As I was reading my fellow classmates’ blog posts, I couldn't help but come back to Leah and Lindsay’s topical discussion of the “gold-digger”. I am fascinated with this role, because, as we know, it can be played by both males and females. Additionally, I find this character particularly interesting since one may compare him or her to the prostitute or giglo (a male prostitute), down the street. That is, the female prostitute is engaging in a non-intimate sexual activity out of her need or desire for monetary payment. This is not to suggest that she did not whole-heartedly enjoy the sexual act, but it nonetheless highlights her ultimate goal: money. Similarly, the attractive twenty-five year old female who marries the rich 55 year old male is motivated out of desire for security, luxuries and/or perhaps the fuzzy feelings of being showered with love and adoration, despite whether she whole-heartedly enjoys playing wifey. She is valued, just as the prostitute is valued; but at what cost?
Marilyn Frye might suggest that both the prostitute and female “gold digger” are in politically, socially and economically compromising positions, due to the systemic conditions that influence her situated self as a female. Let’s assume that a sufficient percentage of Americans treat the prostitute’s employment as sexually oppressive, seeing as she is forced to sell her body in order to feed her self and possibly others. How might this female differ from the female who essentially sells her body into a law-binding contract with a person she is not genuinely in love with, and might have never married otherwise?
Some might suggest that the prostitute is gaining self-defined power by manipulating the male’s libido to get what she wants. Yet, according to Frye, the act of a male opening a door for a female is inherently sexist due to the long history of sexist structures and cultural norms. That said, I would like to suggest the idea that being in power is fundamentally different than being empowered. Accordingly, although both the prostitute and the female “gold digger” might feel empowered by their abilities to exploit or manipulate their respective male counterparts, Frye might argue that both are only fueling the system that which subordinates the female. Like allowing the male to prop open the door for you, the prostitute and female “gold digger” are allowing the system to operate smoothly. They do not think of themselves as contributing to the systemic forces that oppress them as females. Perhaps this comments on the capitalistic nature of humans, since the Industrial Revolution. If one assumes the intellectual position of Frye, should he or she actively advocate against the female “gold digger” and prostitute’s choices? Should we actively force men to cease opening doors for females?