One is Born a Woman

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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For as long as humanity has existed, or anthropologically speaking Homo Sapien Sapien, it is intuitive to accept male and female must also exist. Anatomically it is apparent the human species is not asexual, and thus the different sexes must necessarily serve some purpose. Strictly speaking that purpose would be procreative, barring all notions of interpersonal communication bringing such emotions as love, happiness and belonging. In a scientific Darwinian fashion two sexes are necessary not only to perpetuate the species, but also to negate a "monoculture" of sorts and create the crucial adaptability needed to survive. However, it doesn't take science to explain, or solidify, the existence of two sexes; rather it is physically evident that two sexes exist - male and female. Yet the natural notion of two sexes which is taken as a given in recent years has come under scrutiny. In the school of Social Constructionist thought the pervading idea is, all perceived relations between the individual and the external world are a product of the social milieu.

Monique Wittig argues dogmatically this very ideal in her essay One Is Not Born A Woman. Wittig is a Material Feminist; consequently she analyzes the definition of what a woman is, and tries to move away from the notion of naturalness in women. She concedes there is no naturalness in male or female, rather the notion of sex is a gross misrepresentation created by the social milieu. Subsequently she argues for a type of class uprising to free "women" from this oppressive label, and likens it to the Marxist idea of the proletariat rebellion against the bourgeois class. Wittig in her reasoning pushes the limits of what can be conceivable and thus becomes absurd in her conclusion, there is nothing natural to a woman - even sex. By...