The construction of gender is based on the division of humanity to man and woman. This is impossible ontologically speaking; because the humans are not divided, thus gender is merely an imaginary realm. It only exist in the language exercises, and the way that cultural products are conceived in them. This essay is a preliminary attempt to offer an analysis of ‘One Is Not Born a Woman’ by Wittig and ‘The Second Sex’ by Simone De Beauvoir holds on the language usage contribution to the creation of genders and the imagined femininity.
Through the society imaginations of genders, the society character can be depicted and captured in this imagery. This virtual representation, the study of an enduring public attitude deceptive in the widespread images of a gender and the ways of representing gender, has proved a productive and enlightening field of research. The stylistic dynamics at work in the genesis and propagating of gender images in the linguistic discourses, and their explicit function, and how they are received is a crucial source in forming a base for the female status in any society. Simone De Beauvoir (2011) addresses the ambiguous imagined femininity by saying “to be considered [as women] she must share in that mysterious and threatened reality known as femininity”. Such ‘mysterious and threatened reality’ is indeed independent of facts as this paper shall revel, and they neither mirror the female reality nor provide a truthful reflection of the female, but purely part of the cultural imagination.
Monique Wittig, a radical feminist, illuminates, “For what makes a woman is a specific social relation to a man, a relation that we call servitude”. The concept of justifying the female inferior image based on biology and the ‘woman’ classification is rejected by Wittig. She argue that the women’s identity is not an intrinsic human reality. Gender, therefore, is the social and cultural description of psychosocial and behavioral traits of the sexes (Bolin, 2009). If gender is the cultural product of sex, than sex and the body are the effects of or are formed by discourse. This does not mean that sex and the body are imaginary or are somehow created by language. Rather the body itself becomes gendered through continual bodily acts, a process termed “performativity” (Rose, 2010).
In Wittig’s view, the female becomes a woman based upon the collective concepts of sexuality and gender. She remarkably discredit the Man/Woman grouping to create a different genderless category. This opinion based on the logic that humans beings convey within themselves an ever-unfolding awareness of who they are and what they are capable of accomplishing. The individual’s sense of identity is not dogged by sex, genitalia, or assumed gender role. Consequently, the individual character and abilities cannot be limited by what society considers to be feminine or masculine behavior (Adams, 2000).
The supposition that gender roles are biologically specified is a...