WMST - February 26th
The Primacy of Biology
Challenging the Status Quo
Heroic Rape and Contemporary Prime Time Viewing
See link under ‘Enhancement’ on courselink
- Henry Fielding’s Rape upon Rape, also known as The Justice Caught in His Own
Trapand The Coffee-House Politician, 1730
- Debate upon the nature of women and women’s rights
- Circulating in society and out there as the same time as a hardening of gender
constructions; ‘what is male?’ ‘what is female?’
- ^women is modest, chaste and pure. She is the complement and the subordinate in
mind and body to the male half. Gender was constructed to reinforce the male
dominance and patriarchal structure.
Justice Squeezum (Rape upon Rape)
says: “A Pen in the Hand of a Woman is an instrument of propagation” 1730
- ▯ ^ ‘Penis in the hand of a woman is an instrument of creativity’ “”when women
think and write, they do so with uncontrolled sexuality”” taken to the ‘biological’ level.
- Irony -
- Challenge to patriarchal frameworks
- he was a judge.
- Two characters: both accused of rape. Deal with corrupt Judge (Justice Squeezum)
- Uses rape as an allegory to describe rape as a freedom.
- (Corrupt politicians and law-makers)
“I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.”
- Advocate of women’s rights. “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.”
- Might have been the ﬁrst feminist manifesto
- Her daughter was the author of Frankenstein.
- See Youtube clip from slides
- “We embrace stereotypes because they are habits.” The mind is trained to accept
- “Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman’s sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the
body, and roaming around round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison.” Mary
Wollstonecraft - “Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men
think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own
superiority.” Mary Wollstonecraft
Aphra Behn, secret agent and social commentator
- Credited as being the ﬁrst woman writer to earn her living for herself ‘through the pen’
- Eventful life. She didn’t have family support, so she worked as a spy in Holland.
- Late 1600s. England was in a cold war with Holland; and were in competition with
- She was in prison. When she got out, she wrote plays for the theatre.
- She wrote: “Oroonoko” novel. Horriﬁc story of a captured African Prince forced into
- Wrote her own opinions and topics relevant to social situations without the use of a
different name (which most did).
- “All women together ought to let ﬂowers fall upon the tomb of Aphra Behn, for it was
she who earned them the right to speak their minds.”
‘Fame never yet spoke well of woman’
Were the rueful words put into t