After having read this book multiple times and the using it as a main reference in my dissertation I thought it was about time I put my thoughts out there. Every time I find myself reading this book it is always the third chapter that sticks out the most for me.
His lack of empathy towards women in this chapter astounds me.. some see it as his way of celebrating women. I see it as condemning them. He talks about how women are nothing but a ‘mirror image’, but it was men who lead us to believe that was what we initially were for.
“To be born a women has been to be born, within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men… But this has been at the cost of a women’s self being split in two. A women must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself”
We really ave become conscious of how we are perceived by others. And Berger talks about how it in theory started back as far as the biblical story of Adam and Eve. The women made the first mistake and then was made to feel shame over her nakedness, From there they made Eve subservient to Adam.
And from then it is said to have started. Then referencing art work through the ages that has depicted the naked form of a women being watched or looking at herself. We work ourselves around how we want men to perceive us, body images stems from wanting acceptance and to be desired by men. And Berger put it in this format that shows us how women are vanity they only are pleased by what we see in our reflection.
But really yes women got handed the mirror by the artists/ photographers but it was the women who chose to accept what was handed to her and admire her own appearance.