“How do you visualise a woman in the 21st century?” Linda Stupart

Revising this text in my own time, the text makes clear links back to Preciado’s text and the challenging of gender binarism. Stupart’s request of being referred to by they/them pronouns supports Preciado’s fight against the expected and stereotyped genders, male and female. Discussing the history of white feminism in the text, Stupart shames the racist values of the Suffragette’s fight for the women’s vote over the black male.

“This is the history of white feminism – of visualising a woman as whiteness (virgin) and blackness as threat (whore). This is the violence of images.”

Concluding the text with their visualisation of a woman in the 21st century, Stupart outlines an objectified response of what a woman is. Discussing the woman as “a body that has nothing to do with ‘the female body'”, this suggests a separation from the assumptions of the female body provided by society. Since birth, medicine teaches babies they are different to the other sex, and that because of these differences there are expectations of behaviour that apply to them. Popular culture also identifies females separately to males, and objectifies and sexualises the female body often unrealistically. These elements shape and mould societal expectations of the female. Stupart suggests that the visualisation of what a woman is is opposing to this expectation surrounding ‘the female body’. To conclude, a woman is perhaps ‘out of woman’ altogether and it just a body in its own right.

“I visualise a woman that has nothing to do with ‘the female body’, which does not exist”

To a degree, I agree with Stupart. I agree, in that societal represenations of what a woman is/should be are wrongful and restrictive. I also beleive that in our current society, this is not aided by our daily reliance on the internet and our increasing involvement within popular culture and social networking platforms. I feel these methods promote to mass audiences the act of looking, objectifying, sexualising, and comparing the female body.  In my opinion, I think that the term ‘woman’ is not what is restrictive: instead, it is the stereotype, assumption, representation, and expectations that surround this label that restricts our freedom.

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