A Feministic View on Sexuality
It is an interesting fact that any concept before occupying any philosophical frame , came to literature first. Gender problem was discussed in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and Radclyff Hall’s The Well of Loneliness, much before Judith Butler. Sexuality was also acceptable in literature in Joyce’s Ulysses or Thomas Hardy’s novel.Before writing The Second Sex, Simone’s two fictions “She Came to Stay” and “The Blood of Others” were published , where a reader can find the topics related to some how sexuality. But it is undoubtedly true that before The Second Sex, the sexed body was not an object of phenomenological investigation. Simone changed that. Her argument for sexual equality works in two directions. First, it exposes the ways in which patriarchy exploits the sexual difference to create systems of inequality and exposes the facts of sexual politics, which later leads to Feminism to fight against male hegemony. She also claimed that so long as the standard of equality is the male body, the discriminatory sexual difference remains in play.Second, her book acts as a prime source for the gender theories developed by Judith Butler or others in later period.
I think regarding sexuality, Simone seems to be most prominent in her essays, specially in The Second Sex or in Coming the Age than her novels. Simone’s few short stories and her novel ‘The Blood of Others’ are an attempt to establish a right to abortion and her first novel ‘She Came to Stay’ provides a fictional portrait of her unconventional relationship with her lifelong partner, Sartre, and her protégé, Bianca Bienenfeld .Mandarin is a love story examining the complex dilemmas posed by love and marriage (i.e., existential relationships are easier in theory than in reality) on fictionalized account of Simone’s passionate affair with Algren. Her ‘Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter’ offers an intimate picture of growing up in a bourgeois French family, rebelling as an adolescent against the conventional expectations of her class, and striking out on her own with an intellectual and existential ambition exceedingly rare in a young woman in the 1920s.In my opinion Sexuality is more prominent in the writings of Erica Jong and Germaine Greer, if we consider them as writer of later period.
I always want to paint the sexuality opposite to Indian patriarchy concept, where women sexuality is used for raising of children only and there was no seat for the women’s sexual desire .In my novel Upanibesh (The Colony) I have taken the symbol of “Shiva Linga” as the sexual desire of women. Medha, the protagonist of Upanibesh, was a bohemian. In her pre-marital stage, she was thinking that it was boring to live with a man life-long. Perhaps she wanted a chain free life, where there would be only love, only sex and wouldn’t be any monotony. In my various stories I have painted lesbian sex, rape, abortion, infertility, failed marriage and menopause in my story. I was also much more criticized to use the word ‘fuck’ in my story “Rape”.
I can say only in Oriental perspective. I think, sexuality has a major role in understanding feminism. Let us consider a girl’s condition in adolescent period. If she becomes pregnant, the male partner is not blamed for his role.it is the girl, who has to suffer.If she accepts the child, she has to suffer a lot in socially and if she goes for any abortion, she has to suffer emotionally for the rest of her life.In case of married woman, there are many restrictions with respect to sexuality whereas her male partner is free from these restrictions.Even now a days in Oriental countries, you can find most of the married woman are un known about their feeling of orgasm.If a female admits about her sexual pleasure, there may be every chance to misunderstand her as a bad woman by her own husband.She may be misunderstood for having pre marital sex.In the time of menopause, though except some biological phenomena, nothing has changed in sexual life , but a woman has to suffer a lot mentally thinking herself disable for sexually meeting with her husband.I think till now in Asian and African countries ,the patriarchy society has its control over sexuality .So, the women need two type of liberation. One is from financial slavery and another from sexuality. Women are always victims; men are oppressors. I believe in theory that "a woman's body, a woman's right."that means women should control their own bodies and people should take them seriously.