Feminist Lens - Jacky Smith



Dehumanising
Looking at the passage visit to the doctor with a feminist lens we can see difference between the males and females. First off Offred is lying on a table naked with her face covered. Having her face covered dehumanizes her. Not being able to see a person’s face takes away their humanity due to the fact that you cannot tell who this person is. Having a sheet covering the face makes Offred unrecognizable, when you do not recognize a person it makes it a lot easier to abuse that person making them weaker or inhuman similar to propaganda in the world war. She describes the sheet as “At neck level there’s another sheet, suspended from the ceiling. It intersects me so that the doctor will never see my face. He deals with torso only”

Power
In the passage visit to the doctor one thing is evident about the power held by the two genders. Clothing is protection, protection from the sun and cold etc… However in the passage Offred has no clothing on where as the Doctor does. She describes her situation as “I’m naked I lie down on thee examining table ,on the sheet of chilly crackling disposable paper” Does she really need to be completely naked to take this checkup? This nakedness makes Offred completely vulnerable to the doctor.

Unnecessary Language and Checking.
Another odd thing about this passage is the fact that the doctor is checking her breast when he is supposed to check her fertility. This is what Offred describes “My breast are fingered in their turn”. The doctor is also using terms of endearment towards Offred when she is in this helpless position. The doctor asked her “Any pain, honey?” which is taking control over her.

Sex
The doctor also urges Offred to have sex with him. This makes it seem like women are only useful for recreating because he asked to help her.” How do you think?’’ he says, still barely breathing it. Is that his hand, sliding up my leg? He’s taken off the glove. “The door’s locked. No one will come in. they’ll never know it isn’t his.” This also suggest that women are not just only good for child rearing but that she didn’t really have a choice of who she can be with. The doctor has more power than Offred and did not even ask before taking the gloves off and putting his hands on her. He also has more power over her, Offred expresses this “He could fake the tests, report me for cancer, for infertility, have me shipped off to the colonies, with the Unwoman. None of this has been said, but the knowledge of his power hangs nevertheless in the air.”

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