An Analysis Of Jayanthi And Alicia By Psychoanalyst Leslie Bell

1278 Words Sep 10th, 2014 6 Pages
Over many years, society has created its own set of rules that all people are supposed to follow. These rules vary by race, age, sex, and location. Psychoanalyst Leslie Bell explains in her book Hard to Get: Twenty-Something Women and the Paradox of Sexual Freedom that women in their twenties are faced with a set of guidelines on relationships that they are not able to conform to. The viewpoints of society, or stereotypes, however, do not determine who a person is. The stories of Jayanthi and Alicia are key in explaining that stereotypes do not have to be a person’s identity. Jayanthi became the complete opposite of her typecast and that is what made her feel fulfilled. Alicia did the same by becoming the rebel in her family. These women brought change into their own lives that were influenced by other people. These changes ultimately brought them happiness. Women in their twenties are assumed to have completely control over their own lives. They are free from their parents, and supposedly “free from social restrictions and proscriptions on sexuality and relationships” (Bell 26). However, as Bell clearly points out, women have too many ‘cultural notions’ and guidelines on how they should navigate through their relationships. For example, “Be assertive, but not aggressive. Be feminine, but not too passive. Be sexually adventurous, but don’t alienate men with your sexual prowess. Be honest and open, but don’t overwhelm someone with too much personal information” (Bell 26).…

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