A Feeling of Domination
After reading "Women Are Not Free," by Sandra Lee Bartky, I see myself having feminist views. These views are not extreme and I do not fully agree with her philosophy on the subject. First, Bartky seems to be obsessed with domination by the male species. She wants women to view themselves as "victims of a sexist society that is based on male oppression." This statement is very harsh. I believe that if women see themselves as victims they are playing into the idea of male domination.
What I do agree with are that some of the ideas expressed in this work reflect self-fulfilling prophecies. For instance, Bartky states that the "oppressed become to themselves their own oppressors," I agree with this because sometimes women feel that they are just going to be paid less, or not taken seriously because of their gender so they do not try as hard.
Bartky refers to psychological oppression as an institution and states that "it serves to make the work of domination easier by breaking the spirit of the dominated and by rendering them incapable of understanding the nature of those agencies responsible for the subjugation." I agree with this statement only because it happens. But it only happens to those women that are too weak or too naÃÂ¯ve to stand up for themselves or to make a change. With the domination and enslavement by "those agencies" a woman's self worth is put to the test and normally the "agencies" win. Also, as outlined by Bartky, the low self-esteem leads to poverty, which in turn leads to an inferior feeling.
Next Bartky lists three general areas where the domination occurs; they are stereotyping, cultural domination and sexual objectification.
Bartky begins to speak very harshly about the stereotyping of women.