The degradation of women

5139 words (21 pages) Essay in Sociology

11/05/17 Sociology Reference this

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In society, females are degraded

and denied the dignity and respect that men receive. For generations (and

especially in under-developed countries) women have been denied access to equal

opportunities, in cases of reading, writing, voting, family decision-making and

career development. This inequality has been facilitated by cultural, religious

and political barriers, and historically, women have been considered as the

weaker sex, incapable of making rational and abstract decisions. Barriers to

opportunities and sexist assumptions have caused women to become slaves within

the male-dominated society. The equality of women vary across countries and

cultures, as an example: in Arab countries, with high levels of Islam, women

are denied access to leadership, management, and political positions, and, in

turn, misrepresenting and denying them from decision-making processes. In

China, the top political positions are choked with males. These traditions

endanger females to male manipulation and control, limiting their

opportunities. This affects women on an individual basis, and on the macro,

societal environment, as they are unable to contribute to their families or

wider circumstances. It is contended that the status of women must change, to

be granted equal opportunities. This assessment will analyze The Handmaid’s

Tale by Margaret Attwood, discussing the socio-political sphere of female

inequality, and its relation to contemporary society.

Overview of Topic

In The Handmaid’s Tale, Attwood presents a dystopian world in

which women are subjected to a variety of horrific treatments. Women are denied

access to reading and writing and allowed only certain hobbies, such as

gardening.  They are attached to men, and considered objects for child

production, and expected to be loyal and submissive to their male counterparts,

or ‘masters’, being rebellious is considered a serious crime with serious

repercussions. Women have designated roles, dependent on their age, social

status and ability to have children, placed into roles such as Wives,

Handmaids, Jezebels and Marthas. The book takes place in the Republic of

Gilead, which promotes male chauvinism and female degradation. The society in

religious based, where values placed on the women are on the basis of their

ability to reproduce.

In this novel, the ideas of feminism have been warped. The new,

religious political order dislikes the freedom of females, especially in areas

of sex and contraception. The order believes that sex for pleasure, rather than

reproduction, has led to infertility, and believes women are no longer treated

with respect. 

In contemporary society, feminism and female activism have

increased, to afford the rights and privileges of women and remove the

degradation of men. This has given women access to equal opportunities in a

variety of aspects, including employment, healthcare, and education. The

removal of the patriarchal society will benefit the community. 

Discussion

In Attwood’s book, the decreased birth rates has presumably come

from social and environmental degradation, the after-effect of dangerous gases.

In a time of fear, and no children, a military coup and presidential killing

led to a new state, that took control on women’s bodies. Divorces were

considered null, and females were unable to have bank accounts, hold jobs,

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vote, or read. They were denied their independence, and their social status was

changed to be based on their husband’s monetary value, or their own

reproductive value.

This tale represents the

importance of female independence, and the value that objects and activities

hold to their independence. Including education, rights, property ownership,

contraceptive decision making and child custody.

The right to be educated is one

of the most important aspects of female equality. Education allows them to contribute

to society, and gain independence. According to Wollstonecraft, the degradation

of women stems from the assumption that they are weak, irrational, and incapable

of abstract thought. Education will empower women to make rational and abstract

decisions, changing society to consider women as equal. Education will enable

women to play a critical and dignified role in society, eliminating the

male-dominated stereotype that women are incapable of making important

decisions.

Another way that women will avoid

being degraded in the society is by being well prepared role models who give a

dignified and respectful education to their children and this is attributed to

the fact that women are the main educators and up bringers of most children in

the society as cop0atredto the male counterparts. Women from the primary

educators of young children thus by women having a relevant level of education

on the family matters and the roles they play in the society modeling skills

will give them the best opportunity to offer dignified and respectful service

to the society countering the traditional thinking that women are not good role

models. Biased thought which was based on the fact that women were less

educated and would give falsified information while educating the youngsters.

Based on the past experience women have been neglected when it comes to

education opportunities and that has made men to stereotype women as toys and

objects to be used by men to satisfy the needs of male ego resulting in the

degradation of the value of women in the society for generations. Therefore by

women getting the expected level of education on family matters especially on

upbringing and making correct choices will dignify their inevitable and necessary

contribution to the growth and development of the society as a whole.

In the traditional setting women had been taught from infancy that

beauty is a woman’s sceptre and this has made their minds to shape themselves

to the body imprisoning women from achieving the best of themselves in the

society. They have been made to be rational companions to their husbands who

solely focus on the outward accomplishments limiting their complete

participation and contribution to the society and this ideology has made women

to be degraded based on the stereotypic male performance in the society, thus

educating women to certain levels of understating will boost their dignity and

respect as they will be able to have enough resources that will yield more

contribution of women into societal realms. Women should get the most perfect

education that boosts their understanding strengthening both the body and their

hearts; this will render them independent both ideally and philosophically

hence able to earn respect and dignity from the society as they have the

necessary elements of knowledge that promotes the cementing of the society.

In the Handmaid’s tale women are seen to have a deeper sense of

attachment beyond what men is able to see. For instance Offred when interacting

with Moira and the wife of the commander, talking about her daughter and her

mother she constantly shows the implication that women connect more deeply

rather than just a casual interaction. This illustration brings in the concept

of sensibility in women which I think if well considered will increase the

dignity and respect that is accorded to women in the modern society. This is

simply because women as a whole unit should be able to come together and inform

each other on the best way forward in the society instead of depending so much

on their feelings in making irrational decisions that leads them to being

degraded.

In the novel Handmaid’s tale the wife of the commander reports the

handmaid to the eyes or the police to be punished possibly by death because she

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became jealous after finding out the dress that her husband had given to the

handmaid while they visited the secret lounge where jezebels entertained the

state officials. Her decision was made based on her feelings instead of

thinking and such kind of habit results to women being degraded their dignity

especially in the eyes of the society and men. Therefore in order for women to

gain dignity and respect they must corporate as one unit in tackling the issues

that affect them for example in the handmaids tale the wife of the commander

secretly cooperates with the handmaid in making her sleep with the commanders

chauffeur so that both women don’t get expelled to the colonies and sure enough

it worked quiet swell. Hence in the modern society when women act and consult

each other with respect and sense instead of letting their feeling to control

them will be able to be dignified and respected more in the society

(Wollstonecraft, 89).

In addition to that for women to be dignified they should consider

themselves as equal entities when it comes to representation especially in the

political circles where they will be able to contribute to decisions made by

the politicians regarding the society at large. Thus by women ensuring they

attain certain representation in the leadership realms they will be able to be

involved in the decision-making process e.g. on gender rights. Such involvement

will ensure that women get their deserved dignity in the society rather than

being degraded simply because they don’t have a say in everything that greatly

affect them. This is seen in the handmaid’s tale in the Gilead era where women

have no rights to voting and leadership except serving as reproductive objects.

In the modern world women especially in the totalitarian regimes like in Arab

countries degrades women through their leadership and political tactics as they

restrict women in participating in political and leadership making them less of

human beings and more of objects. Therefore by women increasing their

involvement in leadership and political participation they will be able to be

dignified and respected as equal human beings.

Another level in which I think when women attain they will not be

degraded is the issues that regard career and professionalism. Most women in

the past generations have been believed to do best as housewives and servants

of their families. In the handmaids tale women are categorized based on the

services the do in the society e.g. the hand maids, house wives, jezebels and

aunts. Such categorizing of women and stereotyping imply that they can only

perform as subordinates; for example in the novel women are seen as people to

be led by men. The element of women being left behind in career choice and

performance for instance by taking the traditionally so called manly courses

like sciences has made them victims of degradation (Wollstonecraft, 89).

Therefore by women taking charge of their profession by choosing

classy careers like medicine and law they will be able to earn themselves

dignity and respect just as men do because their misrepresentation in the manly

careers has made them to be viewed as a weaker sex incapable of being accorded

dignity and respect. In the handmaid’s tale women are seen to be used as

objects for the fulfillment of men’s needs like sexual and reproductive

benefits. The handmaids are basically used to give birth to children for the

commanders and the elites in the Gilead society. In the modern society women

have been degraded because they are not economically and financially independent

thus often get married to depend on men for provision of basic needs and this

habit has made them to be degraded as dependable. Thus by women using education

and their careers to attain financial freedom will reduce their dependency on

men in the society which will in turn earn them dignity and respect as they

don’t depend men to sustain their lives hence they can make personal decisions

regarding the best choices for their lives. In Gilead era women were the

subjects of men and had no right to any profession for instance the

televangelist whose career in the pre-Gilead era made her a dignified woman the

society was striped off making her to be handmaid who was regularly controlled

by the males as she was made dependent. Without a respectable career and

independence women become less dignified and render them as a weaker sex in the

society (Atwood, 123).

For women to be dignified and respected in the society they should

be able to be involved in the making of family decisions. This include issues

of child birth, property ownership, rights to divorce, child care, access to

contraceptives and family panning methods, abortion issues and the issues of

polygamy. In handmaid’s tale women were owned by men making them their property

e.g. Offred was owned by Fred and she was responsible for keeping birth to

children for Fred and they didn’t contribute to such decision, also the monthly

sex ritual was purely man’s decision and Offred distasted it as it violated her

natural rights and degraded both her and the wife of Fred. In the modern

society women especially those unaware of their natural regarding family

decisions have been forced to polygamy, having many children and even denied

justice regarding decision making on family rights and equality. Such has made

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them to be degraded in the society and therefore by women attaining certain

level of understanding of their rights on family decisions they will be able to

be accorded more dignity and respect by the society especially the men because

they can use the legal means to get justice anytime their dignity has been

suppressed unfairly. The more women get involved in the making of family

decision the more dignity they will be able to acquire.Overview of Topic

Contrary to the modern world, In Handmaid tale by Margaret Attwood its clear that in her dystopian world women are subjected to horrific treatments at all level of the society in that women are not allowed to read any of writing like magazines and tabloids, think, play mind games like scrabble, create things of their own abilities like gardening. Instead they are denied opportunities that would otherwise liberate them from the men’s enslavery hence becoming vulnerable to be used as property and objects my men. In addition to that women are not supposed to be talking or even act in a rebellious way towards men instead they are expected by the society to be loyal and submissive to the men domino in the state. In the novel women have the chief role of concentrating in ensuring that they achieve their designated roles based on their levels of castes eh as wives, hand maids, Jezebels and Martha’s. All the happenings experienced in the republic of Gilead are attributed to a pervasive, physical as well as social degradation in the pre-Gilead era that made men to change the societal and political policies to degrade women dignity and promote male chauvinism in the state. All the treatment accorded to women in the Gilead era are supposedly intended to show the value of women and increase their dignity in the society after it was heavily degraded in the pre-Gilead era. In the Gilead era women have their values charged based on their abilities to use sex for reproduction purpose rather than for leisure.

In the modern world there has been an increased attention towards feminism and other female activism that had seen women accorded much rights and privileges which made them to be degraded in the society my men. This is mainly attributed to the increased levels of radical feminism that has depicted men as the cause of most of women’s problems and suffering yet in reality women have increasing degraded as a result of the after math of the intensifying feminism in the pre-Gilead society. Out of the attention given to women affairs they have been enable to easily access contraceptives, abortion services and use of sex for pleasure leading to reduced population in the state. According to the Gilead generation such feminism had led to women being used by women as sex objects and property and therefore the new state was targeting at offering women with their lost dignity and respect.

In the modern society women activism and feminism has increased and spread its effects to the more conservative and traditional societies empowering women to know their natural rights making them to carry out a revolution against the past injustices against them in the society. This has seen women access equal opportunities in alls aspects of life and more informed generation of women who sufficiently contribute to the growth and development of the society initially dominated by degrading men.

Discussion

In handmaid’s tale the result of decreased birth rates was presumably because of social and environmental degradation during the pre-Gilead era which led to coup that formed new state that took control of women bodies and used them chiefly for reproduction purposes. In attaining their goals the state denied women privileges of voting, reading, holding property and anything else that would make them independent and empowered thus promoting the men’s ability to undermine their dignity. Therefore in the modern society it’s clear that women have to attain some level of various things in order to be dignified in the society. Some of these thing that women need to attain I order not to be degraded include being, educated, aware of their rights, regarding both state and family issues like birth, abortion, property ownership, child custody and decision making processes in issues that affects them.

For a woman to be respected and dignified in the modern society one of the things that women should attain is their rights to be educated rationally thus giving them an opportunity of making a full contribution to societies they come from. According to Wollstonecraft women have been degraded by their societies simply because they have been assumed that they are weak beings who are not able to make rational or even abstract thought about the society. Therefore for them to be seen as equal beings who can contribute to the development of the society just as the way men do, they should attain certain level of education that will serve to empower them to make rational and abstract decisions that will steer their societies ahead thus making them to be respected and dignified as human beings. Therefore by women getting the appropriate education and training they will be able to play a critical and dignified role in the society which helps in eliminating the male stereotypic thinking that women are incapable of making societal decisions. When women get educated they are capable of thinking and acting as men contrary to the traditional assumption and hence success in the society resulting from educated women will help to reverse the biased thinking thus giving them a deserved dignity and respect from all quarters of the society.

Another way that women will avoid being degraded in the society is by being well prepared role models who give a dignified and respectful education to their children and this is attributed to the fact that women are the main educators and up bringers of most children in the society as cop0atredto the male counterparts. Women from the primary educators of young children thus by women having a relevant level of education on the family matters and the roles they play in the society modeling skills will give them the best opportunity to offer dignified and respectful service to the society countering the traditional thinking that women are not good role models. Biased thought which was based on the fact that women were less educated and would give falsified information while educating the youngsters. Based on the past experience women have been neglected when it comes to education opportunities and that has made men to stereotype women as toys and objects to be used by men to satisfy the needs of male ego resulting in the degradation of the value of women in the society for generations. Therefore by women getting the expected level of education on family matters especially on upbringing and making correct choices will dignify their inevitable and necessary contribution to the growth and development of the society as a whole.

Get help with your essay today, from our professional essay writers!

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In the traditional setting women had been taught from infancy that beauty is a woman’s sceptre and this has made their minds to shape themselves to the body imprisoning women from achieving the best of themselves in the society. They have been made to be rational companions to their husbands who solely focus on the outward accomplishments limiting their complete participation and contribution to the society and this ideology has made women to be degraded based on the stereotypic male performance in the society, thus educating women to certain levels of understating will boost their dignity and respect as they will be able to have enough resources that will yield more contribution of women into societal realms. Women should get the most perfect education that boosts their understanding strengthening both the body and their hearts; this will render them independent both ideally and philosophically hence able to earn respect and dignity from the society as they have the necessary elements of knowledge that promotes the cementing of the society.

In the Handmaid’s tale women are seen to have a deeper sense of attachment beyond what men is able to see. For instance Offred when interacting with Moira and the wife of the commander, talking about her daughter and her mother she constantly shows the implication that women connect more deeply rather than just a casual interaction. This illustration brings in the concept of sensibility in women which I think if well considered will increase the dignity and respect that is accorded to women in the modern society. This is simply because women as a whole unit should be able to come together and inform each other on the best way forward in the society instead of depending so much on their feelings in making irrational decisions that leads them to being degraded.

In the novel Handmaid’s tale the wife of the commander reports the handmaid to the eyes or the police to be punished possibly by death because she became jealous after finding out the dress that her husband had given to the handmaid while they visited the secret lounge where jezebels entertained the state officials. Her decision was made based on her feelings instead of thinking and such kind of habit results to women being degraded their dignity especially in the eyes of the society and men. Therefore in order for women to gain dignity and respect they must corporate as one unit in tackling the issues that affect them for example in the handmaids tale the wife of the commander secretly cooperates with the handmaid in making her sleep with the commanders chauffeur so that both women don’t get expelled to the colonies and sure enough it worked quiet swell. Hence in the modern society when women act and consult each other with respect and sense instead of letting their feeling to control them will be able to be dignified and respected more in the society (Wollstonecraft, 89).

In addition to that for women to be dignified they should consider themselves as equal entities when it comes to representation especially in the political circles where they will be able to contribute to decisions made by the politicians regarding the society at large. Thus by women ensuring they attain certain representation in the leadership realms they will be able to be involved in the decision-making process e.g. on gender rights. Such involvement will ensure that women get their deserved dignity in the society rather than being degraded simply because they don’t have a say in everything that greatly affect them. This is seen in the handmaid’s tale in the Gilead era where women have no rights to voting and leadership except serving as reproductive objects. In the modern world women especially in the totalitarian regimes like in Arab countries degrades women through their leadership and political tactics as they restrict women in participating in political and leadership making them less of human beings and more of objects. Therefore by women increasing their involvement in leadership and political participation they will be able to be dignified and respected as equal human beings.

Another level in which I think when women attain they will not be degraded is the issues that regard career and professionalism. Most women in the past generations have been believed to do best as housewives and servants of their families. In the handmaids tale women are categorized based on the services the do in the society e.g. the hand maids, house wives, jezebels and aunts. Such categorizing of women and stereotyping imply that they can only perform as subordinates; for example in the novel women are seen as people to be led by men. The element of women being left behind in career choice and performance for instance by taking the traditionally so called manly courses like sciences has made them victims of degradation (Wollstonecraft, 89).

Therefore by women taking charge of their profession by choosing classy careers like medicine and law they will be able to earn themselves dignity and respect just as men do because their misrepresentation in the manly careers has made them to be viewed as a weaker sex incapable of being accorded dignity and respect. In the handmaid’s tale women are seen to be used as objects for the fulfillment of men’s needs like sexual and reproductive benefits. The handmaids are basically used to give birth to children for the commanders and the elites in the Gilead society. In the modern society women have been degraded because they are not economically and financially independent thus often get married to depend on men for provision of basic needs and this habit has made them to be degraded as dependable. Thus by women using education and their careers to attain financial freedom will reduce their dependency on men in the society which will in turn earn them dignity and respect as they don’t depend men to sustain their lives hence they can make personal decisions regarding the best choices for their lives. In Gilead era women were the subjects of men and had no right to any profession for instance the televangelist whose career in the pre-Gilead era made her a dignified woman the society was striped off making her to be handmaid who was regularly controlled by the males as she was made dependent. Without a respectable career and independence women become less dignified and render them as a weaker sex in the society (Atwood, 123).

For women to be dignified and respected in the society they should be able to be involved in the making of family decisions. This include issues of child birth, property ownership, rights to divorce, child care, access to contraceptives and family panning methods, abortion issues and the issues of polygamy. In handmaid’s tale women were owned by men making them their property e.g. Offred was owned by Fred and she was responsible for keeping birth to children for Fred and they didn’t contribute to such decision, also the monthly sex ritual was purely man’s decision and Offred distasted it as it violated her natural rights and degraded both her and the wife of Fred. In the modern society women especially those unaware of their natural regarding family decisions have been forced to polygamy, having many children and even denied justice regarding decision making on family rights and equality. Such has made them to be degraded in the society and therefore by women attaining certain level of understanding of their rights on family decisions they will be able to be accorded more dignity and respect by the society especially the men because they can use the legal means to get justice anytime their dignity has been suppressed unfairly. The more women get involved in the making of family decision the more dignity they will be able to acquire.

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