Gender Stereotype Then and Now: A Comparative Critique of Wolf’s “The Beauty Myth” and Pham’s “Boy, You Fight Like a Girl” (Name) (University) Gender Stereotype Then and Now: A Comparative Critique of Wolf’s “The Beauty Myth” and Pham’s “Boy, You Fight Like a Girl” Introduction With the long fight for women’s rights and equality, one would expect that gender stereotypes that impose on and oppress women should be non-existent…
The first piece is a book written by Naomi Wolf entitled “The Beauty Myth.” The book gained significant amount of popularity after it was published in 1991. It discusses the backlashes of feminism. Wolf states, “The contemporary backlash is so violent because the ideology of beauty is the last one remaining of the old feminine ideologies that still has the power to control…” (Wolf, 1991, p.487). Wolf claims that society has set a standard about beauty that still holds women imprisoned up to this age. In Alex Pham’s article entitled “Boy, You Fight Like a Girl,” the author describes the current trend of online gamers who play characters representing the opposite gender. He describes that such trend provides an opportunity to experiment the crossing of genders. These two pieces of information will be analyzed in order to come up with an insight regarding how women are still trapped in the issue of physical looks in both the eyes of females and males. Claims Both authors claims that there is still an issue regarding the perception of society on women. Wolf claims that after the supposedly triumph of feminist groups in 1970s, women were able to acquire a certain form of equality with men that allowed them to “ gain(ed) legal and reproductive rights, pursue(ed) higher education, enter(ed) the trades and the professions, and overturn(ed) ancient and revered beliefs about their social role” (Wolf, 1991, p.486). However, Wolf states that despite these seeming freedom and newly founded rights, women did not truly feel so free after all. She claims this statement two decades after the triumph of feminism. It is said that after breaking through the power structure that had once been oppressive to women, “the more strictly and heavily and cruelly images of female beauty have come to weigh upon us” (Wolf, 1991, p.486). Accordingly, one could look at Pham’s article where he states, “Female characters generally get treated better in the male-dominated world of virtual adventuring” (Pham, 2001). This may sound like something good coming from men. However, Pham also states that if someone uses a female character, they “must constantly brush off unwanted advances, and their female characters are not taken as seriously” (Pham, 2001). It does not sound so good after all. These statements clearly say that there is something wrong about society’s perception of the female gender. Approaches Wolf is known as an advocate of the modern day feminists. Her book would have made a strong impact had it not targeted only those who have a strong feminist side. Wolf sometimes uses statements that may be deemed abrasive by the rest of the audience. For example, Wolf states “The affluent, educated, liberated women of the First World, who can enjoy freedoms unavailable to any women ever before, do not feel as free as they want to” (Wolf, 1991, p.486). In reading the book, one can actually say that Wolf presented the sides of her argument, but not the other side. Due to this, the book somewhat have an abrasive tone to it. Such approach to the argument is similar to Pham’s. In his article, Pham mainly addresses individuals who understand the virtual world ...
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