by. Bong Eunseo
I personally believe in the sane alternative that Huxley pursues. I strongly believe that if the humanity keeps pursuing a better world, a sane world is never impossible to achieve. However, there are countless conflicts and disequilibriums which hinder us from getting close to the sane, ideal world. One of the examples that I concentrate on is discrimination, especially the discrimination over gender. By gender inequality, or sexism, I am referring to misogyny in detail. Misogyny, which I define as the thought or behavior of not respecting women as equal being to men, is a single, significant dilemma that our society faces these days. Brave New World is somehow closely related to this issue. It is because the book itself contains a certain degree of misogynistic ideas.
In the Brave New World, there is a phrase that says “Everyone belongs to everyone else.” Even though this phrase is used to show the sexual promiscuity of the society in the dystopian world, we can interpret this phrase as everybody works for everybody else and they are all equal, regarding the point that Huxley made this dystopian world and the caste system to emphasize the opposite values of life in the real world of our own. This phrase can be directly connected to the issue of misogyny, because discrimination is the exact opposite concept of equality and egalitarianism. To draw out a solution from the phrase, we have to eliminate misogyny in order to pursue equality between every human in the world.
Misogyny can be found in almost every aspects of life. Sometimes we face a very violent form of misogyny, and sometimes we can find a very subtle point of misogyny. One of the most common area that we can find misogynistic ideas, but also one of the hardest area that we can detect the subtle misogyny is the mass media. Mass media, such as TV programs, advertisements, movies, dramas and books, often contain misogyny. For instance, the famous TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ had become an issue once, because of a misogynistic scene where the female character, Sansa Stark, is being raped by a male character. The camera shows another male character watching Sansa being raped, objectifying the female character. Another example can be found in the Brave New World. Lenina is a character who shows unorthodox behaviors such as her sexual habits that wants to see a single person for a long time, and being attracted to Bernard, a typical misfit. However, unlike the unorthodoxy of male characters, Lenina’s unorthodoxy is not regarded as important factors, and diminishes through the book. it is a typical misogyny where women can’t be a main character.
Some people opposes to the idea of misogyny being everywhere. For example, many people thought it was just a dramatic and romantic way of showing the character’s love when currently broadcasted tvN drama ‘Oh! Haeyoung, Again!’ contained a scene where a male character violently pushes a female character against the wall, grabs her wrist, and make not consensual physical contacts, Many people said it is not portraying women as a passive, incapable beings but just a dramatic scene where many women actually feel it is romantic. Nevertheless, I believe it is certainly a misogynistic scene, and it can lead to the justification of violence toward women, by making the audience think every women likes violently being forced.
Although misogyny is a very complex issue that is spread all over the world, I firmly believe that we can overcome it and make our world one step closer to the sane world Huxley presents. In order to achieve that, the best resolution is the stop consuming misogynistic contents and thinking about them. Roxane Gay, the author of the book ‘Bad Feminist,’ said that we should stop watching TV shows that portrays women like an object, or listening to songs that depicts women as a price or asset that a successful man has and start pointing out what points should be changed. The resolution to this issue which I want to give is similar to what she said during her lecture. I believe the only way to eliminate the gender inequality and sexism is to realize there is a misogynistic point in the mass media, discuss and debate about the misogyny in our lives, until we can achieve an ideal Final End where there is no discrimination or disequilibrium and people love each other. When the day comes, the world will be a one whole, united world where the last line of Park Hyosin’s ‘Home,’ “My world is yours, and your world is mine,” comes true.