Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I was reading this book called “The Second Sex” by great feminist Simone de Beauvoir and I was surprised to know that learned people like Aristotle had said that : "The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities; we should regard the female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness."

I wonder how these people managed to get respect and acceptance in the society by large. Aristotle seems like such a big misogyny. Yuk !!

Men with like views should be made to live in isolation or for that matter in an island of only men – and then maybe they would know what is it about being a woman – that its not merely about a uterus – there is a larger picture.

On second thoughts, if I really sit to dramatize this entire thing, i would like to say a couple of things, did anyone notice that even in English, 'Wo' had been prefixed with 'man' to get 'Woman' :).. Sounds Clichéd and duh!! Hmm.. Not that any of these learned and wise men are saying some great things :D. And the other equally duh thing i want to say is (actually i read this somewhere): "First Nature thought of creating its biggest wonder, then he created man. Later he looked at it again and said he could do a better job, and then he created Woman" :) .. What pleasure it gives me <|:D.

Before men make comments like this on women, I guess are unaware of the essence a woman holds within herself. More surprising is the fact that there are so many women who take this thoughtless and absurd judgment about them.

Read this article below, made me damn angry::

The Inferior Sex
In ancient Greece, Aristotle expounded on the "natural inferiority" of women in all spheres of activity. "The female is a female by virtue of a certain lack of qualities," he wrote. "We should regard female nature as afflicted with a natural defectiveness."[16]

The Renaissance in England -- an era when women reigned as queens -- was characterized by a spate of diatribes which employed the concept of female inferiority as a foundation for castigating the "unnatural" and "monstrous" phenomenon of the female ruler. Political reformer John Knox's The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women (1558) was a "declaration of the imperfections of women, of their natural weakness and inordinate appetites." A sampling of its many degrading references include: "the inferior member," "weak, frail, impatient, feeble, and foolish," "in her greatest perfection woman was created to be subject to man" and "all woman is commanded to serve, to be in humility and subjection."[17]

During the same period in English history, the acceptance of female inadequacy served as a basis for the subordination of women in the marital relationship. From 1562 onwards, the British Crown directed that The Homily on Marriage be read in church. This statement portrayed the woman as "a weak creature" who was "prone to all weak affectations and dispositions of mind, more than men be."[18] In 1619, a guide to proper conduct in marriage offered the following advice to wives: "Set this down with thyself: mine husband is my superior, my Better; he hath authority and rule over me; nature hath given it to him . . . . God hath given it to him."[19]

The notorious Marquis de Sade, who in the second half of the eighteenth century terrorized and brutalized scores of female victims to satisfy his insatiable appetite for violent and degrading sex, resorted to the most demeaning terminology when referring to women. He called woman "a puny creature, always inferior to man, infinitely less attractive than he, less ingenious, less wise, constructed in a disgusting manner entirely opposite to what is capable of pleasing a man, to what is able to delight him."[20] This imagery dominated his perceptions and constituted a major factor in motivating his abominable behavior.

Various authors, thinkers, and philosophers are found in the forefront of endowing the vocabulary of female inadequacy with considerable respectability. Joseph Addison, a prominent English author during the latter 1600s and early 1700s, thought women "incapable of logic and not amenable to reason."[21] The phrases "no sense of justice," "defective in the powers of reasoning and deliberation," "that undersized, narrow-shouldered, broad-hipped, and short-legged race" and "the unaesthetic sex" comprise just some of the many derogatory characterizations of women in German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer's "Essay on Women" (1851).[22] These views led him to the conclusion that "they [women] form the sexus sequior -- the second sex, inferior in every respect to the first" and are "by nature meant to obey."[23]

A milestone in the relentless war of words against women came in the work of another German philosopher, Otto Weininger. His Sex and Character (1906) represents one of the most extreme defamations of female character ever published: On imagination -- "women are devoid of imagination." On memory -- "A being whose memory is very slight, and who can recall only in the most imperfect fashion." On morality -- "with regard to women we can talk only of the non-moral, of the complete absence of a moral sense." On genius -- "the female must be described as absolutely without the quality of genius . . . . A female genius is a contradiction in terms." On thinking--"a woman is without logic . . . The absolute female, then, is devoid not only of the logical rules, but of the functions of making concepts and judgments which depend on them."[24]

Weininger's assaults on female capability knew no boundaries: "However degraded a man may be, he is immeasurably above the most superior woman." As the result of a "long analysis," Weininger asserted: "There is no exception to the complete absence in women of any true, inalienable relation to worth."[25]


krishan said...

What’s rubbish all this. I wonder how these philosophers would have been engaged themselves in such illogical castigation. Behind every successful man there is a woman .Men often owe their success to women. Its women that make them tick. Women have contributed to science from its earliest days, but their contributions have often not been recognized. It’s only because of our damn patriarchal society which always remains skeptical of their ability to do this kind of activity. So, saying woman are a puny creature, always inferior to man, infinitely less attractive than he, less ingenious, less wise is an illogical comment in itself. Women have various key roles in upbringing of baby boy which make him man. She is the daughter and sister, the dignity and honor of the family. She is the wife, the footsteps of her husband leads nowhere without her. She is the mother, the seeds of creation in her womb are the foundation of world existence. Castigation of woman was an old custom. Time has come a long way and castigating woman has become so severe but hasn’t eradicated. This is only because of some perverts who miss no opportunity to outrage the modesty of woman. Regarding Feminine I can sure think of many adjectives like Discreet, Virtuous Wise, Prudent, Lovable, faithful, beautiful, genuine. These all qualities make woman unique. I think these philosophers misunderstood the qualities of feminine with whatever they called natural defectiveness.

Read below, this will make u calm and happy

Osho, excerpted from Sermons in Stones, Chapter 17

"To acquire some feminine qualities.... And just see, all qualities are feminine: love, compassion, sympathy, service, sharing -- all qualities are feminine. Even if a man wants to function at the highest peak of his intelligence, he will have to be guided by his heart".

For me, Womanhood is just as valuable and honorable as manhood. Manhood is incomplete without womanhood.

Deepshikha said...


I appreciate your thoughts but I am not one of those kinds who would try to rational out a woman’s status by exalting about the kind of roles that she plays -- I think that is quite dumb because the men also play similar roles (son/brother/father/companion … ) – and they cant be derogated. I don’t believe in wining our equal status by belittling men. I feel instead of glorifying a particular gender, what is more important is to understand that women are no different than men (barring the anatomy of course). I also personally don’t take pride in 'pro-women' / 'women laud quotes' or for that matter any gender glory. For fun sake it’s nice to read, but not something that i keep within myself as a thought or a principle. There should be equality -- men and women both are equally important and irreplaceable.

Swatah Chandra said...

You two have been demeaning our generation values by starting this discussion at the first place.
Take what is productive from the past. While deepshikha sounds like a fanatic about being a woman (may be because of men ditching her or a dominating father or egoist male colleagues or boss), you sound like trying hard to impress her by saying all kinds of cheesy lines.
have you heard of grameen bank of bangladesh. women control and own it and men cry of liberation there.
Read more on nrth carolina,zimbabwe,etc. Update yourself guys before crying out that loud. chill guys, world has come out of ages. :-)