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Looking At A Woman Essay

1483 words - 6 pages

Women have made great advancements in improving their rights and roles within society and are now less likely to be viewed as inferior by males. Nevertheless, they are still facing many challenges including being perceived as objects and being expected to dress and behave a certain way. In his essay “Looking at Women,” Scott Russell Sanders analyzes how men often perceive women as objects because of their indecent wardrobe and their willingness to put their bodies on display. In her essay “Why Women Smile,” Amy Cunningham explains the value of a smile and how it does not always reflect how a woman is truly feeling on the inside. Both essays spend much time looking at women and how they are ...view middle of the document...

This deceptive appearance of women masks the true emotions that they could be feeling such as the “boredom of a numbskull job, perhaps the weight of a dollar bill, perhaps the sweltering lights of fame, perhaps a tingle of power” (Sanders 120). These airbrushed models whose bodies were “implausibly smooth and slick” and were “free of sweat and scars and imperfections”, were fabricated to be admired and adored by the public (Sanders 121). Cunningham also agrees that a woman’s external appearance masks the emotions that are honestly felt by her, as she believes that women excessively smile no matter what they are feeling on the inside. What is on the surface “may have little connection to what [women are] feeling” as smiles are merely a tool used to demonstrate a woman’s “happy, willing deference” (Cunningham 151). Cunningham agrees with Sanders about women showing false emotions through their facial expression and body language, as women often use smiles and their looks to hide what is really on their minds.
It is at the time of puberty where “the voices of books and religions, the image of art and film and advertising” play a part in the way males perceive females (Sanders 119). Boys learn about the opposite sex not only from books and TV, but also from their friends, family, and society as well as by simply looking at them. Most boys tend to notice girls around the age of twelve when their hormones start to kick in and play a role in the way they act and think. Who they are around and what influences are around them also determine whether they will look at women as objects or as human beings once they reach that age of sexual desire. It can confuse boys whether “to relish the sight of females”, or to “keep [his] eyes to [him] self” when he sees an attractive woman walk by, because he doesn’t know whether she wants to be noticed or not (119). A woman knows that by dressing and acting provocatively she will gain a man’s attention and that she can later use it to her advantage, so she delivers the image of a sex symbol. However, a woman can’t expect to be seen as a professional smart capable female by men when she is dressed provocatively because while men should control their actions and thoughts they rarely ever do. There is only so much a woman can be held accountable until the blame shifts to the men, for it is one thing for the men to have unmoral thoughts towards women, but it is another thing entirely to act on those thoughts and not take any responsibility whatsoever. That is why, while she may not be able to subdue men’s malicious thoughts, she can have some power over what kind of thoughts they are and use it to benefit herself. She is constantly unintentionally drawing a man’s gaze and she has the choice to illustrate an image of a bright woman or an image of a woman who relies solely on her beauty to get her through life. This shows boys at a young age that women have more to offer than the surface of their bodies. However, smiles are...

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