth to nine children, although the consequences were fatal (Dan: 38- 45). Woman’s identity was encapsulated in the Victorian Literature. The dominance of the important of marriage is satirically introduced in the prologue of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1775 –1817). The Angel of the House, published in (1854-1856) by Patmore represented typical vision for the ideal woman and an ideal happy marriage (Patmore: 67). The exploitation of women to be pious, patient, loving, dutiful, obedient and inoffensive could exploit females to be used as domestic servants without pay. While the majority of men nightly poured into the classy bordellos that had sprung up all over central London. . . while the wife, the epitome of ‘‘perfection,’’ sat quietly at home, a model housekeeper and mother, gracing her husband’s table, and providing evidence of a frightening distortion of natural desires and inclinations (Leonora: 24-41).
Thomas Hardy presents such legal right tragically in his novel The Mayor of Caster bridge (1886), when Michael Henchard loses his wife and daughter in a gamble (Mr. Shantanu:987). He criticised the victimisation of the legal status of women in Victorian law is identical to the status of ‘children, lunatics, and criminals. Without the signature of a woman’s father or her agent “she cannot marry, buy or sell property, control her own finances, sign a contract. George Bernard Shaw, being influenced by Henrik Ibsen, demonstrates in his play, Mrs. Warren’s Profession (1893), explains how woman’s alienation is due extrinsic as well as intrinsic factors. Woman needs not just an improvement in her social standing and educational qualifications but more importantly psychological development as well (Temouh: 154). Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) represents the rebellions and stubborn women, in the misbehaviour, women do the right thing. (Dorothy: 153) As Mansfield herself was a rebellious girl. One of her teachers says “The family is very conventional and Katherine is the outlaw” (Tomalin: 14). Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was influenced by the social restrictions of the Victorian Period, she always felt confident about her beliefs and thoughts. Therefore, her novels are allegories of feminism. Her personal writings provided feminists with illuminating suggestion of what she called “those psychological puzzles that one notes in the margins of daily life. Her mystical, mythical and Marxist ideas are forming the backbone of her works (Jackie: 211). James Joyce (1882-1940) manifests many portrayals of female characters in different situations under various difficult circumstances. Showing his point of view towards the society of Dublin in general and women in that society in particular. The importance of feminism and emancipation of women have their importance in the works of Joyce. This subject has caused revolution in the relation between men and women. Women revolt against the idea that they are mere instruments of men (Colin: 167). Like those in real life Joyce’s women tend to be either mothers or daughters (Harry: 18). Increasing numbers of married women with children were entering the paid labor force. For working and middle-class women, the new demand of living a consumer-laden private life required two incomes per family.
World War II opened up tremendous opportunities for women because so many men joined the armed services and went abroad. After the war ended, of course, millions of men came back from serving in the military. Many women were dismissed. One of the things that happened around this was that African Americans started to mobilize for civil rights. In the long run, this was endorsed by the federal government. That particular kind of dissent was condoned and supported because the nation’s enemies in the Cold War (May: 1-3). Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896 – 1940) has represented women in The Great Gatsby (1925), as being absurd and trivial and that is shown in heroin’s way of spending time with her friends. They represent the higher class of America in the 1920’s. The superficiality and frivolity of rich are indicated in the juxtaposition of playing a game as being wealthy (Harvey: 93). Fitzgerald gave the 1920’s in America the characteristics name. “The Jazz age”, i.e. the years of hedonism and the seeking of happiness and the social role of women had changed to more liberated one (Way: 11). Ernest Miller Hemingway’s (1899 – 1961) women are placed in a special kind of accelerated world. Despite the fact that war, revolutions or the inevitable enemies of peace and domesticity set them a drift or destroy their lives. They continue to embody the image of home, the idea of married state, and where they are, whatever the out word threats home is (Mark: 19).
Women characters appear to have more destructive impact on those around, they become the source of moral, emotional and mental anguish for the male characters. Causing their destruction which at extremes end with death. William Faulkner (1897-1962) created a dark and sinister world that was populated by dehumanised versions of modern man. His men and women are alike: cruel, depredated and at the most instance warped and evil. He depicted the twentieth century life. He was heart sick at what he saw (Larry: 76). Margaret Atwood (1939-) with tough and tender style she represents the backlash against women and, characteristically, the more than one-sided feelings of the women who are its target. Imagining a takeover by right-wing extremists in a society on the brink of ecological collapse, in her novel The Handmaid’s Tale (1986) (Holt: 999).
II. The Polemics Meta-feminism: Neo-Feminism, or Anti- Feminism:
Versatility and Vacillating in feminisms from pukka to bogus happened because of the phallocentric perspectives, centred on or emphasising the masculine viewpoint, over that of gynocentric, dominated by or emphasising feminine interests or a feminine point of view. Despite these controversial exaggerations, the primary aim of female movements is caring and being cared for. Side by side, Women’s rights movements have worked in support of these aims for more than two centuries. Women’s rights movements are primarily concerned with making the political, social, and economic status of women equal to that of men and establishing legislative safeguards against discrimination on the basis of gender. The main objective of the feminist critic is to dismantle the negativity of the female stereotypes in the writings of phallocentric authors. A writer, who is simply a photographer of his or her thoughts in texts, that can be done in any literary text, the narrator can tell the readers his or her point of view towards what is going on in the universe of the narrative text. This technique is known throughout the lens of the literary theory through which the readers can understand the work, to show the narrator’s attitude to appraise what is adaptive, whether the appraise thing is negative or positive. Such theory would allow the reader to evaluate feminisms. The reliable evaluation of any text, concerning the waves of feminisms, is a combination of subjective assessment and an object basis for that assessment. To make an accurate evaluation is done by presenting a thoughtful assessment of what is being evaluated and data or other evidence as basis for the assessment. This section provides insights into where feminism has been and where it is going in the twenty-first century. Feminist theory is founded on three main principles: firstly, women have something valuable to contribute to every aspect of the world. Secondly, as an oppressed group, they have been unable to achieve their potential, receive rewards, or gain full participation in society. Thirdly, feminist research should do more than critique, but should work toward social transformation, as the Western philosophical tradition is misogynist (Penny: 4). Because males as a group have and do benefit the most from patriarchy, from the assumption that they are superior to females and should rule over them. According to Hooks, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression (Hooks:1). Sigmund Freud (1856-1939), opposed women’s emancipation movement and believed that women’s lives were dominated by their sexual reproductive functions. He considered women’s desires to accomplish something in their own right and determine their own actions to be abnormal and a result of envy of the male sex ( Kendra Cherry: 1-2).
Lora Marholm, a German psychologist, argues in her book, Studies in the Psychology of Woman, that the most frequent masculine types of the present are the barbarian and the decadent. Either to be fortunate to marry the mop or unfortunate to get caught by the detraquee (The great attraction). (Marholm:54) She believed that as women conquer the desire to be above and beyond their sex, it is also the reason behind the joyless marriages nowadays (Ibid.:38). She also added that in nothing can women be like men. She has no longer respect for man, nor for herself as a productive organism, no veneration for the mystery of her existence (Ibid.:40). According to her, when women found themselves independent and coequal to men who became “demasculinised, diminished in power. The recent waves of feminist controlled society, they teach people that men are the root of all evil. Men have no permanent use for women, so likewise, they can be left out of permanent equations. Living together is preferred over marriage, largely because feminists have taught our nation that it’s “better for them”. They adopt feminist idealism that sets the stage for a rejection of anything to do with masculinity. As they idolize Marxist leaders, liberal ideologies, they are neglecting that the founders have hate: hate for freedom and a hate for God’s blessing of marriage, as their own core. Women and men most certainlyareequal in humanity, in our worth, and in our value. However, both are different from one another in ways so vast, only God can explain it. In a culture of reducing men to occasional sperm donors, and honorary “child watchers” so women can live whatever way feminists have guaranteed them, what is happening to our men and our boys (Andrea:1-2).
Wollstonecraft’s, in the first feminine treaties, main aim was to let women be given the same educational opportunities as men. Moreover, women must be treated as rational beings and given the chance to develop their own characters. The feminists enlarged in the Twentieth Century. Ever since men have claimed dominance over women in patriarchal societies, there have been strong women who have fought for dignity and human rights. At various times in history, these women have banded together to form feminist social movements, such as those that arose at the end of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and during the 1920s and 1940s. that happened especially after World War II were no more than revolution in civilised aspects and technology while the social state of mind or ideology did not suffer that great change about women especially after the wide spread of the misogynistic scientific theories. Accordingly, the necessity for the appearance of women’s organisations and movements became urgent. In the 1970s, The Women Liberation Movement, which was a “social movement that seeks equal rights for women, giving them equal status with men and freedom to decide their own careers and life.” appeared in the United States of America. Women began to seek freedom, respect, and the right to an individual identity and a fulfilled life. No longer satisfied to define themselves in terms of husbands and families, these women performed the most radical act of all: they began to talk to each other. The new feminists rejected the traditional role that had been imposed upon women (Gianoulis: 1-2). Each of these early feminist groups had lesbian members and lesbians among the leadership. They were reluctant to admit or accept the presence of out spoken lesbians within the women’s liberation movement, most of these lesbians became unwilling to remain closeted. However, many straight feminists were homophobic i.e. having negative attitudes and feelings toward homosexuality or people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (Ibid.:3). Homosexuality is the ultimate decline or fallen from the fortifications of the society great citadel. This feminist movement starting with women burning bras at a Miss America pageant and then later images of women seeking abortions, one of the first issues which served as a catalyst for the formation of the movement was sexuality (Hooks:25). Moreover, being a lesbian does not make one a feminist (Ibid:93).
The other direction is the androcentric view of human behaviour, it has posited that men were the normative population and women were studied in order to determine how they compared with male standards. the psychology of women is also referred to as feminist psychology since the objective of this discipline is to understand the individual within the larger political and social aspects of society. gender centrism has been evident in the discipline of psychology since separate paths of development are suggested for women and men as a result of the biological differences between them. The discipline of psychology has also been ethnocentric; psychological theories assume that development is identical for all individuals across all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic class groups. Furthermore, psychology has been heterosexist; theories and research assume that a heterosexual orientation is normative, while gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, transgendered, or questioning individuals are deviations from the heterosexual norm: “The tradition of gender differences research has a long history in psychology, much of it predating the modern feminist movement and some of it clearly antifeminist in nature.” (Florence: 161). women’s movements must reach a balance between affirming and respecting one’s culture and challenging cultural traditions which oppress women. Stories of women’s resistance and action be shared for criticising and constructing the society. Moreover, they become a part of our world’s history. Feminism accordingly is connected with ecology as both women and nature are exploited by the patriarchal society. The feminist polemics depend entirely on the effect of women roles have on other personal philosophy of feminism and gender. Recent intensification of neoliberalism puts feminism in crisis by making this movement institutionalised and professionalized. The result is a paradoxical situation of defeats and de-politicisation, on the one hand, combined with new forms of re-politicisation, on the other (Sara & et al.: 1).
Mostly on what Wolf says about media, and Wolf covers so many different aspects of society. Her Beauty Myth is a treasure trove of conspiracy theories. But it is an exaggeration of the whole situation despite the fact that female marginalisation did and still does occur. Wolf has said in Singapore Writer Festival in 2014 that men-in-power somehow coerced assorted media to implement a massively extensive and comprehensive plot to create appearance-obsessed women, just for the sake of distracting women these ideas just want women to think trivial things and forgetting about going on (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3joFixoxhM). She promoted the interests of feminist women who were seeking greater class mobility and access to forms of patriarchal power. In fact, men are not exploit the insecurities of women in order to sell unnecessary items and make money. As some radical and immoderate extravagant women believe that woman’s greatest and most significant value is her appearance, Wolf reckons that it is all about the maintenance of social, economic and political power in the hands of men. To keep women preoccupied with their external features. To her the ideal of beauty came from men against women who take giant leaps forward. It started, according to her, after women got the right to vote in 1920. Moreover, men after World War II needed to get women out of the work place and leave the jobs back to the men (Ibid.). Arms in the Second World War, it was the American women who took over their roles in society. Subsequently, after feminism arose, females were achieving higher rank at work and the beauty myth emerged in attempt to control their growing power (Wolf: 21). Engulfed with television and magazine advertisements, the beauty importance issue was propagated drastically.
The whole issue is about the differences of human mentalities and understanding of their own purpose. Let aside that women are not shunned in Islam, but treated fairly with equity and kindness “the rights of the wives [with regard to their husbands] are equal to the [husbands’] rights with regard to them,” (Al-Quran Surah 2. Al-Baqara, Ayah 228). And live with them in kindness. “and live with them on a footing of kindness and equity”. Quran surah An Nisa 19 (QS 4: 19). The story in the Genesis 2:21 is a parable interpreting the instinct of love: And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof”.Symbolising the closeness and intimacy of the relation between the sexes. Woman, formed from the side of man, is to be the “helpmate for him.” As his own flesh, he is to watch over and protect the woman. But not that Eve’s body is twice removed from the maker’s hand, imperfect matter born of matter. In other words, women unauthorised, raw- imperfect. According to some fanatics. Other beliefs are exceeding all expectations to make women’s value determined by their appearances. The most feminist movements infused with a political and emotional charge only. Hillary in effect lobbied for all women to vote for her merely because she is a woman, although she is an imperfect feminist candidate insofar as her entire public life has been tied to her husband’s career; her past professional performance, furthermore, notably in regard to healthcare reform, has been uneven (Camille:2). As they believe that it is society, that makes women feel bad about themselves. The thoughts if what made a person truly and genuinely beautiful, is what’s on the inside. So often, superficial societies judge women on their appearance first, then their abilities. This theme is tackled by Wolf. Although it was given in The Beauty and The Beast (1740). It is reproduced in Wolf’s book for contemporary and radical ideologies.
It is a drastic deterioration to make women believe or think that female beauty is used as a political weapon against women’s advancement: “the beauty myth. It is the modern version of a social reflex that has been in force since the Industrial Revolution” (Wolf:10). Women have a different sense of morality from men, Gilligan argues against the notion that women have a less developed sense of morality and claims. In other words, women’s morality is more relational and focused more around an ethic of care unlike men who depend on Justice (Freedman:19). To overcome sexism by celebrating women’s special qualities, women’s ways, and women’s experiences, often believing that the “woman’s way” is the better way through cultural feminism. Dr. Sarah highlights the important role women have and can play in economic development. here is a need to create full, decent productive employment opportunities for women and access to finance, as well as continue to provide social protection, and more importantly promote and value women as ‘good with money’. women’s sexual and reproductive rights and rights to education, to mobility, to voice, to ownership, and to live free from violence are the key for economic growth (Dr. Sarah:13). Revolving around taking the burden off women in regards to housework, cooking, and other traditional female domestic job, could also improve the material condition of women.
Any normal person would be 100% feminist, when feminism was about equality of rights of individuals regardless of their gender. Nowadays it is about equality of statistical averages among large groups of very different people segregated by gender, to achieve which (stupidly useless goal having nothing to do with personal equality as any educated person understands) the only solution proposed is gender-based discrimination against men – as just one facet of rabid misandry. Therefore, when feminism was at peak the matrimony was harshly critiqued (Hooks:78). The new movement is not feminism proper, such people are properly called feminize. group of women loathes Feminism more than any other age group. Wolf has also manipulated women rather than advancing them. The radical feminism which tends to deal with male discrimination against women via violence in the home (domestic violence), in the media (porn), in the workplace (prostitution). In regard to the drastically feminism waves, Oprah and Dr. Helen, plastic and reconstructive surgeon argued that many women did plastic surgeries and care about themselves just to please themselves to feel good and to look good. despite the fact that at the beginning of her program Oprah presented statistics of the percentages of cosmetics, beauty salons, coloring hair, cosmetic surgeries, breast implants and liposuctions. All the mentioned above cost billions of dollars a year ( The Beauty Myth – Oprah Winfrey – Dr. Helen Colen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIKMFOFojNM). Feminists created a women’s culture, which was closely intermingled with lesbian culture. Amazon feminists tend to view that all women are as physically capable as all men. These are the feminists who advocate separation from men; sometimes total, sometimes partial. However, such women’s movement lives on the work of older feminists who never stopped working to address the issues of sexism and the younger women who continue to be inspired by the courage and dedication of generations of women who fought for liberation as well, lesbians prominent among them (Gianoulis:3). According to Hooks theLesbian feminist thinkers were among the first activists to raise the issue of class in feminist movement expressing their viewpoints in an accessible language (Hooks:39).
Marxist and socialist feminists link gender inequality and women’s oppression to the capitalist system of production and the division of labour consistent with this system (Freedman:8). Most moderate women perceive that feminism is no longer viable, as they have not directly experienced discrimination. Contrasted sharply with the radical questions why women must adopt certain roles based on their biology. Two of the most common stereotypes of feminists are that they hate men and that they are all lesbians (Mary:1). To end rape and sexual harassment is the last downturn that happened to feminism, #metoo revolution is pushing to change the way managers behave movement, that shows the enemy within the same sex was trying to manipulate woman status. They connive with misogynists and misogamists to make the woman look like another creature., could be said as a third sex. As men are basically riskier, more aggressive and competitive than women, this is considered to be the connection between sexual harassment and the lack of women in senior management. If they gain power, these same tendencies are easily amplified, research shows that power changes people and not always for the best. (Bazilchuk:3) The MeToo movement also revealed the ways in which the law can be misused to enable and conceal harassment (Elizabeth: 234). This movement can be considered to be about women sharing their stories of sexual harassment and abuse Almost the main reason of this harassment is women themselves. For example, the recent controversy involving Kim Kardashian and the revealing photos of some models. They are able to express their bodies and sexualities without the negative feedback. Although some would find other solution is that “The takeaway from this shouldn’t be, men and women can’t work together,” said Ms. Beck (Bennett: 1).
III. The Beauty Myth (1990)
Naomi Wolf was born in San Francisco in 1962. She is known for her best-selling first book The Beauty Myth (1990). It is regarded as one of the central texts of Third-Wave Feminism. She was an undergraduate at Yale University and did her graduate work at New College, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar (Chapman:620). According to her opinion, male dominance in society, is not about physical appearance but the condition of female behaviour. She believes that such cultural controls make women subject to outside approval and censure, replacing traditional religious and sexual taboos with new forms of repression (Ibid.). Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth is a bestselling classic. She was Bill Clinton’s former political advisor and then she decided to be a devoted feminist. Her book The Beauty Myth redefines the relationship between women and beauty standards. It claims that beauty standards are socially imposed only. She has also written two other books, Fire With Fire and Promiscuities. Wolf is a recognised feminist. She has done a lot of writing and has spoken to many audiences about issues involving feminism. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSYnuAAEju8) Wolf’s book to some was really the foundation of the third-wave feminism movement. It hoped to bring less rigidity to feminism, embracing individuality, and the right of each woman to interpret feminism in whichever way they themselves found to be the most empowering. (Polly :1). The Beauty Myth, is the book that turns many women to body positivity. It is based on facts and statistics in in five areas: work, religion, sex, violence, and hunger. She writes in the introduction, how women have confided in her the agonizingly personal struggles they had had undergone, and how they feared aging; heavy and slim women spoke of their suffering for trying to meet the demands of the thin ideal. The book is a tool for empowerment as it helped some women to get over their eating disorder (Wolf:1). It tells a story: the quality called “beauty” objectively and universally exists (Ibid:12).
“The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us … [D]uring the past decade, women breached the power structure; meanwhile, eating disorders rose exponentially and cosmetic surgery became the fastest-growing specialty … [P]ornography became the main media category, ahead of legitimate films and records combined, and thirty-three thousand American women told researchers that they would rather lose ten to fifteen pounds than achieve any other goal … More women have more money and power and scope and legal recognition than we have ever had before; but in terms of how we feel about ourselves physically, we may actually be worse off than our unliberated grandmothers.” (Ibid:10).
Wolf also adds in her novel that Women achieve beauty according to the imposed standards are rewarded; those who cannot or choose not to be beautiful are punished, economically and socially.
“ And the unconscious hallucination grows ever more influential and pervasive because of what is now conscious market manipulation: powerful industries- the $33-billion-a-year diet industry, the $20-billion cosmetics industry, the $300-million cosmetic surgery industry, and the $7-billion pornography industry- have arisen from the capital made out of unconscious anxieties, and are in turn able, through their influence on mass culture, to use, stimulate, and reinforce the hallucination in a rising economic spiral.” (wolf:17).
Throughout her novel, Wolf describes different situations in which women are stereotypically viewed. So many women believe that the real meaning of beauty is what is shown on the television. She provides additional anecdotal evidence that U.S. college students invest heavily in weight-loss oriented human or social capital. As eating disorders (anorexia nervosa and bulimia) are a major social problem in the United States, statistics and anecdotal evidences she has used moreover; obese women have lower family incomes than women whose weight-for-height is in the “recommended” range (Susan:1). Wolf said to Richard D. Heffner the host of The Open Mind program that beauty is a new trap for women. On his return he suggested a title for her controversial book to be “how images of beauty have long use against women”. According to her opinion these images are used as a political weapon. Women have been controlled and manipulated by the patriarchal system; therefore, they should not be victims, at least they should be survivals. The whole issue is about power, she concluded that because as soon as women in the 1970’s made it legal to stop discrimination against gender, during recent years in Britain and America make it legal the discrimination for the appearances. That is also related to exploitation for the benefit. This myth, as she believed, makes women believe that their jobs, careers, livelihoods, visibility of being in this plant, and their sexualities depend upon their conforming to these stereotypes. If women lived freely and were judged for their merits, 50% of the top jobs will go to women. She added that it is power and economy (Richard D. Heffner. The Open Mind – Naomi Wolf on Beauty – A New Trap for Women( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA87gm_X-5s). Despite the fact that, she must retreat from the most extreme ideas that she tried to infuse drastically. There must be a genuinely moderate feminism with an acknowledgement of the goodness in human love, human community, and responsibility, not with a radical embrace of independence and self-created identities. It must acknowledge and respect some differences between the sexes and see them as part of human being (Scott: 1).
Women subjugation can be considered to be one of the chief hindrances to human improvement. Therefore, feminism rose from the urgent need to make the progress in life and prevent the male enslavement of women, but to make their relation more honourable and harmonise. But within the frame of feminism, there are many anti feminism acts. The resurgence of the feminist activity is infused with a political and emotional charge. That some believe in feminism and their ideas are to make feminism a reality is the primary source of conflict within the feminist movement. The neo feminist movements concerning the second and third waves are considered to be the institution that would make family abolition. As these two waves are revolutionary attacks on natural reproduction process. Feminism should only be concerned about women, as women are females. Moreover, Lesbians and bisexual women should not be involved with the rank of females. These kind of women try to divert attention from the ideologies they supported to interlace their own agenda, queer ideas, with other ideologies related to women. While in fact Feminism must not be harassed in a repulsive way, the movement must have clear visions. These vituperative abuse came by involving these weirdo phases to female gender. women needing to have certain limits when it comes to expressing their bodies or sexuality. To accelerate the shifting of responsibility for the authentic feminism, where there an impressive progression toward women’s rights, there must be a new strategy to blunt the threats to female gender, as these new waves disgrace her. Women should not passively acquiesce in all out aggression by enemy conducted in total disregard of morality and ethic understanding. Feminism must mark their territory. Differences between men and women are shown through the #Metoo movement, it reveals how women’s experiences of the world differ from men. Throughout her novel The Beauty Myth, Wolf describes different situations in which women are stereotypically viewed. So many women believe that the real meaning of beauty is what is shown on the television. The unconscious hallucination grows ever more influential and pervasive because of what is now conscious market manipulation. The more legal and material hindrances women have broken through, the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us. The quality according to Wolf, is called “beauty” objectively and universally exists. But in fact almost all of these delegations are exaggeration of the entire situation, there must be a restraint for these waves are proven to be abortive. Despite the fact that female marginalisation did and still does occur. Wolf’s intransigence could be considered as a tactic to manipulate other women. What she does is an exaggeration of the whole situation despite the fact that female marginalisation did and still does occur. These negative questionable waves failed to crack the original female spirit. Feminism should not jeopardise the future of female gender by making them like those lesbian and queers. There must be publicly moving to defend the framework of the original movement. No more should benevolent despotism overshadow women’s movement. In the nature of Wolf’s case, the representative reflects her interest more than an invitation to complacency. Wolf’s and these new waves infuse different types of ideologies. This is anarchy to let feeble minds guide women. Authentic feminism needs guarded provisions to re-educate the real members about the principals and the commitments toward the families, societies, the world and on top of this toward Allah.
The main reason to believe that women and men should be politically and socially equal is that Women represent half of the world’s population and a half of its potential. Therefore; Women are the focal part of this universe. Moreover, the women’s schooling and progress would affect and echo manifold of aspirations, passions, successes and prosperities reflected on their families’ and posterities. Brigham Young said “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” Despite the huge social changes that took place in the past century, however, the concept of difference between men and women still prevails in some societies. Women should valorise their differences from men. Consensus has been made against the idea that women are the mere instruments for men. Which is not a biological issue, in fact it is rooted in the social construction of gender. Equality should be perceived with minds, let aside that equalities of opportunities, identities and autonomies are essentials, for things could be equal but not similar. This fact proofs that there would be no truly equality in anything that encounter and perceive through our senses.it is impossible for all members in this universe to be equal in all matter. Certainly not in a world in which men do the fighting and women give birth to children. These new(antifeminist) movements abuses need reform. Henceforth, feminism must rely on and never waver from the basic goal, which is natural law or right i.e. equity. With an acknowledgement of the goodness in human love, human community, and responsibility, not with a radical embrace of independence and self-created identities. In fact, there is not a slice difference between the genders but there is no justice.
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The Beauty Myth – Oprah Winfrey – Dr. Helen Colen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIKMFOFojNM