The Exposition of the Feminist Issue of Property

Octavia Butler weaves feminist issues into her text. She critically analyzes the objectification of women. In the reading of Bloodchild, I was surprised to find this quote ” you’re not her. You’re just her property” (18). As appalled as I was reading the quote, I understood the theme of property as a common issue within her novels.  Fledgling and Seed to Harvest all dealt with what constitutes someone as property. Butler’s use of people as property can be perceived as slavery or the reversal objectification of women.

Wild Seed exposed the ultimate disgust for using people as property. Repeatedly, Butler’s characters are used for reproduction purposes only. Doro oversaw Anyanwu, due to her strength, she was used as a breeding ground for Doro’s experiments. The issue of the objectification of women is the correlation with women as property. Butler turns this idea on its head by developing strong female lead characters. Anyanwu may be under the supreme advisement of Doro, but he is unable to control her because she is stronger than he is. Fledgling, deals with various issues, but Shori continuously perceives her symbionts as property. She knows they will come around to love her in the end however, there is no mutual agreement before she bites her symbiont. She uses the term my in reference to her symbionts as if they were her property.

Butler exposes the objectification of women as only being perceived for reproduction purposes. She introduces the idea that relationships should be mutually enjoyable and consentual. Due to her characters being coined as property, there is no consent in the activities within the relationship, whether the activities are sexual or laborious. Butler’s critique of the objectification women exposes a new wave of thinking of the true meaning of equality between sexes, such as respecting women’s bodies, consent, reproductive rights and strength.

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