A Female Perspective of “The Flea”

Although “The Flea” was written in the early seventeenth century, I found the speaker’s proposal very common to modern society. In the poem, a man seeking intimacy attempts to convince a woman to sleep with him with the proposal that sex is not a big deal. He diminishes the significance of sex by comparing it to a fly that has sucked the blood of both him and the female subject. Therefor it is clear that he views sex as a mere activity in which himself and the female would mix bodily fluid, just as the fly does. Many modern men have this same attitude and many modern women are reticent to engage in noncommittal, casual sex just as the female subject of “The Flea” is. The article “Can women have ‘casual’ sex without a post-hookup hangover?” reveals a female perspective on a main topic of “The Flea”. http://thedailylove.com/can-women-have-casual-sex-without-a-post-hookup-hangover/

This perspective is concerned about the happiness and wellbeing of a female in the role of the courted. She advocates for women to regain greater control over their sexuality by making choices that would greater benefit them. She views beneficial sexual relationships as those that leave women in a positive emotional state. Since women’s hearts are deeply intertwined with women’s sexuality, she concludes that it is nearly impossible to engage in casual sex without developing emotional repercussions. The heart previously referred to is symbolic of the biological hormone oxytocin that is released during intimacy of all kinds. Humans interpret this hormone as a feeling of intense bonding. The author of the article provides a conflicting perspective than that of the poem’s author Donne. This contradiction reveals the tremendous impact gender has on one’s outlook.


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