‘Feminism: Confronting a Contradiction’

Intellectual Quest 7:32-41 (2017)
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Abstract

The contemporary debate centering round the circumference of feminist discourse has of late been very potent in addressing the issues of certain prejudiced notions in our existing patriarchal structure. This paper is an attempt to show the ongoing paradox existing in the world of feminism which has thoroughly critiqued the patriarchal culture and has naturalized sexual identities, thereby glorifying man’s supremacy and dominion. The patriarchal culture lionized the ideals of brevity, courageousness, and intellect and thought of these as the only special possessions of man in society. The qualities of being submissive, kind and caring in nature is considered to be “ideal” and exclusive qualities of a woman. Even though these qualities are “ideal” to women, they are discarded from being considered as universal in nature and are thought of as insignificant in the mainstream societal structure. These qualities are treated as inferior, and exclusively womanly and hence cannot make their stand in the conventional patriarchal social order. For this reason a dilemmatic situation arises here. My effort is to show that this dilemma cannot be exposed in the sense of gender specific human qualities.

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Sanjit Chakraborty
Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Kolkata

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