Hyper Sexualization and Beauty in the West Essay

Pages: 4 (1406 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 12  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women: Feminism / Feminists

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Feminism advocated for independent women, women in the workplace, women leaders, and women as more than just wives, mothers and homemakers. And yet one of the natural functions of womanhood is the ability to bear children—something no man can do. This biological function, when it does occur, actually changes the shape of a woman’s body. When a woman conceives, her bones begin to shift, adjusting for the growth of the child in the womb. This, again, is an effect of biology. Whatever attractive figure a woman might have had, alters substantially after conception. Nature, aware that the woman will now be responsible for feeding two, gives extra weight to the frame. And, again, all of this is natural. And yet the natural end of sex—conception—is so foreign to the fantasy of the Western harem (it kills the fantasy because it suggests responsibility, self-sacrifice, adulthood, and reality) that it is ignored. The same media that objectifies women out of one side of its mouth, while speaking of women as though they were biologically no different from men out of the other side of its mouth, does nothing to advocate the beauty and joy that is motherhood. And while the Feminism of the 1970s has dissipated somewhat among the new generation of young women in the West, an especially virulent form of post-Feminism has sprung up in its place: young women who flaunt who use their sex and sexuality as a means of power and control are everywhere (thanks in no small part to social media and the “selfie” generation). What it all amounts to is a level of hypocrisy that Mernissi is quite correct to disdain. Natural womanhood like that represented by Mernissi is simply not what fits in with the Western harem hyper-sexualized culture of the modern era. Natural womanhood is out of step with the world; it is not glorified, not glamorous, not marketable (as the shop attendant notes to Mernissi) and not sexy.

Yet, it should be. Were it not for natural womanhood, none of us would be here. Somewhere along the line, a woman chose to bear every single one of us in her womb and chose to carry us to term. Were it not for her, we would not have life. Today’s culture of sterility—of love without fertility—is rooted in a masturbatory celebration of the Western harem that is, in the end, sterile. It does not bode well for the well. With population rates in decline throughout the West, the harem fantasy and its attendant sterility (a young woman certainly cannot hope to conceive and maintain that size 4 figure) cannot abide population growth.

In conclusion, the West’s harem fantasy is living on borrowed time. It will pass, as Mernissi hopes it to. It will pass because, ultimately, it is only a fantasy. Nature will re-assert itself. People like Mernissi who go through life never knowing their size and never needing to know their size (because they neither buy into the fantasy nor live in a culture that advocates it) will return. The Western harem is even now in its last hurrah. As the population dwindles and the creature comforts and pensions and niceties of life that so many take for granted today begin to dwindle too, a need for more reality will be felt. Life depends on just that happening. Rejecting the harem mentality is the first step, and there is much that is healthy and common sense in Mernissi’s article—and much that shows how far from real feminism and femininity the West has fallen.

References

Gill, R. (2007). Postfeminist media culture: Elements of a sensibility. European

Journal of Cultural Studies, 10(2), 147-166.

Holson, L. (2014). A Blurred Lines Boomerang: Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke See a

Reversal of Fortunes. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/26/fashion/miley-cyrus-and-robin-thicke-see-a-reversal-of-fortunes.html

Jones, E. M. (2000). Libido Dominandi: Sexual Liberation and Political Control. IN:

St. Augustine’s Press.

Mernissi, F. (2014). Size 6: The Western Women’s Harem. The Bedford Reader 12

Edition. Pub. Bedford/St. Martins, Pg. 274-279

Mulvey, L. (1975). Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema. Screen, 16, 3, 6-18.

Unger, M. (2010). The Aporia of Presentation: Deconstructing the Genre of K-pop Girl

Group Music Videos in South… [END OF PREVIEW]

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