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Victimization In Margaret Atwood's ÐŽ§Rape FantasiesЎЁ

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Rape Fantasies: Female Victimization

Margaret AtwoodÐŽ¦s ÐŽ§Rape FantasiesЎЁ, a monologue of a woman discus her concern about the topic of rape, demonstrates the power struggle between men and women and how female are victimized by the society. Furthermore, Atwood talks about the importance of having ÐŽ§voiceЎЁ as a power or solution to victimization.

In the story, there is an exploration of female vulnerability, and victimization in the rape fantasies. Atwood through using the voice of the first-person narrator, Estelle, to show that women have been unconsciously accept the idea, which is created by the media, that women are inferior and submissive to men. Estelle is critical to the romantic fantasies of her coworkers as they accept the stereotypes of female in their fantasies. At the beginning of the story, Estelle criticizes magazines that ЎҐthey put it ÐŽ§rapeЎЁ in capital letters on the front cover, and inside they have these questionnaires like the ones they used to have about whether you were a good wife or endomorph or an ectomorph.ÐŽ¦ (p.93) Atwood uses the magazines to present the expectation of the society on the female as powerlessness and vulnerable. Female are forced to accept the perception that how they should look or behave, especially when they encounter the rapists. As we read along the rape fantasies, we find that EstelleÐŽ¦s colleagues are very much different from her, e.g. ChrissyÐŽ¦s reveal their acceptance of the magazineÐŽ¦s views of women ÐŽV women fail to defend themselves. When they are facing sexual threat, they have to accept it passively or with tears. In ChrissyÐŽ¦s fantasy, she mentions, ÐŽ§I canÐŽ¦t very well get out of the bathtub. The bathroom is too small and heÐŽ¦s blocking the doorway, so I just lie thereЎЁ (p.96) Women cannot protect themselves completely in the reality, and yet, they also fail to get a means of protection in their fantasies. Similarly, in the story ÐŽ§Where are you going? Where have you been?ЎЁ, Arnold exercises his power on Connie. First, he shows how fragile Connie is. She cannot have the protection from her family as they are away. She is completely unsafe in the physical environment that her house, which is normally regarded as a shelter, is ÐŽ§nothing but a cardboard box I can knock down any timeЎЁ instead. It seems to suggest that there is no security or safety for female. Thus, Connie is inferior in front of the violent, physically strong man. She loses her body, identity and probably her life to Arnold. Women are regarded as weak and vulnerable.

In contrast to her coworkers, Estelle tries hard to reject the traditional female role of being a victim. Instead of being a passive observer, she fights back in her fantasies. She is not weak in her scenarios. Instead, her fantasy of being a kung-fu expert demonstrates her desire to have full control over her body, as well as her safety. She regains power from imagining the rapists to be the victims. The rapists suffer from the defects, e.g. bad skill, mental illness. In this way, she prevents



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