The Silenced Body: Institutionalization Of Gender And Gender Regimes

1610 words - 6 pages

In a society where the phenomenological value and history is validated through apatriarchal order, the female identity becomes neutralized and imposed upon theconstitution corresponding to its biased and specific conditions. Thus, the femalebody becomes the silenced body, the body unable of expression, deserted by it'sembodiment, and silenced by the primacy of the male culture. In this essay I willdiscern the issues that negate and repress the female body of her self and identity.I will use, for my discussion, the novels Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf, andFrankenstein, by Mary Shelley. Thorough the use of these novels I will convey theopposed dualism that exists between the female and male gender, and the way inwhich the latter constitute the woman's body to complement his.The "making" of Frankenstein's monster was seen as a great achievement, a newdiscovery where life could be renewed when "death had apparently devoted the bodyto corruption". In contrast, when he made the woman, Elizabeth, was neither forvictory, nor success, as for making her his own to belong and to claim; when themonster attempts to take her, Frankenstein disputes "She is mine". Moreover, heestablishes the rationalism by which his rights over her are justified as shepronounced his name: "say my name.... She said my name, she belongs to me".Marjorie Garber explains of the difference between "making" a man, in contrast to"making" a woman mean two very different things, culturally speaking:To "make" a man is to test him; to "make" is to have intercourse with her. Like the dissymmetry of reference in Spanish between a "public man" (a statesman) and a "public woman" (a whore)...Here the characters of the "Monster" and Elizabeth are indirectly used to narrate thedifferent ways in which the "body" determines the sociology of gender compositionsby empowering the male in culture and society. Garber compels that the imposedIdeologies and concepts, of the two binary oppositions of man/woman, are presumedby the "male subjectivity", which she claims to "demonstrate the limits oftheorization when it comes to matters of gender construction...". In Woolf's novel,Clarissa Dalloway is "made", in a cultural, psychological sense, a disciple of the 'malesubjectivity' deem, in which the desire to embrace the standards of women's placesurpasses the desire to resist it. When she learns of a pregnant, unmarried womanshe contests, "I shall never speak to her again". The indication of a woman's passiverole in society is translated here through the means of 'motherhood', which acts as akind of suppression made by the patriarchal ideologies when it points out a 'single,pregnant woman'. Mishra discusses Mary Shelley's writing of Frankenstein inrelation of literature under the patriarchal ideologies whose "myth of childbirth"conceptualizes it "into a text that bears or carries men's words"The wedge as a result can be filled only through a subversive writing of the female sublime that cannot be divorced...

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