The Reclamation Of The Feminine : Fin De Siecle Splendor Essay

1028 Words Nov 19th, 2016 5 Pages
The Reclamation of the Feminine in Fin de Siècle Splendor Although removing gender markers from culture may appear progressive and egalitarian, the defeminization of women in China during the Cultural Revolution suppressed gender expression altogether, and created an oppressive and regressive gender sameness instead. Defeminization, by removing the feminine characteristics from gender, created a population that was masculine by default, thus characterizing femininity as expendable and masculinity as the default state. In Fin de Siècle Splendor, Zhu Tianwen expresses a reaction to this defeminizing regime. Her protagonist, Mia, lives her life in femininity; her career is centered around fashion, and she fills her house with flowers. Mia is also far from the sole feminine character; her friends each represent a different aspect of the feminine. In this story, Mia’s portrayal validates and supports the feminine and proposes a vision of the future where feminine characteristics are praised and encouraged.
Mia, the protagonist of the story, has a straightforward relationship with her femininity, in which her feminine characteristics are seem as inherently valuable, although fundamentally different from masculine characteristics. Mia is free to express her femininity as she pleases, without being reprimanded by male coworkers or other men in her life. As a clothing model, she fills her career with aesthetic beauty. She also preserves flowers, attempting to capture their beauty in…

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