Even with laws to prevent this sort of treatment of women, we suffer from this deep-rooted system that allows for men to hold a dominant position. The God of Small Things also explores the oppression of women, but it is present in a much more flagrant manner in this novel. Ammu is not even given a chance to succeed in life, as she is not permitted to pursue an education and her only realistic goal in life is to marry someone and do what he wants. When Ammu divorces, she becomes an outcast and she spends the rest of her life waiting to die. These works show that women are oppressed in a variety of ways in different cultures and that gender constructs are causing this oppression.
The essay “Oppression”, by Marilyn Frye, examines how women are oppressed in society. Often times, this oppression is not flagrant, but is rather a series of small privileges that are taken away from women in order to benefit other social groups. The author makes the claim that women live within a birdcage, where each of the individual wires is meaningless but when they are all put together, it is impossible for the bird to escape. The oppression of women has two main features, according to Frye. First of all, they are place in positions of power where they hold a great deal of responsibility, but they are not given enough power to effectively use this position. Also, women know that they are limited in these positions of power, so they make sure that they do not exceed the limits that society has placed upon them. The system is in place, according to Frye, to privilege men and oppress women.