Embodied Shame: Uncovering Female Shame in Contemporary Womens Writings
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However, that strategy is limited and worrisome because it overlooks the social nature of shame. Besides, not every shame experience provides an occasion for moral reaffirmation or development, rather experiencing shame is often relevant to social expectation or discrimination. All rights reserved. Women of all races, for example, are more likely than white men to be criticized for irrationality, lack of self-control, and inadequate attention to principle.
They are thus given cause to feel ashamed of their agency. Shaming criticisms may also be leveled against anyone whether subordinated or privileged who does not conform to sexist, racist, etc. Brooks Bouson states, body shame is "a cultural inheritance of women," and "female body remains a source of profound shame for many women" in a culture that devalues women. Since self-image of body and self-consciousness of sexuality are closely associated with self-identity formation, either body shame or sexual shame leads to negative perceptions toward the self.
Studies on the psychology of women also confirm that women are in general less assertive than men are, have lower self-esteem, less overall confidence, and poorer self- concepts. In the same vein, shame can be understood as "a feeling of inferiority" or "a sense of inadequacy.
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Feminism is a struggle to end 'sexist oppression,' and it struggles for the eradication of ideology of domination that permeates culture on various levels. To be ashamed, I need either an actual other or internalized other in my imagination. In the latter case, the other before whom I am only myself. It becomes contradictory when women tend to judge other women based on the criteria or standard set by the society through the process of introjective identification. Psychological oppression is dehumanizing and depersonalizing; it attacks the person in her personhood.
Women in the Bible
As a result, many oppressed persons consider themselves as insufficient to meet social norms or expectations. To believe I am inferior makes me ashamed of self-identity.
Overall, to be psychologically oppressed is to be caught in the double bind of a society: the oppressed are confined by both socially constructed bars and walls of one's own making. Shame, which was overlooked by most psychotherapists, has been thoroughly covered starting with Helen B.
Lewis' work, Shame and Guilt in Neurosis, and now shame's significant effect on daily life is recognized as an important issue in psychotherapy. According to Laura Brown, "feminist therapy first emerged from the consciousness-raising groups of the Second Wave women's movement" as a protest against sexism in the mental health professions. To take a concrete example, here, we will look at oppression-shame relations concentrating upon fat issues for women who suffer from fat oppression and shame. Fat oppression can be defined as the fear and hatred of fat people, and the concomitant presence of oppressive and discriminatory practices aimed toward fat people.
Due to the effects of socio- cultural-historical pressure, many women as a group have internalized fat-oppressive or fat- negative attitudes, which entail a sense of shame. An internalized fat oppressive attitude for women limits their choices because it lowers their self-confidence of their bodies and being themselves. The bigger problem is in the common beliefs that fat is dangerous and unhealthy and that overweight women are unattractive and lazy.
When we recall bell hook's argument that feminism is an anti-oppression movement, feminist therapy also must involve an anti-fat oppressive feminist theory and practice. Laura S.
follow site Brown suggests the corrective measure in feminist therapy. The first step towards an anti-fat oppressive stance is the acknowledgement of one's own fat oppressive attitudes. The second step, as a consciousness raising process, is self-awareness and self-exploration to determine how fat oppression expresses itself in our own lives. New Oxford American Dictionary. Edited by Angus Stevenson, Christine A. New York: Oxford University Press, Tesser, D.
Stapel, and J. Taylor, I owe the term 'body consciousness' to Richard Shusterman.
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