Tag Archive: defying social constructs


Accepting All

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Vistima called herself, “a Frankenstein Monster.” Which is referencing Mary Shelly’s, Novel Frankenstein. She relates to the creature in various aspects as do many people who are rejected constantly by society. As we know the creature was scientifically created with the intent of perfection and beauty. However, Victor upon finishing his creation saw what he had indeed “labored.” He was disgusted and automatically rejected the creature. The creature to him was imperfect and deformed. The creature was that like a baby eager to learn and be loved.

However, countless times he was abused and rejected all due to his “abnormal” features. He was a new species and could not compare himself to others. The creature expresses, “still I desired love and fellowship, and I was still spurned. Was there no injustice in this? Am I to be thought the only criminal, when all humankind have sinned against me? Why do you not hate Felix who drove a friend from his door contumely? Why do you not execrate the rustic who sought to destroy his own child? Nay, these are virtuous and immaculate beings! I, the miserable and abandoned, am an abortion, to be spurned at, and kicked, and trampled on. Even now my blood boils at the recollection of this injustice” (188).

The creature wanted acceptance and love. He freely loved the cottagers and often helped them, and was inspired by them. He learned speech and tried to associate himself with them with passion. So, then questions how mankind does not blame himself for their own deeds. The creature was a friend and was turned away upon sight. He questions why Victor is not to blame for neglecting him, he is Victor’s child. Yet, mankind still calls themselves “virtuous” and “immaculate,” as if they are void of all fault. Similarly, how society justifies itself proclaiming and pointing out that they are not the “abnormal ones” which excuses their malignant actions against humanity. Instead of accepting the creature for who he is, instead, he is abused and is rightly angered. Why should he be the one suffering if he didn’t create himself? Why is that he is depicted as a monstrosity for what he is and not others for their actual crimes!?

Sexuality and gender under societal perceptions have been constructively binary. All opposition to one’s choice is obliterated and frowned upon. Even in today’s society having programs in support and LGBTQ+ community, is not enough for some people. If one crosses the bounds of binary idealistic lines, it is abnormal and to some an abomination. Religious denominations and universal societies proclaim that such views are “satanic” or “mental” illness that should be cured. Thus, if you cross the bounds or “normalcy,” you are condemned, bullied, abused, rejected and so much more. People that consider themselves within the LGBTQ+ community are always vulnerable. They have been Othered by their own friends, families, or society. All simply because they consider themselves a different gender, or sexual attraction, or just wanting to be who they truly are.

It is quite unfortunate and heartbreaking to hear how Filisa Vistima committed suicide as so have many of them. The statistics expressed in Jessica Fisher’s post, “U.S. Transgender Survey, 40% of respondents have attempted suicide in their life…” The reality is concerning and should be spoken about. Just like the Creature resonates with Filisa, and countless more, as a society should be less judgemental and narrow. Why must fiction tell us how to conduct ourselves instead of accepting loving one another? Why must people die in order for a word to be spoken? Rage expresses empowerment. The creature was also enraged by how much he was rejected and abused. Wanting to be yourself in any way shape or form should not be a crime.

  • Karla Garcia Barrera

By Mahealani LaRosa

Mary Wollstonecraft vehemently speaks out against the church and stereotypical gender roles in her text A Vindication of the Rights of Men. She continuously says that she believes women are solely important in society for the way the look, and specifically for their beauty. However when she defines beauty, she says that it is not just a surface level idea. Men have convinced women “that littleness and weakness are the very essence of beauty” and that nature, by “making women little, smooth, delicate, fair creatures” has taken away their right to “exercise their reason” and “excite respect” (47). Women exist to only create “pleasing sensations” by being “uniform and perfect” (47). To Wollstonecraft, whether or not women are intelligent or have morals is unimportant in society. In relation to her criticism of a woman’s place in the world, she asks an important question: “Is hereditary weakness necessary to render religion lovely?” (50). The radical feminist is saying that the connotated weakness that comes with the the idea of beauty also comes with religion. Ultimately, she says that “politics and morals, when simplified, would undermine religion and virtue” (59). And in society, women are not allowed to express their opinions surrounding politics or morals, because they are beautiful and weak, and “weakness and indulgence are the only incitements to love and confidence that you can discern” when “you love the church, your country, and its laws, you repeatedly tell us, because they deserve to be loved” (51). Overall, Wollstonecraft argues that to be beautiful is to be weak, and to be weak is to fear the church so greatly you believe it is love and devotion.

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Mary Wollstonecraft’s daughter, Mary Shelley, communicates some of these thoughts and opinions in her groundbreaking novel Frankenstein, especially in the characterization and life story of Justine. Justine is described as “frank-hearted and happy” and “the most grateful little creature in the world” (66). However, when she is accused of murder, her fear of the church and of God lead to her untrue confession and then to her unjust death. Over and over she says “God knows how entirely I am innocent” (80). She says that “the God of heaven forgive me!” and that that “God raises my weaknesses, and gives me courage to endure the worst” (83). Her complete trust in God is a sign of her weakness that is truly a sign of her fear.

Justine dupes herself into thinking she needs to be forgiven. She knows that she is innocent, but threats of damnation and hell scare her into confessing something she did not do. Because Justine is a woman, she is seen as weak and fearful by the men who run the church she obeys. She is an easy target because her beauty and innocence and terror end up ruining her in the end. Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley, mother and daughter, both show that beauty should not be a characteristically defining trait. If Justine had based her confession off of her morals and her education and had been respected by the men who ran her church, she would have been found innocent. After further discussion, I still believe Wollstonecraft does a fantastic job calling out the issues in society and in various societal systems, and these thoughts and opinions ae translated very well into Shelley’s Frankenstein, especially in the scene of the death of Justine, or more accurately, the death of Justice, for women and for all.