Sexualtiy in a Patriarchal Society

In: English and Literature

Submitted By dcolon16
Words 4249
Pages 17
Dariela Colon
AP English
Senior Thesis
Mr. Noel
Sexual Liberation in a Patriarchal Society
The American feminist writer, Kate Millet, once said that “We’re more sexually repressed than men, having been given a much more strict puritanical code of behavior than men ever have”. Throughout history, women have often been viewed as the “weaker” gender and have been expected to behave a certain way. Women are seen as submissive and docile because of societal expectations, these expectations eventually became the societal norm. This “norm”, according to Sigmund Freud, is the repression of several archaic and primitive desires. Females have often had to repress these desires more than males. Males have been the dominating species throughout history and have expected women to repress their nature. For the most part, females kept their place in society and played their role but there were some who broke the norm. There have been serious consequences for females who have attempted to liberate themselves, especially when they attempt to do so sexually. Females have the ability to achieve their sexual liberation despite the patriarchal societies in which they live. Two females which have attempted to achieve sexual liberation are Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter and Blanche Dubois in A Streetcar named Desire. Both Hester Prynne and Blanche Dubois’s attempts to achieve sexual liberation were hindered by the patriarchal societies in which they lived in; making only one of them successful.
The Scarlet Letter, written in 1850, takes place in the late 17th century in Massachusetts. At this time Massachusetts is a Puritan colony. A Puritan, according to Oxford Dictionaries, is a member of a group of English Protestants of the late 16th and 17th century who regarded the Reformation of the Church of England under Elizabeth as incomplete and sought to simplify and…...

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