Essay on online newspaper Washington Post

The current event selected for examination in this article is from the online daily Washington Post. The article, headed Amazon Studios CEO Roy Price suspended amid sexual harassment allegations, discusses the sexual harassment issue involving Roy Price, the president of Amazon's video business, who was suspended by the firm following a public accusation of sexually harassing her. Harriet Martineau and Charlotte Perkins Gilman's beliefs on the roles of women in modern society and the influence of men's sexual dominance on the career and social standing of women in the modern world will be used to discuss the current occurrence. In accordance with the theory of Martineau, the most vital law of social life is human happiness, which is achieved in the process of work and family and social life. She would respond to the event by stating that it is totally inappropriate to achieve moral and physical happiness by means of compromising someone and deliberately damaging the life of other person by means of making her to commit actions against her will (Langermann and Niebrugge, 2007). The second theorist, Charlotte Perkins Gilman based her theory on the supposition that despite the ability of men and women to achieve success, men use their power to suppress women on their way to get satisfaction (Langermann and Niebrugge, 2007). Thesis: I agree with Charlotte Perkins Gilman that the behavior of Roy Price in relation to Isa Hackett, Rose McGowan and other women, accused him in sexual harassment, was explained by desire of men to dominate over women as well as by the fact that the rational dismantling of the household led to men’s humiliation of women and supposition that women are defined more by their bodies and are the objects of sexual satisfaction.

The first reason I agree with Charlotte Gilman that Roy Price’s sexual harassments in relation to women, working in Amazon studio is the desire to demonstrate domination over women in all spheres of life and work. Gilman developed her theory of feminism and male domination by focusing on gender stratification and arguing that many economic arrangements, made in favor of men, can be blamed for the gendered division of labor and underlying the significance and power of men in American society (Elliott, 1989). Gilman writes that economic arrangements can be referred to everything, related to work. In accordance with Gilman, modern society is based on the "sexuo-economic arrangement", as she calls them. Gilman underlines that modern society strongly believes a master class is that of men, while a subordinate class is that of women. Hui, the author of the article, writes that Roy’s case is not the unique one, when the men of high social positions, were accused in excessive use of their social and physical power to demonstrate their desire to reach domination over the representatives of the weaker sex:

“Hackett’s allegations come as more women have spoken out about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, ignited by allegations against Weinstein. So far, 32 women have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault, according to a running list being kept by Vanity Fair. Among them are Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow and Kate Beckinsale” (Hui, 2017).

The second argument of Gilman’s theory, with which I agree, is that Isa Hackett was harassed by Price, because he wants to dominate over her, despite her high social position, almost equal with his one. Gilman viewed the pattern of male domination over women as the roots, which are hidden in the desire of women to be recognized by others. Like Marx, Gilman strongly agreed that significant work is the core of human self-realization (Ritzer, 2010). Isa Hackett is a producer on the Amazon series “The Man in the High Castle”. She is a successful woman, taking one of the leading positions in the company. I may even say that she can be placed in the same raw with Price. The latter tries to demonstrate his domination not only as a man, but as a head of the company, where Hackett works. If to apply the theory of Gilman to the explanation of this fact, she was more concerned with how women were separated from their species being because they were isolated in the private households and engaged in performing nonproductive work (Degler, 1956). Price considers himself to be more valuable and important in the company and in the industry, in general, because of his higher position and family relations: “Price, an English major from Harvard University, is the son of Frank Price, who ran Universal Pictures in the ’70s and ’80s. His grandfather, Roy Huggins, created legendary television series like “The Fugitive” and “Maverick ”(Hui, 2017). It shows that Price feels his domination over women not only due to his gender, but high social status and popularity. He behaves like he is sure in his absolute power and attractiveness for women so that no one can reject him.

The third reason to accept the theory of Gilman in relation to this event is to say that she is sure that men accept women only as sexual objects, but not more. It concerns those men, who have power and take any leading social or political position. Gilman argued that the contemporary sexuo-economic arrangement of the male, as bread-winners and female, as homemakers was wasteful (Langermann, and Niebrugge, 2007). She insists that men usually exploit omen both, emotionally, and physically. In order to deal with the existing burning problem, Gilman proposed economic emancipation of women and the dismantling of the household (Degler, 1956). It included the necessity to open up the opportunities for women to work in order to get wages in the public sphere and grow professionally. We can observe it on the example of many women, who managed to achieve high social positions and become successful professionals in public spheres. However, was it helpful in case with the major character of the news by Mary Hui? Isa Hackett, despite her high status in the company and professional growth, is still the woman, who turned out to be the sexual object of Roy Price, who did not confuse to make sexual offerings in front of the public: “At the party, Price approached her again even while she was talking with other executives, and said “Anal sex!” loudly in her ear, Hackett said” (Hui, 2017). It proves that the theory of Gilman is correct in relation to the attitude of men towards women.

The second theorist, Harriet Martineau was a positivist, who believed in social laws and the progressive evolution of modern society (Winkler, 2008). Martineau believed that human happiness is the most significant law of social life. Therefore, the biggest part of her works were aimed at understanding the extent, to which people developed "morals and manners" for achievement of their happiness. If to apply this concept to the article under discussion, the behavior of Roy Price can be justified by the fact that he is a successful person, who creates the conditions and norms for his personal happiness (Calhoun el al, 2012). However, this is not correct since his social position do not give him any moral and legal rights to abuse women and demonstrate any hints of sexual harassment. Furthermore, Martineau wanted to reveal the reasons of inequality of women in modern society and measured progress in by three important standards: the status of those, holding the least power in society, views of authority and autonomy, and open access to resources, permitting to realize autonomy and moral action (Hill and Hoecker-Drysdale, 2002). Using this part of her theory, the actions of Price towards Hackett can be explained by his wealthy social status, however, it is not correct, as each member of society, be it man or woman, deserves the same rights and cannot be abused (Lloyd, 1998). Hui (2017) cites the words of Hackett: “I think women inspire each other. I feel inspired by the other women who have been far braver than I am, who have come forward,” Hackett said. “I hope we all continue to inspire each other and ultimately create change”. It proves the theory of Gilman that women should come forward to protect their rights and stop being only sexual objects for men. Finally, Martineau shared her feminist views and underlined that women have the same rights with men to use social and legal values (Clarke, 2007). Thus, applying this part of her theory to Hackett and Price’s conflict, it is possible to state that this is a part of social reality. However, Gilman asserted that men see women as sexual objects and it is incorrect to demonstrate their negative attitude in public.


In order to analyze the news of May Hui in the online newspaper Washington post, the two sociological theories have been applied. The first one is Harriet Martineau and the second one belongs to Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Both theorists were famous by their feminist positions and defended women’s positions in society. Both of them asserted that men and women should enjoy the same rights. Gilman insisted that the position of woman as a household led to the lack of respect of men towards woman. This idea is demonstrated in the piece of news under analysis, when Roy Price was officially accused in sexual harassment of Isa Hackett. I agree with Charlotte Perkins Gilman that the behavior of Roy Price in relation to Isa Hackett, Rose McGowan and other women, accused him in sexual harassment, was explained by desire of men to dominate over women as well as by the fact that the rational dismantling of the household led to men’s humiliation of women and supposition that women are defined more by their bodies and are the objects of sexual satisfaction.


Calhoun el al (2012). Classical Sociological Theory. Boston: Wiley-Blackwell

Clarke, J. (2007). “Review: Harriet Martineau”. The North American Review. 124 (256): 435-450

Degler, K. (1956). “Charlotte Perkins Gilman on the Theory and Practice of Feminism”. American quarterly. 8 (1): 21-39

Elliott, F. (1989). “Review: Architecture and Morality: Charlotte Perkins Gilman's Feminism Re-evaluated”. Off our backs. 19 (7): 17-21

Hui. M (2017). “Amazon Studios chief Roy Price suspended amid sexual harassment allegations”. Washington Post. Retrieved from <>

Hill, M. and Hoecker-Drysdale, S. (2002). Harriet Martineau: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives (Women and Sociological Theory). London: Routledge

Lloyd, B. (1998). “Feminism, Utopian and Scientific: Charlotte Perkins Gilman and the Prison of the Familiar”. American Studies, 39(1): 93-113

Ritzer, G. (2010). Classical Sociological Theory. NY: Mcgrow Hill

Langermann, P. and Niebrugge, G. (2007). The Women Founders: Sociology and Social Theory 1830-1930. LA:Waveland Press

Winkler, C. (2008). “Feminist Sociological Theory”. Historical development and theoretical approaches to sociology. 2 : 2-15

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