It has always been assumed that women can work their magic in only selected fields, whilst the rest of the vast fields are booked for men. By this, I mean that women are told or made to feel that they cannot think beyond love and sex, and that they should focus on those aspects only. However, if given a chance, women may outdo men completely in fields that have only been seen as fields for men, such as writing columns on business, giving opinions on sports, and debating over which car/bike is better.
The article ‘women know more than just love and sex’ by Roxane Gay shows the view that women do not just know stuff related to themselves. They, in fact, have vast knowledge about various other aspects.
Knowing that Gay likes to read fancy essays like ‘The Women Problem,’ by Elizabeth Hawes, and after reading her other works, it is easy to see more of her equalist allusions in, Women know more than just love and sex.’ I appears that Gay has awfully crafter her sentences and metaphors to install a picture of lurid female oppression. Gays description of women journalism recall a current society, in which women are made to think that they cannot achieve anything in the world of men and only men have the power to become successful in whatever field they chose to be in. She refers to it as ‘Gender trend.’ She falls just short of developing her audience to look around. The reference to Hawes essay from 1945 and her past experiences is a reference to out-fashioned practices and treatment of women, as she considers the future to motivate equality. By setting the essay in this tone, Gay alludes to practices of oppression that, in her opinion, should be relegated to a time of the past.
Look around yourself. What percentage of women are actually out there in the society that are working head-to-head with men in an organization, and holding a position that is above the men working in the same organization? One will not find many women on such positions.
The question to ask is why? The answer to this is that the society has made such norms that women feel they are not supposed to enter the corporate world, and just focus on their domestic duties. This is the root cause of degrading women.
Gay points out in her article that like men, women are individuals too who have desires, feelings, thoughts and opinions. They would like to express themselves in ways that men do. For instance, men are allowed to work in any field without feeling that their masculinity will be judged in anyway. Hence, the finish of the text contains hints about Gays actual perception of the way women write and the way they are treated. Her writing repeats words like ‘anthropological subjects,’ to show that the main issue that arises is many writers, who are men, tend to bring in gender into every discussion. They start to have the view that certain tasks are meant for men, and only they should compete in it. In fact, women are not allowed to be even part of the media aspect as many men believe that women will take over the media in huge numbers, and will destroy the entire system.
There are certain editors who believe that a perfect analysis of a woman can only be provided by women. Many men in the society believe this notion, and there are chances that this might be true to a certain extent.
However, it must be noted that just because a woman is able to write opinions and views about another woman, doesn’t mean that is all she can do. Gay goes out of her way to describe this very point in her title, ‘Women know more than just love and sex,’ this, perhaps, an allusion to a woman’s place in journalism. In a world of many issues women journalists would naturally be fascinated with more than just love and sex. There are various journalistic forums that are also controlled by men. It is the male gender that focuses on giving out news related to the world, as well as shares their opinions and comment on the society in which one lives in. What men forget is that women are part of this society as well, and they deserve to be heard as well without being discriminated for being the female gender.
Despite her intuitive objections Gay recognizes that women have the ability to take part in various other fields, debating on topics that are mainly reserved for men, such as politics and corporate issues. If at all, women are allowed to participate and be part of the corporate world, they are allowed to do only when the work that is given to them is related to love and sex. Gay supports this claim when she expresses her own experience. She writes, ‘I have, however, been asked, in lieu of that piece, to write a personal essay for a glossy print magazine for a very good rate, so long as I write about love and sex.’ The condition was that she had to keep it restricted to love and sex, and if done then she would be given a heavy price for it as well.
The society still thinks that this is the way women can be utilized in the corporate world of being a journalist or being a columnist in any way. This approach not only affects the confidence of the women but also forces them to think that they do not have any other capability to move further in their career.
This thinking of the society and the men in the society needs to be changed. Women know more than just love and sex is a feminist text, because it promotes new ideas for the future and challenges old ideas about women’s positions in society. Gay shows her own female character in society struggling to overcome oppression in many ways to find her own opportunities personal choice. The text positively moves the reader in many ways, and it brings ugly and unnoticed social conventions that are secondary to the nature of men into the light. The story inspires and motivates her readers to change with her, and it expresses a females struggle to find equal journalistic openings in society. It illustrates that it is important, that now this female gender is given the recognition that it requires and is actually made to feel that they are equal to men.
Roxane Gay, 2013, Women know more than just love and sex, SALON, Last accessed on February 1, 2015, <http://www.salon.com/2013/08/08/women_know_more_than_just_love_and_sex/>