Character Analysis: The Female Man

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The constant need to prove one’s self-worth to another gender is an ongoing battle between men and women. Joanna Russ’ novel The Female Man (1975) is as controversial as the name suggests. The story focuses around five female protagonists all struggling to be more dominant than men. Similarly, in Garry Ross’ Pleasantville (1998), the 1950’s role of women in society is emphasized. These roles soon come crashing down as women start to defy these gender typical roles and embrace their true selves. The real world also showcases examples of female oppression primarily as Anna Holmes writes in “The Disposable Woman” (2011). She portrays the harsh reality of stigmatized gender roles and the emotional and physical abuse that women are forced to endure. …show more content…
The read in The Female Man the reader is introduced to one of the protagonists, a female, Joanna, as a university professor with a Ph.D., (Russ 1). While being well educated, she is still unable to find a job due to her “being more experienced than the average woman,” (Russ 13). Women in this novel are seen as the ones to stay home and make sure the husband is fed and taken care of. Joanna is unmarried and is looking to build her future but is constantly being suppressed due to a factor she is born with, her gender. She spends the day trying to look for small jobs by working in, “I’ve worked in the mines, on the radio network, on a milk farm, a vegetable farm, and for six weeks as a librarian,” (Russ 1). Someone as educated and experienced as Joanna should have no trouble finding a job, yet she does because on her Earth women are seen as the inferior sex. The issue with financial status is also then evident in real world scenarios. Anna Holmes’ “The Disposable Women” sheds light towards the mutiny and disrespect that some women face in today’s society. Females are not welcomed in the same work fields as men and must do other work in order to make a living. Even with such jobs, women are degraded, “Andy Cohen, a senior executive at Bravo, referred to Sheen’s current companions, Natalie Kenly and Bree Olsen, as ‘whores’ or MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ on Tuesday,” (Holmes 3). Charlie Sheen is the culprit in abusing these two women but because they work as escorts they are seen as the lesser individuals, who have deemed the reputation to be publically shamed on national television. The thought of tarnishing the status of these ladies is not considered because in an attempt to humiliate them, it makes the public think that the women deserved the physical abuse from Sheen. Ultimately, females are seen as the weaker sex in the eyes of society due to

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