Objectification of Women
Emiko, a biologically-enginnered sex slave stuck in the endless cycle of abuse at an illegal sex club, is a symbol of the treatment and objectification of women. In objectification, people are viewed as objects or things that someone else can treat those people however they want. Women are sometimes seen as sex objects, something for men to use for their own pleasure. However, many women don’t see they are being objectified; they think it’s important to keep their partner happy and will do whatever they want, even if that means their own degradation.
After Emiko’s initial abuse, some other men come in. Emiko then “feels a stirring of her genetic urge to please” (47). Although she was crafted as a literal sex object, she has feelings and emotion on how she is treated. Some women feel obligated to make their partner happy, so they do anything. They feel that it’s their duty as a woman to make their partner happy. If they don’t make their significant other happy, they themselves are failing as women, whose supposed instinct is to take care of people and to be submissive. Most women don’t even realize this feeling of responsibility. They’ve been taught since they were young to let other’s have access to their body without having their permission. For example, many kids, especially girls, are told to hug their aunt/uncle/grandparent/whatever even if the child doesn’t want to. “Don’t be rude! Give them a hug. You’re making them sad.” So the kid caves in and gives their family member a hug. This is perpetuating the idea that even if you don’t like what someone is doing to you, you have to let them to make them happy. The idea is so ingrained in Emiko that she can’t help but want to please her johns, even after her abuse. I think she realizes the wrongness in this, though, and probably doesn’t want to be kept a slave any longer. Hopefully, she will be freed from the disgusting acts and people at the club.
Source: Bacigalupi, Paolo. The Windup Girl. San Francisco: Night Shade, 2009. Print.