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Bloodchild: Gender Inequality in Society

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    Bloodchild by Octavia Butler is seen as a story about the relationship between alien oppressors and a group oppressed humans. It has also been described as a love story between the human narrator and the chief alien. In her afterword, she describes “Bloodchild” as “a love story between two very different beings,” “a coming of age story” and a “pregnant man story.”(Hardy) However, when one comparing Butler’s “Bloodchild” to Simone De Beauvoir’s essay “The second sex”, similarities surrounding the social issues of gender inequality arise. The circumstances of the narrator mirror social issues affecting modern women. Bloodchild by Octavia Butler examines the dynamics of power between the sexes; by switching the gender roles in the story, she show how women are marginalized in society.

    Women are living in a patriarchal society which contributes to gender inequality. It dominates most of the institutions of society like; religion, the family politics, and the work place. The International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences describes patriarchy as a social structural phenomenon in which males have the privilege of dominance over females, both visibly and subliminally. The value of women is often reduced to the role of Trophies, housekeepers and reproductive tools. “Because the subordination of women to men is a feature in the majority of all societies, patriarchy is often argued to be due to biology, such as women’s principal role in childbearing.”(Darity) Patriarchy is the cultural norm of many societies so it is seen as natural. “Bloodchild” challenges how natural the role is by reversing the roles and showing a parasitic male pregnancy. Feminist theory is an important idea to apply when analyzing how women are.


    1.  Ed. Stephen A. Scipione Feinstein and Marisa. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, n.d. 119-34. Print. 29 Oct. 2013.
    2. Darity William A. Inequality, Gender.” International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. Ed. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2008. 624-627. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.
    3. De Beauvoir Simone. “The second sex” Ch.1. 2009. Science Fiction Stories and Contexts. Ed. Stephen A. Scipione and Marisa Feinstein. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, n.d. 119-34. Print.
    4. Locke, Jillian L. “Feminism (Second-Wave).” Encyclopedia of U.S. Political History. Ed. Thomas S. Langston. Vol. 6: Postwar Consensus to Social Unrest, 1946 to 1975. Washington, DC: CQ Press, 2010. 170-174. Gale Virtual Library Hardy, Sarah Madsen. “Bloodchild.” Short Stories for Students. Detroit: Gale, 2002. Literature Resource Center. Web. 1 Dec. 2013

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