慶應SFC 1995年 総合政策学部 英語 大問1 全文(正答済み)

 The degree to which males and females are socially unequal has varied, both cross culturally and historically, from near equality to radical female disadvantage. Such variation is linked to the type of technology and economy (e.g., industrial, agrarian, horticultural, foraging) and to women’s role in the economy. Women’s status relative to men’s in a given society is closely related to that society’s dominant, gender related ideology, whether secular, religious, or both. Dominant, gender related ideology refers to the manner in which a society defines appropriate behavior, personality, interests, and so on for each sex and justifies any differences in their rights, duties, and rewards. When women are disadvantaged relative to men in their access to socially valued resources and the dominant ideology explains and justifies such disadvantage, we use the term sexism. Sexism in some degree is universal in contemporary societies.

 In technologically simple, no surplus producing societies (horticultural and hunting gathering) women’s productive roles are usually   central to the collectivity inasmuch as they typically provide from 40 to 80 percent of the food. In such societies sexism is minimal to nonexistent, and their religious imagery typically incorporates a female principle. As the technology becomes more complex, the production of surplus commodities for trade and familial aggrandizement   becomes a primary goal. When this happens, males come increasingly to control economic resources, and religion increasingly stresses the male principle.

 The most extreme female socioeconomic disadvantage is found generally in agrarian and pastoral societies. Virtually all the great world religions, namely, those that spread beyond the tribal level, developed in agrarian or mixed agrarian and pastoral societies. Those that became monotheistic (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, Islam) dropped the female element entirely   from their concept of the deity and original creation. They came to view the sexes in an invidious fashion. Women were barred from formal religious roles   such as the clergy, were defined as polluted or as temptresses, and were made subject to the secular as well as sacred authority of male kin. Even when monotheism did not develop (e.g., Hinduism, Confucianism), the same types of controls over women came to be justified by religion   on the basis of women’s supposed innate inferiority.

 One very common practice in extremely sexist societies has been much stricter control over women’s sexuality than over men’s   sexuality. This has been done in order to ensure “proper” paternity, which in turn is linked to the intergenerational transmission of property from father to son. It takes an extreme form such as purdah (the total seclusion of women in Hindu and Islamic tradition) or milder forms such as chaperoning unmarried women,   covering women’s bodies and faces almost entirely, or simply a double standard that punishes women (either alone or more harshly than men) who lose their virginity premarital or commit adultery. The ideological justification often stresses women’s extreme sexuality and the diversion from duty this supposedly creates for men. Left unchecked, female sexuality would presumably constitute a danger to the social collectivity. In such cases the image of females is sharply bifurcated: the pure, virginal, or chaste woman who conforms to religious and social strictures (the lady) versus the polluted whore like temptress, the fallen woman who has rebelled against God and society. There is no counterpart bifurcation of males on the basis of sexuality. Language often reflects this phenomenon by producing a vast terminology of dirty words” to refer to women who step   out of bounds and more generally to specific parts of the female anatomy. Women are thus defined essentially on the basis of their sexuality and sexual conduct, resulting in the irony that in attempting to repress female sexuality women are made into sexual objects. Moreover, when the repressive aspect is removed the objectification does not quickly disappear, as manifested by contemporary advertising and pornography.

 Extensive control over women by men may result for many women in traits of passivity, childlike dependence, and the inability to function as responsible adults.   At least women come to be stereotyped in this manner. In turn, such traits and or stereotypes further suggest the “need” for male domination. Denied the opportunity to become responsible and independent, women come to be defined as fit only for the domestic role, which is relatively devalued in surplus producing societies. On this basis women become objectified in a second way. To the extent that they conform to their domestic role and behave in a proper manner sexually, they may be admired, even worshipped but only as idealized mothers, a role nature has ostensibly created them for.

 In controlling the cultural, public aspects of their societies, including the very institutions that produce the ideology legitimating such control, men in sexist societies become the gatekeepers who decide what is to be defined as valuable, worthy, and proper. It is their imagery of females that becomes the official, societal definition. Men define that which constitutes humanness, and, in the words of French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir, women become simply “the other.” Substantial research suggests that conceptions of “human” and “masculine” tend to coincide, but they differ from those of  “feminine”. If a woman manages to produce a painting, a musical composition, a poem, or a scientific paper, it is judged by the standards men have set, if indeed male gatekeepers deem a woman’s production worthy of being judged at all. Such standards are taken to be universal and unbiased, not as the product of specific people with vested interests. They assume a reality of their own that transcends their social origins and are seen as applicable across time and space. Women who would produce cultural artifacts in a sexist society are caught in a double bind: they can attempt to meet male standards that are defined as   universal, but since they are not male they compete for recognition at a disadvantage; or they can produce according to their own experience and ideas of quality, and their products will typically be defined as   inferior by societal gatekeepers. Thus, for instance, women’s art in basketry, weaving, and needlework constitute only “crafts,” whereas men’s in paint, stone, and bronze are “fine arts.”

   Besides standards of judgment, male assumptions about the world, male definitions, and male perceptions of what constitute problems all become synonymous with “reality.” Western science has provided numerous examples of how sexism intrudes to shape even the ostensibly most objective type of cultural production. For example, in the seventeenth century European scientists defined sperm as carrying a miniature fetus; the female provided only the environment for its growth. The resulting   child “obviously” belonged to the father. As (male) medical doctors took over childbirth from (female) midwives in the nineteenth century, pregnancy and parturition became increasingly defined as a problem, even a kind of illness; after all, physicians do not treat normal events. Until about 1970 anthropologists largely ignored women’s extensive contributions to the food supplies of preliterate societies, developing theories based on the centrality of male hunting to the survival of families and   societies. Sigmund Freud and his followers defined masochism, passivity, and narcissism as normal female traits and developed a theory to explain women’s innately inferior conscience. Psychologist Carol Gilligan has demonstrated that males and females employ basically   different notions of moral behavior. The former tend to base morality on abstract principles, the latter on a   concern with concrete relationships. Yet the field of psychology has assumed that the masculine approach is synonymous with the general concept of moral behavior and that therefore females are less moral. Work has been defined by economists and sociologists in terms of the labor force, ignoring the domestic labor of homemakers and   implying that they do not “work.”

 The power to define the world and to define standards of judgment constitutes the power to shape the sociocultural world to one’s own image and interests. Sexism, rooted in economic phenomena, legitimated and extended by ideologies,   vests such power in males. In turn, definitional power reinforces sexism. When extreme Sexism exists, women are not simply denied all manner of rights, resources, and opportunity but are denied the ability to define themselves, their experience, and their works as worthy and valuable, sometimes even as real.




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