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“One is not Born a Woman” by Monique Wittig Essay- by EduBirdie

In her article, Monique Wittig (2003) argues the feminine is only one distinct gender, while the masculine has no distinguishing features. Masculinity is described by this writer as something “general” (Wittig, 2003, p. 255). This statement may appear to be provocative, but there are certain examples which can support it. To a great extent, this opinion is based on the ideas of Simone de Beauvoir, especially her book The Second Sex, where she examines the formation of women’s identities (De Beuvoir, 2010).

Essay on “One is not Born a Woman” by Monique Wittig

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To elaborate Monique Wittig’s argument, one should focus on such issues as women’s strong awareness of their gender, the requirements that they are supposed to fill, and the myths about alleged supremacy of males. These factors contributed to the distinctiveness of femininity.

These are some of the themes that should be examined in this paper. Overall, feminist writers show that women are often supposed to meet some distinct requirements that are often defined as gender roles. To a great extent, their behavior is artificially constructed. This is why females pay much more attention to the notion of gender because they can see that it imposes significant restrictions on them.

At first, one should mention that women are keenly aware of their gender, and this is one of the aspects that differs them from men. In her book, Simone de Beauvoir says that “a man never begins by presenting himself as an individual of a certain sex” (De Beuvoir, 2010, p. 2).

In other words, their gender identity is not a central question for them. This is one of the main issues that should not be disregarded. Moreover, there are many academic and non-academic books about femininity, but one can say the same thing about masculinity. This is one of the distinctions that can be singled out.

To a great extent, this situation is the result of the discrimination which was based on such a criterion as gender. In contrast, masculinity was often perceived as the only norm. This is one of the main problems that should be considered since it can throw light on the identity of many women.

Furthermore, it is vital to remember that the behavior of a woman is an artificial construct that is formed in the process of socialization. This means that the behavior of females is not biologically determined. For instance, in her article, Jana Cvikova demonstrates that girls are conditioned to take certain roles; for instance, the role of a mother.

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Boys are not usually taught to act as fathers (Cvikova, 2003). Moreover, various roles of women are limited mostly to the domain of family; however, such restrictions are not imposed on males who are encouraged to choose various career paths (Cvikova, 2003).

In other Follow the Edubirdie words, many women can sense that their life choices are more restricted due to some reasons that are not known to them. This is why one can say that feminine is the only distinct gender. This is one of the main points that can be made. To a great extent, Monique Wittig’s statement can give people in-depth insights into the feminist ideology.

Finally, the distinctive aspects of femininity can also be explained by the myth about the primacy or supremacy of males. In her book, Simone de Beauvoir refers to the ideas of some philosophers such as Aristotle who believed that female nature had been “afflicted with a natural defectiveness” (De Beuvoir, 2010, p. 3).

Similarly, medieval philosophers described women only as “imperfect men” (De Beuvoir, 2010, p. 3). It should be kept in mind that such ideas were expressed by prominent thinkers who had a strong influence on public opinion. As a result, women were marginalized and reduced to subservient status.

On the whole, one can argue that for a long time, females were believed to be secondary to males. Furthermore, this stereotype continues to influence the attitudes and perceptions of many people. This is another reason why women became so aware of their gender.

In contrast, males have never had to struggle with this sense of inferiority. This issue is important for understanding various aspects of femininity. One should take into account that the problems mentioned by Simone de Beauvoir and other feminist writers have not been eliminated nowadays. This is why their ideas continue to be relevant in many modern societies.

These examples show that the distinctiveness of feminine gender is the result or response to the existing social tradition which limited the opportunities available to women and led to the stereotypes according to which females were inferior to males. These are some of the main themes that are explored by contemporary feminist writers.

Additionally, much attention should be paid to the educational practices which legitimize inequality. So, to some degree, Monique Wittig is right in arguing that there is only feminine gender. This statement is critical for understanding the differences in the identity of men and women. Overall, these questions can be of great interest to educators, sociologists, and educators.

Reference List

Cvikova, J. (2003). Pink and Blue World . Gender Stereotypes and their Consequences . Retrieved from

De Beuvoir, S. (2010). The Second Sex. Boston: Random House Publishers India Pvt. Limited.

Wittig, M. (2003). One is not born a woman. In C. McCann (Ed.), Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives (pp. 249-260). New York: Routledge.


“Midaq Alley” The Novels and the Films Ending Essay- by EduBirdie

Ending (Novel)

The ending of the novel “Midaq Alley” can be considered one of the most memorable yet also one of the most tragic endings in written literature. We see the character, Abbas, dying as a direct result of the lies of Hamida who had sought to further her ambitions at the cost of someone who truly loved her.

Essay on “Midaq Alley”: The Novel’s and the Film’s Ending

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Based on my perspective on the novel’s ending, I would have to say that it is symbolic of a common theme of romance at present involving the desire of someone to be loved despite the fact they are confusing love with lust. When examining the character of Abbas within the novel, we can see that this is a man that desires to be with someone (i.e., Hamida) yet knows little about her.

He has created his self-delusion wherein he equates the Hamida’s beauty with her having an equally beautiful personality, however, as the novel shows this is far from what is true. This lack of knowledge regarding Hamida’s true personality and wanting her for marriage is evidence of a person that is confusing love with lust with most relationships such as these ending in tragedy.

It is also often the case that a friend would try to clarify things to dissuade a person that is in lust, this takes the form of Radwan Hussainy who attempted to dissuade Abbas from his feelings for Hamida. However, just as art imitates life a similar scene to what occurs, in reality, can be observed wherein Abbas ignores the advice of Radwan Hussainy and continues to feel strongly for Hamida which inevitably leads to his death.

For me, Midaq Alley can be considered an early form of social commentary yet delves into the lives of ordinary citizens. That is why I believe that the theme of lust versus love is an inherent aspect of the novel’s ending since it is an aspect that is found in many societies at present. When examining the ending of the novel once more, it seems to me that it may be something that the author himself experienced at some point in his life.

Not necessarily the part where Abbas dies (though review this could also be symbolic of the death of the author’s own love life) but in part involving Hamida and how she does not seem to want love but rather status and wealth. What must be understood is that during the period in which the author places the various events in the novel, women within Egypt did not have the same rights and privileges that many enjoy at present.

As a result, the worth of a woman was often equated with the type of husband they marry and the amount of wealth and status that they gain. It is this idea surrounding status and wealth that often resulted in the misconception (though it was at times quite accurate) that Egyptian women did not care for love but rather were focused more on the concept of status.

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One example of this can be seen in the case of Mr. and Mrs. Kirsha wherein Mr. Kirsha’s predilection towards liking young boys should have resulted in divorce. However, Mrs. Krishna in the novel seems helpless to deal with it. This is in part due to the problems related to status wherein divorcing her husband would result in a loss of status for her which she was not willing to lose.

Going back to the issue surrounding Hamida, it can be stated that her representation in the novel is one where the author is trying to show the state of romance as he sees it in Egypt wherein he views the proliferation of males who are seeking love yet the women are more concerned with status and prestige than they are in having a happy married life with their husband. Such an issue is addressed in the ending of the movie which I will address in the next section.

The ending – Movie Ending

In the case of the ending of the movie, we can see the representation of the characters of Hamida and Abbas; however, in this particular case, it is Hamida who dies with Habbas bringing her to the alley to die. For me, this form of death is symbolic of how Abbas tries to redeem visit their website Hamida by bringing her back to her “roots” so to speak.

In other words, this is symbolic of the removal of the traits related to the desire for prestige, position and wealth and rather goes back to the initial state of womanhood and love in the eyes of the author of the novel wherein love is done for the sake of love and nothing else in particular.

This significantly changes how the characters are viewed wherein Abbas instead of being a victim becomes the redeemer with Hamida being the victim that Abbas is trying to redeem in the end.