« Journal 1: Wittig and Foucault | Main | When Girls Will Be Boys »

Journal 2: Wittig

Class Journal Week 6

The major issues we discussed in class were ideas from Wittig on the social contract along with a little bit of Foucault. We mostly talked about Wittig’s ideas of a male dominated social contract and how woman were viewed in that social contract.

One of the first major issues touched on was how woman were exchanged between men to help form a relationship between the two men. We talked about how the men would secure their friendship by giving away a daughter or another woman, while the woman really had no say in their situation and just were thought of as political gifts. This led to talking about how woman are forced into certain roles in society not as leaders but as mothers and wives and in a way slaves to men. This led to a discussion on the “incest taboo? which exists in most cultures. We than talked about how Wittig said woman should try to break away from this and form a new social contract in which woman were not as oppressed. We talked about how woman could break away from the social contract by not accepting it. This led to us further discussing the idea of a slave accepting his situation by obeying the slave master. Another thing we discussed was how the word heterosexual was made only after homosexual, because heterosexual is already assumed by society as part of the social contract.

One of the last things we talked about was from Foucault. We talked about how when a king takes over another piece of land that he derives his power from the people accepting him. They need him for order but he needs them just as much. This is also another example of the social contract.

As for Wittigs idea on the heterosexual social contract I think she does make some good points, but some of her ideas are a little far out and outdated. As for it being a part of the social contract that woman to be with a man, I think it is more of a natural thing for most people to be attracted to the opposite sex. I know that not all people are but it is the natural way of the things that men and woman were meant to be together, for at very least reproductive purposes. So I think that a woman being with a man is less of a social contract idea and more of a natural occurrence. I don’t think that the social contract being “heterosexual? is that big of a deal. I think it is only natural to assume someone is heterosexual, that might just be me following the social contract, but I think it goes back to just being the way people are made. In today’s society I believe homosexuality is being accepted more than in the past but I believe that the social contract will always be heterosexual. So I don’t think woman have to go as extreme as some of her suggestions to change the social contract. I think woman can still be a mother and a wife as well as an independent person not a slave for men.

We talked about how woman were used as gifts to secure the contract and that was true in the past but not as much if at all today. Today I think woman are mostly seen as equal to men. I can see how woman are still oppressed by society but I think great strides have been made recently. For example today it is possible that the next president of our country may be a female. I know that this is far from being the case everywhere in the world but I do not think it is the same as it was in the past. Woman today are taking roles that are equal to and greater than men. That is why I think some of her talk about woman having to break away to form a new contract is a little outdated because woman are seen as equals in most cases.

Also as far as men being the leaders and woman not being as powerful in the past I think this may have hade some basis in nature as well. As society was formed there had to be a specific point where men took the control over woman and they allowed it. It is kind of like what we talked about the slave and the slave master needing each other. Men had the power over the women because they gave them the power by accepting the men’s control. I think that in some way the nature of the people in society when it was first formed had a lot to do with the way the contract was set up.

Finally I think that Wittig’s ideas are a little to far out there for what I believe. I think that todays world is different than in the past but I also think some things will never change. Men and Woman inherently have some differences and that will always be. I also think that the heterosexual contact will always be too just because of the way it is imbedded into society along with nature.