"Brave New World": Men's Domination Over Women
The men and women in Brave New World have very different roles in society. They are different not only based on sex but also on location and the situation at hand. In situations or places of power, such as the workplace, men are represented as physiologically and mentally superior to women. This includes most situations in life. Women, however, do maintain a higher standing when relating to social roles. When it comes to sexual situations, they both seem to hold the same standing. In Brave New World, men are held in higher standing than women in all situations, excluding the single category of social situations.
Men are shown as superior to women all throughout the book by the way they act and by the way they live. The book starts out showing that overall dominance. Although it may seem like a nuance, the tour at the Hatchery gives a slight view of how women are represented. This is because all of the students touring are males. The book starts out with this tour in order to show that women are restricted to the things that they can do at an early age. Soon after, they begin to describe how pregnancies are handled. The author includes a short but important fact about the process of reproduction. The government, in an attempt to control reproduction, sterilizes the fetuses of the females. The males, however, are not sterilized. Even if there was a flaw in the male, their fetus would not be cleansed. This is a big indicator of the physiological dominance of men over women. Reproduction is a very big part of life and is therefore extremely important. The sterilizing of female fetuses only shows that when dealing with life, they do not want to put it in the life of a woman. They have no problem leaving the future of their offspring in the hands of the males, even if it is unhealthy.
Yet another problem that women have to deal with is the Malthusian belt. It is another one of the government’s attempts to stop the birth of new babies. It hasn’t failed them yet, so why should they stop? That is the mentality that they have throughout the entire book. Lastly, all the high positions are held by men. Bernard and Helmholtz are the leaders of propaganda, Henry and the Director lead the Hatchery, and Mustapha and Mond are the main people in charge of the government. A striking similarity between all of these is that they are all male. Is this a coincidence? I do not think so.
Women, although obviously inferior in most cases of this new world, maintain a meager level of prominence and well-being when it comes to social situations. This is one place where power does not really affect the people. But although they are not considered complete dirt, women are not thought of as higher up than men. They are considered equal, if anything. A prime example of this is with Lenina and Bernard. Their situation shows that when it comes to sexual relations, women are encouraged to explore their wildest creativities. Because of their recent fame, both Lenina and Bernard eagerly set out to have sex with as many people as they possibly can. Lenina did not have to ask Bernard or make sure it was ok. As soon as he decided the sleep around, she decided as well. This is the only situation where women have a decent amount of individuality and freedom. And they are not even considered higher up than men. They are just thought of as on the same level as them.
The relationship between the men and women in Brave New World clearly shows that men are superior in all areas of life, excluding the singular area of social situations. Men are the leaders of all the positions in life that require or describe power, and women are the dirt by which the men tread. In all areas of this brave new life, women are considered as dirty creatures that should be tamed. This is not how we should view women. The author did an amazing job of writing a clever satirical piece that reflects this issue.
© 2011 chasemillis