Stereotypes about Women, but not Men?

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"Much of our literature in fact depends upon a series of fixed images of women, stereotypes. These reified forms, surprisingly few in number, are repeated over and over again through much of Western literature" (Donovan 228).

Why does literature seem to rely on stereotypes of women?

Just as I have always stated in my blogs, I think that women are used as a gender that cannot justify their place in society. I think that women are just as worthy as men in all aspects of life and culture. I think that a woman can do the same job as a man can do.

Donovan touches upon the same topics that are repeated throughout history and literature. Why does literature continue to repeat these stereotypes? Is it because we do not know of another gender that has been demoted and demoralized over time?

So, if stereotypes of women are repeated over time, then will gay and lesbian stereotypes be the next trend in literature. I think that there is too much emphasize put onto women because the gap of discrimination has been almost closed, if not completely, and women are able to achieve anything in today's world. The 2008 Presidential elections, for example, included Hillary Clinton and this shows the power that women can attain within society.

I also like the chart that Donovan listed about dualism. Donovan stated the word "virginal ideal" and it is immediately related to a "sex object" (228). Is sexual desire or the psychology involved with it a basis for our culture when it comes to writing literature?

Or are there not any other stereotypes that authors can write about?

I think that moral criticism is a great way to explain how women are presented in literature. The reason being is that a lot of literature teaches us a message about women throughout society. This may not always be good or bad, but there definitely is a message.

So class, are female stereotypes a reality or is it complying to mimetic criticism since it is an actual depiction of the real world?

Click here for the web page devoted to Donovan.

1 Comment

You have really great questions Derek!! I wish there were answers to why women are put down in many aspects of society. I agree that these stereotypes are important to literature, but at the same time we must look at the literature that is atypical because females are strong and not sexual objects.

It's all relative though, I just said there are alternatives, but that they are the atypical examples. I really think that society puts pressure on the ideas of weak women when they should be focusing on the strong and brave women who have made important differences in literature and the world as you said, Hillary Clinton.

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This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on March 12, 2009 4:02 PM.

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