Saturday, March 7, 2015

How are Laputian women presented? How might a feminist respond to this presentation?

This is a discussion of the Laputian women in Gulliver's Travels.

It seems to me that the Laputian women had a false freedom. That is they were free to roam about and do what they wished as long as they stayed on the island. They were represented in an adulterous, haughty, and ungrateful way. It seemed that the expected the women should be happy to do what they pleased where they were “allowed” to go. The men didn’t seem to think that they should at all have to care about their wives and daughters. This naturally would result in rebelliousness, because every wife and daughter has needs and opinions of their own. But for the Laputian women, these needs, instead of being met, were replaced by a false pretense of freedom.

A feminist approach would probably argue that the women should be allowed to roam where they pleased with all the same rules as the men had, doing all the same things as the men did. Feminism would say that the Laputian’s adulterous actions were “okay” and “normal”. They might use the Court Lady running away as an attempt to assert her authority over herself, showing that she could do anything they could do.

Whether Gulliver has a feminist view or not, he certainly does not seem to have a praiseworthy opinion of the Laputian women or their frivolous actions.