Buying The Whore By Anne Sexton British Literature Essay

Feminism is a activity that opposes women inferiority and promotes equality among men and women. It moves away from logo centrism and phallocentrism or witnessing the world and it's really folks from patriarchal zoom lens. Feminists shed light upon women's contributions throughout history that have been never taken account as significant and reject sexism in writings. Therefore they bring women from the positioning of invisibility to awareness through their works and protests. Feminist literary criticism deconstruct works by men which often promotes the theory( ideology) of patriarchy and male dominance over women. Feminist criticism "disturb the complacent certainties of patriarchal culture and dog crate a less oppressive weather for women freelance writers and readers" (Selden 128). Men wrote literary texts for example for themselves and with respect to women as well. Thus, men hold power by strengthening the ideologies within literary text messages to dominate women and verify men worthier than womenfolk. For a good example women as objects whereas men are content. Feminists then deconstruct these texts to show visitors that these were mere men made ideologies, which were not natural but socially constructed; and the dichotomous comparison between these two genders were created by men as well. Feminism activity was not restricted within literary texts only but also, economics, politics and faith.

" The critical project of Feminist critics is thus worried about" uncovering the contingencies of gender" as a cultural, social and politics construct and device of domination"

(Goel 403).

Furthermore, through feminists critics like Simone De Beauvoir, we arrived to realize "One is not born a woman - one becomes one". Therefore femininity and masculinity should never be natural but socially designed. First influx feminism paid importance to the right to vote for women as identical as men (women suffrage movement). We were holding mostly middle income women who began to enter public domain name for jobs anticipated to World Battle I. The Second Wave feminism focused on not merely politics rights. Their quests were much broader, for example women's to vote, advancement in carrier, sociable and inexpensive equality and their to determine their own lives distinguish from men. But when the Third Wave Feminism increased up, they critiqued the next wave feminists to be not feminist enough for they universalized women's thoughts, backgrounds and activities. Thus out of Third Influx Feminism different sets of feminism were born discussing and dropping light on the many obstacles and experiences believed by women around the globe. Post feminism on the other side did not stop from looking at feminism but also other genders as well such as men, lesbians, gays, bisexuals and so forth.

When we examine the poem "Buying the Whore" by Anne Sexton using Feminism (Feminist Literary Criticism), we recognize that the poem is approximately a whore also called prostitute from the patriarchal lenses. A whore( prostitute) is a person, usually a woman who sells love-making service for men to earn a living which is usually meager

"Whore means prostitute. And a prostitute is a female who offers to employ her body for indiscriminate sexual intercourse, roughly says The Concise Oxford Dictionary (Pheterson 39).

Though the poet is a woman, the persona who degrades the whore is a guy. Thus, from a feminist perspective it holds true that majority men do look down upon women as the weaker intimacy. Throughout the poem "Buying the Whore", from feminist point of view we can plainly notice that whore had been objectified and was not treated as a topic with human emotions. Including the whore was compared to a roast meat, boat, wine glass, grate and lastly the bra in the entire poem. The whore thus becomes an object of pleasure for men to meet their lusts and only that. Explanation of the whore in this poem, without doubt is from the view of phallocentrism. Phallocentrism means "The privileging of the masculine (the phallus) in understanding interpretation or social relations" (cla. purdue. edu). Regretfully, nothing of the whores perspective received in the complete poem. Her thoughts, her feelings and her situation were all overlooked. According to People from france Feminsit Luce Irigaray, dialect is so gender bias and phallocentric that whatever characteristics that men think about women then leads women into mimicry and therefore " the position of mastery was developed"(Rivkin and Ryan 795) and women objectified. Hence it holds true through this poem that girls( whores ) are cured as objects and described as things with no feelings to mention. Therefore Second Wave feminists, said that it is important to pay great attention or fine detail when reading any text that is soiled by patriarchal notions. In so doing, one can undo the phallocentrism within text messages. For example Luce Irigaray explained that the retroactive impact of the finish of each phrase, utterance or phrase upon its beginning must be studied into consideration in order to undo the energy of its teleological effect, including its deferred activities" (Rivkin and Ryan 797).

Nevertheless, for me, there is a flaw in the Second Wave feminists concept of undoing vocabulary that was polluted by sexism. To begin with it's very hard to change or change words that is dominated by male perspectives because we are all entrenched with patriarchal ideology for our whole lives. This is because from the past till now, writings in the literary world are dominated by men. Deconstructing patriarchal supporting text messages and creating new feminists texts recommended by French feminist can be difficult as well. Producing wording in gynocentric manner can result in disagreement from feminists about the world as universalizing their encounters and their voices and even essentialize femininity. Second Wave feminism fail to take accounts the variety of women's experiences all over world and their context. For example contest, class, ethnography and geography of women. "Non-sexist vocabulary and gynocentric words are criticized for underestimating the significance of gender asymmetry in terminology and then for oversimplifying the relationship between language and corporeality" (Bondi 245).

Feminist reading, of the poem, "Purchasing the Whore" by Anne Sexton through instructs us that the whore is commodified with having indication value attached to her. For example, The whore was purchased, rented, and paid by the persona for intimate services. According to Luce Irigaray in her article "women available on the market", women were commodification exchanged by men among men to create a homosocial bonds between men. "The exchange of women proven interactions between men; the old family system was essentially homosexual" (Rivkin and Ryan 800). However in the poem, the purchasing, renting and paying of the whore did not create a homosocial bond, the business deal of cash were indeed among men; pimp and the customer.

" You are a motorboat I've rented by the hour

and I steer you with my rage until you run aground"

Besides that throughout the entire poem, there are no indicators or words of the whore including in the negotiation of price for the erotic service. This definitely strengthens the idea of the feminists that girls indeed haven't any say in her own signal value and is also unseen in literary world. Next, compared to a virgin or a partner, a whores value stoops way below for they are thought to sell their honor in change for cash. Whores according to society neglect to suppose their role as the submissive, real women or the Angel inside your home. "Whore dishonor is in part whore failure to match the traditional partner role in relationship" (Pheterson 53). So they face more likelihood of mistreatment through their customers and cultural stigmatization. " A prostitute then becomes person who offers her honor by offering to hire her body for bottom gain or for an unworthy doing, specifically sexual activity"( Pheterson 39). Women matching to feminists are discriminated by the culture for being women. Husbands, fathers, culture expect women to protect and protect their purity, chastity and honor. So, a whore's honor thus fall which is irreparable. . Which means persona( customer ) ill snacks the prostitute in the poem. He even promises to have the right over her body and will as he needs for he previously payed for the whore;the object.

"You will be the roast beef I have purchased

and I files you with my own, personal onion"

" You are a wine glass that I have paid to shatter

and I swallow the bits down with my spit"

He shatters her and even stuff her with objects without asking her agreement or taking into account her physical pain. However her activities should never be important; what was more significant and was assumed was "man must be pleased, but him to please/Is woman's pleasure"( Ryan and Rivkin 816). Since the whore was considered as impure woman, and assumed to own unattractive features, the persona explains her in negative term such as "stink" and continues on to vomit into her hands further emphasizing, a whore is degraded being who deserves sick handling. "Whores are usually 'grubby', 'base' and 'pocky', however they are also 'bold', 'impudent' and 'brazen faced"(Gowing 10). Even his own mom, the persona abuses in his poem what more the whore.

"You stink like my Mama under your bra

and I vomit into your hand just like a jackpot

its cold hard quarters"

From most Postfeminist perspective, "Buying the Whore" by Anne Sexton universalizes the experience of sex individuals. Anne sexton shows to us readers that whores suffer and have no tone of voice in identifying customers they allow to their quarters. In reality not all gender employees are so susceptible or not in position of making a decision. For example not all whore have sexual intercourse with the customers but sexual related services only. "What sexual intercourse are also inadequate to describe the project of all prostitutes. Much prostitution will not include sexual intercourse (Pheterson 41). Whores have protection under the law to deny the customers they doubt to have disease or that might ill treat them. "One whore from the United States said, "EASILY contain the slightest doubt about a dude, I refuse him (Pheterson 40). Hence, it is clear that feminism, help in understanding this is and present constructive criticisms towards poem.

Power dynamics may also be observed in the poem "Purchasing the whore" using feminist literary criticism. Whenever we deconstruct the text from feminist perspective, the client has electric power over the female (whore) who he had purchased to gratify his erotic lust. He gets the power to factors her with objects he would like; steer her such as a boat with drive till she operates aground and break her into portions as if she were a glass. The persona has all the energy above the whore for he previously payed for her service. He's depicted as this powerful being forcing his might and dominance over the whore. The whore on the other palm for example was in comparison to a vulnerable glass that may be shattered and fishing boat that were required to submit to it's owner to his directions and steering. She is portrayed as this meek, powerless person who submits to the atrocities her male client had forced after her. The whore was shown in the poem of not having the right over her own body or the to have sexual pleasure. "Neither as mother nor as virgin nor as prostitute has female any right to her own pleasure" (Ryan and Rivkin 808). Thus it is clear through the poem that the whore unlike other women are said to be powerless and are oppressed by man kind. " Female is riveted into a lopsided romantic relationship with mean; he is the one, she actually is the other" (Shelden 129). It is valuable that feminist reveal the oppression or the powerlessness of women.

Feminism is a superb literary theory in displaying readers how the world especially literary text messages are laden with sexism and is mostly phallocentric. Just as before there exists another weakness in feminist literary theory in my view point. Like many other Second Influx Feminists, Anne Sexton (American poet) in her poem "Buying the Whore" has brought forth the problem oppression of the whore( girl ) and the domination of men over women. She even made her whore voiceless and powerless throughout the poem. However, by portraying women as weak and men as strong and superior being in literary work, feminist are in fact conditioning the ideologies that are ingrained within contemporary society. Feminist then without realization, reinforce the dichotomous relationship between people created by modern culture. Thus in feminist literary work and criticism, women are still being referred to as inferior compared to men. "There is here a danger once more of slipping back to a phallocentric system which relegates women to the margin" (Selden 143).

In conclusion, I do agree to an extent that Feminism does help in providing meaning to the poem "Investing in a whore" by Anne Sexton. Feminist Literary Criticism unquestionably brings women's oppression into light and celebrate women authors and their literary contributions. This movement will try it's utmost better to decenter logocentrism and phallocentrism that oppressed and suppressed women throughout background. Furthermore Feminism attempts to effect a result of equality and prevent sexism within discourses especially in the literary expression. We (especially women) have benefited tremendously from this movement and it's contributions. However there are weaknesses within the methods of Second Wave which in my own thoughts and opinions were being rectified by the Postfeminists. Postfeminist takes into account of the variety of encounters among women therefore steering clear of generalization, universalizing and even essentialist viewpoint. Furthermore, Postfeminist activity compensates great importance to standpoint theory which clarifies that people's activities differ according with their situations for example class, contest, ethnicity, geography and ethnography. Which means poem "Purchasing the Whore" can best be described through the latter part of Feminism which is Postfeminism without discrimination in so this means or encounters.

Work Cited

Bondi, Liz. "In Whose Words? On Gender Identities, Knowledge and Writing Procedures. " Orders of the Institute of British Geographers 22. 2 (1997): 245-58. Web. 30 Mar. 2011.

Felluga, Dino F. Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. Ed. Dino F. Felluga. N. p. , n. d.

Web. 28 Mar. 2011.

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Gel, Shilpi. "Feminist Literary Criticism. " Vocabulary IN INDIA Power for Today and Bright Expect Tomorrow 10. 4 (2010): 403-10. Web. 29 Mar. 2011.

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Gowing, Laura. "Gender and the Terminology of Insult in Early Modern London. " Background Workshop 35 (1993): 1-21. Web. 31 Mar. 2011.

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Pheterson, Gail. "The Whore Stigma: Woman Dishonor and Men Unworthiness. " Community Wording 37

(1993): 39-64. Web. 31 Mar. 2011.

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Rivkin, Julie, and Michael Ryan, eds. Literary Theory: An Anthology. Second ed. Australia: Blackwell Posting, 2004. 795-825. Printing.

Selden, Raman. A Reader's Guide To Modern Literary Theory. Kentucky: The University or college Press of Kentucky, 1985. 128-147. Print.

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