Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Okin, Susan Moller. "Sexual Orientation, Gender, and Families: Dichotomizing Differences." Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 11.1 (1996): 30-48.

This article represents a mimetic perspective. It discusses the way literature mirrors reality. According to this article, Woolf took the literary tradition of dichotomizing gender difference and turned it on its head. The author envisions a gender- free society where people are free to act as they please and wear what they please with no negative societal implications. He see’s this as very positive because dichotomy can often lead to inferiority for woman and pain for those that don’t fit neatly into gender roles. He sees Orlando as a spoof on this human tendency. Humans love to divide everything into categories. She too thought the plot was related to Vita, but not as completely as the first two articles I summarized. Clearly Orlando finds being a woman more difficult to be a woman because she cross dresses. It becomes clear that most gender difference is arbitrary. He thinks Woolf makes this clear because many times, she describes Orlando’s clothing as gender- neutral. He also writes about how strange and radical Woolf was at the time that she was published.

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