Biological determinism and radical feminism take opposing views on this debate. Biological determinism maintains that each sex has inherent features which instigate deterministic behaviours, and it is this which creates a separation of genders and differences in the use of the male and female body (Tarrant, 2006). Throughout history this notion has been supported by science (Moir Ph. D. & Jessel, 1992), and played out in cultural practices (Strossen, 1995). This arguably resulted in the objectification of the female body and created a segregation of women from the public sphere (ibid). In modern times, the growth of institutions such as the sex industry and its influence upon western culture, means many women now state they feel liberated and free to use their bodies in the way that they wish (Strossen, 1995). However, radical feminists insist that female bodies, continues to be used to oppress and objectify women (Thompson, 2001), that a patriarchal society has coerced females into using their bodies in an oppressive manner (MacKinnon, 1989), and that this is upheld via cultural and social norms (Klein & Bell, 1997) which are instilled from birth (Witt, 1997). This essay will concentrate on the gendering of the female form, to argue that processes of gendering the body transform female physiology into a condition of inequality.
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The term gender is defined as ‘the state of being male or female’ (Oxford Dictionary, 2015). This description is in relation to the differing behaviours and social and cultural norms attributed to each sex, as opposed to biological differences (ibid). …
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