Exploring The Odyssey through a Feminist Lens

Exploring The Odyssey through a Feminist Lens

Exploring Literature through the Feminist Lens Feminist Lens The feminist lens allows us to look at text through the eyes of a feminist to closely analyze how women are portrayed and presented in comparison to men. Feminism- movement for social, political, economic, and cultural equality between men and women; campaigns against gender inequalities. Feminist critics believe: Civilization is patriarchal Gender is socially constructed

Reading through a Feminist Lens How are women portrayed? What are the roles of women? What is expected of women? What is valued? What sexual stereotypes are present? How does societys construction of gender influence women? What is portrayed as feminine? How do women relate with men? How do marriages, families, friendships, and other relationships function between men and women? How is power dispersed between men and women? How are the identities of women presented? Are womens voices heard? Why or why not?

What is the authors view of women? How have we already used a Feminist Lens in our study of The Odyssey? Harkness Discussion What is Homers view of women, and how is it presented in the text? Roles What does it mean to be a woman in Ancient Greece? What different roles do women play in The Odyssey? Are they all traditionally feminine roles?

Power and Influence How are women denied power and influence in the epic? In what ways are women able to exert their power and influence? How do women both aid and hinder Odysseus and other men during their journeys? Relationships How do men and women relate with one another in the epic? What are their relationships like? How do Odysseus and other male characters view women? Is this the same way Homer views women? Feminist Lens in The Odyssey Why do you think Scylla and Charybdis are personified as women, and why is it significant? What qualities do the two monsters possess? Do they remind us of other female characters in the epic?

I never noticed that they were referred to as she. When looking at the text through the Feminist Lens, readers are constantly considering how women are presented in comparison to men. Readers search for use of language (such as the word she referring to both the monsters Scylla and Charybdis) that indicate gender roles, stereotypes, inequalities, and relationships. Feminist Lens: Mount Rushmore Mount Rushmore Traditional Lens: Monument honoring our countrys founding

presidents. Feminist Lens: History glorifies men; women have no impact in Americas history. Till this day, there hasnt been a female president. Politics is a masculine career path. Feminist Lens: Barbie Doll

Barbie Doll Traditional Lens: The Barbie doll is a popular girls toy. Feminist Lens: Barbie reinforces traditional female roles (mother, nurse,

teacher). The doll tells girls that these are the ideal career paths. Depicts fashion and materialism as feminine Promotes an unrealistic body image -2007: Barbie Learns to Cook Speech bubble states: "Ken loves my famous casserole yummy!" Feminist Lens: Love Story by Taylor Swift Feminist Lens: Love Story by Taylor Swift Love Story by Taylor Swift Traditional Lens:

Daydreaming of marriage Idealization of the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Feminist Lens: Women are incomplete without a man Men are in control (Romeo save me, Ill be waiting, you were everything to me, I was begging you, I talked to your dad)

Switching of gender roles from Shakespeares original text Exit Questions Define feminist lens in your own words. In your opinion, why is it important to analyze cultural icons or music (ex. Barbie and Love Song) as well as literature (ex. The Odyssey) with a feminist lens?

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