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Reading response paper - Essay Example

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‘Homophobia and sexism’ by Susan Pharr has raised very important issue of women’s right to claim her sexual preferences or declare the same openly. The author has explored the topic from myriad perspectives and correctly interprets it as a bastion of patriarchal power…
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Reading response paper
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Reading response paper

Indeed, it acts as effective weapon of sexism, especially for women because they live in men dominant society where their personal desires play secondary role to the wider expectation from family and social institutions like marriage. Lesbians and even gays are not accepted and treated with overt and covert violence. Homophobia develops because their preferred sexual identity would make them social outcast and they would be deprived of family, financial aid, safety, community and also stripped of credibility! Most interestingly, as Pharr says, if women even ask for the right to equality vis-a-vis employment, wages, social status, they are liable to be treated as lesbians! Feminism for them is equivalent to man-hater and therefore not acceptable within the broader framework of conservative society. Women surrender their lesbian sexuality out fear and it is time that power and control of social fabric become more equitable. The reforms in the social institution of society must focus on the root cause and not the peripheral issues of women. (words:259) ‘Cat’ by Julie Blackwomon has touched the awareness of burgeoning sexuality amongst girls when they enter their teens. In fact, author has shown that gender differentiation and sexuality among children does not rear its dirty head till parental control become more emphatic and visible. In this case, the protagonist, ‘Cat’ is confused as to why her mother does not want her to play with neighborhood boys. Her insistence to befriend girls of her age, especially one like ‘Sheila’ makes Cat more rebellious. Her adolescence becomes a cause of shame as it would bring in physical changes that would make her gender differences more visible and may alter her relations with her friends who are boys. The author has shown how sexual awareness could challenge social norms imposed by dominant male bastion. The innocent love between two girlfriends gradually turns into sexual awareness leading to lesbian behavior. Indeed, it is very important aspect of our conservative society as it disapproves friendship between genders in adolescents. The restraining environment and parental control may lead girls to experiment their sexuality with themselves as was the case with Cat and Sheila. If children are not forced to segregate in their teens because of the gender, the need to experiment deviant sexual behavior could be averted or atleast minimized. It is important for parents to become more open in their explanation of sex and empower children with information. It would help children to confide their fears and their doubts with their parent rather than explore sexuality in secret and develop preferences which otherwise could have been avoided. (words: 262) ‘Older women: The realities’ by OWL or Older Women League is highly relevant article because it has shown that sacrifices made by women as carers within family are not appreciated by society, especially when they become old. It reveals that in America, women above the age of 65 and above live six years longer than men and mostly alone. Despite spending most of their life in caring for other, they are relatively poor in their old age and live in poverty, unable to support their physical and medical expenses. Due to their family constraints they have lower or no pension, insufficient Medicare and most importantly low social security because they were unable to pay for it during their short employment period. The ... Read More
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